“This is a Rosie the Riveter moment.”
Director Robin Hauser Reynolds was shaken when her daughter called her up from college and told her that she planned on dropping computer science as her major. She told her mother that she was one of only two women in the entire class, that she was the worst student, and that she didn’t fit in. When Reynolds discovered that her daughter was actually earning a B, she realized that the issue at hand was much more than just grades.
Legendary computer scientist Grace Hopper. Image via codedocumentary.com
Reynolds decided to explore the issue further. CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap, which premieres this month at the Tribeca Film Festival poses the question: What would happen if women and minorities were encouraged to thrive in technology fields? By interviewing women young and old, tech professionals and representatives from a wide array of Silicon Valley mainstays (Yelp, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.), she tries to unravel the cause of gender bias in the field and possible solutions.
Jobs in tech are growing three times faster than computer science majors are graduating, according to CODE. By 2020, 1.4 million jobs will be in computing. Of the projected American coders in the workforce, only 3 percent are expected to be female. Reynolds hopes to get a jump on that estimate and inspire society to get women into coding before it comes true. She poses that it’s a mixture of “cultural mindsets, stereotypes, educational hurdles, and sexism” that society needs to overcome.
“This is a Rosie the Riveter moment because the jobs are here and we don’t have the workers to do them,” the doc declares.