She’s been a techie since she was a kid, writing her own programs and helping her real estate agent parents incorporate the latest technology into their business. At about 10 years old, she hooked up the family’s first modem and was uploading real estate properties to the multiple listing service (MLS).
“I thought it was the coolest thing ever,” she said, adding, “Yes, I am a geek.”
Now McGee is a serial tech entrepreneur and educator who’s on a mission to abolish that nerdy stigma and make careers for girls in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) more accessible.
“Females are way under-represented in STEM fields, and it’s absolutely not because of any kind of innate ability,” she said. “It’s a cultural issue. (People think) it’s not feminine, that it’s geeky.”
From kindergarten to 12th grade, girls’ participation in math and science nationally just about matches that of boys, according to the National Girls Collaborative Project. But in college, the disparity develops quickly, with women making up only 18.2% of computer science graduates nationally.