Girls Who Code and Addressing the Gender Gap in Technology
August 18th, 2016 | Caitlin Lombardo, Community Learning Specialist
There is an unfortunate but well-documented lack of women in the science, tech and mathematics fields. Out of 8,000 incoming freshman at Indiana University the gender is split pretty evenly. However, only 3% of those women were in a remotely tech-related degree! The gap is so large that there are niche scholarships available for women interested in computer science, engineering and math. The existence of this gender gap has also inspired movements such as Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization that seeks to help close the gender gap in technology by teaching girls in 6th through 12th grade how to code.
Much research has been done on the topic and what it seems to boil down to is that girls learn differently than boys. Surprise! Studies show that girls prefer learning in an environment that encourages communication and prefer working interactively and cooperatively. This is one of many reasons why Girls Who Code is such a positive program. Girls Who Code fosters a sisterhood of tech-oriented women, providing girls with positive, successful role models who are already a part of the industry.
In addition to this different learning style it is also well-documented that when girls reach junior high, statistically, their self-confidence and self-esteem plummet. Puberty is tough. So once girls think they’re not smart enough–if they’ve been told this or not–it’s ingrained.
Do Space aims to address this gender gap by encouraging useful inquiry with tech kits like the GoldieBlox and our new Girls Who Code chapter. We want every student to have an equal chance to discover what coding can do for them. If your 6th to 8th grade daughter is interested in Girls Who Code, an informational meeting about the organization and the upcoming club will take place Sunday, August 21st from 3-4:30pm. Register HERE
- Lamoureux, I., Beheshti, J., Cole, C., Abuhimed, D. and AlGhamdi, M. J. (2013). “Gender differences in inquiry-based learning at the middle school level”. Proc. Am. Soc. Info. Sci. Tech., 50: 1–5.