Marissa Mayer once said, “I refuse to be stereotyped,” an unsurprising statement as she works in the very heart of an industry in which women are virtually absent. Mayer was Google’s first woman engineer, and she is now the CEO and President of Yahoo. Needless to say, she has certainly beat all stereotypes.
It’s no secret that technology is taking over. Technology is prevalent everywhere, in every industry and in every company. Our future depends on technology.
Colleges and universities are beginning to offer more and more computer science and engineering courses to please their ever increasing amount of applicants interested in such fields. However, this pool of applicants is extremely male-dominated. According the National Center for Women and Information Technology. Women earn 57% of all undergraduate degrees, but only 18% of computer and information sciences undergraduate degrees.
What does this say about our society when women are so absent in an industry that already dominates our culture?
Moreover, the computer industry has a steady supply of well-paying and steady jobs, yet very few applicants qualified to take such jobs. Still, according to the Washington Post, only 5.7% of women work in the computer industry. Consequently, these stable and well-paying jobs are mostly given to men, while women are still twice as likely to work in jobs with poverty-line wages.
Why is this so? Because, as quoted by Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook), we still live in a society where GAP sells t-shirts “that [say] ‘Smart Like Daddy’ for boys and ‘Pretty like Mommy’ “ for girls.
Media teaches girls to value beauty and looks over their own intellect, which directly correlates with women’s lack of confidence in the mathematical and engineering fields.
International Computer Science Education week is from December 9th-15th. In honor of this week, we should make it a priority to spread the work about the ever-lacking women workers in the engineering and computer science fields, and continue to work towards a society in which women can program in peace.
This blog was written and submitted by Vision 2020 Junior Delegate Madeleine Cheyette of California.