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Educators and Experts Seek to Engage Young Girls in STEM

Educators and Experts Seek to Engage Young Girls in STEM

Activists who gathered at SXSW feel that narrowing the gender gap in STEM for young girls should be a high priority.

"Studies show that even though more women earn college degrees than in the past, the percentage of computer science degrees that go to women has declined, from 37% in 1984 to 18% in 2012," said an article on USAToday.com. "This decade, an estimated 4.8 million computer science-related jobs are expected to be created. And while women make up nearly half of the work force [48%], they only account for one-fourth [24%] of those in tech careers."

"This is something that [we're] really trying to tackle," said Elizabeth Caudle, east coast regional director for Girls Who Code, in the article.

Caudle, the article said, "spoke Sunday at SXSW about advancing girls and women in technology. Joining her was Sandy Carter, general manager of IBM's cloud ecosystem development."

"This is the challenge we face," she said. Carter and IBM "created a downloadable book called Geek Girls Are Chic for SXSW and it's available free to download on ibm.com," according to the article.

Women, the article said, "should take notice because tech-related jobs such as these STEM [science, tech, engineering and math] jobs pay 33% more, on average, than non-STEM jobs. And tech jobs typically have less of a disparity in salaries among the sexes."

"Geek Girls Are Chic includes advice for all ages on embracing the opportunities that tech has to offer, from fostering girls' interest in technology to improving women's tech relevance in their careers." 

"We want to instill in them that they need to be building their skills over the course of their entire career," Caudle said in the article.

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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