It’s an Exposure Difference

As another Girls Who Code (GWC) semester comes to an end, I can’t help but reflect on how proud I am of our students and facilitators. I am proud of our facilitators for believing in the cause and dedicating time every week to teach. And I’m proud of our students for their curiosity, excitement, and perseverance. 

As they say on their website, “Girls Who Code is on a mission to close the gender gap in technology and to change the image of what a programmer looks like and does.” And by golly, do we need it!

We closed this semester by building sewable circuits from Kiwi Co. The girls loved it and found it so intriguing. Our youngest student even said that when we finished, she wanted to share it with her classmates.

But all I could think about was a conversation from earlier in the week with *well-meaning* colleagues. We were chatting about the disparity of women in our company’s tech training sessions, and they casually claimed that it was due to genetic differences. To which, of course, my nerves pricked, eyes glazed over, and lips tightened.

If only they could see our GWC students. Their excitement is contagious. It’s not a genetic difference, it’s an exposure difference. If you have girls in your life that are underexposed to coding and tech, give them a chance. Don’t assume they are uninterested, show them, pique their interest. Buy them a tech toy or have them read about females in tech! We need to break that cycle and give young girls a fair shot. I believe we will eventually close the gender gap, but we need everyone’s help. Not their well-meaning, baseless assumptions.

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