In this short, but inspiring TED talk, Education activist and founder of ‘Girls Who Code’, Reshma Saujani argues that:
“We’re raising our girls to be perfect, and we’re raising our boys to be brave…”
Saujani has taken up the charge to socialize young girls to take risks and learn to program — two skills they need to move society forward.
“To truly innovate, we cannot leave behind half of our population. … I need each of you to tell every young woman you know to be comfortable with imperfection.”
Her argument is interesting and novel, in that she argues that teaching coding can improve a person’s underlying sense or attribute of bravery, and that this is a fundamental attribute that people need to succeed in the very technological age, the Second Machine Age that we are entering.
A recent University of Melbourne study of high school subject choices has found that girls are less likely to choose science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) subjects than boys, despite many girls testing better in these subjects.
The study links the under-representation of women in high-paying jobs in engineering and information technology to the high school subjects’ girls choose.
And an ACS referred news article gives further support to the significant disparity that we currently have in Australia the is seriously detrimental to the future career prospects of our girls:
“Australian girls aged 15 to 19 are choosing STEM studies in lower numbers than their counterparts regionally, new research by MasterCard claims.
The ‘Girls in Tech’ study, released this week, shows 33 percent of respondents in Australia were choosing to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.
This is not only well below the Asia Pacific average of 59 percent, but well behind leading countries.
The study found 76 percent of girls the same age in China were studying STEM subjects, followed by 69 percent of girls in India…”
So, to help girls achieve greater income parity we need to get them coding, especially by the time they enter Senior High School (which is when they are making University degree and career choices).
For further support to this argument please see the recently released and very informative ACS’s 2016 Digital Pulse review.