The dearth of women in technology runs much deeper than a simple pipeline problem, writes venture capitalist Swati Mylavarapu.
Girls Who Code estimates about 74% of young girls express interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields and computer science, yet only 18% of undergraduate computer science degrees and 26% of computing jobs are held by women. Moreover, women hold only 5% of leadership positions in the tech industry.
Rather than merely focusing on the pipeline, "A better question might be, how can we collectively work to improve women's participation in the tech industry at each key stage of their careers?" Mylavarapu suggests.
Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani speculates 1.4 million computer science jobs will open by 2020, yet women will comprise only 3% of the 29% of jobs held by qualified graduates. To remedy this problem, Saujani says Girls Who Code is working with girls in every age demographic to inspire interest in tech careers. Its efforts include training elementary school teachers in coding, producing coding board books to bring its curriculum into classes, and offering after-school programs in middle school and summer immersion programs in college.
Meanwhile, Intuit's Merline Santil advises encouraging women to pursue STEM at every stage of their lives, with social networks an important tool.
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