In 2013, women made up only quarter of the computing workforce, a rate that’s been decreasing since 1990.
In the mid-1980s, 37% of computer science majors were women; in 2012, 18%. Women are vastly underrepresented in the tech sector and in all of Silicon Valley. But perhaps things are looking up! For the first time, more women than men enrolled in intro computer science at Berkeley. Last year, Google was offering free coding lessons to women and minority. And most significantly, there is a growing number of programs striving to teach women of all ages programming languages.
Girls Who Code is a non profit organization that works to inspire, educate and equip girls with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.
Their vision is to reach gender parity in computing fields. The team knows it is paramount to ensure the economic prosperity of women, families, and communities across the globe, and to equip citizens with the 21st century tools for innovation and social change. They believe that the more girls exposed to computer science at a young age will lead to more women working in the technology and engineering fields.
To implement a hands on approach to learning, the Girls Who Code summer program sends the students to the campuses of tech companies such as Microsoft.
14 of the students told Microsoft why they believe it is important for girls to make their mark in the tech industry. Here’s what they had to say: