The new Girls Who Code program will help high school girls in underserved communities learn about computer science and other technology fields.
Women are often leaders in music, entertainment and fashion — and politics, in more recent decades. However, studies show that the areas of computer science and engineering are still predominantly a boys’ club.
To bridge the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-related fields, a new organization to start soon called Girls Who Code will work with girls ages 13 to 17 from underserved communities to help them pursue careers in technology and engineering.
According to a write-up Tuesday, June 26, in The New York Times about the organization, two of the program’s leaders are Reshma Saujani, author of Women Who Don't Wait in Line and former deputy public advocate of New York City; and Kristen Titus, former managing director of Jumo.com. Technology giants Twitter, Google and eBay also announced their intent to join the initiative, according to the newspaper.
Through education and mentorship, the program’s aim is to help young women learn tech-related skills such as computer programming, Web design and robotics — all of which will be taught by women who work in those fields.
According to the Girls Who Code website, women lag significantly behind men in technology-related professions. Although 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees are earned by women, less than 14 percent of computer science degrees go to women.
But it’s not for a lack of interest online, at least. According to the website, women use the Internet 17 percent more than men do and are quickly dominating social networking websites. Currently women create more than two-thirds of the content on social networking websites.
Sound Off: Should more programs be developed that specifically strive to get women to pursue STEM fields? How can women get more involved in computer science and STEM-related fields? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.