Helping young women launch their ICT careers

Here at Hyland, our Tech Outreach programs provide students with a variety of opportunities to learn computer science to support a future where information and communications technology (ICT) skills will be essential. The programs are also great ways to provide our employees with opportunities to give back to the community. So when the Space Communications and Navigation Program at NASA Glenn approached us to partner with them on the upcoming International Girls in ICT Day event this Saturday, we jumped on the opportunity!

Not only does the mission of the event itself fit with what we’re doing at Hyland, we know how important it is to help close the gender gap in computer science.

Closing the gap

And there is a gap. For example, Ohio had just 1,137 computer science graduates in 2015, and only 18 percent were female. Meanwhile, Ohio high school students took only 2,202 AP Computer Science exams in 2017, and only 24 percent were female.

In our own Hy-Tech Club, we see similar numbers. This semester, 28 percent of our students are female. The numbers show that girls are underrepresented in computer science, and we want to do something to help change that.

By partnering with the Space Communications and Navigations Program at NASA Glenn to host Girls in ICT Day, we hope to encourage and empower girls to pursue careers in technology. During the event, students will have the chance to learn HTML and CSS from Hyland professionals. Additionally, attendees will have the chance to explore a variety of technology trends like 3D printing, computer hardware, virtual reality and Lego Mindstorms.

One of the other ways we are trying reach more girls is by partnering with Magnificat High School for one of their summer enrichment camps. We will be teaching rising 7th and 8th grade girls from across Northeast Ohio how to code.

If we can reach more females through our own programs and partnering with other organizations, hopefully we can help close the gender gap in computer science – forever.

Caitlin Nowlin

Caitlin Nowlin

Caitlin Nowlin is Hyland’s tech outreach program manager. Her mission is to give Hyland employees the chance to help close educational gaps in computer science while providing students opportunities to... read more about: Caitlin Nowlin