The great gender divide: Girls don’t recognise tech as key

Today sees the launch of the Telefónica Global Millennial Survey which I have been really looking forward to. I have not had a chance to read all of the findings yet and am watching on Livestream the launch event today – full of interesting and clever people really talking about the importance of technology in education.

However, one set of facts that screams out at me from the whole thing is this:

gender gap

Why are only 29% of girls as opposed to 42% of boys identifying technology as a subject that is key to future success in work? This chimes with my own anecdotal experience from talking in schools that girls see technology and programming as more an art project than an -ology or an -acy, whereas boys identify is much more with science and business – well, money.

These research findings really have exposed a very interesting gender gap and one that I think would benefit from far deeper formal research. Is this just a fall out from social programming? Or this this something we can actively work on? If so will this impact on the likelihood of changing the ratio of girls getting into technology?

Do go and have an explore of the whole report, I shall too over the next couple of days to see if there are any further interesting points or explanations.



2 responses

  1. Before I read down to “technology and programming” as art vs science, I’d already started thinking that the word “technology” is overladen and perhaps part of the problem. So I agree.

    Couching the skills in a ‘craft’ wrapper always seems to have wider appeal, and personally, I have always seen programming as a craft rather than a science, although the stuff that Joseph is looking at right now (Machine Learning) is keeping that balance alive.

    FWIW, in my CodeClub in Woodhouses there are 8 girls and 5 boys. And while there is no ‘science’ in the (Term 1 Scratch based) curriculum, even when I’ve introduced some maths (off piste maths quiz incl prime numbers) the girls have shown the edge.

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