An inspirational post, that aims to inspire young women to code, comes from our newest recruit, Sarah Hill, who has uncovered the potential of learning to code in her search for personal development after previously pursuing a career in beauty therapy.
Science is everything and in the world of today, where technology is booming, it is becoming almost a necessity to teach our younger generation how to code and develop their programming skills in order for them to be successful professionals in the future. As soon as people think of these concepts they immediately think of something that is complicated and beyond their ability but the reality is these are things we use in our day to day lives without even realising it. Something as simple as opening your garage door or opening your fridge and the light coming on is done using programming.
We need to change the mindset of our young people, especially our young women who are made to believe that they are not smart enough to understand technology and that it is primarily for boys. Girls are generally pushed into careers that are said to be “girly” such as beauty therapy or fashion and while these can be rewarding and successful options, they should not be promoted as the only option. It is said that by 2020 there will be 1.4 million jobs in computer science with women only holding 3% of them. These figures are discouraging.
Showing young females that coding is fun, by allowing them to understand it is more than sitting in front of a computer screen for hours and educating them that coding is a great way to build friendships with other girls and utilise teamwork to create something they can be proud of. In terms of school curriculum, coding is underrepresented, adding to the issue that young girls are less likely to gain interest due to a lack of awareness of what is actually involved in the coding process and the benefits it can offer.
Summer camps are a great way to involve young people in activities they may not have previously considered, allowing them to break from the shackles of repetition. Coding can frequently be mistaken as a solo activity but we tend to teach it in a collaborative environment, so it becomes a fun activity everyone can enjoy. Combining the teaching of coding with fun activities and events is the best way to convince young people to want to get involved. Young girls are less likely to get involved with something that is seen as a male activity if their friends don’t show an interest. By offering a summer camp that contributes to building friendships, provides a variety of activities and allows the ability to learn new skills, we are able to spark an interest in them. Camps that provide a range of activities give teens a taste of a variety of fields and allow them to explore new passions in life. The differentiation between what is considered a man’s job or a woman’s job, is something that should and will cease to exist as the gap in gender equality in the workplace continues to even out.
Coding is the ultimate 21st century skill set that every girl should learn because the truth is, females are less likely to pursue professional careers in technology if they are not able to identify role models within the industry. Statistics show that around 37% of computer science undergraduate degrees were awarded to women in 1984; that number decreased to 18% in 2014 and it is said that only 2 out of 10 girls will pursue any type of science. There are so many barriers regarding this issue as these days young girls are purchasing t-shirts which are branding “I am allergic to algebra” and “I hate math”. This is not the message we want to portray to the girls of our generation. By empowering and educating young girls now, they can go on to be inspirational woman and change the understanding of the tech world.
Let’s change the mindset of our young people to show them that it is not “uncool” to pursue an interest in technology. Further inspiring young women to find a passion in coding and tech in an attempt to improve gender specification.