Getting Women Interested in Technology

Would you like your daughter to have a rewarding career, where she could make good money and contribute to the welfare of society and the advancement of humanity? Who wouldn’t? Despite the freedoms afforded by the success of women’s suffrage and women’s liberation movements, many girls are still following the pretty pink road to make-up, fashion and domesticity. There is a mountain of untapped intellect and ingenuity going to waste as 50% of the population turns towards more traditional roles for women instead of considering careers in science and technology. Is this an evolutionary inevitability, or could we be doing more to get young girls and women into male-dominated occupations?

Women in science

They may have made up only a tiny fraction of the scientific community, but women have made some of the most important discoveries and been responsible for pioneering technological advancement. Throughout history, women have made a significant contribution to science and technology – Ada Lovelace, who designed the first computer programming language and Marie Curie who conducted ground-breaking research on radioactivity to name just a few. More recently there have been extraordinary women working in physics and astronomy, including Melissa Franklin, the first woman to get tenure at Harvard Physics Department, where she headed a team studying particle physics and discovered the first evidence to back up the theory behind quarks.

Why Aren’t Girls More Interested?

There are whole books and research papers devoted to this topic, but in simple terms, it seems to be the societal expectation and social norms that lay behind the problem. Whilst schools, careers advisers and universities no longer discriminate against girls who wish to pursue scientific studies (and face severe penalties if they do!), society still segregates men and women along traditional gender stereotypes. From the moment they are born, girls are given dolls, dressed in feminine clothing and encouraged to play at being mummies, princesses or nurses. Boys meanwhile get to play with construction toys and model cars, and pretend to be astronauts, footballers or racing car drivers.

What can be done to break this mold?

Parents definitely have a role to play, by encouraging their children to explore all aspects of life and career opportunities, regardless of their gender. This applies equally to boys, who are underrepresented in traditionally female careers like nursing and secretarial roles. If children are shown about the wonders of science and technology in a way that captures their imagination, it can spark a life-long interest. When you buy toys for your children, be inventive and get a drone that you can all take turns flying, transforming engineering into something immediate and enjoyable. Look for inspiration at specialist websites like, and browse the web for interactive resources. Science experiment kits are another good idea – there are plenty of these around covering different themes, but all will introduce science to your kids as something with a wow factor rather than just a dry and dusty subject from school.

Children will have natural inclinations towards certain interests, and no child can – or should – be forced into a career choice. The important thing is to give your daughters a chance to see how amazing science is, and make sure they have the knowledge and insight to make the best career choices.

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Ive been blogging now for 5 years on various sites for the love of knowledge share. I decided to start my own blog a few years back to share everything from tech to business news. Follow me on twitter for more.