Introduce girls into tech using coding
The paucity of women in technology and leadership roles is easily traceable to social and economic barriers. Cultural beliefs still entrenched in underserved communities across Africa means the female child is less likely to get an education than males. There are still limiting beliefs about what career is for the female gender and which one is not. Across Africa, a number of initiatives have sprung up to get more girls and women into technology careers. In Nigeria, there are no less than 39 initiatives targeted at getting more girls and women into technology, according to research conducted by TechCabal.
More girls are in school today than ever before, but they do not always have the same opportunities as boys to complete and benefit from an education of their choice. Too many girls and women are held back by biases, social norms and expectations influencing the quality of the education they receive and the subjects they study. They are particularly under-represented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, and consequently in STEM careers.
According to the UNESCO groundbreaking report Cracking the code: Girls’ and women’s education in STEM, only 35% of STEM students in higher education globally are women, and differences are observed within STEM disciplines. For example, only 3% of female students in higher education choose information and communication technologies (ICT) studies. This gender disparity is alarming, especially as STEM careers are often referred to as the jobs of the future, driving innovation, social wellbeing, inclusive growth and sustainable development.
According to a youth survey report issued by the National Bureau of Statistics, in Nigeria young men are almost twice as likely to have a career in computer science and technology-related fields as women.
In Nigeria, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, women make up on average just 22% of the total number of Engineering and Technology university graduates each year.
According to the same source, women make-up roughly a fifth of the total number of people working in information and communication technology sector.
This disparity starts much earlier when female enrollment in technology and engineering courses of Nigerian higher institutions is lower than men’s. This means men are shaping the technology being developed, while women are largely passive users.
Research has shown that better and more useful tools are created when the developers fully represent the diversity of the societies we live in. In addition, 90% of the jobs in the next 10 years will require technology skills and knowledge. If women are under-represented as technology developers and sophisticated users, we will be left behind in tomorrow’s world.
Research has also shown that early-stage, girl-focused intervention, which continue to nurture this interest through their adolesence and early adulthood are critical in closing this gender gap.
My aim is to introduce more girls into tech and expose them to the opportunities in tech. This i believe we help in strengthening the capacity of the girl child and improve active collaboration between male and female gender.