Facebook invests thousands to help school girls code

The Telegraph is reporting that Facebook is investing £100,000 to help UK students code as a report shows two thirds of girls would never consider engineering careers…

The social network is teaming up with charity Apps for Good to bring coding to 20,000 school children in 220 schools across the UK.

It comes after a government report shows a shortage of young people pursuing further education in engineering, especially among women.

Fewer than one in 10 engineering professions in the UK are women and only one in seven engineering students are female, according to the report.

Jo Swinson, equalities minister, spoke at Facebook’s engineering offices in London where a group of children were being taught to code, and she said: “Engineering has a bit of an image problem.

“It is perceived as being something that is dirty and industrial and involves wearing a boiler suit. If that’s not what you fancy doing its not surprising two thirds of girls think thats something they don’t fancy doing. We really need to scotch that myth.

“We know that engineering is a great career. If you look whether its fashion, the music industry, whether it’s what we do with all our smartphones – all these things that are seen as glamorous and exciting are all underpinned by engineering.”

…Simon Milner, Facebook’s director of policy, spoke about Facebook’s £100,000 investment and said: “This is our biggest commitment into this area, other than hackathons and things like that. Being part of this launch is part of our contribution to stimulating young people.

“We’re doing our bit to get more young people, especially girls, into engineering. I’d love us to be able to recruit more young people from the UK schools and universities.”

More at:  Facebook invests thousands to help school girls code

See more about Apps for Good here

Not a lot of details yet on on what Facebook’s involvement will bring to this initiative but does it sound like a good move by Facebook or do you fear it is a possibly more of a PR stunt (or maybe it can be a bit of both)? Please share in the comments or on twitter… 

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