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Girls Who Code program promotes equity in STEM

The Daily Orange with Janni Aragon 14 January 2019

Last semester, a School of Information Studies capstone project set up the founding of a Girls Who Code chapter in the Onondaga Free Library. Although the program is geared toward girls in high school, its introduction to the Syracuse community can inspire women of any age to pursue their interest in information technology.

Girls Who Code and similar programs offer women and girls the opportunity to deepen their computer science skills. Along with the advancement of IT knowledge, women are also given more confidence in their capabilities.

Learning code is a perfect goal to set in the new year. With more accessible resources, learning is not as selective as it once was. Even if you don’t intend to master it, understanding the basics of computer science can propel you toward a valuable skill set.

The primary goal of organizations such as Girls Who Code is to bridge the gender gap in the technology field.

“We need to improve the numbers of women going into STEM fields and then their move into jobs in STEM fields. Right now, the numbers in the U.S. demonstrate that there is an increase, but the pipe has holes and we need to ensure their success in the workforce,” said Janni Aragon, adjunct assistant professor of political science at the University of Victoria, in an email.

Now, more than ever, is a time when women should be taking advantage of learning opportunities. The rising emergence of IT demands that more women get involved. Like all STEM paths, the workforce is significantly men-dominated. The more women that are represented, the more we can inspire young girls to pursue their own dreams.

While learning code can be a great personal accomplishment, it can also be beneficial for a career. As we move toward a world almost entirely reliant on technology, coding is becoming a pertinent skill that employers value highly.

“From my previous involvement with Girls Learning Code or Ladies Learning Code, we do not have enough gender equity in these jobs. And, these jobs are usually good paying jobs with great benefits, but repeatedly the mentors at these events would note that they are the only women in their office or on projects,” Aragon said.

If you have any interest in technology, whether it be slight or extensive, take that step toward chasing it. Be the woman that inspires others to be who they want to be.