Girls Who Code and Sheryl Sandberg join Facebook and Deloitte to expand female participation in computer science education and tech jobs.
Girls Who Code, Deloitte and Facebook joined Governor Gina Raimondo, Governor Mary Fallin, and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds for the first-ever female Governors’ Summit to identify new state-led policies aimed at closing the gender gap in technology. The day-long working session among governors and their staff was formed to share best practices among states and identify new policies and programs that increase young girls’ interest and participation in the field. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg hosted the Summit at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California on Feb 17.
The 2017 Female Governors’ Summit is the first summit of its kind to bring together state leaders to work together and identify meaningful policy solutions that address how to best drive interest and participation in computer science among girls of all ages. While computing skills are the most sought-after in the US job market, with demand growing three times the national average, there are over 500,000 open computing jobs in the United States and only 40,000 annual graduates in computer science to fill them.
“I am thrilled to welcome leaders from across the country to work together on a critical issue that will affect an entire generation of young girls,” said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. “Women remain dramatically underrepresented in technology fields. They’re missing out on opportunities and the world is missing out on their ideas. We need to harness the full talents of our population and this summit is proof that our female governors are committed to addressing and closing the gap.”
Women represent one of the single largest untapped sources of talent in the technology field and according to new research, only 24% of technology jobs are held by women today. Solving this challenge demands a tailored and sequenced series of actions starting in junior high school that are sustained throughout high school and college. It also requires a renewed effort on the part of state and national leaders to ensure equitable interest in and access to computer science education among girls.