As a product of the '8os, I played Barbies a lot. I had a wooden built Barbie house that friends of the family made (which was way cooler than the more plastic, more expensive variety), and I also had the camper and the corvette. [Also, as a product of the '80s, I also have yet to see Indiana Jones...which is a travesty given the first part of the sentence, but that is indeed another story.]
Given being a Barbie fan growing up, and a female and an elementary tech teacher, I was really drawn to Shannon Buckle's recent blog post on her DT with Mrs. B entitled "Girls Can Code - Barbie Says So!" She too is a an edtech teacher, though she is in New Zealand. She highlighted a lot of her adoration with the movie, and also the importance of needing more women in both coding and technology. I like her lens of looking at the movie with this vantage point, and am eager to do so myself when watching.
It also got me wondering about the tech statistics. I landed at Exploding Topics & Jessica Hubbert's April 25, 2023 post entitled "70+ Women In Tech Statistics (2023)." A very good read, but these highlights stood out:
With 47.7% women in the global work force (which is higher in the US at 57.4%--though even that number is lower than the US high of 60% in 1999), only 26.7% of women are in tech-related fields/jobs. Yes, women are under-represented. And no surprise, women in software engineering still report unequal pay. (Although, I was surprised by how close it was at 93 cents for every dollar men make.)
So how do you get -- and then keep --girls and women in STEM fields? Here are two good reads with a lot of great answers:
- Education Week's The Key to Getting Girls Interested in STEM Could Be Their Teacher by Lauraine Langreo on August 17, 2022. Spoiler alert, these 4 pieces are key.
- Having early and positive tech-influences in their lives,
- Having a passion for how things work, innovation, computers, technology,
- Having multiple and meaningful opportunities in the field,
- Having supportive communities.
- EduMed.org's Women in STEM: Options, Opportunities, and Resources
1. Go see the Barbie movie.
2. Serve as a positive role model for the gals in my tech classes, encourage their interest, and provide them with a lot of opportunities to innovate and love it!