The U.S. needs to launch more programs aimed at teaching software development and engineering skills to young women, Lockheed Martin executive Stephanie Hill and Business Software Alliance President and CEO Victoria Espinel wrote in an opinion piece published Wednesday in The Hill newspaper.
Espinel and Hill, vice president and general manager of Lockheed's information systems and global solutions-civil business, cited a U.S. Labor Department study that found that women hold only 25 percent of information technology positions in the country.
They said a separate study conducted by the American Association of University Women indicated that girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math subjects wanes during high school.
“Girls with such amazing potential to be the history-making inventors and innovators of tomorrow need to understand that the software, applications and tools developed in STEM fields are helping so many people and truly making a difference in the world,” they wrote.
The two executives also believe that policymakers, companies, schools and parents should collaborate to increase the number of female computer scientists and engineers.
Hill and Espinel supports the seven-week Girls Who Code educational program in Washington for high school students.