According to the National Center for Women and Information Technology, in 2014, only 26% of U.S. computing jobs were held by women. Linda Werner, PhD of computer sciences, is addressing the problem with her boots on the ground by mentoring California middle school students at Girls in Engineering, a week long summer camp held at the UCSC campus. Werner hopes she will teach the girls how to experiment with their skills and help them take risks without fear of comparison.
“Young boys are encouraged to play, break things, and put them back together again. We have not encouraged girls to do that in the past. This is a way to provide an environment where we don’t have the boys that have more confidence. Then, the girls can play with their levels of confidence and learn that they are competent,” said Werner.