Today, women hold leadership positions in many large corporations, governments and other institutions. Progress, if not gender equity, has been established in the professional world. But there is a key area in which women need greater help: technology.
While technology and computer sciences today drive so many of our developments, devices and economies, there is a significant technology gender gap. Today, women earn only 18 percent of the computer science degrees awarded at U.S. universities, according to National Center for Women & Information Technology.
Such an imbalance in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) greatly hinders the professional opportunities of our young women in a technology-powered global economy.
This disparity also can limit the breadth of knowledge, experience and perspective from which many technological inspirations originate. Women, like men, have their own unique perceptions, insights and approaches to problem-solving and innovation. Without women in tech, we might be missing out on half of our potential creative and intellectual power.
But this is changing with great groups such as Girls Who Code, Geek Girl and many others. These organizations inspire and instruct young women in coding, mobile and Web development, robotics, design and more. Through classes, hackathons, code jam sessions, conferences and more, thousands of women have come up with plans not merely for new products, but new possibilities of all kinds.
Verizon Wireless has supported many of these efforts in cities and small towns, as well as creating its own Innovative App Challenge that has attracted entries from hundreds of women around the country.
“With just a little bit of encouragement, these tech-loving girls beam with amazing ideas and energy,” said Beth Bailey, one of numerous top female Verizon Wireless executives serving as a Girls Who Code mentor in Miami. “It’s clear the young women in these programs will be some of the next great developers, engineers, entrepreneurs and technology leaders of the world.”