Learning environment is key to addressing the gender gap
Women in Tech Having had contact with many classrooms, makerspaces and meet-ups – it’s safe to say, in my experience, that the face of technology is changing. Diversity is taking hold, but the learning environment is key.
Pi-Top recently taught a Hardware Innovation class for 225 Academy (whose aim is to show young people that anything is possible). Classrooms were filled almost exactly even - girls and boys. It was striking how many young women were interested in a field that is traditionally male dominated; then It became apparent that for these students (aged 13 – 16), this fact was still unknown to them - boy or girl, this was just a group of children that wanted to learn about new and interesting technology.
Making IT careers appealing
The key element for these students was to have a fun and socially open environment to learn in and from my experience with Pi-Top, it would seem this is a key factor in increasing the amount of women who choose a career in IT.
It’s often said the first step is the hardest to take, and this is where environment becomes such an important factor in decreasing the gender gap in the technology sector. From what I have experienced, organisations such as 225 Academy with values such as being “open, warm and friendly”, are showing how - by creating a great environment that students want to learn in - they are also helping to address the large male bias in the technology sector by being so inclusive.
This sentiment is echoed by others including the founder of makersCAFE in London who comments, “makersCAFE is all about changing the face of manufacturing – we don’t want to be intimidating – we aim to create a fun and inclusive environment”. If we as a sector continue to focus on creating a more inclusive environment, then making that all important first step becomes much easier.
Demystifying technology and making it more approachable is an ever more important role in increasing the amount of women in technology
As Jade Read from Code First: Girls states, “We want to demystify opportunities in tech..., so that this generation can make an informed choice about whether or not they want to pursue a career in tech.”
Demystifying technology and making it more approachable is an ever more important role in increasing the amount of women in technology. By creating an inclusive environment that focuses on great learning opportunities and openness, we can help usher in a new generation of young women into the technology field – and have offices resemble what I have experienced in the classroom.