When Honey Ross, a 15-year-old student at the King Alfred School in North London, walks into her computing class she is surrounded by testosterone. “It’s sad,” Ross said. “[Technology] is such an amazing world. It’s just waiting for loads of young girls to jump in.”
According to the National Center for Women and Information Technology only 24% of technology jobs in the U.S. are held by women, down 12% from last year. Only 19% of high schoolers in the U.S. that take advanced computer science tests are girls. Four out of ten gadgets are bought by females, but only 3% of the creative minds behind them are women.
These statistics suggest that women in technology are becoming an endangered species.
Lady Geek and the woman behind it all, Belinda Parmer, wants to bridge this gap between women and technology. Her consulting firm works with technology companies to change the way they communicate with females. They want women to make the connection between the Ipad or smartphone in their hands and the possibility of creating it.
Technology is a rapidly growing industry, yet young girls aren’t drawn to pursue a career in it. Parmar traces this lack of interest, at least partially, to technology’s image. When her team asked school children to draw a person that works in technology, they all sketched brainy, disheveled looking men.
Parmar recently took Lady Geek into the classrooms, by launching Little Miss Geek, a non-profit that inspires young girls to become technology pioneers. Her team runs school workshops and gets female role models from the industry, such as Olivia Solon, the News Editor at Wired UK and Siobhan Reddy, Studio Director at Media Molecule – a computer gaming company – to visit schools and get young girls excited about a career in technology. Little Miss Geek is currently trying to create coding clubs for girls as well.
The future of our technology is in the hands of this generation, but would that future look any different if there were more women creating it? Click here to learn more about how Belinda Parmer is laying the groundwork to turn women consumers into creators.
By Jacqueline Monti