EdTech: Focus on K-12 published an article highlighting the gender gap in technology fields, and how tech companies and groups like Big Dream Movement are making a difference:
Rane Johnson-Stempson, the principal research director at Microsoft Research, helped organize the Microsoft International Women’s Hackathon in May. The worldwide event, anchored in Washington, D.C., drew more than 2,000 participants from nearly 50 universities and 11 countries.
In an interview with EdTech, Johnson-Stempson says a longstanding gender bias has deprived many girls of opportunities to learn about technology.
“At younger ages, boys are encouraged to be on the computer, to play computer games, to explore online. In the 1980s and ’90s, many families put computers in the boy’s bedroom but not the girl’s,” she says.
But times are changing.
“We need to show the impact computer science has in changing the world and solving its greatest challenges — HIV, cancer, global warming, etc. — and we need to discuss how it is creative, collaborative, and each day is different,” Johnson-Stempson says. “Computer science is no longer one person sitting behind a computer programming by themselves. It requires teams with different skill sets asking questions differently to solve a problem. This is what excites girls.”
Read the full article at EdTech: Decoding the Computer Science Gender Gap