Women at Bearden Excessive Faculty have an edge getting ready for careers in pc and knowledge know-how – a membership known as Women Who Code.
When data know-how (IT) teacher Amy Shipley noticed final 12 months that the variety of ladies taking pc lessons was low, she enlisted the assistance of senior Sarah Yeow. Collectively, they launched the Bearden Women Who Code membership (aligned with the nationwide Women Who Code) final spring.
At present, about 16 BHS ladies collect each Friday morning to do initiatives in programming languages like Python, Scratch and Swift. They study careers in know-how fields and do service initiatives. Regulars embody pc college students like Autumn Larmee, Aiden Smith, Laney Vogel, Mebd Glatt and Avigail Laing, plus college students who’ve by no means taken a pc course. All ladies are welcome.
Sarah Yeow is now a freshman learning data sciences on the College of Tennessee.
“I positively see the affect of Women Who Code golf equipment, as a result of if there had not been golf equipment like that whereas I used to be in highschool, I might not be within the main I’m now,” stated Yeow, who hopes to grow to be a user-experience designer. “It attracts inspiration from sturdy girls pioneers in STEM to assist encourage the women of our era.”
Women Who Code is a spot for ladies to satisfy others who’ve a typical objective, stated Shipley. “It helps them to search out relationships and information in coding and to extend the variety of ladies to take internet design, coding and cybersecurity.”
A curious scenario exists within the U.S. job market. Greater than 500,000 jobs in pc and IT occupations are open, with extra jobs anticipated, based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median wage for pc and IT jobs in 2020 was $91,250.
However the variety of girls in computing occupations has nosedived – from 35 % in 1991 to fewer than 25 % immediately, based on the Nationwide Heart for Ladies and Data Know-how. Solely a fraction of these girls is Black or Latina.
Bearden Excessive Faculty, like many Knox County faculties, has a powerful IT program with a three-person group of lecturers and programs that may result in AP credit score, nationwide trade certifications, and twin credit score at Pellissippi State Group Faculty. However solely about 18 % of the IT college students are ladies, Shipley stated.
The thrilling factor about Women Who Code is that it helps ladies discover their curiosity in know-how. “Our objective is to shut the gender hole in know-how, to make younger girls conscious of what’s accessible to them,” Shipley stated.
“Women Who Code provides ladies a possibility to be taught coding even when they’ve zero expertise,” Yeow stated.
4 different Knox County faculties – L&N STEM Academy, Adrian Burnett Elementary, West Haven Elementary and Cedar Bluff Elementary – even have Women Who Code golf equipment, stated Jasmine Floyd, academic know-how liaison for Knox County Faculties. She stated Knox County Digital Elementary and Farragut Intermediate are forming golf equipment.
Kelly Norrell is a contract author, communications strategist and photographer in Knoxville. She is especially focused on girls’s and social-justice points.