Feminine Digital Support Groups
Table of Contents
In today’s technology driven era, it is common to be surrounded by laptops, iPods, stereos, video games, and TV. It is also the norm to communicate and share information through social networking sites such as facebook, myspace, twitter etc. The state of always being plugged is the standard.
The presence of technology might be increasing but women’s professional participation in it is decreasing in relative terms. According to the National Center for Women and Information Technology the number of women earning undergraduate degrees in computer science has plunged nearly 50 percent since 1985. In 1985, women represented 37 percent of computer science undergraduate degree recipients. By 2008, women represented a mere 18 percent of computer and information sciences undergraduate degree recipients, representing a significant drop in degrees awarded.Girls encouraged to enter technology field: August 10, 2009. Washington Times. 13 July 2010 http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/10/girls-encouraged-to-enter-technology-field//
Since then, grass-root organizations have been formed and take action to encourage female involvement in technology.
Girl Geek Dinners
“Girl Geek Dinners” was founded August 16th, 2006 as a way for women to have a social support system within the digital world. According to their website, the founder “got in touch with a few well-known bloggers, posted online about her idea of getting geeks to educate one another over dinner and then arranged the first Girl Geek Dinner event with a little help from her friends. The first event was attended by 35 people, all from London and the surrounding area. Shortly after, people started to hear about the events and companies started sponsoring them, covering food and drinks cost.
Soon these “Girl Geek Dinners” were all over the the United Kingdom and were spreading to Europe, Canada , New Zealand and Australia .
Men can only attend these dinners if they are accompanied by a “girl geek”.
Geek Girl Camps
Boot camps created in the United States, to encourage and educate women about technology.
“To educate and empower every girl and woman at every age level, on every skill level, at every income level on computer technology with fun and provide a legacy by giving back and paying it forward.”
Created, March 2008 when founder Leslie Fishlock became “so frustrated hearing stories of woe from bright, articulate women who did not know the basics of computers and the Internet, had a penchant for being taken advantage of by computer gimmicks and overly anxious sales clerks who liked to believe they really DID need an extended warranty for that 42 inch plasma, so maybe they should speak with their husband who knows more about that stuff than the little lady…”
Geek Girl camp consists of a boot camp: “a full day of workshops covering all sorts of technology from social media, PC and Mac maintenance, podcasting and programming.” Knowles, Jamillah. “Girl geek appeal: Women’s movement online .” 7 May 2010. BBC News. 13 July 2010 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-10668071
The boot camps attract older women who have not yet caught up entirely to the digital world and it speed of progress. Ms. Fishlock’s 70-year-old mother has attended several of these boot camps becasue she wanted to learn was “how to make a spread sheet for her swim team”.