Women and girls are wildly under-represented in all aspects of technology innovation. There is no single cause, and there is no single solution. Our goal, more than anything, is to explore ways that schools as institutions and teachers as individuals can turn this situation around and return women and girls to the forefront of innovation. We are looking for people willing to work with us to make changes big and small that empower all students to harness the incredible tools available to create, to code, to invent, and to tell their own stories.
As with any complex problem, there is no single, one-size-fits-all solution to the gender imbalance in the technology world. To properly analyse and address it within the different contexts of our respective institutions, we have created a ‘paradigm’ or protocol for analysing what needs fixing and how those fixes can be implemented. We break it down into the four component parts below: [Sorry to throw another acronym out there, but think of it as shorthand to remember the key elements.]
Girls need to learn the technology skills to innovate and create with tech including gaming, programming, coding and web-design. They also need to gain confidence and resilience (among other things) to face the challenges for girls in education and STEM workplaces.
Stereotypes, Perception of Gender, Perception of Tech Groups, Clubs & Classes and Hidden Bias. These issues of image all inform women and girls' choices and well-being when it comes to learning and working with technology.
G - Girls
I - Image
R - Role-models and Mentors
It's hard to be what you don't see. We need more women to teach, learn and lead technology clubs and classes. We need to study the role women have played as innovators in the field of digital technology. As Megan Smith, White House Chief Technology Officer notes, “In tech we still have to work on our visibility.”
L - Landscape
In what types of physical and emotional spaces and environments are women learning and working with technology?