Does being a female reduce your ability to code? Apparently, some people think so as evidenced by the stigma women face in tech industries.
The organization, whose objective is to introduce more girls into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, released a series of videos aptly titled “Why Can’t Girls Code?” which feature young girls sarcastically explaining how their bosoms, eyelashes and menstruation cycles come in the way of their coding.
“My nails only work this way and this way,” says a girl showing off her whimsical manicure, referring to the myth that girls are worried of breaking their nails when typing.
“We feel that in addition to teaching girls to code, we need to change culture,” said Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code. “We really wanted to spark a conversation about what we could do to create a more inclusive, well-rounded image of what a programmer is.”
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The stereotyping that purports to exclude women from traditionally male dominated fields has also resulted in low confidence in women, who curb their talent and interest in STEM. According to the figures in the Girls Who Code website, 74 percent of girls express interest in science and technology, but only 0.4 percent girls in high school select computer science.
Despite the humorous undertones of the video, it is a fact that people still believe women are inhibited by vanity, menses, physical stature and even their ability to bear children. The witticism in the advertisement attacks these unspoken biases that result in underrepresentation of women in computer science and show how ridiculous it is to assume girls are born with gender-based obstacles to being programmers.
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