Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Young Women in Technology Band Together in Texas to Succeed

A tech club helps high school Latinas work toward their STEM dreams.

Latina women have a hard road sometimes when it comes to pioneering careers in the tech industry.

They comprise only 1 percent of college students enrolled in engineering nationally, according to the Dallas Morning News. They can be outnumbered two to one by men in classes for some disciplines.

Students at the Singley Academy in Irving, Texas, take care of their own by offering a much-needed peer support group, Girls for Technology, for young women trying to make their way through the lucrative but male-dominated career path.

The club is a model for how banding together could help girls break into the ranks of science and tech careers — and demonstrate the different, and valuable, viewpoints young women bring to the table.

Singley Academy’s Assistant Principal Kacy Barton, who helped start Girls of Technology, told Avi Selk of the Dallas Morning News, “Females think differently. The guys get wrapped up in the technical side. ‘How are we going to make this work?’ Girls tend to respond to things they see changing the world around them.”

Lesly Hernandez, a senior, wants to work for NASA someday. Hernandez spent part of her childhood in Mexico while her parents worked in the United States. She now lives with her single mother, a food court manager, and a 6-year-old brother she looks after while her mom works. She’s also her household’s repairwoman.

Another club member, Rubi Garcia, showed early signs of science prowess when she smashed her Barbie radio — and then repaired it.

Supporting each other has given the young women confidence as they prepare for college. Women are essential, Barton says, because they think differently.

A man might say, “‘Let’s …do something else.’ And one of the girls reaches over and says, ‘If we just do these two steps, we’ll get this accomplished.’”

Leave it to a young woman to figure out how to engineer something simply.

MORE: These Girls Had Little Chance of Becoming Scientists, Until They Connected with an Innovator Who’s Improving Their Odds 

Source: Dallas Morning News

Jenny Shank is a fiction writer and journalist in Boulder, Colo. Her first novel, “The Ringer,” won the High Plains Book Award. Her stories, essays, satire and reviews have appeared in The Atlantic, McSweeney's and The Guardian.

Want more stories like this?

Like NationSwell on Facebook