Girls and technical sciences

After studying at the faculty of the Naval Forces for more than four years, for some reason I never thought about why in my faculty there are only 20% of girls? Moreover, I would be very surprised if there were more. But recently, I wondered, why is this situation? On the part of the teachers, I have never seen any special attitude towards students - for the teacher, everyone is equal. This unspoken rule is strictly supported. So why are there so few girls who want to graduate in the field of information technology? In order to reinforce my thoughts, I conducted an online survey among female students of various profiles. After analyzing the results, my opinion regarding the question posed only strengthened. 204 girls participated in my survey, 80 of which study in one of the following profiles:

1. Cryptography;
2. Computer science;
3. Mechanics;
4. Mathematics.

The rest - according to the profiles of natural, humanities and social sciences.

In some places I will present the results of the survey, which seemed interesting to me.

In our country, the stereotype is widespread that a woman should be the keeper of the hearth and devote her entire adult life to raising children and maintaining the atmosphere in the house. Many young girls do not want to get higher education at all, arguing that they will only waste their time in vain, because in order to maintain comfort in their home, you do not need to graduate from university. Some of them still get higher education "for show." 22% of girls studying in non-technical professions want to devote themselves to household chores after graduation; among technical profiles - such girls were not found. For some reason, many girls cannot imagine that education, career and household chores can be successfully combined without prejudice to any of these classes.

Another stereotype, which, in my opinion, greatly affects the choice of girls is not at all in favor of the technical sciences, this is the separation of training profiles into "female" and "male". They begin to mention such a division back in school, therefore, on a subconscious level, children divide objects into those that they can "do" by sex and those that "cannot." In confirmation of my words, I can say that to the question “Why didn’t you choose a technical specialty?” Many girls answered that it was “not feminine”. 25% of female students think that women have no place in mathematics and programming.

There is another opinion of the majority of girls (and not only girls) that it is many times more difficult to study in technical specialties than anywhere else. It seems to me that if you enjoy the subject, but because of fear you choose a university in a completely different profile, then you will spend much more effort on learning and, in addition, torment yourself with doubts about the correctness of your choice.

Conducting trainings in schools that talk about computer technology, you can attract more girls to this area. Unfortunately, now in schools that subject called Information Computer Technologies (ICT) is very narrow and uninformative (if you do not take, of course, specialized schools). Most often, ICT comes down to teaching a child to turn on a computer, use a text editor and an Internet browser.

In the modern world, where there are a lot of fantastic literature and movies related one way or another to programming, children expect something more from the subject of ICTs than working in a text editor. In support of my words, I can say that of all the girls surveyed, only 3% said that ICT was one of their favorite subjects at school, all of these girls from specialized schools, where ICT is one of the main subjects.

If I were in the place of the dean of a faculty related to information technology, I would conduct special trainings for children in schools. Programming is a kind of creativity. If you show this to primary school students, then interest in this subject will be huge. After all, if you look at the elementary school curriculum, then there are a lot of subjects requiring imagination. Children expect this from every subject. Such trainings would arouse further interest in the subject.

Unfortunately, in our country there is another very unpleasant stereotype: only children from specialized schools can enter technical universities. After analyzing the schools of my classmates, I found out that 76% of them studied in specialized schools or classes. To my question to the girls, what prevented them from choosing a technical profile,
very many answered that they were not from special schools, which means that they have no chance of success in programming. It turns out that because of this stereotype, girls even deprived themselves of the opportunity to try to enter a technical university, although about half of them would like to and will go to programming courses with pleasure.

Now let's pay attention to a topic that would seem to be completely unrelated to training in technical specialties - to sports. After a hard school day, most students seek relaxation in sports. What was my surprise when I saw a list of sports sections designed for my faculty: handball, soccer, sambo, arm wrestling (you must admit, these sports are not for girls at all); athletics, skiing, volleyball, basketball (already better, but the girl’s eye is still not very catchy); the last on the list was sports aerobics. It’s not hard to guess where almost all my classmates enrolled. It turned out that not everything is so simple. Due to the fact that our faculty is "male", only 10 girls could get into the section. The rest had to look for something to do in other sections. But many other faculties had a completely different sports program: this is sports aerobics, and rhythmic gymnastics, and gymnastics, and all kinds of dances. In a word, I would add more sports in which students could find themselves.

Are girls of technical specialties happy with their studies at the university? The answer struck me, only 40% were satisfied with their studies, the rest wanted to change a lot and would gladly change their profile, getting a master's or postgraduate course. Russian students are unhappy with the lack of practice - both in summer and during their studies. Each of them wants to work in their own field, but the university does not offer anything after graduation. 55% of female students believe that public opinion underestimates women who work according to their chosen technical profile and this prevents them from achieving academic success.

It seems to me that if the situation changed in the following areas:

1. Developing trainings and computer schools at higher educational institutions would appear in schools;
2. The practice of specialized subjects has appeared at universities;
3. Problems with the employment of graduates of technical universities would be solved, because such bright minds would be useful in any company (it is strange for me that my university, for example, still does not do this);
4. There would be conditions for students to play sports, because they too should have a chance to strengthen their health and enjoy it.

Whatever the situation now, I sincerely hope that the girls will no longer be afraid to try themselves in those professions that are still considered “male”.

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