My sister and I are coders on our competitive high school robotics team, and we are on a mission to reshape the future of competitive robotics.
If you ever go to a robotics competition, one thing will immediately grab your attention. The girls are few and far between, about 20% of total participants in our league. As female coders at these competitions, we are in some very limited company. So one can’t help but ask the question… where da ladies at?
The gender gap extends way beyond the competitive robotics world, which almost seems to be a microcosm of the tech industry itself. According to the American Association of University Women, just 12% of engineers are women, and the number of women in computer science has fallen from 35% in 1990 to just 26% today.
For my sister and I, it was a mega challenge to break into technical roles on our team. After spending our first year watching the guys code and build the robot while we… wait for it… designed t-shirts, we decided to take matters into our own hands. We hit the books (YouTube) hard in the offseason and chipped away at the ever-elusive C++, the coding language used to run our team’s robot. Fast forward a year… we caught a lucky break when the guys who were in charge of coding quit the team at the last minute. We jumped in as the team’s coders and we’ve never looked back!
We are convinced that girls aren’t going into tech because it’s generally not on their radar, they don’t see other girls going into tech, and there’s no girl culture to support it.
Enter Nerdy Girls.