Freshmen Roshni Nandi and Caley Kalecek practiced coding at the “Hour of Code” event at RCHS. The event, which is part of the program Girls Who Code, encouraged interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, particularly computer science.
Article and photo by Jana Seal, RCHS intern writer
Women comprise only 29 percent of the workforce in science and engineering careers, but about half of the entire general workforce, according to ngcproject.org. In the past, these industries weren’t just male dominated – they were entirely male. As a new progressive era picks up momentum, women are spearheading their own involvement in these industries where they have historically not been represented. One of these women is Allison Doe, sponsor of the Girls Who Code program at Rock Canyon High School (RCHS).
Girls Who Code began six years ago with a simple mission: fuel young girls’ interest in STEM fields, particularly computer science.
“Girls who Code is important because there is a discrepancy between males and females in the information technology (IT) workspace, and as a teacher of the computer science class at RCHS, I clearly see the male-dominated interest and that the class is male-dominated,” Doe said. “So I thought the program, Girls Who Code, could help support girls and make them feel comfortable trying coding and encouraging them to keep learning in those types of areas.”
Doe’s efforts and those of the countless other sponsors around the country have not gone unnoticed. The program allows girls interested in computer science to work with like-minded individuals who motivate and learn from each other.
“I think the club is building a community of females who are interested in coding and programming and it gives them a safe space to learn and a fun group to be a part of. It just encourages them to keep going. I have seen it make a positive impact here,” Doe said.
AP computer science student and 80108 resident Sydney Goujon said, “I definitely like the idea of changing the gender gap in the industry. There are a lot of job opportunities for coding since there are small amounts of females in it, so there are definitely more companies that want more females to join.”
As the information we receive via technology increasingly dominates the development of modern society, it is important that women are playing an equal role in delivering that information. The quality of the information we receive will be so much higher and more representative of women when half of the population has their voice heard.
Girls’ interests should be fostered in areas that aren’t traditionally female-influenced so the information is catered toward other women, which is exactly the mission and accomplishment of Girls Who Code.”