As most of the population knows, the Information Technology field is dominated by men; however, a Manhattan-based nonprofit group, Girls Who Code, is trying to change all of that. As part of an 8 week program 20 high school girls learned software programming, public speaking, product development and other crucial skills needed to prepare them for careers in the technology industry.
Girls Who Code is one of the many programs attempting to narrow the gender gap in the technology field by getting the young ladies attention early while they are still deciding their career paths. With names like Hackbright Academy, Girl Develop It, Black Girls Code and Girls Teaching Girls to Code, these programs are attempting to change the image of computer science by making it more appealing.
Even though over half of the work force are females, under a quarter of the computing and technical jobs are held by women, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology based at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Many networking and advocacy groups have attempted to address the issue by coaching females on building start-ups, raising venture capital and climbing the management ranks at major companies. Recently, the chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, published a best-selling book, “lean In,” for women to pursue their ambition in the workplace.
Even with all the pushing, the number of women entering the technology industry has been declining. Females are only earning 12 percent of the computer science degrees, down form the 37 percent of degrees back in 1984. Industry recruiters and executives are saying that women just aren’t walking in their doors seeking work.
Chief technology officer at Twitter, Adam Messinger, who is also on the board of Girls Who Code, said, “We actively recruit women, but there’s just not many woman who want to do this kind of work and are equipped to do the work from their education.”
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