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Tech's Gender Gap Is Getting Worse, Not Better, Report Says


Girls learning to code.

Technology companies and educators must reach out to young girls and women, or the number of women in computer science will decline even further, according to a new study.

Credit: Whatsyourtech.ca

Unless technology companies and educators start reaching out to young women and girls, the number of women in the computer science field will drop from 24% to 22% by 2025, according to a report from Accenture and Girls Who Code.

Accenture's Paul Daugherty believes teaching computer science the same way to girls and boys has reinforced girls' perceptions that computer science is a male-centric field. "Instead, more efforts must be made to tailor engagement with girls to suit the changing influences on their attitudes and preferences as they proceed through their education," Daugherty says.

A study by Gallup and Google found girls are less likely than boys to be aware of computer science learning opportunities.

Many girls who were engaged in computing in middle school later lost interest in high school, due in part to a lack of friends taking computer science courses. Middle school is a critical period to attract girls to the field; 74% of women in computing careers say they were first exposed to computer science in middle school.

Research also shows a lack of role models and awareness of career options are prominent factors discouraging girls from considering tech careers; 53% of girls say having more information about tech career options would encourage them to consider entering the field.

From TechRepublic
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Abstracts Copyright © 2016 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

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