“People always assumed I was male – there’s a perception that women can’t like gaming or coding.”
There was a furore in early August this year - and rightfully so - when Google software engineer, James Damore, asserted that it was women's 'biological differences' and tendency towards 'neuroticism' which were responsible for the small numbers of women who worked as coders.
We should not limit our celebration of coding and STEM subjects to a week, but take the time to equip the next generation of talent with the skills they will need to thrive in a digital world.
This year's UK A-Level results revealed an alarming truth: very few girls actually took computing at A-Level: 9.8%. As someone who works in the tech industry, I find this worrying and sad. Numerous studies have revealed that the current gender gap means the UK tech sector is missing out on significant business opportunities for growth, innovation and success.
It can seem a bit trite to say that we live in changing times; after all, times are always changing, but it could be argued that with advancing technology our changes are happening faster than most. As computer automation and robotics play a greater role in day to day working practices, it raises the question of what this will mean for the future face of employment.
Why teach children coding? When they grow up the coding languages they were taught as kids will be obsolete. This is a question that I have been asked when talking about the importance of teaching kids about technology. On the surface, there is some sense in this statement. But dig a little deeper and you'll understand that this attitude towards technology is part of the problem.
As this fantastic overview of the issue points out, gendered advertising developed in a fully-fledged narrative in which computing was the reserve of boys. Tech-focused films in the 1980s regularly featured a gifted, male, techy protagonist who would use his abilities to win the affections of a girl.
There are two main reasons why teaching kids code is important: firstly, they need to know how to code for themselves, and secondly, they need to learn coding for the future of the UK economy, and society. Indeed, if it continues the way it is going, then the UK will have to rely heavily on external sources for years to come.
The last couple of weeks in global politics proves that the average woman still has to fight for her right to be heard. Hundreds
My recent adventures in Tower Hamlets have filled me with inspiration. Inventors Club Whitechapel looks forward to 2017 with ambitious projects to continue their mission of highlighting and nurturing young and local talent.