Here's one way women can help shape the future. Because let's be honest: Men don't have the best track record.
Women don't like the image of computer science. Women don't like feeling like they're a woman in computer science.
Nationally, we've seen rates of women's participation fall and that's very scary.
In school, at Stanford, they do a reasonable job but I was still the only girl at a couple of my classes. We're not talking classes of 20, we're talking classes of 120.
Everybody knows who those women are, which has got to be way too much pressure on them.
All the prejudices and the implicit notions that if you're a girl, you're going to do this well.
And I think a lot of women, myself included, come to computer science afraid of it.
It was just very intimidating to be around these people who could just hack out codes really fast, and I was just struggling to write out my first Hello World program.
It's like the big thing that deters a lot of girls and a lot of women to pursuing C.S. is the image that the computer scientist is this, bad hygiene person who has this pocket calculator.
Who are very anti-social.
Maybe just very sedentary, are going to spend their time coding alone at home.
All the lights turned off, listening to music, drinking some kind of energy drink.
Not a very appealing image for a lot of people.
There's no reason it has to be that way. You do not need to go and conform to this stereotype.
So, Ayna and I never really intended to be where we are today. We didn't aspire to be nerds. I came to Stanford two years ago as a psychology major.
And I entered Stanford as a pre-vet. I was going to be a human biology major. And then we decided to take our first computer science class. And our fates were almost decided for us from there.
We were both kind of pushed to our majors by role models. By women who we felt that we can be in five, 10, 15 years.
We looked around our computer science classes and we sometimes couldn't really see as many of those role models as there should of been.
And it was important to me to give a lot of girls the opportunity to kind of fall in love with what they did, the way that I had.
I do a lot of things that would, maybe not be considered what a computer scientist would do. For instance, I'm in the sorority at Stanford and I love it.
I was interested in psychology, I like to write.
I'm very extraverted and my greatest hobby is travel.
I love getting manicures, I love watching Gossip Girl, don't judge me.
This is a field that everybody can be in, and that everything that you do in computer science makes you better at your other interests. And that your other interests also make you better at computer scientist.
My name is Kimber Lockhart, and I work at a company called Box. They're a director of engineering responsible for the web application development team. I'm trying to hire great engineers right now. I would hire twice as fast, if I could find them.
And at this rate literally the growth of the U.S. tech industry is going to be throttled by the fact that U.S. universities and even the world's universities are not producing enough software engineers.
In the west, we cut our scientific population in half because we really don't encourage women. We need everyone we can get in this field. If Stanford graduated all of its students in computer science, The Valley would hire them all.
I think this is actually a Rosie the Riveter moment, and that is that women are the great untapped bench.
If you just look at the numbers and they're super simple. Lets say that women are 60% of undergraduates, they're 20% of computer science majors. Imagine a hypothetical computer science department with 100 students each year, at 20% women are 20 of those and men are 80 of those. If we simply took women to their appropriate proportion of undergraduates, which is 60%, for every 40 men there would be 60 women. For those 80 men there would be 120 women, that would be 200 students not 100. So if women were just represented proportionally we would double the number of software engineers this nation is making every year and that would be timely because the number of jobs is tripling.
My name is Tracy Chou, and I am a software engineer at Pintrest.
My name is Shubha Nabar and I work at Microsoft.
I'm Jocelyn Goldfein and I'm a director of engineering at Facebook.
We're building a product for people to share the things that will inspire them and hopefully get them out and doing things.
I work in social search, which is making search more social by incorporating information from your social networks.
I run teams of software engineers who make features for the Facebook.com site.
I'm Privahini Bradoo, I and the CEO and co-founder of a green mining company called BlueOak resources. The goal of BlueOak is to extract high precious metals from end to fife electronics, so your cell phones to computers.
Hi my name is Sandy Jen, I was the CTO and co-founder of a company called Meebo. We got acquired by Google last year and I currently work as a software engineer at Google. People's lives revolve around tech even if they don't even know it.
I would maybe go on Facebook, IBrowse the internet, I was just like computer science.
Over time I discovered the pre-req class, almost everything I wanted to do was introductory computer science class.
I tool a C.S. class the spring of my sophomore year.
And the part of me that loved to do logic puzzles and crossword puzzles just thrived on programming.
It keeps me intellectually stimulated everyday and I feel I'm learning new things on a day to day basis.
The most important things in compeer science is logic and algorithmic thinking. And I think, when you have that mindset that can be applied to a stream of different disciplines from science, to engineering, to business.
The majority of jobs today have a technology component, and so if you want to equip yourself to do almost anything you need to add computer science to that. Very basic part of you tool kit.
With computing just a little bit of programming knowledge suddenly unlocks all of these doors.
You can go into any industry. You can go into fashion, you can go into science, you can go into math.
And the fun part about computing is that you're such a broad discipline. Because what we define as computer science is essentially finding problems that are worth solving and then solving them using computing.
I was terrified to take the introductory computer science class.
At least known by some as a weeder class, so it was a little bit more difficult.
The expectation was if you're studying computer science, you must have used this before.
And there were some guys in the class who had just been programming all their lives, and I had not even touched a computer until 1998.
I thought I was failing that class the entire way through.
I spent a lot of time thinking that I was not qualified for this. I hadn't been coding since I was 12 and my classmates, several of them had.
There's some very good statistics, some done here at Stanford that show that when women don't succeed at first they blame themselves, and men blame the course or the test. A woman who gets a B+ thinks she's doing horribly, and a man who gets a B+ thinks he's doing fine.
If there's something you want to try that you're exited about but afraid of, how do you get over that? I tell a lot of people, men or women, to fake it until you make it.If you project self confidence, the people around you will believe in you and someday you will look around and realize you aren't faking it anymore. That game face of confidence is how you actually feel.
You don't have to be the most genius person in the world to even get started. I think just being able to be OK, and persevere, and say I'm learning something.
Just Google what you want to do or why you might think about doing, and then something will come up that will lead to something else, and that will lead to something else.
Don't let fear get in the way of what you can to do, because you can change the world if you want to.
i think if you're in high school just get going, and get going with something small and stair step your way into it. Achieve something, build something useful, build yourself a small software program, or take an iPhone class and build a small application. Just get going and see it through.
So we decided to come up with an Android app, and StudiCafe is basically a virtual world crossed with studying via flashcards and multiple choice questions.
So in addition to making the app, we also had to pitch it to a panel of judges.
I think that makes computer science really appealing because you do have to talk to people and you do have to be convincing as well, I think that's really cool.
I'm usually a shy person but when I got up to pitch, I actually really liked it.
As high schoolers, our app was designed to help people with studying for A.P. sciences. If it was a non high schooler who had designed this app, would they have been able to think of that problem? It's the same for women, we have our own personal issues which are different from men. And we need women computer scientists who can understand that issue, and be able to code it and make it a reality.
If you're good at math, if you're good at science, take a look. Consider computer science.
It's daunting, it's hard, but I would encourage you to take a risk to give it a shot.
Because honestly you can start at any age, you can start at any time.
It's a very creative field, and it enables you to do so many different things.
I think making all the choices that make you happy everyday, is probably the thing that'll get you closest to eventually recognizing your full potential.
They can effect the world very positively. They can build products that are used by millions of people.
And it's actually really dramatically changing the way the world functions.
You can have an idea or a concept, and you yourself can build it and make it a reality.
It really is about making something that you are proud of, and making something that you wanted to make. And that was hard to make, and you did make, and I think that was my proudest moment because that was the first time I can really look back and be like, I did that.