“The lack of women in technology roles really starts in education,” said Crystal Valentine, vice president of technology strategy at MapR Technologies. “It starts at the time when students are starting to think about their careers, primarily at the college level when they start to declare majors.”
High school engineering classrooms look a lot different than they did a few decades ago, and it’s not just because of computers. Those classes now have girls. Lots of girls. Thanks to long-standing efforts by teachers, administrators and nonprofits, girls now make up about half the enrollment in high-school science and math classes.
U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) today (3/15) introduced the Computer Science Career Education Act, bipartisan legislation that would promote learning opportunities in computer science for underrepresented students, in order to create more opportunities in fields that demand high-tech skills training.
U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (CO) and Senator Gary Peters (MI), will receive the 2017 George E. Brown Awards for Science Leadership for their successful leadership in passage of the American Innovation & Competitiveness Act of 2016 and for promoting policies that benefit scientists, engineers, STEM students and the entire American public. Senators Gardner and Peters will be honored at a Capitol Hill ceremony and public reception on Tuesday, April 25, 2017.
Students with disabilities are now just as likely as other students to enroll in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields when they enter higher education, recent research from the National Science Foundation reports. The study found that 11 percent of undergraduate degree pursuers have a disability, which Education Week indicates is on par with the 12 percent of K–12 students that have a disability.
Mike Rowe testifies before Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education on how CTE can help close the skills gap, empower students to succeed and the need to reform the current law.
In addition to a shortage of the hard tech skills - such as computer programming or web design - the research discovered a broader concern among employers over the lack of applied tech skills. Applied tech skills refer to individuals understanding how to use technology for the benefit of an organization. In fact, 77 percent of respondents said a company’s competitive advantage lies in using applied tech skills to solve problems, and they desire a workforce well-equipped with the proper skills to do so.
Engineer Nadya Peek’s life’s work is to make it easier for students to make machines that make things. As a member of the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms, she develops fun and off-the-wall ways to create tools for manufacturing.
Yvonne Brill invented satellite propulsion. Sarah Mather developed the underwater telescope. Ada Lovelace created the first computer algorithm. They were all women inventors, two words that many people don’t put together in a sentence very often. On March 8, International Women’s Day, it’s not only right to remember these and other female heroes, it’s just as important to encourage young women to know they can and should be among the next generation of inventors.
As a company with a mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, these are just some of the questions we ask ourselves at Microsoft. We believe it’s no longer enough to measure success simply in terms of how quickly technology advances. More important is how many lives are improved and whether people are prepared for jobs that require skills ranging from basic digital literacy to advanced computer science.