What to Do about Gender Inequality in the Sciences?

Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code, was interviewed for the movie.

Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code, was interviewed for the movie.

By Christina Smedley, Vice President for Global Brand and Communications, PayPal
You’ve heard it before: there aren’t enough women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Computer science is an industry dominated by men. Female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies lag behind their counterparts by a 1:20 ratio.

According to NPR, it hasn’t always been this way. In 1984, the percentage of women in computer science flattened, and then declined dramatically, even as the share of women in other technical and professional fields kept rising.
So what are we, at PayPal, doing to change the statistics? For one, we’re supporting content that sheds light on the issues and encourages dialog and progress.
The documentary “Code: Debugging the Gender Gap,” directed and produced by Tracy Hauser Reynolds, premiered at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival in April to a large audience, and garnered an overwhelmingly positive reception. The film explores reasons that more American women and minorities do not pursue careers in computer science, despite high demand and lucrative job opportunities. “Code” features expert voices like White House Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, Pinterest Software Engineer Tracy Chou and CTO of Twitter Adam Messinger, among others. PayPal is proud to be a sponsor of such an important initiative.
The documentary asks the question: what would society gain from having more women and more minorities code? We know that diversity helps the bottom line: According to research by Catalyst, companies with more women board directors experience higher financial performance, and diversity at all levels can surely help companies look at problems from multiple angles. “Code” is about imagining a world with greater equality and envisioning the power of women in forces. For this reason, go see “Code,” but more importantly, be a part of the ongoing movement to get girls involved in coding and start narrowing the gap.
What else can we do to narrow the gap? Tell me at @smedleyus and check out my blog at windoworaisle.net

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