Deakin University is hosting the biennial Go Girl, Go For IT event catered exclusively to young girls interested in technology. Lasting only one day, the event aims to get those who are interested in STEM careers on the path to pursuing their dreams.
The Victorian ICT for Women network holds the event every two years. To register, the child must be a girl between the ages of 5 to 12 and attend any Victorian primary or secondary school. The sponsors encourage any girl meeting the criteria to participate, even to the point that they will subsidize the cost of their travel.
When and Where?
The Go Girl, Go For IT 2018 event is set for Thursday, August 16, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway in Burwood, Victoria.
Admission is free. Unfortunately, registration is closed, but you can send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org for information about this and future events.
What Will the Event Offer?
While only lasting a day, the event is crammed with activities. Several keynote speakers will present 15-minute sessions in between everything else, as well.
The most notable activities are the workshops. A typical seminar will last about 45 minutes with a group of 30 girls to learn hands-on skills with innovative technology. The Super Workshops will host more than 100 girls at a time and showcase what a career in IT has to offer them. Meanwhile, speakers will talk about their journeys, inspirations and visions of the future.
Despite their young age, the girls will also be able to participate in a career expo with leading employers of the STEM industries. The employers will give insight and knowledge about how their businesses run and provide free show bags for the girls attending.
The conference even features an activity for the visiting teachers. The Teacher Professional Development will be going on while the girls are busy with their events, which will include three sessions about digital development and a prize draw.
Why Is This Important?
According to the National Center for Information and Technology, 25 percent of the computing workforce is female. Meanwhile, about 74 percent of young women and girls express interest in STEM fields. At some point in life, girls eventually feel pushed away from pursuing careers in STEM fields, with the inherent problem being sexist ideals.
A big problem with turning away girls from STEM fields is keeping half of the human population out of science and technology. Letting go of gender roles could mean at least double the advances in science and double the speed at which humanity develops and evolves.
The Go Girl, Go For IT event is one of many worldwide efforts to give girls the strength to pursue a career in STEM fields by showing solidarity and offering support. By getting girls interested in STEM fields at a young age, they will be more passionate about pursuing this type of career as adults.
Fi Slaven, Program Director for Go Girl, Go For IT, believes in early exposure and encouragement. Slaven shared, “I kind of fell into computer science and really did feel quite alone in a sea of men for a while there. So, it's exciting that these kinds of events exist now, where we can show young girls that yes, they can have a cool career in IT, and there are so many versions of what that might look like.”
Experts in STEM fields see and understand the vast gender deficit happening in front of them. They're trying to fix the gap by hosting free events just like this one all over the globe in many different countries.
Someday, a career in science won't seem like such a “boyish” job anymore. However, gender roles will continue to be prevalent in society. We must remain vigilant to make sure everyone can receive the same opportunities.