So, while most women in the digital games industry (and more widely in science and technology fields) agree that women and girls need to be exposed to STEM early, encouraged as much as boys, and taught to show confidence in their abilities, there need to be some concrete programs that put all of this talk into action. In the last few weeks we’ve been hearing about some new initiatives that are designed to do just that. Here are a few:
The first comes to my attention through an interview posted on ZDNet with Susan Buck, Lecturer at U Penn in website design and development and developer at Photojojo.net. In the interview Buck discusses how she fought her way into the field through self-instruction and the realization that she was not being given the same tools as the young men around her. Most recently, Buck co-founded the organization Web Start Women, an organization dedicated to bringing women into web design, and
cultivating open, supportive, intimidation-free environments where women and girls of all ages can learn, build and code together.
Another project is called AdaCamp. This is another program created to bring women together to increase their participation in open technology and culture fields. AdaCamp 2012 is being held in DC and is a part of a larger project called Ada Initiative, and is
is a 150–200 person unconference in Washington, D.C. on July 10–11, 2012. It is co-located with Wikimania 2012, the global conference for Wikipedia and related Wiki projects. Wikimania brings influential and talented people from around the world who are interested in improving the participation of women in Wikipedia and other open data projects, as shown by Wikimania’s selection of Ada Initiative co-founder Mary Gardiner as a keynote speaker.
Finally, NSERC (National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) has created a webpage dedicated to Women in Science and Engineering in order to provide information about policies aimed at increasing the participation of women in these fields.