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Encouraging Girls in IT: A How-To Guide

Doug Ireton (Nordstrom), Jane Ireton (Ireton)
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(4.92, 13 ratings)
Slides:   1-PDF 

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that between 2010–2020 there will be more than 1.4 million computing-related job openings available in the United States. At current graduation rates, we can only fill about 30% of those jobs with U.S. computing graduates.
(Ashcraft & Blithe, 2010; Simard, et al., 2008; Voyles et al., 2007)

So, how do we get more women in IT? There are so many job openings, yet there are fewer and fewer women CS graduates.

In this session we will cover:

  1. Reasons why girls lag behind in Computer Science.
  2. Four specific things you can do to encourage girls in programming.
  3. Our story of teaching Jane, age 7, programming and electronics projects, and making it fun.
  4. Practical ideas on teaching and mentoring girls in your life how to love programming.

Our session is ideally suited for parents, caregivers, or anyone who has an
interest in mentoring girls and young women to consider an engineering career in

Photo of Doug Ireton

Doug Ireton


Doug Ireton is an Infrastructure Engineer at Nordstrom, working on automating all the things with Chef and Ruby. In his spare time he teaches his kids programming and electronics.

Photo of Jane Ireton

Jane Ireton


Jane Ireton is 7 years old. She loves learning to program, Arduino, and devouring books. She is also a big fan of the Illiad and the Odyssey.