The gender gap in the technology industry is significant, with Bloomberg Businessweek reporting that men hold 70 percent of all jobs at major technology companies. When asked what can be done to lessen that disparity, members of the industry commonly respond by citing the need to begin educating girls when they are young and getting them interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities. Technology will continue to be a large part of society for generations to come – getting girls involved now will allow them to make an impact in the future. This week, we take a look at some recent initiatives encouraging girls to take an interest in technology, as well as powerful women in the industry today and what they have to say about paving the way for future generations.
If You Want Your Daughter To Become a Future Tech CEO, Make Her Join the Girl Scouts – The Washington Post
The Girl Scouts of America recently announced a new program will allow girls across the country to create eCommerce stores in which to sell their Girl Scout cookies online. The initiative, called Digital Cookie, is meant to introduce girls to technology at a young age and teach them the skills needed to become an entrepreneur in the 21st century. It is estimated that nearly 1 million girls will be using the program.
This year, young programmers will be in charge of the decorative Christmas lighting in President’s Park, across from the White House. The project is hosted by Google’s new initiative, Made With Code, and is intended to get young girls interested in computer science and programming. Girls can visit Made With Code’s website, receive walk-through instructions on how to program their own light show for the tree, and see their designs on the tree throughout the holiday season.
From Silicon Valley to White House, New U.S. Tech Chief Makes Change – National Public Radio
Once the vice president of Google X, Megan Smith was recently appointed as U.S. Chief Technology Officer by President Obama, the first female in this role. It is reported that more women were graduating with computer science degrees in 1984 than in 2014, and Smith hopes to change that. One of her goals while at the White House is to help evolve the technology field itself to include more women and to create an environment that encourages the best technology teams possible to work with the government.
Eight women from the Washington D.C. area describe their current experience in the technology field. Many of the panelists did not expect to get into the STEM field and touch on the fact that many millennial women who want to get into the industry today are learning from the ground up.