What about the boys though?

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What about the boys though?

Something I was quite proud of at one time in my career is an initiative I was involved in to encourage young girls to stay in science and technology. It was based on a program that had been run in a US branch, but I spearheaded it in Ireland. I developed a whole curriculum for it, including different printable resources for teams to use, learning goals for the day, different demonstrations that could be run, etc. I was proud of the “behind the scenes” parts too – I ran training courses so that other locations could run the events, and when I scheduled volunteers to run the events, I made sure that it was predominantly women who taught the girls, and shared their work experiences. I also made sure that there were a variety of experiences shared, not just coders, to try and emphasise that technology was broad, and a lot of jobs fall under the tech umbrella.

It was hard work and it was brilliant, and we got amazing feedback from the girls every year.

One day, someone asked what about the boys? Couldn’t we run it for them? I pointed out that the point of the day wasn’t just “fun day out of school” it was “girls tech is also for you”.

So when they went ahead and decided it wasn’t fair to run it only for girls, they tried to do so without me. They scheduled a meeting, pulled in volunteers, and starting setting up a version of my day for boys. Using my curriculum. Expecting to use my personal equipment that I volunteered for the days. But without including me in the meeting or the event.

Because it’s only fair, right?

But hey, at least the boys got to see that technology is for them too…

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