Girls in IT: The Facts Infographic

Technology is EVERYWHERE,

but where are the girls?





Technology is everywhere, but where are the girls?

Technology increasingly permeates every aspect of society and provides the foundation for most modern innovation.


Girls and women in the U.S. are avid users of technology, but they are significantly underrepresented in its creation.


Girls' lack of participation in this important and growing area has serious consequences, not only for them but for the future of technical innovation.

Girls do science … just not computer science.

Girls comprise nearly half of all Intel Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) competitors. Compared to projects in physics, engineering, biochemistry, or math, however, computer science (CS) has the lowest representation of girls.
Girls Comprise:
of all Advanced Placement (AP) test-takers
of all AP Calculus test-takers
but only …
of all AP CS test-takers
Women Earn:
of all undergraduate degrees
of all undergraduate math and statistics degrees
of all undergraduate physical sciences degrees
but only …
of all undergraduate computer and information sciences degrees

Inadequate computing education shortchanges all kids, but especially girls and youth of color.
Just 34 STATES and the DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA allow computer science to count as a math or science graduation requirement, and the number of high schools offering AP Computer Science is down 35% since 2005.
Because boys get more informal opportunities for computing experience outside of school, this lack of formal computing education ESPECIALLY IMPACTS GIRLS AND MANY YOUTH OF COLOR.



If technology is designed mostly by the half of our population that's male, we're missing out on the innovations, solutions, and creations that 50% of the population could bring.


The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that by 2020 there will be more than 1.4 million computing-related job openings. At current rates, however, we can only fill about 30% of those jobs with U.S. computing bachelor's grads. Girls represent a valuable, mostly untapped talent pool.



With computing jobs among the fastest-growing and highest-paying, more women should benefit from these occupations.

What DETERS girls from computing?

Irrelevant curriculum and reliance on lecturing instead of hands-on projects
Teaching styles that discourage collaboration
Lack of opportunities to take risks and make mistakes
Limited knowledge or inaccurate perceptions about computing careers
Lower confidence than boys, even when actual achievement levels are similar

What can YOU do?


Talk with girls about why they should consider a computing career.
Talk with girls and others about unconscious biases and how to handle them.
Talk with school personnel about the need for computing education.
Provide girls with early technology and computing experiences.
Provide ongoing encouragement. Never underestimate the power of this simple effort.
Don't mistake prior experience for ability.
Advocate for CS certification and the adoption of CS curriculum standards.
Ensure that your own organization employs inclusive practices that will retain young women who choose computing.


References: College Board (2012). AP Exam Grades Summary Reports for 2006-2011; Intel ISEF Participation Statistics (unpublished); U.S. Department of Education (2011). National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System; U.S. Department of Labor (2010a). Current Population Survey, Detailed Occupations by Sex and Race. Bureau of Labor Statistics; U.S. Department of Labor (2010b). Occupational Projections 2010-2020. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Wilson, C., Sudol, L.A., Stephenson, C., Stehlik, M. (2010). Running on empty: The failure to teach K-12 computer science in the digital age. Association for Computing Machinery and Computer Science Teachers Association.


Produced in partnership with NCWIT's K-12 Alliance
Acknowledgement to the following K-12 Alliance members for their valuable feedback in preparing this report: ACTE Guidance and Career Development Division, ETR Associates, Georgia Institute of Technology, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts of the USA, Intel Foundation, International Society for Technology in Education, Melissa Koch, National Coalition of Girls' Schools, National Girls Collaborative Project, World Wide Workshop, and the Computer Science Teachers Association.
The authors also thank Stephanie Hamilton and Adriane Bradberry for their significant contributions to this report.
Dedication: In loving memory of Maya