Nonprofit associations, academic organizations, and major corporations are launching efforts to attract more women to the information technology (IT) field.
According to the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), 95 percent of girls say they like technology, but only 9 percent are interested in pursuing an IT career.
Despite the IT field's high salaries and job satisfaction, as well as low unemployment rates, women represent only 28 percent of core IT occupations, CompTIA reports. Through its recently launched Dream IT program, CompTIA is providing educational resources and sending speakers to schools and community programs to talk to girls about IT opportunities.
Major IT companies also working to draw women to the field. For example, Cisco participates in the annual Girls in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Day, organized by the International Telecommunication Union. For ICT Day, Cisco offers girls between the ages of 13 to 18 the chance to visit 18 offices across 18 countries. In addition to tours, participants have the opportunity to meet with women working at Cisco and discuss career opportunities.
Hewlett-Packard's Margaret Dawson says the lack of women in IT is not related to capability. "It's more about willingness to try something different, and taking advantage of opportunities to grow."
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