Have you ever considered creating technology or working with code? According to a recent Google Official Blog post, not many high schools girls are thinking about it. The post explains that only about one percent of high school girls plan to go on to major in computer science. While I was surprised (in a disappointed way) by that low number, I was surprised (in a good way) by hearing about the Made with Code initiative.
What is Made with Code?
This campaign is one that aims to get girls more interested in computer science. That involves learning code and more. So, it’s more than simply playing with smartphones and browsing the web – it’s about sparking interest in technology.
Made with Code is a Google initiative that is done in partner with Chelsea Clinton (hello future blog post!), Mindy Kaling (awesome 101!), the National Center for Women & Information Technology, TechCrunch and other notable organizations. Coders are a-coming, if this initiative has its way!
How to get more girls focused on coding
The initiative has several projects designed to get more girls focused on coding. For example, Made with Code will collaborate with Girl Scouts of the USA and other agencies to bring coding information to girls in those networks, to begin them hopefully on a coding journey. Also, girls can start coding a 3D bracelet – right from the Made with Code homepage!
Also, a whopping $50 million will go toward funding programs that encourage the efforts. In the Google post, an example given is rewarding a teacher for supporting a girl in entering computer science.
Implications for the next generation of women
The implications of this campaign are, well, limitless. Let’s consider what happens if that one percent of high school girls interested in computer science raises to become ten percent or even higher (I can dream!). It would mean more computer science graduates and more female coders in the future. It would be my hope that by raising the numbers of women coding to make it more on par with men that they could one day be treated as equals in their work.
Also, my dream would be then to see those women teaching a new generation of girls about the coding possibilities, opening up more career choices for girls than ever before.
Other coding initiatives
Along with this great organization, there are other coding initiatives for females going on around the world. There is Women Who Code, for example, which has its sights set on inspiring women to get into the technology field. There are 14 countries taking part, with a 2019 goal to get one million women in tech.
There is also the Indiegogo campaign to create a television show that encourages girls to head into coding and software. The TV show, titled “Ella the Engineer,” would be a cartoon series. Any monetary donations for this particular campaign go toward creating the pilot episode.
With so much support apparent for women coders, it’s hopeful that the numbers will rise in the future. That would mean that women are one more step toward gender equality and saying a big “see you later” to gender stereotypes in technology professions.
Have you ever considered pursuing a career in computer science?
©2014 Christy Birmingham