#GirlsintoTech – just what is the problem?
Why isn't the tech industry appealing to young people, and particularly to girls? Guests from industry and education discuss what's changed and what can be done to influence decision makers into correcting the gender imbalance that exists. This event is open to anyone who has an interest in this debate.
What's it all about?
“Five years ago it seemed just about everyone, from teachers to business leaders to politicians, was in agreement about the need for radical changes in the way children were taught about computers. “But today it is hard to find many who are happy with the speed and direction of the revolution in computing education.”
So says Prof Rose Lukin, University College London’s Knowledge Lab, in a recent article by Rory Cellan-Jones, Technical Correspondent for the BBC.
Coincidentally, four years ago, bespoke software engineers First Option Software Ltd from Alresford, Hampshire, held a symposium style breakfast meeting to discuss the subject with specific emphasis on the gender imbalance in the IT world. Discussion included parental/peer pressure, gender stereotyping, definitions of IT, hard-wiring of girls v boys, educational curricula and industry’s reluctance to change.
So what has changed in four years, if anything? According to Russell Haworth of Nominet, “the top three things putting girls off a career in IT is that they believe it to be boring, too technical, and too hard”.
The aim is simple, to find out what has changed and what can be done to influence decision makers into correcting the gender imbalance that exists. There are plenty of good initiatives designed to encourage young people, especially girls, to get involved with technology from an early age. But without joining up the dots, we could be looking at a similar, or worse situation than ever in the next five years.
Cellan-Jones continues, “Figures from the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) show only a modest rise in students taking the new computer science GCSE. “Experts are concerned. The British Computing Society warns the number studying for a computing qualification could halve by 2020.”
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Join the conversation
Join us on Thursday 12 October from 5pm - 7pm and hear from leading STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) industry professionals and education representatives. This event is for anyone concerned about the future of the tech industry, particularly how it appeals to and engages with girls, and would like to take part in this debate.
- Welcome introduction over tea and coffee
- A short presentation by three or four key speakers
- Time to share ideas and network
This event is free to attend but registration is required.