Today, on International Women's Day, ICS continues to encourage more girls and women to join the IT and tech industries.
According the CSO, young women are more likely to have a third-level qualification of men; 55 percent of women between the age of 25 and 34 in Ireland have a degree, compared with 43 percent of men of the same age.
Despite this, young women are still not choosing STEM subjects to the same extent as young men. According to I Wish, just 17% of first time entrants to technology courses in universities are women, just 24% in engineering representing no change in 10 years.
According to Accenture Ireland’s 2017 report, Girls in STEM, 88 percent of school teachers agree that there is unconscious gender stereotyping and bias when it comes to STEM subjects and careers. More importantly, over half of both parents and teachers admit to having personally made subconscious stereotypes about girls and boys when it comes to STEM subjects.
More than half of teachers say they have seem girls drop STEM subjects due to pressure from parents.
What can we do?
The first step is to intervene early to get girls involved in STEM subjects. CEO Jim Friars says, "More girls should be encouraged to study STEM subjects at school and college, it's time to break the gender stereotype, there will be a lot of tech roles to fill in Ireland in the coming years and we need to utilise this talent."
The second step is to teach girls STEM subjects. Ensuring everyone learns digital skills, such as ECDL will ensure girls are as equally prepared for the world of work in IT as boys from an early age.
In April, ICS hosts Tech Week, Ireland’s biggest technology festival. If you have an idea for an event targeted at encouraging girls to get involved in IT, let us know. We’ve got resources to help and we’re ready to support you to inspire a new generation of women into technology. Email us at email@example.com or find out more about getting involved at https://www.techweek.ie/resources/