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|New book marks launch of campaign to get more girls into technology industry|
|Written by bee-it newsdesk|
|Thursday, 04 October 2012 13:08|
This week saw technology enthusiasts from all backgrounds gather at the Apple Store on London’s Regent Street for the launch of ‘Little Miss Geek: Bridging the Gap Between Girls and Technology’, a new book to mark the start of a campaign which aims to address the low numbers of females entering the technology industry.
Little Miss Geek is the culmination of months of research, as well as discussions with leading industry figures and workshops with schools around the country, and sets out to not only draw attention to the significant gender gap in the technology sector, but also offer practical solutions on how to overcome this issue by explaining how technology companies can attract, motivate and retain women.
Written by Belinda Parmar, the founder and CEO of Lady Geek, a campaigning agency that aims to make technology and games industries more accessible to women, the book charts the rise of Little Miss Geek as she fights her way from childhood, through school and into the heart of the technology industry. Along the way, the book outlines steps that can bridge the gap between women and technology, and help inspire girls to become technology pioneers.
“The technology industry is my client; I have worked for big corporations and have been shocked at the number of women working in technology. I felt that there was something we could do to change this, ways to market the industry to make it more appealing to women, and this is the reason that I created Little Miss Geek.”
Little Miss Geek addresses the male-dominated culture of the technology industry and
considers how to encourage the next generation of females innovators to enter the sector
Currently only 17 per cent of the technology workforce in the UK is female, which equates to less than one in five, yet women account for 40 per cent of all technology products purchased, suggesting a disconnect between the people making technology and those consuming it. Parmar continues:
“We need to inspire the next generation of female talent to want to be part of this industry. My vision for this book is to inspire girls to become creators of technology as well as consumers. I want to start to bridge the gap.”
With figures showing a steady decline in the number of women holding technology jobs in both the UK and in the USA, the Little Miss Geek campaign is designed to remove the often ‘dull and nerdy’ image issues associated with technology and take a step towards removing the barriers that prevent women becoming technology innovators.
UK Digital Champion, Martha Lane Fox, Chair of Go ON UK and co-founder of Lastminute.com and Lucky Voice, comments:
“The timing of Little Miss Geek couldn’t be better. We live in an age where ‘digital’ is as vital and basic a life skill as knowing how to read and write.
“Digital skills are now essential for education and employment: we know that you’re 25 per cent more likely to get work when you have web skills and, once in that job, you’ll earn 10 per cent more.”
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“The Little Miss Geek book and workshops will help teachers to understand the wider picture and analyse ways in which we can get girls interested in creating technology. The main problem is that girls want to work in an industry that is creative, where they can have an impact on people’s lives, but at present the technology industry doesn’t portray the right image – the magic and vision has been stripped from technology.
“Little Miss Geek aims to educate teachers and industry alike as to how we can help improve this image and get girls excited about creating the next big technology product.”
To celebrate the launch of Little Miss Geek, bee-it is offering three lucky readers the opportunity to win a free workshop with the Lady Geek team for their school, as well as a free copy of Little Miss Geek. To be in with the chance of winning this great prize, simply retweet this story on Twitter or share it on Facebook, making sure you like our Facebook page. Winners will be chosen at random by bee-it on Friday 2 November 2012.