Girls Who Code & Sheryl Sandberg Convene First-Ever Female Governors’ Summit to Address Closing the Gender Gap in Technology
Bipartisan group of female governors join Facebook, Deloitte, Girls Who Code to expand female participation in computer science education and tech jobs
MENLO PARK, CA (February 17, 2017)—Girls Who Code, Deloitte and Facebook join Governor Gina Raimondo, Governor Mary Fallin, and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds for the first-ever female Governors’ Summit to identify new state-led policies aimed at closing the gender gap in technology. The day-long working session among governors and their staff was formed to share best practices among states and identify new policies and programs that increase young girls’ interest and participation in the field. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg hosted the Summit at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California.
The 2017 Female Governors’ Summit is the first summit of its kind to bring together state leaders to work together and identify meaningful policy solutions that address how to best drive interest and participation in computer science among girls of all ages. While computing skills are the most sought-after in the US job market, with demand growing three times the national average, there are over 500,000 open computing jobs in the United States and only 40,000 annual graduates in computer science to fill them.
“I am thrilled to welcome leaders from across the country to work together on a critical issue that will affect an entire generation of young girls,” said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. “Women remain dramatically underrepresented in technology fields. They’re missing out on opportunities and the world is missing out on their ideas. We need to harness the full talents of our population and this summit is proof that our female governors are committed to addressing and closing the gap.”
Women represent one of the single largest untapped sources of talent in the technology field and according to new research, only 24% of technology jobs are held by women today. Solving this challenge demands a tailored and sequenced series of actions starting in junior high school that are sustained throughout high school and college. It also requires a renewed effort on the part of state and national leaders to ensure equitable interest in and access to computer science education among girls.
The gender gap in technology reflects billions of dollars in untapped income. Despite unprecedented attention and momentum behind the push for universal computer science education, the gender gap in computing is getting worse with women expected to hold only 22% of technology jobs in 10 years.
“The fact that we are joined here at Facebook today by Governors Raimondo, Fallin, and Lieutenant Reynolds sends a clear signal that our elected officials recognize that computer science and computing skills are a critical path to success in today’s economic landscape,” said Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code. “We’ve made tremendous strides helping tens of thousands of girls learn about computer science in our after school programs, but there are multiple areas where governors can continue to expand the number of girls in this field. I look forward to working with the leaders here today to strategize on how we can make real progress on closing the gender gap in technology and ensure that our daughters have access to the economic opportunities of the 21st century.”
“The work done by Girls Who Code and its partners is helping to address technology skill gaps that are essential to a healthy economy and the future workforce,” said Janet Foutty, Chairman and CEO of Deloitte Consulting LLP. “Together we can ensure that the next generation of young women has access to tech education in a way that challenges their thinking and gets them excited about using and advancing world-changing technologies.”
Watch a live stream of the Girls Who Code Female Governors’ Summit Summit beginning at 10 AM PST here: https://www.facebook.com/girlswhocode
Michaela Balderston, 703-405-5895