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Reaching out to the cyber girls of the future

With a lack of girls applying to study computing at university, Head of St George’s School, Edinburgh, Carol Chandler-Thompson, discusses the importance of getting girls into the industry and the role schools can play in combatting the perception that digital careers are dull and sedentary.

“As schools, we are awash with societal problems that schools are tasked with addressing, not all of which it is in our powers to reasonably affect on our own. The well-documented reluctance of many girls to consider digital and cyber careers is in many ways, one of those problems. Given the importance of AI and the fast-developing technologies it is vital that women are well-represented in these industries. Smartphones and computer keyboards are designed for male hands; Google’s speech recognition software voice is 70 per cent more likely to respond to male commands1. The World Economic Forum surveyed Linkedln users who self-identified as possessing AI skills. It showed that 78% of them are male2. Our current gender-based approach to product design is disadvantaging women and there is a real danger that algorithms are making our world even more unequal…”

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