Monday October 2, 2017

Women in STEM Fields

According to Forbes, only 26% of women make up the general population of workers in the tech industry. Which, to many, that figure might seem accurate. The discrepancy between genders within IT is no secret, however many people struggle trying to close that gap. Ginni Rometty, the first woman CEO to lead IBM, is trying to close that gap, starting with the way they recruit new hires for their company to showing young girls the opportunities the STEM field offers. Rometty has adopted the following motto for IBM going forward, “to support women, to support inclusion, and to actively reach out to younger developers and students to help them become the cognitive developers of the future.” If one were to peruse the career site for IBM, you would see many phrases specifically designed to appeal to women. One phrase that struck a chord with me was, “There are no glass ceilings here.”  The site then went into detail about how ahead of the curve they have been throughout history when it comes to trying to close the gender gap. Next on their list is concentrating on young women and introducing them to STEM, and according to our very own, Beth Hart, “it’s long overdue”. IBM has partnered with Girls Who Code (GWC) and created immersion weekends across the country for “the generation of change makers”. The weekend’s goal was to show young woman that they can use technology to solve things they’re passionate about rather than having to wait for someone else to do it. The statistics from the beginning of the program to end proves that the main goal was accomplished. At the beginning of the weekend, 12% of the girls said they were interested in computer science. By the end of the weekend, 100% of the girls said they are likely to pursue a career in technology. As a woman in the IT industry, it is inspiring to see a company of this magnitude use their influence to help a problem that is close to home for me and many other women in this field. I look forward to seeing other companies with great influence adopt this idea and for it to take off.

To learn more about this:
https://developer.ibm.com/dwblog/2017/girls-who-code-ibm-2017-update/
https://www.ibm.com/blogs/cloud-computing/2017/03/girls-who-code-change-makers/
http://www-03.ibm.com/employment/jobs/women_at_ibm_culture.shtml

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