The mission of Boolean Girl is to address the declining numbers of girls and women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields by engaging girls in grades three through eight with meaningful, hands-on instruction and sustained exposure to computer science and engineering in a collaborative and welcoming environment.
Why it matters
STEM jobs are in demand. Especially in Computer Science and Engineering.
In the United States, the demand for individuals trained and educated in computer technology is skyrocketing.
Employment in STEM occupations grew by 10.5 percent between May 2009 and May 2015, compared with 5.2 percent net growth in non-STEM occupations.
The computer occupational group is projected to yield over 1 million job openings from 2014 to 2024.
The national average wage for all STEM occupations was $87,570, nearly double the national average wage for non-STEM occupations ($45,700).
Source: U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS, Spotlight on Statistics, STEM Occupations: Past, Present, And Future Stella Fayer, Alan Lacey, and Audrey Watson, January 2017
The gender gap is getting worse.
In 2013, of the roughly 4 million U.S, jobs in “computer and mathematical occupations”, only 26% were held by women.
In 2012, of the total number of undergraduate degrees earned at American universities, 57% were earned by women. But in the computer sciences only 18% of the undergraduate degrees were earned by women….that’s down from 37% in 1985.
Women are opting out of computer science education and careers at an alarming rate.
Why is this happening?
In elementary school, 66% of girls like science as much as boys do, but only 24% of the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce is women and only 12% of the computer science graduates are women.
There are many reasons this happens. Misconceptions include:
- Coding is uninteresting and it does not require creativity.
- Programmers work work in isolation and don’t interact with their friends or coworkers.
- Coding is for boys only.
- Coding classes "aren’t for girls," so sometimes even parents and teachers discourage girls from enrolling and pursuing their interest.
- Girls will feel alienated or isolated in a coding class because they are often the only girl in class. (Unfortunately, this concern is sometimes true but we are working hard to change it.
What we do
We inspire girls in the classroom, online, and at events large and small.
Clubs are designed to introduce technology and programming skills. Girls get to know computing concepts in a low anxiety and informal model. Collaboration and fun is at the heart of all of our clubs.