This is a guest blog from Dan Bridge, head of product development at
I’ve been surprised the number of times I’ve been asked this particular question. Often it feels loaded. As if it could be a bad thing. Why just girls?
The answer’s straightforward. It came from the observations of mixed groups being introduced new objects to interact with. Boys often push their way to the front and the girls often hang back and wait. Of course, there are exceptions but it often holds true.
As a STEM ambassador and a father with a young daughter I’ve a keen interest in helping to change this situation.
I want to make sure girls don’t see technology and computing as a ‘boys subject’. I see patterns already with my children (boy and girl). They very definitely have gender biased gifts on their birthdays – from relatives etc. Machines and toy tools for the boy. Ponies and princesses for the girl. I want to help to change this – although not wipe it out completely, ponies have their place! But both sexes should have the same options open to them as they grow, learn and follow their interests.
So for our Computer For Girls workshop it seemed obvious to team up with Chwarae Teg.com to build it into their existing fair foundations programme. Their mission is to:
champion education, entrepreneurship, work-life balance and flexible working, helping women to overcome the obstacles that prevent them from making a full and consistent contribution within the economy.
Helping devise a workshop to create a new generation of highly computer literate girls is a good part of their mission work and we’ve been lucky to have a lot of enthusiastic people to help push it forward.
All children, girl or boy, should have access to a good liberal education and I think computing should be part of that.
And that’s the part I can help with.
So I am.
Starting with the girls.