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How to Get Girls into Coding: Encouraging Female Participation at a Young Age

As technology rapidly evolves, coding will become an even more important skill that will help kids at school and in their future careers. In short, coding is the behind almost everything we interact with in the modern world. It is involved in creating software, websites, and applications and is used in almost every industry, from healthcare to finance.

This means there is a growing demand for coders, but despite this, women are still underrepresented in the technology industry. By encouraging girls to learn to code from a young age, we can help to close the gender gap and increase diversity in the industry.

Learning to code can also provide girls with a sense of empowerment. As they learn to create, design, and build their own projects, girls can develop problem-solving skills and boost their confidence. Coding can help girls to develop essential life and school skills such as critical thinking, teamwork, and creativity.

But it’s not just tech jobs that coding can be applied to. When girls learn to code, it helps them to develop transferable skills that can then be used in other industries and careers. 

We believe that learning to code is crucial for girls who want to succeed in today’s digital world. It will open up new career opportunities, increase their earning potential, and help to create a more balanced tech industry. 

Breaking down stereotypes in coding

The tech industry has long been viewed as a male-dominated field, with women being underrepresented in coding and other digital-related careers. By breaking down gender stereotypes, it will hopefully encourage more girls into coding. 

One way to challenge gender stereotypes is to give girls opportunities to learn about coding and technology from a young age. This can be achieved with after-school coding clubssummer camps, mentorship programmes, and increased investment in schools and colleges. 

an important way in which we can challenge gender stereotypes is to provide positive role models for girls in the tech industry. We can do this by highlighting successful women in coding and other technology-related fields. By showcasing the achievements of women in these fields, girls can see that coding is not just a career for men, but for anyone with an interest and aptitude for the subject.

Creating girl-friendly coding environments

To get girls interested in coding it’s important that a girl-friendly coding environment is created. This means an inclusive coding curriculum and a supportive learning atmosphere.

An inclusive coding curriculum is one that is designed to appeal to girls as well as boys. This means using examples and projects that are relevant to both genders.

One way to make the curriculum more inclusive is to use real-life examples of women in tech. This can help to inspire girls and show them that there are successful women in the industry. Another way to make the curriculum more inclusive is to use projects that are relevant to an individual’s interest. 

Creating a supportive learning atmosphere is also crucial for getting girls interested in coding. Girls need to feel supported and encouraged in their learning, and they need to feel that they belong in the coding community. 

Inspiring female role models in coding

Having female role models that girls can relate to is an essential part of inspiring them to learn coding, and possibly make a career out of it. There are many examples of successful women in tech, both today and in the past, such as:

Grace Hopper

Grace Hopper (born 1906, died 1992) was a computer scientist from New York who also served in the US Navy. She invented the first compiler for a programming language and was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer. She was also involved with the advent of the COBOL programming language, which was inspired by her vision of a coding language being based on English words.

Reshma Saujani

The founder of Girls Who Code, an organisation that aims to close the gender gap in technology, Reshma Saujani is a prominent advocate for women in tech. Her TED Talk, “Teach girls bravery, not perfection,” has been viewed over 4 million times.

Carol Shaw

Carol Shaw is believed to be the first ever female video game designer, and was the brains behind the Atari 2600 vertically scrolling shooter River Raid (1982) for Activision. During her time at Atari she developed multiple video games including 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe (1978) and Video Checkers (1980).

Susan Wojcicki

Susan Wojcicki was the CEO of YouTube and is one of the most powerful women in tech. She has been a vocal advocate for diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.

Megan Smith

The former Chief Technology Officer of the United States, Megan Smith is a prominent advocate for women in tech. She has been recognized for her work in promoting diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.

How female role models can help get girls into coding

Research from 2018 showed that role models can have a significant impact on girls becoming interested in coding. The study included the following findings:

“More than half (52%) of women aged 11-30 who looked up to either fictional or non-fictional people involved in STEM said they were interested in getting a job in the sector. Less than a third (32%) of women without a role model said they the same. A fifth more UK girls said they could imagine a career in STEM if they had a role model compared with those who don’t.”

Having positive female role models can also help to combat stereotypes about who can be successful in tech when learning to code. It’s very apparent that when young girls see women being successful in tech, they are more likely to believe that they can also be successful. 

Coding tools and resources for girls

FunTech offers a range of coding courses for both boys and girls and offer an inclusive environment both online and in classrooms, designed to encourage learning. 

But there are also many other coding tools and resources available for girls who want to learn to code. These can help girls build their skills, introduce coding concepts, and answer questions, or spark a lifelong curiosity. 

They include:

  • Educational coding platforms: these include the Scratch block coding platform for younger girls, all the way through to advanced coding lessons on offer with companies such as ourselves. 
  • Coding competitions for girls: One example is the Technovation Challenge which has been designed to get more girls interested in coding and computer science. They are asked to work in small teams no bigger than five and have design an app that helps solve issue including climate change, bullying, and hunger. It’s designed for girls of all abilities and stages in their coding journey.

If you are the parent of a girl and would like to encourage her to learn to code, please contact us today to learn more about the best approach for your daughter with FunTech.

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