The tech industry has a dearth of female talent. As of 2013, only 26% of technology jobs were held by women, according to a review by the American Association of University Women. After peaking in the early ’80s, the percentage of computer science bachelor’s degrees received by U.S. women has steadily declined.
With the growing skills shortage in certain key areas, enticing more women into technology can only help the field as a whole. Patricia Barber helps lead Girls in Technology, which offers a mentoring program for girls interested in pursuing careers in STEM. "Research suggests that for the tech jobs that are going to be available in the future, there isn't going to be enough talent to fill those positions unless women and girls became involved," she says.
In Massachusetts, a high-tech mecca, women held only around 26.5% of tech jobs in 2014, a slight drop from 2007, according to a new study from the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council. Workforce diversity in Silicon Valley isn't much better.
Monica Eaton-Cardone, founder and CIO of Global Risk Technologies, agrees. "To change this, women need to be encouraged to follow their interests and need to be educated on the growing potential of STEM careers," she says.
One way to achieve this change is to get girls involved in STEM fields from an early age, and a growing number of programs across the country aim to do just that.
Summer is just around the corner, and while offerings such as MIT's Women's Technology Program and Girls Who Code's summer immersion program are filled, a few programs are still accepting applications. Read more about them, below.
We will update this list in the fall with other programs worth looking into, so be sure to check back.
About: Alexa Café offers girls instruction in coding, Web design and much more. Class sizes are small, never more than eight students to one teacher, and girls learn in a collaborative environment. With locations all over the country, Alexa Café offers both day camp and overnight camp options. Check out your preferred location to see if it fits your needs.
When: Various dates in June, July and August
Where: Various locations across the U.S., including California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington
Cost: Varies by location. Day camps range from $949 to $1,099 per week, plus an extra $60 per week if you want lunch provided. Overnight camps cost an additional $569 per week, and include all meals. Scholarships are typically offered, but this year’s have already been awarded.
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