Closing the Gap: Encouraging More Women to Tackle Tech
Higher Education The current lack of gender diversity in technology will hinder our ability to innovate and meet society’s changing needs.
As we get set to begin the new school year, I cannot help but think how much work our nation has left to do to close the gender gap in technology.
There are expected to be 1.4 million jobs available in computing fields by 2020, but women educated in America are on pace to fill just 3 percent of them. Closing that gap with bold, substantive action—and paving the way for a new generation of female tech leaders in the process—should be our country’s first homework assignment.
Being the change
I founded Girls Who Code in 2012 to address just this problem. We started with one program teaching 20 girls in New York. Just four years later, we have 59 Summer Immersion Programs that teach innovative coding techniques to girls at the offices of leading technology companies, and over 450 Girls Who Code Clubs at schools nationwide. By the end of this year, we will reach over 10,000 girls across the nation.
"Closing the gender gap in technology will take a huge effort from our schools and policy makers to expose more girls to STEM disciplines at a young age."
Whether it be partnering with the giants of Silicon Valley or sponsoring an after-school club at homeless shelters or Native American reservations, we are reaching girls everywhere and anywhere to teach them the language of the future.
Expecting the unexpected
I have seen, in city after city, the unquenched interest of girls, parents and the tech industry to teach more girls to code. Right now all of the all of the ingredients are in place to address this challenge.
Closing the gender gap in technology will take more than just a few committed voices. It will take a huge effort from our schools and policy makers to expose more girls to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines at a young age. It is a big assignment, but it is one that we cannot let another school year pass without addressing.