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Bringing More Women into Technology

Boot Camp feature for Monday, August 6, 2007

Attracting young women into technology fields. It hasn't been easy. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. While women make up about half of the overall workforce in the United States….when it comes to information technology fields…three quarters of the people working in them are men. Microsoft is among the companies trying to get more women interested in technology…..and has been expanding a summer camp program aimed at high school students…called DigiGirlz. Microsoft senior diversity consultant Mylene Padolina….says it started with one camp in 2000 and is now up to 8…including one in Sweden. About the severity of the problem, she says…

"What we're seeing is a seventy percent decline in the number of incoming undergraduate women choosing to major in computer science. And I believe that's roughly between the years of 2000 and 2005. So what's happened, by 2006, only 21 percent of computing and information science undergraduate degree recipients were women."

18 year old Alana Killeen went through the DigiGirlz program last year….and has been interning with Microsoft this summer before starting college. She believes the gender gap can be closed…

"It's just an old stereotype. Girls are starting to become more involved. It's going to take teachers who will inspire girls, motivate them to become interested in technology."

Alana is entering a computer science program at the University of Washington. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.