This month, H+K TechlLabs headed to Regents Street Apple store for the launch of Little Miss Geek: Bridging the Gap Between Girls and Technology. The book by Lady Geek is the start of a national campaign set to address the gap between girls and technology.
Hosted by Belinda Parmar, CEO of Lady Geek, the campaign is created to inspire girls to become the next big technology pioneer. The five-strong panel of technology professionals were challenged to pitch to a panel of 11-15 year old girls from different backgrounds on why they should consider a career in technology. Kat Grant, an ICT teacher believes that with technology, students are able to create a ‘mash-up of personal interests’, a view echoed by Olivia Solon, Associate Editor of Wired.co.uk who said, ‘tech permits every industry and disrupts every sector’.
The book is brilliantly illustrated but also includes some hard-hitting facts:
- Currently only 17% of all tech jobs in the UK are held by women
- Male students account for 92% of those taking Computer Science A-Level
- Tech companies with more women in their management team have a 34% higher return on investment
What about technology marketing?
In response to the industry’s’ “Pink it and shrink it” approach to gadgets, Anna Fielding, Online Editor of Stylist and Emerald Street says:
“Tech doesn’t need to be feminised; it needs to be de-masculinised”
Olivia also argues that the use of booth-babes at key technology trade shows is ‘not relevant today’ but not only must brands change but women themselves need to take responsibility here.
“We have to shatter the perception that people who work in I.T. are sad, eccentric, pizza guzzling nerds. Our girls must be inspired to become equal players amongst the next generation of inventors and technology leaders”, Martha Lane Fox, UK’s Digital Champion
The debate continues online, and The Lady Geek Manifesto can be found here.