I very rarely go to the cinema, but this weekend I took my two teenage daughters to see Barbie. Mostly it was fun and silly but several scenes had me in tears. Now I want to go see it with my mother, actually.

What really got me was the depictions of the different generations. The grandmother in her kitchen (my mother) trying to create a world where girls of my generation could do anything, be anything. My generation – we got far but it was hard and there is still a long way to go. America Ferrera’s monologue “It’s literally impossible to be a woman…” says it all.

And the next generation, that of my children?

I have a great career in tech. I’ve worked hard and I try not to worry if I’ve been discriminated for or against along the way because of my gender, (which I probably have). I’ve reached a pretty good place.

Both my children are starting new schools in the next few weeks, and both are nervous and excited about it. The older one begins university, studying engineering physics. She looked at last year’s class photo and was troubled to find she couldn’t easily spot any women in it. Maybe they are all standing at the back?

My younger daughter has reached an age now where she can choose a school and some of the subjects she will study. She has chosen science and technology and a school she liked partly because they deliberately mess with the gender balance. Each year they have three classes (forms) doing technology, and they make one all boys, so that the other two can have a more ordinary gender ratio.

When I studied physics and engineering all those years ago, the gender ratio was pretty terrible. Doesn’t feel like it’s got much better. I wish for so much more for my daughters.