Do you know a teenage technology whizzkid? We need her!

A couple of days ago I wrote a post about Tomorrow’s Web, the UK’s first technology conference aimed specifically at teenagers. Their speaker page was wholly male at the time, and has one girl on it now. It’s something I find a little disheartening – not necessarily the organisers’ fault, but a depressing illustration of the way technology *still* attracts and nurtures too few women.
It’s a view that Grant Bell, the 17-year-old organiser, appears to share. I met him this week and he said he’s had trouble finding enough girls. He wants to hold a panel discussing the issue and is trying to find 3 or 4 girls who are under 21 and willing to take part.
We’re hoping to be able to help, so if anyone knows of any young women who are into technology, please email me at Rebecca.thomson@rbi.co.uk or leave a comment. The panel will probably be on why technology doesn’t appear to attract girls (and perhaps why the speakers are attracted to it), and what can be done to tackle the problem. It’s a debate that’s been heard a thousand times, but until things start changing there’s no reason to stop repeating ourselves. It would also be great to hear the perspective of a younger audience.
It’s encouraging when conference organisers even acknowledge the lack of gender balance in tech as a problem, so it would be good to take advantage of this opportunity – the furore created by the panel at TechCrunch’s GeeknRolla event just goes to show how strongly people feel about the issue. It would also be great to see girls who are doing well in the tech space stand up and be counted, and encourage others to join them. So please nudge the nearest 16-year-old whizzkid near you and send her to me or Grant.

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