I remember going to school and feeling like something was wrong with me because I was good at mathematics. Especially, since nearly every teacher felt the need to re-iterate how girls were not as good at mathematics as boys based on what ever random statistics at the time.
However, I excelled and kept going. I got a degree in mathematics. So, what made me different from all the other girls that got discouraged. Natural ability for mathematics; however, when I reflect that's not the whole story. As I went to college, there were other girls that were great at mathematics, but once again got discouraged. So, what made go on to pursue degrees is Computer Science, Mathematics, and Computer Engineering.
I got the same discouraging information as everyone else, but I kept going. Why?
1) "Fighter" Personality
My personality is such that when someone tells me that I can not do something, then I wanted to fight that much harder to prove them wrong.
2) I Had A Reason To Love It!
I loved mathematics because it was a completely objective subject and no one could say I failed or did it wrong simply because they did not like me.
The question I asked myself does every girl that goes into mathematics or science have to have a "Fighter" personality just to want to strive for jobs in the sciences. Unfortunately, yes.
The reason being is that as a society we have discouraged girls and told them they are less than at every turn so often that these are the only women really pushing through to the end.
The jobs in these field are no more demanding than any other office job or job in business. But we are told from the start to finish we can't do it, then beat over the head with over and over again through out every step of the way. Even after entering the IT industry, I still have to fight. These jobs are not as hard as they are made out to be; however, the treatment and the persistent misogyny has even the woman that fought the good fight leaving the IT. However, girls should not have to be "Rambo" just to be software developer.
If we are going to get more girls in IT, then we need to stop brain-washing ourselves and men into thinking that we are not capable for these jobs. These jobs can easily be tailored to accommodate women's busy lives.
How do we change it? We prevent teachers from doing negative reinforcement which teaches boys to believe that girls aren't capable and introduce technology skills at early age so its as natural as reading, writing,and arithmetic. The world of technology demands and needs more skilled labors and to make the transformation it needs to be natural.