If tech conjures images of skinny guys hunched in darkened bedrooms over whirring complex equipment and multiple screens, you’re way off the mark. Today LadyGeek, headed by former Saatchi & Saatchi planning director Belinda Parmar, transformed inner city London girls’ schools into tech wonderlands, with the purpose of challenging misconceptions about the tech industry.
The fact is that 17% of the tech workforce is female, and that figure keeps decreasing by 0.5% each year. Belinda aims to change that: “By 2043 there’ll be less than 1% of women in tech,” she said today, while in a cab rushing between the events. “We want to show girls what it feels like to work in the tech and gaming industry, to make it tangible and real.”
Little Miss Geek, LadyGeek’s sister-project aiming to get girls into technology at an early age (Belinda believes “by Year 8 it’s too late”) brought a variety of games design and coding workshops to schools today, as well as talks by influential women in the industry. Rhianna Pratchett, lead writer on the newest Tomb Raider, spoke to youngsters alongside Olivia Solon, the assistant editor of Wired.co.uk, in the hope to banish stereotypes and get girls into gaming.
“It’s a creative industry to work in,” said Belinda, “and this morning’s event went really well. I think many girls want to have a job that will really have an impact on society- technology is the perfect industry for this.” From systems architect to writing and characterisation, the world needs more women gamers.
“Considering it’s such a male dominated industry, just think what would happen when the gender imbalance is addressed,” she added, “these girls have the chance to change the face of technology, the face of the world. What would a smartphone look like in the hands of a female designer?”
We’ll leave you with some surprising info in the form of a beautiful graphic created by Lady Geek. Have a read, check out Little Miss Geek for more information and – if you’re full of ideas and fancy changing the world – don’t leave gadget-invention to the guys.