Sep 20, 2016
New research identifies factors that discourage girls from considering technology as a career choice
Downers Grove, Ill. – Early interaction with technology, more information about job opportunities and support from parents and role models are among the actions that will encourage more girls to consider tech as a career option, according to CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the technology industry.
CompTIA today released Make Tech Her Story: What Needs to Change to Inspire Girls’ Pursuit of IT Careers. The e-book and the companion website Make Tech Her Story are the centerpieces of a new awareness campaign to inspire tech industry leaders, educators, parents and, most importantly, girls to make the industry more gender inclusive.
New CompTIA-commissioned research, based on a survey and focus groups of girls between the ages of 10 and 17, identifies several critical factors that discourage girls from considering careers in tech.
- Parents play a key role in introducing technology – Girls and boys agree that parents and guardians are the primary source for finding out what IT stands for. But boys are more likely to begin using mobile devices at an earlier age, at five years old or younger, than girls (11 percent vs. 5 percent). Boys are also slightly more likely to explore the inner workings of tech devices out of curiosity (36 percent vs. 30% of girls).
- Girls’ interest in technology lessens with age – Nearly half of boys have considered a tech career, compared to less than one-quarter of girls. Among middle school girls, 27 percent have considered a career in technology. By high school this figure drops to 18 percent.
- Tech classes aren’t enough –Girls who have taken a technology class are only slightly more likely to have considered an IT career (32 percent). Less than half of girls who’ve taken these courses are confident their skills are right for the job.
- Girls lack awareness about career opportunities – Of girls who have not considered an IT career, 69 percent attribute this to not knowing what opportunities are available to them. More than half (53 percent) say additional information about career options would encourage them to consider a job in IT.
- Girls need role models in the industry – Just 37 percent of girls know of someone with an IT job. This rises to 60 percent among girls who have considered an IT career.
Rosie the IT Worker is featured prominently on Make Tech Her Story website. Visitors can build their own personalized Rosie avatar, participate in a social media photo-sharing promotion, watch a moving video featuring one-on-one interviews with young girls, access career resources and contribute to the next chapter in the history of women and the IT industry.
The research commissioned by CompTIA includes data from four focus groups held in the Chicagoland area with a total of 37 middle and high school girls between 10 and 17 years-old; and an online survey of 200 girls and 200 boys in the same age range. The free e-book is available at www.comptia.org/MakeTechHerStory.
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a non-profit trade association serving as the voice of the information technology industry. With approximately 2,000 member companies, 3,000 academic and training partners and more than two million IT certifications issued, CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications and public policy advocacy. To learn more, visit CompTIA online, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
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