Girls in STEM

To get more women in computing and other clever areas, we need more girls studying STEM courses, so they can grow up into the female tech titans of tomorrow. There are several reasons why this is a problem, but one of them is how we look at gender to begin with.

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/03/13/uk/uk-free-sanitary-products-schools-scli-gbr-intl/index.html

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/06/04/asia/new-zealand-period-poverty-schools-intl-hnk/index.html

Who knew that even in major western countries, period poverty was keeping 'a lot' of girls from school? It sure does in many third world too, but it's a global problem. Great to see some government initiatives.

It is sad though, to see them still called sanitary products ... like what... clean products? Is a man's razor a sanitary product?.. because we can't say the name as women's bodies are offensive? This is changing at least. Note menstrual cups are cheaper and can be safer, left in longer, and don't pollute the environment like tampons ...but who even knows what these are? Because we don't talk about it!


Why is a tech company even talking about this taboo topic?

Because it there are so few female coders and the numbers are not getting better.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_disparity_in_computing

If you follow right back to where the gender divide problem begins, it's in the youth. Period poverty, body shame, access to quality education, access to STEM courses, access to inspiring female tech leaders who shine. Body and Gender 'is' the divide, and Neomatrix wants to fix this. Not by airy fairy education which is 'also' important. But by looking at the problem from it's core - what is gender? Why is there shame? What can we do to alleviate and normalise gender in the minds of youth, so they grow up with less divide, and thus more women are likely to study hard for STEM, if they want - as some early barriers have been removed, and more support provided.

So if you want to talk about gender divide in computing, but find genitals or periods offensive, and favour gloss over words like sanitary and 'down there' and prefer blue liquid in ads, and don't see men should have a voice in this area - you may be missing real opportunity to effect change.

Let's rethink being comfortable with our bodies, and teach children it's ok to call things by their real names, and that the human body was not born with shame. Dealing with this can help solve the computing gender divide in women - it's like the butterfly effect. It doesn't start with grown women training for a career, it starts way back in small ways - so let's fix the problem much closer to the 'source' - in both age and body.

Remove the gender barrier and shame by open discussion early on - relatively minor body differences should not be in part responsible for the incredible lack of smart women in tech. There are many benefits of gender diversity in tech.


Note: For menstrual cups, helping to secure easier access to clean water in some third world countries is also important: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.8b02852 and https://cleantechnica.com/2020/07/15/lasers-etch-an-efficient-way-to-address-global-water-crisis . Imagine all the daily water needed for health, hygiene and cooking, delivered free each day, for a $3.50 cost, in a non-mechanical, non-electrical solution. Technology can solve barriers to girls studying. and more girls studying enables more to work in technology.

https://www.thecupeffect.org/

https://www.freedom4girls.co.uk/

https://www.bloodygoodperiod.com/normaliseperiods

https://www.actionaid.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/womens-economic-empowerment/periods-and-girls-education

https://plan-uk.org/media-centre/plan-international-uks-research-on-period-poverty-and-stigma

https://plan-uk.org/file/plan-uk-break-the-barriers-report-032018pdf/download?token=Fs-HYP3v

https://plan-uk.org/act-for-girls/join-our-campaign-for-a-period-emoji


www.thecupeffect.org/about-cups - Safer, Cheaper, Less landfill and better for the environment. Wonder why companies like selling tampons and pads? Because you have to pay for more than half your life. Cups last ten years. Help spread the word, and reduce ONE of the gender barriers in girls studying at school, so they can become inspiring tech and business leaders in the future.