Recently, you may have noticed less posts on my blog. Sorry for the lack of writing, but I took an Adobe Flash animation and programming class and had some visitors that took up my free time. Since taking the course, I’ve learned how to animate graphics and create interactive content, but I also thought a lot about women’s roles in media and technology.
It all began that morning in Flash class when I entered the computer lab at CUNY‘s Graduate School of Journalism. To my surprise, the class was filled with women editors, writers and publicists. In fact, everyone was a woman except for our instructor.
Given that this was “Flash for Journalists,” a course offered by Media Bistro that gives a basic knowledge of a technical skill, I felt proud that these women were defying the convention of two male-dominated industries: journalism and technology.
Even at lunch many of us commented on this unique situation that is contrary to what we know about the status of women in the U.S. workforce. We asked our instructor, the Director of Digital Media at Columbia University, if this was typical. He said men rarely take Media Bistro classes, no matter the topic.
Did you know that “women held only 25% of all new media jobs created from 1990 -2005,” but they made up 65% of all journalism and mass communications students?
And, according to the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT): “In 2008 women earned only 18 percent of all Computer Science degrees.”
The fact that there are so many intelligent women out there, yet so few in journalism and computer technologies is insane. While some may believe women aren’t interested in these fields, I think the problem lies in a lack of encouragement, not disinterest or a lack of talent.
The NCWIT supports women in technology because it will increase competition, innovation and create a more stable workforce with diversity. They promote outreach, retention, curriculum reform, research, and leadership programs among K-12 students and at various companies. And, the organization is partnered with Microsoft.
I completely agree with the organization’s sentiment and goals, connecting young women to new industries where they’ve historically been limited is the exact thing we should be doing.
The fact that we can put robots on Mars, but cannot achieve equality in the workforce is just silly — this isn’t rocket science. (Speaking of which, we should get more women engineers too!)
I get so tired of seeing men dominate as journalists, running media companies, or as the leading technology experts. I guess that’s why it was refreshing to meet talented women in my Flash class. Maybe, with women like Arianna Huffington, Co-Founder of the Huffington Post, and Jehmu Greene, the President of the Women’s Media Center, leading the way, we’re moving toward some progress.
For those of you interested in women tech bloggers, articles and other websites at the intersection of the two mediums, below is a list, please add more in the comments!
The journalist picture above is Najahe Sherman, a reporter for NBC Action News and member of The National Association of Black Journalists and the Native American Journalist Association.