While a superficial look at the history of tech might suggest that this field has been traditionally dominated by men, those familiar with its history will know the pivotal role women played in many critical innovations. Without women, the current technological boom would not have happened.
It is increasingly evident that not only is tech suited for girls – just as much as it is for boys – girls also bring unique qualities much needed by the industry. As a new dad to a little daughter, I hope that she will choose this field when she grows up.
Girls Played a Part in Shaping Tech Today
It is a historical fact that many technological revolutions were started and driven by women. Ada Lovelace was the world’s first computer programmer who ideated, conceptualised and implemented the very idea of programmable machines in the 19th century. Radia Perlman is credited as the “Mother of the Internet” who invented a protocol that became the basis for ethernet connectivity. Not forgetting Hedy Lamarr who co-invented a frequency-hopping spread spectrum, the progenitor of WiFi and Bluetooth. Without these three women and their innovations, today’s hyper-connected world would look very different.
Girls Possess Qualities Essential for Tech Innovation
While coding and creating algorithms are important in tech, ideating new ideas and creating innovations needs much more than these. They require a combination of deep-seated intuition, ability to empathise with people and how they use technology, as well as emotional intelligence to create solutions that resonate broadly with the population and society.
No surprise – women possessing well-developed right brain in addition to system thinking have an advantage in many areas of technology. Their ability to bring together logic and empathy, technical prowess and intuition, makes them invaluable in creating technologies that are both forward-looking as well as people-centric.
Girls Are Just as Technical as Boys
Like boys, girls venturing into the professional world are looking for industries that can satisfy their curiosity, provide opportunities for solving meaningful problems, pay well, and offer good long-term growth prospects. In the past, such ambitions would draw them into stereotypical fields such as teaching, media, healthcare or finance. But given how tech advancement is accelerating exponentially with continuously arising new and interesting challenges to tackle and solve, the dynamic and exciting tech environment presents an equally rewarding field for girls to grow their careers in.
Girls Should Be Tech Empowered
These days, I spend a lot of time thinking about the future of my one-year-old daughter. Time flies, she will soon be making decisions on subjects to study and careers to pursue. As a firm believer in the tech industry’s potential and promise, I feel excited about the opportunities awaiting her – her gateway to thrive, innovate and make a difference.
For a start, I will create an environment in which she can explore and learn about tech. Of course, it is possible that the tech industry turns out not to be her natural interest, and she decides to become an artist, creator, pedagogist or doctor instead. That is totally fine – because I am confident that her ability to understand and apply technology will enable her to express her creativity and hone her skills in whichever profession she eventually chooses.