Mixed Gender Teams

Mixed Gender teams or Same Gender?

My team is a male-only team. Our coach says it’s because boys will try to boss around the girls. There is a problem though, we have made it a point to our coach that if we put the best of the girls and boys teams together, we would have a team better than ever before. We have a boy that is very gifted at programming, I myself am good at driving, and a girl that is a very good friend of mine is very very good at building. If we put these people together, we could be unstoppable! How do we convince him of this?

Edit: Sorry I forgot to mention this, our coach has been coaching with gender barriers and made it to worlds. I think this might have made him think it’s better than gender freindly teams.


Not sure, we have a number of mixed gender teams in Delmarva and three of them are going to Worlds. Maybe telling you coach that?


In middle school I had a great coach but he was dead set on having one team of all girls and one of all guys. It ended up only 2-3 of them did all the work and others did nothing. It was only after he left to another school that they were able to create their own team together and did great. My best advice would be to have you all ask him to make a team together but have the girl do most of the talking (since he’s worried that she won’t get to do stuff so if it’s her decision maybe he’ll listen). If that doesn’t work maybe convince him to let you try it out and if it doesn’t work then you’ll go separate boys and girls?

Edit: You should probably also mention that mixed teams often do better than all boys/girls teams because of the difference in perspective and stuff.


Whatever works for your organization. It’s more about who can work with whom, rather than genders. There are a couple things I’ve seen though: boyfriend/girlfriend on same team can be bad: on a team of 3, there can be “spare tire” type of issues with the third person, and if there is a breakup, you could lose both team members. Secondly, when my daughter was in robotics, she was no fan of “girl powered” teams because of the implication that there is something else required for girls to be successful in robotics/engineering.


There’s no doubt that having a mix of genders rather than the same gender offers a competitive advantage simply due to the fact that you are given more perspectives. In general, this is the case when it comes to all forms of diversity on your team. I do think that having a diverse team will make your team stand out more to others and will likely create a more vibrant atmosphere on your team that others will notice pretty quickly.

I would try to convince your coach to encourage diversity; I doubt the boys would “boss” the girls around if the girls are just as creative and skilled as them, which happens to be the case almost every time if the girls are given enough opportunities to learn more about robotics. Maybe I’m a little biased, since my organization has always been mixed and has a history of molding girls who join into powerful women who eventually become team captains or club officers. I think if you can break this gender barrier, it would benefit your team greatly and would ultimately leave more room for new, diverse viewpoints to blossom within your team.


We have a team in our organization that has a mainly boy team with only one girl, and we have had no problems with the boys bossing around the girls, if there are people on a mixed team that want to boss someone around because of gender, they need to (in the nicest way possible) grow up. I have never seen that problem arise from a team, and it is good experience being on a mixed team imo


On my middle school sister team, the leader was a girl who, if anything, bossed around the boys. I feel like assuming boys will always boss around girls implies that boys will always be smarter than girls.


Thank you very much for the advice ( > u < ) I have a question, does anybody know of any mixed gender teams going to worlds? I think that might convince our coach.

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I’m pretty sure that over half of the teams going to Worlds are mixed. While the gender ratios may not be balanced for all of these teams, there is definitely evidence of boys and girls working together on most teams going to Worlds.


One of my teams is going to Worlds and there are 3 boys and 2 girls. I have had several teams go in the past- all were mixed gender.


I could be wrong, but I believe Semicolon is mixed. The second ranked skills team 323V is also mixed.


I’ve served as a Remote Judge for Worlds over the past couple of weeks, and can confidently tell you that there are a significant number of mixed-gender teams in the interview slots. Generally speaking, the mixed gender teams have been impressive and have had better-than average communication skills (so have the single-gender teams, though!).


Yep Semicolon is mixed. I believe they have four boys and one girl.


Give him unrefutably proof of OP teams with mixed gender. In Kentucky(mystate) there is 41091a revelation who is a team made up of a brother and sister and they won excellence at worlds last year. There is also 38141b pibotics Who is doing extremely well. They won Kalahari and are an absolute beast of a team. so I would point them out as examples and I’m sure there are MANY more mixed gender teams tearing up the competition.

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I know at least 3-4 mixed-gender teams from Florida going to Worlds (including two that I would consider to be among the top 5-6 teams in the state), and likely at least 2 others as well. (There are probably more, but I either never saw them in person, or I forgot the details about who their students were).

There have been several other successful mixed-gender teams in Florida in the past, including more than 10 state champions in the past 7 years (out of 25 state champions total - only 2 of the mixed-gender teams I counted were 3rd picks, and if there were more, they were teams I didn’t include).

If one student tends to boss around other students, it might be best to put that student on a team with students who don’t have ideas of their own and are comfortable with being bossed around (but would be willing to speak up if they change their minds), or with students who the first student wouldn’t boss around (like an all-boys team if a student bosses around girls but doesn’t boss around boys), while other teams can form based on which students work best together without regard for gender.

A student who bosses girls around because they’re girls (or who bosses people around in general) will likely have difficulty succeeding in other areas of their life (such as their career and their personal relationships). Even if they were to find a job where people were okay with this student bossing women around, that could change at any time (or if not, the company might get fewer customers).


I have no clue why your coach would see that as a problem. Mixed teams have more diverse strengths and approaches, and will ultimately be the most likely to perform well. I have learned that lesson with my own all-male team.


Exactly. The primary reason, in my opinion, mixed gender teams do better is that you don’t have to exclude good people. Your coach is excluding the girl because she’s a girl, not because she’s a bad team member, and in fact, (according to you) your team would be better if she was included.


The differing perspectives thing is also probably true to some extent, but it could just be personality as far as I know.


I will say this once - there are only team members on a team. Gender stereotypes are misguided and do more harm than good. Because RobotEvents forces you to state how many “boys” and “girls” on the team, I always put 1 and 1… there is no opt out from disclosure.

At beginning of season, you get to be a team lead if you can pass the equivalent of Driver Certification (did it come out this year?) with 90% understand of Game Manual. You can be placed on a team with 80%. Team leads determine team goals and interviews potential team members.

It works.


Nope, apparently they were waiting until the Ref certification was confirmed to be correct to post the drive team certification, but they never actually made the ref certification correct so I guess that’s why they never posted the drive team certification either.

It would have been nice to be able to point teams in AZ towards the drive team certification to help prepare for what was often their first in-person event in a few years or maybe ever, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. I like your approach with having every team member take the test at the beginning of the year; as a ref it just makes everything so much smoother when students have read and understand the rules.

As to the original topic of this thread, there are plenty of mixed gender teams in AZ, multiple of them amongst the highest performing in the state. Robotics is a wonderful sport where gender doesn’t matter, and I think it would be counterproductive to artificially keep genders on separate teams rather than allowing them to work together.


Actually, our organization had the opposite happen. In the summer between Turning Point and Tower Takeover we had a girl who strongly desired to separate all the girls from our existing teams and create a girl powered team. She proposed it to our coach who denied her request because he felt that a mix of students would create more productive teams.