The Gender Gap in Tech Is Still a Big Problem: Here's What You Can Do
In non-pandemic times, April brings workplaces flooded with kids who test out being employed adults for a day. They crunch numbers for accounting, write newspaper stories, and try out coding. Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day has been a tradition for so long that some adults who bring their kids to the office once did the same with their parents.
But the annual event started as Take Our Daughters to Work Day, and the reasons why it was created as such still exist.
Take Our Daughters to Work Day was organized in 1993 by the Ms. Foundation for Women to help improve girls' self-esteem and show them career options. Nell Merlino came up with the idea after reflecting on how she had benefited from her father taking her to work with him. From the start, the day was met with opposition from men and soon boys were included in the program. And while it’s of course valuable for all children to be exposed to different careers, girls are still getting left behind, particularly in technology.
A confidence gap in math starts with girls as soon as third grade, and its widening is evident when looking at how many women receive degrees in STEM. Only 21% of undergraduate engineering degrees in 2016 went to women, and the percentage of computer science Bachelor's degrees awarded to women has dropped from 27% in 1997 to under 19% in 2016. "Computer sciences has one of the lowest shares of women degree recipients among the broad fields of [science and engineering]," according to the National Science Foundation.