Why Did the Number of Women in Technology Decrease over the Last Few Decades?
The number of women going into computer science and engineering, unlike other STEM professions, has been decreasing over the decades. What was once the domain of programmers like Grace Hopper, in 1984, started becoming the male dominated area we now see today.
Why 1984? In 1984 home computers like Commodore 64s started entering the home. These computers were marketed towards men and boys. Had they been marketed towards women, we might have had a very different looking field today, but that’s what happened. More dads and their sons began to program.
When those boys went to college, they had many years of computer experience under their belts already. Regardless of how talented their female counterparts might have been, they felt intimidated next to boys who were already familiar with programming. College women felt that they must simply not be as good, and would drop out. We know that many of them, given the right tools to begin with, would have been at least just as competent, but that’s not what happened.
Fast forward to today. We have had a 20%+ decrease in women computer scientists and engineers. Why do we care? Because diversity in fields is important. Diversity brings different perspectives to a field. One group may see different elements of issues than another, and seeing as much of the complete picture as possible is very important when innovating, problem solving, and competing in a global economy.
We Can Code IT was born to help even the playing field. We provide engaging curricula that engages girls and women. We provide an atmosphere where our students see other women as mentors in computer science and engineering. We train, motivate, and mentor girls and women.