Facebook Message: Girls, Too, Can Do Computers

From the Seattle Times (03/11/12) Brier Dudley

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017719779_brier12.html

Facebook is working to draw more women into the information technology industry. “I am quite hopeful that Facebook can do something to turn the tide–that we have enough cultural influence at this point that we can influence the next generation of teenage girls to consider computer science,” says Facebook’s Jocelyn Goldfein, who is working on features such as news feeds and photo and video services. Goldfein says she is an example of what women can achieve in today’s tech industry, being one of about a dozen directors, including two women, who collectively handle engineering for Facebook. “I think the biggest thing you need to do for all girls … is have role models out there,” she says. “Teenage girls are using Facebook, and so I think it’s meaningful for them to hear about women engineers working at Facebook.” Although Goldfein says it could take generations for women to make up 50 percent of computer science majors, it is possible. “Considering that women are 60 percent of undergrad degrees these days, I’m really looking for a 60-40 representation to be proportional,” she says

Confidence boosting activities for females interested in computing

Some young women who are interested in computers and engineering were having confidence issues. I asked a very successful female software engineer if she could offer some advice. Here is her reply.

‘Also, the College of Wooster hosts a cool summer camp called B-WISER (Buckeye Women In Science, Engineering, and Research Institute) every year: http://www3.wooster.edu/bwiser/. Although it sounds like the girls don’t fit the age for this camp, the site might provide other resources for them. And another thing to consider… maybe they could volunteer to help be advisors at the camp?! I can say from personal experience that it has helped build my confidence that women CAN do engineering (perhaps even a bit subconsciously), by helping young women realize this. I was a camp advisor during the summer after my first year in college, and it was a lot of fun! I would highly recommend this experience. Another similar camp is called Women in Science, hosted by BGSU. Our Camp Aerospace team participated by hosting an activity station at this one-day field trip camp in 2010. Again, they don’t fit the age requirement, but perhaps could volunteer to help at the camp? Another good experience. If they want additional information about the WIS camp, they can contact Kelly Cusack (kcusack@bgsu.edu). “

Wintriss Technical Schools

http://wintrisstech.org/about.html

Wintriss Technical Schools is a San Diego, non-profit, public benefit school.
Wintriss Technical Schools (WTS) is unique in its mission of teaching computer programming skills to grade and middle school children, preparing them to fill critical shortages of computer programmers expected within the next ten years. To maintain the U.S. position of scientific leadership, the children of today will need to know how to write, as well as use, the complex software of tomorrow. WTS trains its students in writing computer programs using the popular JAVA language and object-oriented programming techniques in a fun-filled environment. Our goal is to introduce kids to advanced computer programming concepts at an early age that will prepare them to successfully compete for college and for well-paying jobs.