career

Why we need more women in computer science

Right now 18% of CS majors are women.

18%.

That is a very small number, and I can’t help but wonder why that is. Part of it is, of course, encouraging young women to go into the field, but another part may be due to the perception of what a job in Computer Science will look like.

I can promise you it is not working in a dark gray basement cubicle programming violent video games (but still around if that’s what you want). Tech is everywhere and in everything we do: consumer goods, education, fashion, food, healthcare, and science to name a few. Any company, any brand that you love needs technology behind it. You are the future to help make that run.

For a moment think about the 4 largest social media outlets that are used: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Each of those companies alone hires hundreds, even thousands of computer scientists to fuel their sites. If you’re more about giving back to the community companies like (RED), Unicef, and the UN also need programmers to help spread their mission and collect donations. Love makeup and clothes? Sephora and Target come to mind with very large search engines that integrate machine learning.  Ever contemplate medical school or doing research? Computer scientists help doctors design tools that help them with surgery, understanding the brain, motor functions, and countless other applications.

It’s also not just about back-end coding. We need women on the front-end to help design the user experience. One of my biggest eye openers was hearing a high school student design an app where she said “Women use apps differently than men in terms of how we search and view products. We need more women to design apps for women.” Simple? Yes. Profound? Absolutely.

We need more of YOU to shape the face of technology tomorrow. There is power in numbers. Let’s be the change we want to see in the world moving forward.

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