In the former article of the UniteIT Gender Equality workgroup, we described the multiple contexts in which girls develop their perceptions, interests, confidence and career decisions regarding IT  and concluded there is no single, easy answer to increasing girls' participation in computing .
Without being exhaustive, this article uses a scientific approach  to identify a number of best practices, strategies and promising programs  that have proven to be effective in addressing the barriers that prevent girls from pursuing a career in technology .
Increase knowledge about ICT jobs
One of the strongest direct predictors of girls’ interest in computing classes is the extent to which they see value and relevance in computing , but girls often know very little about or have significant misconceptions about these jobs.
Improve the irrelevant curriculum
Next to breaking down stereotyped views, professional development courses also train teachers to incorporate engaging pedagogies and relevant computing curricula into their classrooms.
Projects solving real-life problems, hands-on activities, pair programming, experiential learning of computing in context, collaborative work and working towards a final product are examples of proven methodologies that have increased girls’ interest, confidence and plans to pursue computing .
Research has shown that to make computing relevant for girls, it is important to connect the curriculum to students’ prior interests and knowledge and to show how computing can improve people’s lives and solve social problems 
Approaches that offer exciting results are workshops that include gaming, robots, app development, wearable technology, website creation or non-wired activities.
Actively recruit girls
Girls should be actively recruited into computing courses, don’t wait for them to come to you! Personally invite girls who might be interested but might not think of enrolling .
Use social group recruitment strategies where you recruit groups of girls into classes so that they are not alone. Recruit from female sports teams and/or courses with higher percentages of girls. When possible, connect computing to their interests in these other classes. This approach has significantly increased female enrolment in computing courses .
Peer influence is an important factor when it comes to recruiting, as studies have found that perceived support from school peers had a direct effect on girls’ interest in computing classes and careers, more so than support from parents. That’s why it is important to build supportive networks for girls and recruiting groups of girls who already know each other into computing classes .
Expose to role models
A wealth of research in science education in general, and in computing education in particular, finds that role models are important factors influencing girls’ decisions to pursue computing .
That’s why, as girls may find it more difficult to find a female tech-savyy role model at home, all kinds of opportunities that provide girls with role models of women participating in computing should be encouraged:
Eliminate stereotype threat and unconscious bias
As explained in our former article, stereotype threat is defined as the reduced confidence and performance when one is reminded of negative gender stereotypes such as “girls are not good at technology” .
Stereotype threat is often activated in all or mostly-male environments , as it is sometimes easy to make quick assessments about boys’ “inherent” talent for computing tasks. Teachers should be on the lookout for these stereotyped views and avoid confusing prior experience with ability, because girls typically have less early exposure to computing activities than boys .
Teachers should also pay attention to unconscious biases in teacher-student interactions :
Similarly, they should pay attention to unconscious biases in student-student interactions :
To eliminate both stereotype threat and unconscious biases, a lot of programs opt for single-sex education. Research on single-sex education has found many benefits for girls:
In the above and the former article, we have provided a summary of the key barriers to girls’ participation in technology and promising practices for addressing these barriers.
We hope both articles can serve as a reference and resource for educators, curriculum developers, educational policymakers, school counsellors, IT learning coordinators and, last but not least, media makers and game developers that wish to raise awareness and are willing to act as change makers in addressing the gender gap in IT.
 We us the term “Information Technology” (IT) to reflect a broad range of computing-related activities. We identified IT as a broad set of activities, but typically activities that focus on “applying the components of information technology to solve a business information problema, such as network or database administration”, as defined by the Association of Computing Machinery.
 We use the term “computing” because it functions as a more general and inclusive term that encompasses a wide range of information technology, computer science or other computing-related activities, curricula and professions.
 This was also the approach of Girls in IT: The Facts, published by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) on which most of this article is based (Ashcraft et al., 2012)
 The selected actions all share a common characteristic: they involve participants in creating or adapting technology (e.g. developing applications/software, programming, developing hardware, coming up with new technical devices or solutions) rather than in using technology (e.g. using word processing, database or other software). In this way, we distinguished between practices that focused on computer literacy and those that encourage youth to take op computer science.
 The term “Technology” also refers to involvement in the creation or adaptation, not use, of technology.
 e.g. Denner, 2011
 Carter, 2006
 Girls in IT: The Facts, published by NCWIT (Ashcraft et al., 2012) p. 41
 In 2013, the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) organized a 2 day campaign to promote tech enabled careers to girls in Malta. Download the program and watch the videos of Day 1 and Day 2.
 The Dutch national expert organisation on girls/women and science/technology (VHTO) every year celebrate their GirlsDay every year, on which thousands of girls between 10-15 make field trips to science, engineering or ICT companies
 Interface3’ IT person for a day action for high school students between 13-18 contains a 3 hour field trip to ICT companies, with a special focus on female professionals
 Miller & Hayward (2006) surveyed 508 UK students aged 14-18 for their perceptions regarding 23 occupations. Both girls and boys preferred jobs that they saw as stereotypically gender-appropriate and dominated by their own sex .
 Graham & Latulipe, 2003
 For more information on these strategies or on stereotype threat in general, see www.ncwit.org/stereotypethreat and www.reducingstereotypethreat.org
 Denner et al., 2005; Klawe, 2002; Black et al., 2011
 Killer Robot? Evil Scientist?! Helpless Woman?!? http://www.cs4fn.org/films/helplesswoman.php
 In the US, programs like Globaloria and AgentSheets have partnered with schools to train teachers to incorporate relevant computing curricula into mainstream classrooms.
 Barker et al., 2006; Lasen, 2010; Teague, 2002; Goode, 2007; Margolis et al., 2008; Vekiri, 2010
 Werner et al., 2006. An analysis of 108 games demonstrated that high school girls engaged in moderate levels of complex programming to create these games and that game design and programming can support the learning of computer science concepts (Denner et al., 2011). Studies also found that when girls created games, it influenced their technical (in this case, engineering) identities (Svarosky & Schaffer, 2006).
 Mason et al., 2011; Bruckman et al., 2009; Kelleher et al., 2007; Kelleher, 2008
 An online course for teachers on teaching LEGO NXT robotics is available at Google’s Computer Science for High School resources page: https://cs4hsrobots.appspot.com/preview
 An online course for teachers on teaching App Inventor is available at Google’s Computer Science for High School resources page: https://css-cs4hs.appspot.com/CS4HS2013/course
 Find Technovation’s “Girls Make Apps” workshop guide at: http://www.technovationchallenge.org/wp-content/uploads/GirlsMakeAp...
 Watch footage of Black Girls Code’s App Inventor workshop at http://youtu.be/Iw3X6hZp630
 Lovelle & Buechley, 2011; Lau et al., 2009; DuBow & Wu, 2012
 Watch footage of Little Miss Geek’s Wearable Tech Event organized for Girls in ICT Day 2013: http://youtu.be/WGjqgWaAvMs
 Watch footage of DYN Divas’ “Sowing Urban Computational Electronic Designers – SUCcEeD” workshop at http://youtu.be/HCX3ReOekJ4
 Barker et al., 2006; Goode, 2007, 2008
 Goode, 2008
 Goode et al., 2006
 One of the most important characteristics of a role model is that girls perceive these models as “relatable” and similar to themselves. While girls need to see women like themselves in these roles, gender and race are not the only factors in perceived similarity, as the feeling one will “fit in” is a major factor in choosing a career. Barker & Aspray, 2006; Clark Blickenstaff, 2005; Cozza, 2011
 See for example www.ncwit.org/heroes
 Even when said in jest, comments like “Great job! You’re living proof that girls really do have a technical mind” can invoke stereotype threat.
 Aronson, et al., 1999; Spencer et al, 1999
 This is particularly true for girls of colour and girls from underresourced areas (Cunningham, 2011; Margolis et al. 2008)
 Barker & Aspray, 2006; Jepson & Perl, 2002
 Barker & Garvin-Doxas, 2004; Clark Blickenstaff, 2005
 Carmichael, 2008
 Girls Scouts Research Institute, 2012
 Sax, 2009
 Jenson, de Castell & Fisher, 2007; Jenson et al., 2003
 Crombie et al., 2002
 Jenson, de Castell & Fisher, 2007; Jenson et al., 2003
 Jenson, de Castell & Fisher, 2007; Jenson et al., 2003
 Peer influences can have a negative effect on girls’ perceptions and interests if their peers are not interested in or supportive in computing. Peer influences are especially strong during teenage years because students begin to display an even greater need to perform certain persona that their peers deem to be appropriate, cool, or acceptable. In all- or mostly-male environments stereotype threat is often activated as the “posturing” of male students in classrooms can damage the confidence level of female students. Girls in IT: The Facts, published by NCWIT (Ashcraft et al., 2012) p. 26-27 & 34
 Crombie et al., 2002
 Girls in IT: The Facts, published by NCWIT (Ashcraft et al., 2012) p. 51
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