When you experience a computer issue at work, thankfully there’s always that handy IT guy you can call. But the IT guy may no longer be a guy anymore if Girls Who Code has its way. A new nonprofit launched last year, Girls Who Code is working to close the gender gap in the technology and engineering sectors.
Girls Who Code is working to educate, inspire and equip high school girls with the skills and resources necessary to pursue opportunities in the computing field. The impetus for the program is compelling. According to data, 74 percent of middle school girls express interest in science, technology, engineering and math or the STEM fields but when choosing a college major, just 0.3 percent of high school girls select computer science. Women today represent 12 percent of all computer science graduates. In 1984 they represented 37 percent. And while, women make up half of the U.S. workforce, they hold just 25 percent of the jobs in technical or computing fields.
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that by 2020, there will be 1.4 million computer specialist job openings. Yet U.S. universities are expected to produce only enough qualified graduates to fill 29 percent of these jobs. Girls Who Code has enlisted a team of educators, entrepreneurs and engineers to create programs that will close the gender gap in the technology industry. Look for immersion training programs, clubs and forums in cities throughout the U.S.