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posted by janrinok on Saturday June 07 2014, @05:58PM   Printer-friendly
from the food-for-thought dept.

A huge nationwide push is underway, funded by the nonprofit Code.org's corporate and billionaire donors, from Amazon and Google to Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, to introduce American schoolchildren to coding and to redefine it as a basic skill to be learned alongside the three R's.

Code.org's curriculum has been adopted by 20,000 teachers from kindergarten to 12th grade. But if coding is the new lingua franca, literacy rates for girls are dropping: Last year, girls made up 18.5 percent of A.P. computer science test-takers nationwide, a slight decrease from the year before. In three states, no girls took the test at all. An abysmal 0.4 percent of girls entering college intend to major in computer science [PDF]. And in 2013, women made up 14 percent of all computer science graduates down from 36 percent in 1984. The imbalance persists in the tech industry. Just this week, Google released data showing that women account for just 17 percent of its tech employees.

The problem is not only getting girls to computer class, but keeping them there.

See also girlswhocode.com.

 
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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by CRCulver on Saturday June 07 2014, @11:20PM

    by CRCulver (4390) on Saturday June 07 2014, @11:20PM (#52792) Homepage

    Where are the write-ups and research about the low numbers of women in construction and welding?

    If you can read Russian, you can read a lot of them. While the Soviet system was flawed, it did a very good job of bringing women into the fields of engineering and construction. A female bulldozer operator or welder was not at all an unusual thing in the USSR. However, once the economy tanked for once and for all in the 1980s, the plentiful supply of jobs in construction dried up, both men and women moved on to whatever other work they could get. Once construction started booming again, it often became relegated to Gastarbeiter from Central Asia (who are usually male since their culture has the men go abroad while the women stay home). So, now longer is it common for a female to work in a wide variety of jobs in Russia, and this is often noted as a sad development.

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