Although technology jobs have become increasingly popular as a result of the recession, young women are still not choosing careers in technology, writes Silicon Valley computer scientist Elena Strange. A recent ACM study found that high school girls do not see computer science as an attractive field, and only 32 percent of college-bound girls see computer science as a "good" or "very good" college major. Additionally, only 9 percent of girls believe that computer science is a very good career choice, compared to 28 percent of boys.
Strange says computer science professionals and organizations need to do more to encourage girls to pursue computer science, not only to strengthen the industry but because many girls would enjoy computer science if exposed to it in the right way.
Strange notes studies predicting that more than 1 million tech jobs will be added to the economy between 2004 and 2014, and she says technology workers are vital to the success of the U.S. economy.
Events such as Expanding Your Horizons, in which computer scientists and mathematicians encourage girls to study and pursue math and science careers, expose girls to the numerous opportunities available in computer science that they might otherwise have never experienced. Strange says that workshops can demonstrate the variety of work available in the field and get girls interested in the underlying science.
From The Sacramento Bee (CA)
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Why are we pushing women into tech jobs? Why does anybody care if it's all men? Young women who are interested in tech work will get involved in it on their own free will. Pushing women who are uninterested in Computer Science and Engineering to study topics that simply do not interest the majority of them will only be likely to cause them to be unsatisfied in their work and inevitably switch careers. This is not saying that young women should not be more EXPOSED to the fields, as in academia they usually are not - they usually are exposed to "women friendly" majors like Psychology, Sociology, and Nursing. But after those young women have been exposed to it and still are not interested, who are we to force it upon them?
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