February 26, 2016

On March 15, the good folks at Regis University are screening the new documentary, “CODE-Debugging the Gender Gap” with notable industry professionals holding a roundtable discussion. You can get free tickets right here.

It’s not a subject many of us think upon as we peruse our favorite apps, sites and programs. Sure, diversity of thought is paramount in a society of ideas. But when programming scripts and building networks are concerned, man brains vs. lady brains isn’t the first thought that comes to mind.

According to a recent White House report, less than 29 percent of the 1.4 million jobs in computing fields will be filled by Americans by 2024. And less than 3 percent of that 29 percent are expected to be women. That’s a balance towards the beard bearing.

In the immortal words of Shari Plantz-Masters, Ph.D. holder and recently appointed Dean of Regis University’s CCIS School, “A more diverse workforce is a more productive workforce."

"There are very real social issues that kids start to encounter as they grow. I think we have to decouple math and science and computing from these gender identities that kids create for themselves. We have to dispel the silly myths like women who code aren’t attractive. It’s part of those subtle messages that the kids hear and see.

Curious. But what can be done? The good Dean Plantz-Masters is already on the case.

At Regis, we have a prototype program called Cybergirlz. It’s a program that uses challenge learning to help build skill sets in underprivileged schools in Colorado Springs. "

The young women who are involved in this are now moving into regional competitions, which is really good news. "

We also host all-girls summer coding camps, which have been a big hit. We host and sponsor an international club called Coder Dojo that’s open to all kids from K-12."

But my main message is this: CIS is a lot bigger than programming or coding. There is almost nothing that happens today that doesn’t require some sort of technology solution. Computer science is about solving problems. It’s about making a difference in the world."

So if you want to solve problems, this is a great way to do it. These are great careers to have. And the more diverse our table is, the more ideas we’re bringing to that table."

Food for thought? More like a buffet of best practices.

Interested in hearing more? Join the screening of “CODE-Debugging the Gender Gap,” on March 15th and the roundtable discussion afterwards to talk about some solid solutions.

Claim your tickets here.