Girls in IT: The Facts

National Center for Women & Information Technology

Girls in IT: The Facts, sponsored by NCWIT’s K-12 Alliance, is a synthesis of the existing literature on increasing girls’ participation in computing. It aims to bring together this latest research so that readers can gain a clearer and more coherent picture of 1) the current state of affairs for girls in computing, 2) the key barriers to increasing girls’ participation in these fields, and 3) promising practices for addressing these barriers.

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How One College Boosted Female STEM Graduates–Fast

The Wall Street Journal, November 26, 2013


Executives of science and tech companies often resort to finger-pointing when pressed to explain the shortage of women in the executive suite.

Employers blame colleges for turning out too few women grads with science, technology, engineering and math (or STEM) degrees. (Women earned 18% of computer and information-science degrees in 2010, down from 37% in 1984.) Colleges say high schools don’t produce enough female applicants interested in STEM. High schools say parents fail to spark little girls’ interest in science and math. Parents say girls have too few adult-female role models in STEM.

And around goes the debate.

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Who Says Math Has to Be Boring?

The New York Times, December 7, 2013


American students are bored by math, science and engineering. They buy smartphones and tablets by the millions but don’t pursue the skills necessary to build them. Engineers and physicists are often portrayed as clueless geeks on television, and despite the high pay and the importance of such jobs to the country’s future, the vast majority of high school graduates don’t want to go after them.

Nearly 90 percent of high school graduates say they’re not interested in a career or a college major involving science, technology, engineering or math, known collectively as STEM, according to a survey of more than a million students who take the ACT test. The number of students who want to pursue engineering or computer science jobs is actually falling, precipitously, at just the moment when the need for those workers is soaring. (Within five years, there will be 2.4 million STEM job openings.)

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NO GIRLS ALLOWED – Unraveling the story behind the stereotype of video games being for boys, December 02, 2013

By Tracey Lien

Four-year-old Riley Maida stands in a toy aisle of a department store in Newburgh, N.Y. The backdrop is pink. The shelves behind her are stacked with plastic babies in pink onesies. To her left are hair-and-makeup dolls with exaggerated heads attached to truncated shoulders. The shelf above has rows of little dresses and pastel pink slippers. The shelf above that, more pink dolls in more pink dresses.

In the next aisle, there’s a distinct absence of pink. This is the “boys aisle.” Lined with Nerf guns, G.I. Joes, superhero figures, building blocks and toy cars, it has a diverse color palette of blues, greens, oranges and reds.

Maida looks down the aisle of pink. Arms akimbo, the cherubic 4-year-old with brunette bangs furrows her brow. She looks into her father’s camera and begins a rant that will go viral on the internet and make its way onto television networks like CNN and ABC.

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Making the Next Generation of Educational Video Games, November 6, 2013

By Sarah Butrymowicz

The video games that Kyle Brda, a ninth-grader from Redwood City, Calif., plays at home typically involve shooting people. But on a recent day in September, he spent the afternoon at an office building in Silicon Valley, constructing wind and solar power plants in a virtual world that may soon be accessible from his classroom.

Brda is one of 110 unpaid student testers at GlassLab, a nonprofit video game development group based at the California campus of publishing powerhouse Electronic Arts. The Gates and MacArthur Foundations gave GlassLab $10.3 million to create six educational video games they hope will change the way kids learn.

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Seattle Is The Wild West Of Game Design

KUOW, September 20, 2013

By Jamala Henderson

One reason the Puget Sound region stayed stronger than some surrounding areas during the economic downturn is because of its tech industry. A particular bright spot is the computer gaming and interactive media industry.

While this industry added only about 1,500 jobs between 2006 and 2011, the total number of companies in Washington state doubled, making computer gaming and interactive media a kind of entrepreneurial powerhouse with lots of potential for new jobs.

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College STEM Majors Opting Out For Other Degrees

USA Today, September 19, 2013

By Cara Newlon

When 19-year-old Lesley Wright entered her freshman year at the University of Florida — Gainesville, she dreamed of being a pediatrician.

But she quickly realized she faced an uphill battle.

“Everyone already had volunteer positions at the local hospital by the time I got to UF, so there weren’t any even left when I applied,” Wright says. “Chemistry 1 is also a weed-out class, meaning it’s extra difficult and meant to determine who is cut out for the pre-med life. I failed first semester.”

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Here’s Why Seattle — Not Silicon Valley — is the Gaming Industry’s Epicenter

GeekWire, September 17, 2013

By Taylor Soper

Many may know Seattle for its coffee, for the Space Needle, and — though slightly misinformed — the rain.

But another aspect of the Emerald City possibly overlooked is the budding gaming scene. From Microsoft to Valve all the way down to countless indie companies, Seattle is chalk-full of developers and designers putting out title after title.

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Is a Career in STEM Really for Me?

IEEE Spectrum, August 30, 2013

By Maura E. Charette

I just started eighth grade at a middle school in central Virginia. The school has an excellent reputation, particularly in math and science. Last year, it received national recognition for its STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program. I enjoy science and math, and I get straight As in those subjects. People tell me that future employers will be falling all over themselves to hire me if I pursue a career in STEM.

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The STEM Crisis Is a Myth

IEEE Spectrum, August 30, 2013

By Robert N. Charette

You must have seen the warning a thousand times: Too few young people study scientific or technical subjects, businesses can’t find enough workers in those fields, and the country’s competitive edge is threatened.

It pretty much doesn’t matter what country you’re talking about—the United States is facing this crisis, as is Japan, the United KingdomAustraliaChina,BrazilSouth AfricaSingaporeIndia…the list goes on.

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