The Sheroes Project is an interactive, online video talk show featuring inspirational personal and professional stories of women in technology. Each month, we will showcase the remarkable journeys of dynamic women, who are breaking through barriers, blazing new trails and making a difference in the tech industry. Featuring a variety of guests, from entrepreneurs and executives, to engineers and academics, the goal of the Sheroes project is to educate, inspire and motivate young girls to pursue engineering and computer science.
The SHEROES project is aimed at addressing the gender divide in the tech sector. Within the last 30 years, the percentage of undergraduate women who received computer science degrees at major research universities has plummeted, from 37% in 1985, to a mere 14% in 2013.
As computing-related jobs are growing faster than ever, with 1.2 million jobs expected to open by 2022 in the U.S. alone, it is problematic that the representation of women in the workforce is so disproportionate. According to Susan Wojcicki, CEO of Youtube, " The fact that women represent such a small portion of the tech workforce shouldn't just be a wake-up call -- it should be a Sputnik moment".
Just as individual experiences differ because of geographical location, race, and socioeconomic status, they differ by gender as well. In order to maximize the potential of technology, and tackle broadly relevant problems, we must bring together people who are not only strong technologists, but who are also diverse in their backgrounds and experiences.
There are many factors that contribute to these appalling numbers: cultures that encourage young women to play with dolls rather robots and pursue traditionally "female" careers, to the self-perpetuating stereotype that a programmer is a male.
Many of these trends originate in the childhood years, and then extend into the workplace.
Out of the 30,000 students who took the AP Computer science exam in high school in 2014, less than 6,000 were women. It is hardly surprising then, that in many of the largest tech companies in Silicon Valley, including Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, women make up less than 30% of the workforce.
"You can't be what you can't see," so we want to SHOW young women the technical achievements they are capable of, and allow them to interact with role models who they can look at, and say "Wow, I want to do what she's doing someday."
Through the SHEROES project, we are looking forward to reaching thousands of young girls, parents, and educators. By sharing the inspiring stories of our remarkable SHEROES, we hope that more young women will find the field of technology accessible, welcoming, and exciting.
Do you know of any SHEROES whose stories you want the world to hear? If so, we please visit our nominate page, and nominate an inspiring woman in technology today.