The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) has launched Dream IT, a package of online tools and educational resources intended to interest more young women in tech careers. Writing on SearchNetworking, Gina Narcisi reports that non-profit CompTIA wants to connect with girls and young women before they are steered into career paths.

“Whether it’s intentional or unintentional, we start getting pretty clear messages around the middle school age that steers girls away from not just tech, but science, math and complexity,” Margaret Dawson, vice president of product marketing and cloud evangelist for HP Cloud Services, tells Narcisi. “This is still an issue because it really filters down the options that [girls] think they have as they move forward, and we really need to reach more girls with programs, mentors and coaches.”

The organization finds that 95% of young girls say they’re interested in technology but only 9% say they’re definitely interested in pursuing IT careers.

Said Nancy Hammervik, CompTIA senior vice president of industry relations, “There are 500,000 open positions in IT in the U.S., but the numbers of women in IT—especially in management positions—are falling below some developing countries, so we have a huge issue here.”

Major corporations in STEM fields are getting involved, Narcisi reports. Cisco, for example, is involved with the International Telecommunications Union’s Girls in ICT Day program. Girls ages 13 to 18 can tour Cisco offices, meet women employed by the company and learn about career opportunities in the field.

You can read Gina Narcisi’s article here. You may want to learn more about CompTIA’s Dream IT program. What do you think it will take to close the gender gap in STEM careers? Share your opinions on GlassCeiling.com.

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