A recent article from Inc noted that women in technology still face an uphill battle. Quite true!
According to the article, “Women make up half of the U.S. workforce but represent only 25 percent of the technology industry. Despite growth in entrepreneurship, women lead only eight percent of technology start-ups.”
Is this a problem of widespread gender stereotypes? Lack of aspiration to the technology sector by young girls? We need to balance the energy of building awareness with keeping more women in tech arenas. 75% of women in technology report “loving their work,” yet women leave technology careers at a staggering rate.
Finding support and guidance is quite a challenging task. Being in this field for some time, I’ve seen many inspired young women/girls have a hard time finding established women and entrepreneurs in tech to help them maneuver within the industry or corporations. We need more families and friends who can embrace and mentor them within the field.
How do we address this issue? My take is that it starts by exposing, educating and engaging girls from an early young age. Many parents continue to say , “Hey, I would love to have my kids become lawyers, doctors, or entrepreneurs” but you hardly ever hear parents encourage their young girls to become a scientist, or explore technical or mathematicians occupations. Especially at a young age, girls are exposed to more traditional games and toys, but why can’t girls play with Legos? Or create a robotic science project at school?
We invite you to make a difference. We have launched the Girls in Tech Mentorship program in summer 2011. There are huge opportunities to build up the next generation of young girls in technology and entrepreneurship. Our goal is not only to inspire, share knowledge and help young girls to take notice of how cool technology can be, but to expose and educate their parents by encouraging their girls to take part in science, math and tech fairs. We are looking for mentors, mentees, sponsors, media partners and more. If you are interested in learning more or being part of the program, drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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