Why shouldn’t a girl be the next great innovator?

February 11, 2019

As part of YOOX NET-A-PORTER’s  digital education programme, the Group partnered with Imperial College London for  Imperial CodeLab powered by YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP, which aims to boost digital skills, particularly among girls aged between 11 and 16 years old, based in White City.

To commemorate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Imperial College London Computing students Yoon Kim and Noel Lee, tell the group what it’s like to be a girl in tech today, and why your gender should never hold you back.

For many of us, our days are cyclic. We wake up to our phones, and we fall asleep to our phones. Whether we’re checking our social media or killing time playing games, we are all reliant on tech.

Photo albums on bookshelves are archaic, alarm clocks that ring are outdated, and cd players are obsolete. Instead, this ever-reaching advancement of computer science has allowed us to live our lives through a device that fits in our pockets. This isn’t the only thing computing allowed us to do:  it enabled you to read this blog post, gave us search engines that  answer pretty much every question, and it even put a man on the Moon.

It is within human nature to strive to make our lives easier. Search engines are created to save us time when looking up information; social networks exist to ease communication between people. 

From a young age, I couldn’t help but notice how technology has already become an integral part of our daily lives – and is continuing to be more so.

This sparked my interest in how the apps we use daily actually work, the behind the scenes. Learning that many of these were created by young people who had a passion for changing the way we go about our lives for the better, made me think – if they can do it, why can’t I?

Learning to code opens up all sorts of possibilities. Anything you can think of – whether it is a game to pass time, a script to help you be more productive, or a social app that allows you to pin dangerous areas to notify your friends – you can create this. Coding gives you the ability to bring your ideas to life.

As a female computing student, it is quite evident that the gender ratio isn’t ideal. At the moment it is a male dominated industry, but it doesn’t have to be like this forever.

Who said only men can work in tech? It is true that we hear more about males in the industry, but women play an equally important role. 

Take Margaret Hamilton for example. She was the pioneer of software engineering, before any man, who hand-wrote the code for the Apollo space programme in 1969. There is an increasing amount of opportunities for girls in computer science and girls should take full advantage of them. At first it was unusual walking into a lecture hall full of male students, but now I’m just enjoying all the information and skills I am learning, and I get excited day by day that I am one step closer in creating something new that could possibly make a huge difference in the world. If you have the interest and passion for programming, being a girl shouldn’t stop you.

So dive in to the study of computer science. It genuinely has no ends and no limits. Who knows, you could be the next great innovator. There’s only one way to find out!