Monday, December 1, 2014

Female and Technology

After my social media was bombarded with the story of Engineer Barbie and her helplessness in computer programming, USA Article, I began to think about the lack of representation of females in the tech industry. According to the following article about Google Investing $50 Million to Close the Gender Gap, Google-Girls in Tech only 17% of Google tech employees are women and only 12% of computer science degrees go to women. There are many reasons for this disparity, including lack of encouragement and role models. And then once women get the job Silicon Valley companies offer money for women to  freeze their eggs so that reproducing doesn't get in the way of work. NPR-Egg Freezing.What kind of message is this sending to girls and young women about how they are valued and perceived? I don’t see how women would feel welcomed and inspired in this industry. I recently spoke with a few male friends in the technology field. They not only confirmed the lack of female presence at their workplaces but also gave examples of biases that some tech programmers and developers feel about women in similar positions. Apparently, women have to continually prove themselves just as capable as men in these situations despite skill set and experience.

As a women getting into teaching technology I am concerned about chauvinism for myself and the students I teach. As an educator I would love to see more learning games, online activities and experiences geared towards school age girls. I have found two programs geared for girls and technology, Techbridge and Girls Who Code . I think this is an excellent step in the right direction for equality in the technology field. I also, think that perceptions of who, what, and how the tech industry operates needs to change in order for girls and women to become a part of the tech culture.