It caught my eye that there were two different articles about major IT companies aiming to bring girls into IT this week.
eSchool News reports on Cisco’s efforts to make IT, and in particular, their Tech Academy more appealing to girls. One of the interesting points of the article is that research shows girls are more interested in to learning about technology in the context of “broader social issues.”
IT World Canada reports on Microsoft (Canada)’s participation in the Explore IT Conference – aims at interesting 9th grade girls in IT. Lasha Dekker, vice-president of developer and platform evangelism for Microsoft Canada Co., was a keynote speaker and debunked myths such as: fears that their friends will think (working in IT) is a geeky thing to do, and that IT work is not very social.
It’s great to hear that effort and progress is being made in this front. I’ve got a 6th grade daughter who’s life ambition is to work at Pixar, and it would be great for her to not have stigma attached to working in IT. As far as the geeky thing though, I’m afraid she’s out of luck – she just joined her school’s D&D club and qualified for our regional spelling bee. The geekiness won’t be going away anytime soon, and I suspect it just might be genetic.
P.S. – Steve Jobs, if you’re reading this drop me a line – she might be a good candidate for grooming as replacement CEO in a couple of years!