It is no secret that the Information Technology industry lacks women. Most agree the industry lacks diversity and the unique female perspective that can bring new creative ideas to technology development teams. Thus as an industry, we need to get creative in finding innovative ways to attract females to technology careers. But you may ask, why superheroes? Well...
After distributing 20,000 Tech Girls are Chic! books free to school girls across Australia since 2008, we now have direct feedback that girls are doing IT at university after reading the ‘pink’ book in high school (one of these is Anna Kalma aka SPARKgirl (QUT) - one of the Tech Girl Superheroes). So it was time to expand the Tech Girls are Chic! concept, but how?
The thinking was, kids love to dress up, so why not get them to dress up as Tech Girl Superheroes?
The superhero concept is powerful, but it is not about being brilliant at everything. It is about having that one special skill or ‘power’ that we can use when the challenging situation arises. And stories are a strong medium to portray a message.
Hearing Kelly-Sue DeConnick talk at the 2013 Brisbane Writers Festival convinced me. Her female superhero creations for Marvel comics inspire many. Some readers have even created their own magic cap from her superhero character, to get them through tough times, even surgery. This then seemed like the logical way to transmit positive technology messages to girls.
There are many talented tech women who come before us. They have paved a way for us, and it is important to celebrate them!