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Science & Technology

Girls Who Code: Is There A Wave Coming?

Can you count how many women are in this photo of the Google I/O 2018 Conference?
Can you count how many women are in this photo of the Google I/O 2018 Conference?

Ten large tech companies did not employ a single black woman in 2016, according to a new report from The Center for Investigative Reporting.

Even after “Lean In,” written by Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, Silicon Valley can still be hostile to women, and women are still diverted from STEM careers. Why?

As journalist Emily Chang, author of “Brotopia,” told The Guardian

It’s this idea that Silicon Valley is a modern utopia where anyone can change the world or make their own rules, if they are a man. But if you are a woman it is incomparably harder. And that shows in the numbers. Women-led companies get just 2% of venture capital funding. That is egregious, especially in an industry that prides itself on being a meritocracy where anyone can succeed. We need people of all backgrounds to be making these products, because people everywhere are using them.

Evan Williams, who co-founded Twitter, told Chang that if there had been more women on the early Twitter team, he doesn’t think online harassment and trolling would be such a problem on the platform.

And the gender gap isn’t just at the professional level, according to a report provided by the American Association of University Women

In elementary, middle, and high school, girls and boys take math and science courses in roughly equal numbers, and about as many girls as boys leave high school prepared to pursue science and engineering majors in college.

By graduation, men outnumber women in nearly every science and engineering field, and in some, such as physics, engineering, and computer science, the difference is dramatic, with women earning only 20 percent of bachelor’s degrees. Women’s representation in science and engineering declines further at the graduate level and yet again in the transition to the workplace.

What are the barriers for entry for women in Silicon Valley and the tech world? What are people doing about it?

*Text by Gabrielle Healy, show produced by James Fox*


Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, nonprofit working to close the technology gender gap; @reshmasaujani

Natalia Oberti Noguera, Founder and CEO of Pipeline Angels , which trains women and femmes to become angel investors; @nakisnakis

Amanda Southworth, 16-year-old founder, director, and programmer at Astra Labs, non-profit software development company that uses technology to solve problems faced by marginalized communities; @amndasuthwrth

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

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