76% of girls are confident in their digital skills
New research from Girlguiding looks at the experiences that girls have in their everyday lives, both online and offline.
Digital skills and careers in tech
The research found that 76% of girls have confidence in their digital skills. Encouragingly the survey also found that 69% of girls aged 7 to 21 aren’t put off from jobs in tech by a lack of women in the industry.
However, the survey also revealed the barriers that many girls face, with 30% of girls aged 11 to 16 saying that they think computing is more for boys.
One girl aged 11-16 said that
“more girls would be encouraged into tech if you destroyed the stereotype that only boys can use technology loads of girls already use and have jobs in tech, they’re just not talked about enough”.
Schools can provide a variety of opportunities for female students to be involved in different aspects of computing. From YouTube vlogging, to coding, and competitions such as Apps for Good, there is a huge scope of experiences that young people can get involved in.
Upsetting experiences online
The report also explored the negative experiences that girls can face online.
The survey revealed that 48% of girls aged 11-16 years have come across unwanted violent or graphic images online that made them feel upset or disturbed.
These findings echo the UK Safer Internet Centre’s Power of Image report, published for Safer Internet Day 2017, which explored the risks and pressures that many young people face with image and video sharing.
The Safer Internet Day research also highlighted the positive role that images and videos can play, finding that in the last year, 4 in 5 children aged 8-17 years (80%) said they had been inspired by an image to do something positive.
It also found that more than 2 in 3 (67%) said that in the last year they have posted an image or video on the internet for a positive reason, including to support friends (40%), to share something interesting with others (31%) and to encourage others to do something positive (17%).
It is essential that we empower all young people to harness the positive opportunities offered by digital technology, while empowering and supporting them to navigate any risks and pressures they may face.
There are a range of resources available to support schools with this, including:
- Trust Me is a resource toolkit to develop children’s critical thinking skills
- Safer Internet Day 2017 Education Packs exploring the Power of Image
- Apps for Good provide free resources for teachers to use in their classroom
- The Being Me Campaign
- Dove’s Self Esteem project
- Anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label
- Fixers is charity where young people using their past to fix the future