The education pipeline and women in tech
For more women in tech we need to start with the education pipeline
"Instead of finger-pointing, companies need to take responsibility for hiring women rather than creating workforces that are just boys’ clubs"
Talent pipeline starts early
Portrayal in the media
Their favourite cartoons show their heroines with less speaking parts than the male roles – even when the movie is about girls! Yep even the Little Mermaid. Can you believe that? Tech successes and computer scientists are portrayed in the media and movies as being geeky, scruffy and slightly “on the spectrum” in a garage somewhere. This is in stark contrast to the way girls are encouraged to behave and perceive themselves elsewhere.
Read: Monitoring who Speaks Most – not the Little Mermaid
The education pipeline
“At puberty both boys and girls tend to conform to the stereotype of their gender that they see around them and the stereotype for women tends to be against the kind of woman who chooses to pursue physical sciences and engineering.”
“ Despite recent progress, discrimination based on the real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity of female athletes persists. Girls in sports may experience bullying, social isolation, negative performance evaluations, or the loss of their starting position. During socially fragile adolescence, the fear of being tagged “gay” is strong enough to push many girls out of the game. “
Single sex schools
When girls and boys are together, they tend to exaggerate the gender differences: this is a very robust phenomenon referred to as either "gender intensification" or more generally "group contrast effects."
This strong behavioural tendency referred to as either "gender intensification" or more generally "group contrast effects" is pronounced in co-ed schools. So if girls want to become scientists as things stand, separation from the boys seems the best solution currently. Interestingly girls attending single sex schools are also more likely to participate in competitive sports.
Sending female role models into primary schools would be a good place to start. [Tweet "Women can't be what they can't see and hear."]
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Dates for the Diary
November 12th European Commission DG GROW
Informal talk on how to deal with sexism - 12.30 - 1400
November 25th Council of the European Union - Corporate Event
How to deal with sexism and harassment in the workplace
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