Predictions say that by 2020, 825,000 jobs in the EU will be related to ICT, and currently in OECD countries only 1 in 5 engineering graduates are girls. They still prefer to be teachers or nurses, the classic ‘girl jobs’. And now many of them increasingly dream of becoming youtubers, instagramers or influencers.
But girls’ interest in science and technology doubles when they have points of reference in the field. And this is where the problem lies: it’s not easy to find female role models. Especially on the leading information search tool: Google.
The Internet has forgotten about them. There’s no sign of female points of reference in the top searches… and in almost nothing that doesn’t fit the sexist female stereotype. Today the internet shows us a predominantly distorted image of women. It’s as simple as searching ‘women’, ‘policewoman’ or ‘female robot’ to realise that the main results bear no resemblance to reality. Something is wrong and the Esperanza Pertusa Foundation wants to solve it.
Starting with that way of deciding what is most relevant. That’s why they’ve asked Google to make women more visible on the Internet, in order to help arouse other girls’ interest in STEM. Something as complex (and yet so simple) as changing its algorithm. That secret formula that decides what exists and what doesn’t, and that despite being updated up to 500 times a year, still hasn’t corrected that deficiency.
“If it’s possible to appear at the top of the searches with Google Adwords simply by paying, we presume that Google will be able to take women who inspire other women to the top, merely for responsibility”, points out Esperanza Navarro, chairwoman of the Foundation.
The way things are today, a girl is more likely to want to be ‘famous’ than a scientist or nuclear engineer. We need “more Marie Curie, more Nuria Oliver, more Valley… and less ‘Silicon’”. A cry for help that will have to be answered sooner or later: “change your algorithm or son we’ll change it ourselves!”, is the message of these future engineers from ‘Las Peques Robots’, a robots team from a school in Alicante and the stars of the campaign video.
Girls4Tech is a project created to promote girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It’s part of the Women4Change programme of the Esperanza Pertusa Foundation, the Corporate Responsibility project of the footwear company Gioseppo.
We need more women in the technological fields, in research, in business and heading-up projects that are defining our future if we want to build a fairer, more egalitarian and sustainable world.