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What makes a girl want to be an engineer? If you put that question to Lisa Kavanaugh, Ask.com‘s chief technical officer, she’ll tell you it has a lot to do with early mentoring.
Having a dad who worked with computers, Kavanaugh grew up knowing that it was ok to break things, that she shouldn’t be intimidated by technology and that jobs in tech were some of the best careers available. Clearly, that early experience with computers and a hacker mindset set her on the right path.
In today’s interview with VentureBeat, Kavanaugh took time to chat with us about gender and technology, a subject that came to her attention with the release of a new study from the Department of Commerce. The study explored what it called a gender gap to innovation, and it showed that many young women simply aren’t pursuing degrees and careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
This gender gap has actually grown over the past 30 years, leaving many women in the industry wondering what’s happening in gender roles and early education that’s been stopping young women from choosing careers in tech, science and math industries.
Here’s what Kavanaugh had to say on the subject. We hope to hear from more female engineers and entrepreneurs in the near future on how best to increase the participation of women in technology.