Closing the Gender Gap in STEM
The Importance of Equity and Inclusion and the Role of Girls Who Code
Women in STEM
Girls and women are severely underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, despite making up nearly half of the global workforce. Women’s representation in computer science has dropped from 37% in 1995 to 24% today, with a major drop in numbers between the ages of 13 and 17. Girls from underrepresented communities, such as girls of color and those from low-income backgrounds, are particularly affected.
The underrepresentation of girls in STEM has wide-reaching consequences, not just for the girls, but also for society as a whole. By denying equal access to education and careers in STEM, we are perpetuating gender inequality and limiting the diversity of ideas driving innovation and progress. Addressing this disparity is crucial for creating a more equitable and inclusive future.
Equity and inclusion in STEM fields are important for addressing systemic inequalities and promoting diversity in the workforce. Historically, communities of color, low-income communities, and women have faced barriers in entering and succeeding in STEM fields.
Promoting equity and inclusion requires providing equal access to education and resources, such as mentorship and networking opportunities, and a supportive learning environment. Addressing root causes of inequality, such as poverty and limited education access, is also necessary for a truly inclusive STEM community. This can be achieved through policies and programs that increase representation of underrepresented groups and provide support to overcome barriers.
By promoting equity and inclusion in STEM, the STEM workforce will reflect the diverse population it serves and everyone will have the opportunity to contribute to and benefit from technological advancements.
What Is Girls Who Code?
Girls Who Code is a global organization aimed at closing the gender gap in new tech jobs by 2030 by empowering girls globally. Half of the girls served by Girls Who Code come from historically underrepresented communities, including Black, Latinx, and low-income backgrounds.
Girls Who Code: Programs
Clubs are a free option for students in grades 3-5 and 6-12 to become part of a supportive community of peers and role models using computer science to make a difference. With no cost to participate, clubs offer engaging activities through a customizable curriculum that fits each student’s needs. Clubs can be held after school, on weekends, or during the summer and can be in-person or online. They partner with schools, libraries, and afterschool programs to launch clubs across the country.
College & Career
Girls Who Code provides programs aimed at supporting college-aged students and early career professionals in continuing their computer science education and thriving in their internships and employment opportunities.
Two options are available – a 2-week intensive program or a 6-week self-paced program, giving students the ability to learn at their own pace and establish valuable connections. All high school students identifying as girls or non-binary are eligible to apply, with no prior computer science background necessary.
Code At Home
These free online activities are self-paced and at varying levels, allowing you to learn the basics of web development with interactive programs.
Making a Difference
Closing the gender gap in STEM fields is crucial in creating a more equitable and inclusive future. Organizations like Girls Who Code are working towards this goal by empowering girls worldwide and providing equal access to education and resources. Their programs, including clubs, college and career support, summer programs, and code at home, provide girls and underrepresented communities with the tools and support they need to succeed in STEM fields. By promoting equity and inclusion in STEM, we can ensure that the STEM workforce reflects the diverse population it serves and that everyone has the opportunity to contribute to and benefit from technological advancements.