Women and tech careers

What can we do to get young women interested in tech careers?

Recently I went to a “Tech Tek” presentation by the American Association of University Women – San Diego. The local branch sponsored a group of middle school girls for a week of technical activities held on the UCSD campus in order to engage them in math and science. They do fun, creative, and challenging activities: snorkeling, field trips to the bay and aquarium, hands on dissection of a fetal pig, ice cream-making with liquid nitrogen, etc. Girls from this past summer and the year before shared their experiences. They showed their interest, inspiration, and gratitude for the awesome experience they had with field trips, science projects, funny stories (setting off smoke alarms and burning grass). Also poignant with the recent tragic loss of active member and champion for Tech Trek, Florrie Donnovan-Gunderson, who was the only civilian killed by the gunman at the IHOP in Carson City last week. We had a slide show that gave us a great cross-section of the week’s activities.

There still is a gender divide in many of the STEM careers. How can we get girls involved in tech careers? What can we do at Palomar College to promote scientific careers to women?

Did you see this article?

“Google Exec Marissa Mayer Explains Why There Aren’t More Girl Geeks”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/06/google-marissa-mayer-women-in-tech_n_891167.html

Mayer had 14 job offers before she accepted Google’s offer. You don’t hear that often. She is a star no matter what she does. But how can we transfer her advice to the girls and young women we wish to encourage and inspire? Mayer recommends showing a multiplicity of different role models and not a stereotype.

What else do you think we can do?

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21 Responses to Women and tech careers

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