Apr 30, 2011

Are girls allowed in Google's tool shop? Just wondering.

Today I read an article in my local paper about Google workshops that provide a few select employees opportunities to create things with state-of-the art "shop" tools.  I went on to the Google blog and read the following post:

Google Workshops: a place for Googlers to get their hands dirty

Are girls allowed?  Just wondering.

I hope that the percentage of women who access the Google workshops is on par with the percentage of females who are employed at Google. 

Although there have been efforts to increase the number of females who pursue careers in engineering, computer science, and related technical fields, progress has been slow.  If you walk through an "average" high school, you are likely to find that there are few female student enrolled in classes such as computer programming, computer-assisted design (CAD), or engineering technology.   

Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering
, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics

Engineering Your Life: A guide to engineering for high school girls

Get Smart Get WISE (Women in Information Science and Engineering, North Carolina Technology Association)

IEEE Women in Engineering

NCWIT: National Center for Women and Information Technology
"In 2009 women earned only 18 percent of all CS [computer science] degrees. Back in 1985, women earned 37 percent of CS degrees."

WEPAN:  Women in Engineering ProActive Network
Record number of girls to take part in Tech Challenge 2011
Sandeep Ravindran, Mercury News, 4/28/11

Women in Engineering:  21 Remarkable Stories
MichiganEngineering, University of Michigan

I am old enough to remember a time when girls were strongly discouraged from taking shop classes.  In my case, when I was in high school,  I was told that auto mechanics courses were not appropriate for college-bound students.  My only option was to take a short powder puff mechanics class in the summer!   Despite scoring at the top of the scale on a measure of mechanical reasoning, I was steered towards pursuing a career in a helping profession.   

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