NCWIT: Recognizing females in high school in Computer Science

It’s that time of the year where NCWIT, National Council for Women in Technology, takes time to recognize girls across the country for their accomplishments and interest in Computer Science.

Over the decades as technology, gadgets, networks, computers, and software have been becoming mainstream, it is the males of the industry who have received all the credit for that movement. While there have certainly been women who have been tremendously important for our current digital and technical age, it has tended to be driven by males.

Why is that important to notice?

What that means is that all design decisions were considered by males and addressed by mainly males. The questions being thought of and asked are by primarily males. The answers to those questions were generated by mostly males. The research of the technology itself was being done primarily by males. The software that interacts with the hardware was being written by primarily males. The professors teaching most of the classes in Computer Science (and related topics) were male. The curriculum to train students in Computer Science was being written by primarily males. All the assignments and projects that students did in school were designed primarily by males. Needless to say, that resulted in lots of males being attracted to the world of technology because it has been directly and indirectly marketed towards them.

You see my point. What we are seeing now in our world is the result of a male driven industry. Thankfully that is changing, but that change is coming ssssslllllllloooooooowwwww.

As we are seeing more females go into the various fields related to technology, I think we will see a new digital technology age and perhaps even a new technology revolution. Why? Because as females really begin becoming larger integral parts of the industry, assume leadership roles in the industry, command respect from their male counterparts in the industry, and start software and hardware companies….females will become an integral part of asking new questions, researching in new ways, writing code from new perspectives, brainstorming with new insights, and building and creating new products with new motivations.

We are starting to see some first steps towards this. Congratulations to The Association for Computing Machinery, Code.org, Computer Science Teachers Association, Cyber Innovation Center, and National Math and Science Initiative for creating a definition of what Computer Science is, and that definition explanation starts with this inclusion I am discussing here.

We the people in the world get to reap the benefits of this movement. Think of how much we love (and hate) our laptops, our watches, our phones, our GPS, our smartTVs, our sports technology….we can’t wait for the new wave of technology to take us to the next level!

Not sure exactly that the “next level” means? Go ask one of the girls in your high school Computer Science class…she’ll know.

Hey girls in high school: You’ve got a couple weeks left before the submission deadline. This might be a life changing opportunity towards your future.

Check it out: https://www.aspirations.org/participate/high-school

About Doug Bergman

Head of Computer Science at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, SC
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