Girl geeks in short supply in Finland

The majority of Finnish girls are shying away from the glare of computer screens, according to a new study. The Federation of Finnish Technology Industries has revealed that most ten to 17 year-old girls are not interested in pursuing careers in information and communication technologies (ICT).

Girls cited monotony as the major turn off when it comes to ‘techy’ subjects, with only one in five saying they would consider studying ICT. The image of slaving away over a hot keyboard all day was also thought to be decidedly unglamorous.

”While girls generally believe ICT jobs suit women, few consider the sector as an option personally,” said researcher Susanna Bairoh in a report by YLE. ”Girls want to work closely with other people. The fact that this is what IT work environments are like hasn’t reached many people.”

Bairoh, who is concerned that the IT workforce in Finland could become an entirely male-dominated realm in future years, has called on schools and businesses to help change the dowdy reputation of the IT world and make computers accessible to the fairer sex.

“Polytechnics and universities still to some degree assume that new students already know how to programme. Many girls feel that they don’t meet expectations in this regard,” she said.

Women currently make up only 25 percent of ICT students at the country’s universities and 15 percent of those at polytechnics.