Leilani: Technology is a way of life for just about everybody – guys and girls. But when it comes to its creators, there is still a pretty big gender gap. Some young women are trying to change that.
Expert: This country is really rooted in technology and engineering, and we see a real problem when women are not at the table creating, innovating and developing these new technologies that will dictate our lives.
Leilani: It turns out, only about one in seven computer engineers and coders is female. Coding is giving instructions to a computer so that it can perform different tasks, like build websites, mobile apps and robots.
Women make up more than half of college graduates, yet less than 12% of all computer science related degrees. Some say that the real divide isn’t in competence, but in confidence.
Expert: They’re receiving messages that they’re not supposed to be in this sector, they’re not supposed to be interested in technology and the maths and sciences.
Leilani: Girls Who Code is a new organization working to close the digital gender divide.
Girls Who Code participant: We went to Facebook, we went to Gilt Groupe, we went to Google.
Leilani: Twenty high school girls representing over twelve ethnicities are meeting for an eight-week program in New York.
Girls Who Code participant: It’s, like, very fun and, like, free because we don’t really have boundaries on what we can think. Like, let’s say you want to build a website. You get to choose what things you need in that website, what you want it to look like and whatever you want your user experience to be like.
Leilani: Classes are taught by female engineers and business professionals.
Girls Who Code participant: Just because you’re female doesn’t mean you can’t go into this field and you can’t accomplish anything. It showed me that I can do that too.
Expert: This is a really big moment for us.
Leilani: A big moment for all, as we see more efforts to integrate girls into the tech world.
Leilani Rapaport for Channel One News.