Camilla Sorknes highlights the positive ripple effects of encouraging girls to choose a career in tech.
Whether you're a parent or not, I want to highlight the positive ripple effects of encouraging our girls to choose a career in tech. Not only do we need greater diversity to find good solutions for the entire population, but we also need more technologists. The business sector desperately lacks IT expertise. Only 29 per cent of IT workers are women. Last year only 35 per cent of applicants for engineering and technology subjects from the Norwegian Universities and College Admission Services were girls.
On behalf of Tietoevry, YouGov recently surveyed the Finnish and Norwegian population on their thoughts on technology as a career path. The numbers are grim with only 15 per cent of girls aged 15-25 considering an education in technology. Almost half of the girls surveyed say they opt out of IT and technology because it seems boring and too complicated.
As our society is being digitised, we depend entirely on perspectives from different genders and backgrounds to create innovation, solve challenges and meet future demands.
The same survey also shows that parents are an important influence when young people choose their education and career path. The first spark of interest in technology is often lit in childhood. That is why it is so important to have good female role models who can inspire and educate girls about all the possibilities in the world of technology. This is where I think mothers have a significant role! If we manage to convince them, we may be able to inspire more girls to see the thrill and opportunities within technology.
I think it is crucial that we as an industry change the way we talk about IT and technology. We need to highlight how technology affects the development of our society and how meaningful technology creates solutions that influence and change people's lives. It is also worth dwelling on that if future solutions are developed exclusively by men, it is also developed for men. Diversity is essential, both for society in general and for the business sector.
We must include both girls and boys.