A Brief Comment on “Why Girls, Safe Spaces and Coding Can Close the Gender Gap in Technology – and Drive Equality”

Girls Who Code Gender Equality

Full Article by Rebecca Parsons and Claudia Melo for the The Huffington Post

Rebecca Parsons and Claudia Melo make a good point.

Women and girls need to be given a chance to experience coding in a safe environment so that the great paucity of females in high tech can begin to be remedied.

Yet, Silicon Valley is all flustered as to why this condition exists. There are, of course, those who like to point out that women either don’t have the desire of the temperament to do the work.

But history certainly doesn’t bear this out.

Throughout the 40s, 50, 60s, and 70s women took an active interest. Programming wasn’t yet a business or even its own field and attracted
many mathematicians.

The developer of the foundations of CoBOL was computer pioneer (and woman) Grace Hopper who started programming in the 40s as a mathematician. Another programming pioneer, Margaret Hamilton, developed the program that saved the Apollo 11 moon landing. (She also coined the term “software engineer.)

But something happened in the 80s: personal computers and the decision by hardware manufacturers to market only to men and boys, essentially telling women that anything computer was not for them.

This was the beginning of the big drop-off in women coders.

So, listen up, Silicon Valley.

There aren’t enough women coders, not because they don’t care or aren’t competent, but because Silicon Valley made the choice to exclude them.

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