Why we have a project dedicated to girls

Why do we have a project just for girls?

NTNU’s overarching strategy is ‘Knowledge for a better world’. This includes working for diversity and equal opportunity, both in education and in the workplace.

Knowledge of technology and science is needed to face the challenges of tomorrow. It is important. It is the basis for our welfare society and prosperity. It helps us to cure deadly diseases, to produce oil and gas, to use cell phones and computers, to solve environmental and climate challenges. Continuing technological development leads to greater productivity, which in turn leads to growth and welfare.

The technology is used by both women and men. That’s why both women and men must be involved in developing it.

Technological education can lead to careers with considerable power and influence on what tomorrow’s technology will look like. The impact of these careers is far too great for them to be controlled by men alone.

Studies in information and communication technology have long been characterized by a predominance of men. The proportion of women has been low, and it is still too low. Both the study environment and the work environment improve when both genders are represented. We know this from students, professors and the job market.

This is why we are working in the Girl Project Ada to enable more girls to start studying these programmes and for more of those who do start to complete their studies.

Is it unfair?

Isn’t it unfair that the Girl Project Ada offers a whole lot of exciting and fun-filled opportunities that are reserved for girls in these programmes of study? Of course it is. It is very unfair. But what is definitely unfair is if only men decide on the direction that the technology is to take.

We do not do this to make life extra enjoyable for the girls in Computer Science, Communication Technology, Informatics, Mathematics, Cybernetics and Robotics and Electronic System Design and Innovation. The Girl Project Ada, and the initiatives we offer, are just methods that we use to make it more attractive for girls to start studying these subjects and to motivate girls to complete their studies.

NTNU has a goal for the Girl Project Ada: we want gender balance in the programmes of study and in working life. That’s when we achieve the best results. That’s when we create knowledge for a better world.

The Girl Project Ada has a vision: to make ourselves redundant. We met this goal for the MSc programme Energy and Environmental Engineering, and in February 2014, girls in this programme were excluded from the Girl Project Ada. We celebrated with cake!

Does it work? Yes!

 

 

 

Photo: At the robotics lab.

Photo: at the MBE Lab