Computer coding is a male-dominated sector. Even now in this tech-centric world, only 18% of computer science majors are women. We can do better at girls learning code.
Girls Learning Code Is the Key to a Bright Future
- Look at what we would be missing out on: Learning to read and write code should be accessible to all children. In the past, involvement in computer sciences has been marketed to boys and men. Only 5% of tech startups are created by women. But globally, women make the majority of buying decisions and many apps and products are created specifically for women (only) to use. When female product designers are missing from startups and the computer sciences in general, we lose the opportunity to benefit from their relevant and needed perspectives.
- Let’s eliminate the pay gap: Currently the majority of the top 10 highest-paying college majors are in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. Interestingly enough, research done by the American Association of University Women found that one year after graduation, male and female coders were earning the same salary. Therefore, encouraging women to participate in coding will increase their odds of landing a well-paying STEM job. Ultimately this will reduce the pay gap and boost the average woman's pay significantly.
- Time to embrace a work/life balance: Just as technology is rapidly changing, so too is the average workday. Workers are saying goodbye to the 9-to-5 job and embracing a remote work policy. Remote work provides the ability to be flexible, allowing families to stay home with young children, or help care for aging parents. Women who choose programming careers have the option of flexibility, as tech companies often support flexible work schedules which can lead to a better work/life balance.
- Giving girls the opportunity to learn earlier is better: A lot of research has been done on children’s ability to learn a language better at a younger age. The same can be said about learning to read and write code. By learning code at an early age, girls develop a better grasp for the technology, which helps them find better solutions and manage failure. Teaching girls to code gives children the chance to experience the feeling of failure, so that they learn not to give up when something doesn’t work out, but rather begin again.
- Girls need to embrace challenges: Girls are often praised for being well-behaved or nice, while boys are encouraged to be adventurous and courageous. Learning to read and write code gives girls the ability to face challenges head-on and learn from their mistakes. Coding also encourages logical reasoning and critical thinking as it breaks large problems into small manageable tasks.
How to Win With Girls Coding
- Let them get messy - Don’t just provide experiment-type activities to boys - girls need to understand that they too can tinker with circuits and get messy in sand. Making and creating will give girls a feeling of pride as they solve tough problems.
- Find examples of girls they can aspire to who are doing amazing things in the world of coding - There are some powerful women doing ground-breaking things in coding.
- Find a coding company that aligns with your values and sees the worth of girls advancing in coding - Hatch Coding works to inspire girls to learn to read and write code.