Have you ever wondered why so few girls go into computing? They’re just as smart as boys, but not many of them take IT courses in college or become IT professionals. And it’s getting worse: from 36% 30 years ago, to just 18% now.
So why’s it happening? It turns out there are two simple reasons.
- If they’re told boys are better at computing, they don’t do as well and lose interest.
- They want to be involved with people, but have the perception of programmers as sad, lonely nerds.
It’s just stereotypes, based on misconceptions. Boys have no more natural aptitude for computing than girls do, and the image of the isolated programmer locked in his basement is (mostly) something from movies and TV.
If you have daughters, encourage them to use the computer, to learn about it, and support their interest. And teach them to ignore the media stereotypes of programmers. Show them the positive benefits of IT, and how it can be used to help people.