The lack of women and girls in computer science is a well-documented problem. Now it’s time for the average person to finally do something about it.
Start with concrete first steps in your own life
Addressing the issue of girls and coding in your community doesn’t require you to start your own nonprofit or advocacy organization. In fact, you can start very small, like choosing to empower a girl you know.
Find organizations putting in the work already
You don’t need to start from scratch. There are a number of excellent organizations getting girls to code through innovative and successful programs, and just as many ways to support them.
Understand where girls need to begin, too
In addition to first steps toward help girls get into coding, first you should have a basic understanding of the skills they need.
Tthe actual coding platform and language makes a difference. He suggests starting with more simplistic, drag-and-drop methods of coding, which allow students to build something exciting more quickly, leading to satisfaction instead of frustration.
Know the specific barriers we need to overcome
Before anything, you need to understand the systemic obstacles preventing girls from getting into coding. Both a culture that persistently ignores and discourages girls’ abilities in computer science, and the lack of access to tools and education, play influential roles.
Be a role model
Take time to figure out where your skills and experience could help the most. For example, if you’re a woman working in a STEM field, think of ways you might be able to inspire girls with your own story, showing firsthand that it can be done.
Encourage your local school to teach girls how to code
One of the most important ways to advocate for girls is to get schools to actually offer courses on the subject. On the public advocacy side, you can contact your local politicians and legislators to lobby on behalf of making coding a priority in public school education. As a parent or guardian, you can put pressure on school administrations to include more computer science courses in curricula for various age levels.