Girls love technology. The thing is, there’s still a disconnect between tech being seen as cool for girls. While some girls don’t care and shake it off, others succumb to peer pressure and do something “cool” instead.
If only they knew there’s nothing cooler than a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
If we take a look back in time, it wasn’t too long ago that women had to choose between a handful of professions, like teaching, nursing, or retail. They were not allowed to do anything else, literally. I’m not talking about ancient times either, this happened two generations ago during my grandmother’s adulthood.
In the same way, women wouldn’t have the right to vote today if we didn’t do something about it in the 1900s. If we waited for our turn and pretended like everything was okay, it would have never happened.
To reach these milestones in women’s history, we needed support systems, to launch our own uprising and to be okay with being the minority.
We can help the next generation of girls embrace the possibilities of tech careers by talking about it, going to career days to encourage them and by supporting local initiatives that could make a difference in their lives. You don’t have to look far:
- Girl Geeks Toronto
Made up of developers, designers, scientists and technologists. The label doesn’t matter. They get tech and offer monthly talks in a friendly social environment.
— Girl Geeks Toronto (@GirlGeeksTO) February 1, 2014
- Girls in Tech Toronto
Focused on the engagement, education and empowerment of like-minded, professional, intelligent and influential women in technology.
- Girls Learning Code
Digital literacy for women and youth. We run beginner-friendly tech education programs for women and for youth (under Girls Learning Code + Kids Learning Code).
— Canada Learning Code (@learningcode) April 22, 2015
A Microsoft YouthSpark program, giving high school girls the opportunity to learn about careers in technology and connect with Microsoft employees as mentors.
- Women in the IT Channel
ITWC, publisher of ITBusiness.ca, hosts its own annual event for Women in the IT Channel. Four years in the running, the luncheon features leading women in the IT channel, awards, headine speakers, and opportunity for networking. At other times of the year, ITWC coordinates Twitter chats and blogging activities with participants of the event.
I think we ladies forget about our right to vote, go to school and become who we want to be. It gets lost in our day to day because it’s now the norm. But it wasn’t always that way and there are still milestones worth fighting for. We shouldn’t ignore that some girls still think that tech is for boys only. It’s simply not true. But we can’t break that misnomer by being quiet and waiting for it to change on its own.
It will take a village, with you being a member of that village. As a leader in STEM, the livelihood of tomorrow’s top female CEO’s, operators and innovators rests upon your shoulders. What are you going to do?