There's no denying that Rachel Riley has an incredible resume, initially beginning her career in the financial sector before she landed her role on Channel 4 daytime show Countdown as their maths whizz.
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However, in her new column in The Sun, the 34-year-old has voiced her fears over her daughter's future aspirations where she has urged parents to "smash the stereotypes" and raise girls to believe they're good enough to pursue a career in science or engineering.
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Rachel, who shares six-month-old Maven with her husband Pasha Kovalev, explained that she wants her daughter to grow up feeling equal to her male peers after a recent study from New York University found that girls are four times less likely than boys to enrol in a maths-based subject at university.
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"When children are little, we coo at boys when they say they are 'the best' at something, but if a girl says the same, she's told, 'Don't be boastful,'" she explained. "Instead, girls get their praise for being nice and kind. When we're told these things from a young age, we start believing them."
Rachel and Pasha welcomed little Maven in December
"I want my daughter Maven to experience a life as equal as possible - and when it comes to ability, there is no reason why her gender should stand in her way," she added. "This recent research shows what we see time and time again in studies, the problem is with the stereotypes in society, not with the ability of girls."
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Rachel went on to explain the way careers are marketed is problematic. The TV star shared her frustration over being asked to wear a lab coat in photoshoots when mathematicians don't actually wear them.
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"Mathematicians don't dress like that," she continued. "I hope programmes like Countdown help make maths accessible and show that it can be fun. With kids, they have to enjoy something to want to carry on doing it, so any way we can make learning fun will benefit them. I used to love playing Countdown with my little brother after school when we were small."
Rachel wants her little girl to grow up feeling equal to her male peers
Admitting she hopes Countdown can inject some fun into children's lives, she added: "It's a great way to practise times tables and think about how numbers work. But I want to shout about other careers in maths and science industries and the brilliant people working in them.
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"There is a huge shortfall of females in these sectors and a lot of capable women who could fill the gaps, if they only knew about the opportunities."
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