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8 things we can do to get more girls and young women interested in computer science.


8 things we can do to get more girls and young women interested in computer science.

1. Start early

Age-appropriate computer science activities should be utilised as early as primary school to spark girls' curiosity.

2. involve parents and teachers:

Parents need to be informed and trained to fulfil their role as door openers to the digital world. Gender-stereotypical attributions about performance in STEM subjects at school must be a thing of the past.

Tip: Try the E-MINT app, which was developed as part of a project in which the OCG was a partner and supports parents in STEM promotion.

3. inviting learning environment/safety:

Safe spaces are needed where girls feel comfortable, can act freely, ask questions openly and develop with confidence.

(Of course, this also applies to adulthood; an example of a safe space for women only in which IT security is taught is the InforMiert project)

4. gender-neutral learning materials:

Stereotypes - e.g. "girls are better at languages, boys are better at maths" - must be a thing of the past. Teaching materials and learning materials should contain a variety of examples and perspectives to show the diversity of applications and possibilities in computer science.

A good example of this is our KIDZ teaching materials for computational thinking, algorithms, IT security and many more.

5. promotion of self-confidence:

Girls need to be actively encouraged to be confident in their abilities; project-based learning, for example, is suitable for this, allowing girls to develop practical skills and unleash their creativity.

6. girls-only events:

Create events and competitions specifically for girls so that they can develop their interests and test their skills in a safe space. One example is the EGOI 2024 - European Girls' Olympiad in Informatics.

"In an ideal world, this would not be necessary, but as long as there are still such great inequalities, it is important that girls and young women can continue to develop in a protected space," says OCG Gender Officer Katharina Resch-Schobel.

7. show opportunities:

Girls should learn that IT is a diverse and exciting industry that offers well-paid jobs, including in fields such as medicine, environmental science or art.

8. role models:

Female computer scientists should increasingly act as role models and mentors to show girls that they can be successful in this field. To the OCG press release on 8 March.

We need women to successfully shape the future - let's not waste any time!