Are Parents Responsible For the Lack of Girls in Computer Careers?

Are Parents Responsible For the Lack of Girls in Computer Careers?

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It is a fact that girls take many less elective STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) classes in school than boys do. It is also a fact that many less women seek Computer careers than men do. There are probably a variety of factors responsible for these choices, but my theory is that the way most parents raise their daughters is the biggest factor.

Girls in Computer Careers

When your kids are young, do you encourage your daughters to play with puzzles and build with blocks and Legos and other spatial toys as much as you do with your sons? What about video games? Do your daughters play? There are both software and video games that are both fun and educational that deal with writing code or creating video games.

Why is it so important that girls take STEM classes and compete for jobs in the technology sector.

  1. Engineering and Computer Science majors are being recruited directly out of college into some of the highest paying jobs today. There are more job openings than people who can fill them. Why shouldn’t women share in these lucrative career option?
  2. For society as a whole, we would get much better creativity and variety if we had workers of different genders in engineering and computer careers.
  3. Maybe we could finally get rid of the stereotype of the typical computer science loner.

Girls in Computer Careers

During this past “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day“, President Obama said:

“One of the things that I really strongly believe in is that we need to have more girls interested in math science and engineering. We’ve got half the population that is way underrepresented in those fields and that means that we’ve got a whole bunch of talent … not being encouraged the way they need to.”

If you have daughters, here are some Computer Coding resources for girls that can help:

Girls in Computer Careers

1. Girls Who Code – Girls Who Code’s vision is to reach gender parity in computing fields by offering summer immersion classes in computer science, robotics, algorithms, web design, and mobile development.

Girls in Computer Careers

2. Black Girls Code – BlackGirlsCode introduces computer coding lessons to young girls from underrepresented communities to increase the number of women of color in the digital space and also to empower black women.

3. Hopscotch – An iPad app that teaches easy computer programming to kids.

Girls in Computer Careers

Hopscotch App

4. Here are some online kids programming tools, game design programs and other sites I’ve previously written about: Scratch, 5 Ed. Gaming Orgs to FollowGamestar Mechanic, and Minecraft.

It is never too late if you have the ability and desire. There are also Computer  Classes for Women:

1. Skillcrush – Online coding classes by women for women.

2. Girl Develop It – On-Site classes for women of diverse backgrounds around the world to learn how to develop software. They are currently in 15 cities. Many resources are available on the website.

However, it is too late if you don’t have the ability or desire. That is why parents need to encourage their daughters, just as much as they do their sons, to play with logic and spatial reasoning toys and to take STEM subjects in school and to try video game creation and kids coding skills. You will be doing yours daughters and society as a whole a huge favor. We need more girls in computer careers.

See also: Netflix Science Channels for Teens, Tweens and Kids

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Comments

  1. I did not know this! Thank you for the stats! Good to know – I have 2 girls myself!

  2. This is a great post. I agree, we ladies are super capable of taking over these careers!

  3. I’ve never thought of it this way, makes sense though!

  4. Those are some good resources! We’ve got a house full of girls here!

  5. Great post! I have always wondered why there were more males than females in those type classes. here is no reason for it! These look like some great books!

  6. So glad you shed some light on STEM and how we can encourage young girls. It is an amazing field.

  7. Great post! I have been a senior technical analyst at a large company for over 10 years and I have mainly worked with men, it would be great to work with more ladies 🙂

  8. I think this is a great post.
    Men and women process information in some different ways. Therefore, we (America) are missing women’s vision of future of technology and science.

    I for one work with a woman computer engineer. Her insight into projects provides me with a dimension that I would not otherwise see.

  9. I did try to raise my daughters with blocks, Legos and such, but they still are not that interested in STEM subjects (although they do very well in those classes in high school). Although, I think I did a better than average job of exposing them at a young age to the building blocks for STEM thinking, I wish I could do it over again and stress it even more.

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