Facebook boss encourages girls in STEM studies
02:18 | 11/11/2017
Facebook Chief Operating Officer, Ms Sheryl Sanberg, lamented the fact that even in Silicon Valley there remained a shortage of women in the field of computer sciences.
Ms Sandberg was responding to a question posed by her fellow panellist, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull who initiated a discussion about the need for involving more young female students in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).
“Computer science and STEM education remains stereotypically male,” Ms Sanberg responded. “Even in Silicon Valley. The stereotype that computer science is not for girls remains. We need to teach girls that computer science is for them”, she added.
Discussed with APEC delegates on the side of working sessions, RMIT University representative to APEC CEO Summit 2017, Dr Patrick Griffiths, highlighted the university’s initiative to fly inspiring women engineers, biotechnologists, pilots and computer scientists to country school to encourage women in STEM subjects.
Ms Sandberg put the audience to the test. She asked all men who were called bossy when they were little boys to put their hand up.
“Now, hands up those women who were called bossy when they were girls,” she said. The response was dozens of hands being shot up by female delegates.
“See when boys are affirmative they are described as having leadership and drive. But when girls do it they are called ‘bossy’,” she said. “That has to change.”