If girls aren't interested in computers can we change their minds?

Julie Fisher, Catherine Lang, Annemieke Craig, Helen Forgasz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite significant efforts and many intervention programs over the years to encourage girls to study computing we continue to see a declining interest in computing by girls. Girls' lack of engagement with technology at school is resulting in fewer women interested in an information technology (IT) career and entering the IT workforce. To address this declining interest of girls we implemented a longer term intervention program called Digital Divas. The program ran in secondary schools over four years. It included specifically designed teaching modules intended to engage girls and excite their interest in IT and included role models for the girls. Data were collected through pre-and postsurveys, focus groups and classroom observations. In this paper we describe how, through Digital Divas, we were able to increase girls' interest in IT as well as increase their confidence with IT. We conclude with a model which identifies the components for implementing a successful school based intervention program. Our research highlights that a long-term intervention such as Digital Divas can result in a more sustained change in girls' perceptions of IT. A key finding is that girls will enjoy studying IT if it is presented in a way that resonates with them.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECIS 2015 Proceedings
EditorsJorg Becker, Jan vom Brocke, Marco de Marco
Place of PublicationAtlanta GA USA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9783000502842
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventEuropean Conference on Information Systems 2015 - Munster, Germany
Duration: 26 May 201529 May 2015
Conference number: 23rd

Conference

ConferenceEuropean Conference on Information Systems 2015
Abbreviated titleECIS 2015
CountryGermany
CityMunster
Period26/05/1529/05/15

Keywords

  • Curriculum design
  • Education
  • Gender and IT

Cite this

Fisher, J., Lang, C., Craig, A., & Forgasz, H. (2015). If girls aren't interested in computers can we change their minds? In J. Becker, J. vom Brocke, & M. de Marco (Eds.), ECIS 2015 Proceedings Association for Information Systems. https://doi.org/10.18151/7217312