‘Mind the Gap!’ encourages women to join tech; Lack of female talent spurs ‘Booth Babe’ controversy
The technology world is abuzz with great minds, great innovators, and great…men?
According to an official Google blog post from this morning, women hold less than one third of the world’s engineering gigs, despite the female sex making up more than half of the global population. Moreover, fewer than 15 percent of United States female students take Advanced Placement computer science tests. The same rule goes for high-tech regions of the world, such as Israel.
The breach between males and females in the technology industry leaves room for controversy, and such dissension reared its head at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The annual event featured scantily clad “booth babes” hired by some companies to promote their —well— booths. The practice led many to wonder if it is an effective marketing strategy or a reflection on gender gaps in technology.
The hot issue further propelled when ZDNet posted a picture of a female developer at CES 2012, but the publication referred to her as “The Saddest Booth Babe In The World” due to her somewhat emotionless face during the moment the photograph was snapped. Critics lambasted the photo caption because the woman looked nothing like a typical show booth babe, but rather a bored developer with no one around for presenting.
A female group of engineers at Google in Israel is determined to resolve this widespread setback in the industry by encouraging women to enter the technology realm. Google initiated the “Mind the Gap!” program in 2008 with the Israeli National Center for Computer Science Teachers to embolden girls with technology, science, and math-centric education. The program establishes monthly school visits to the Google’s Israel office and tech conferences at various universities to help the girls learn technology, computer science, and its applications…