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Japan Needs a Lot More Tech Workers. Can It Find a Place for Women?

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Aerospace engineer Miki Ito.

Japans new digital push could offer an opportunity to elevate its women, but it could also leave them further behind.

Credit: Astroscale

Japan is facing a severe shortage of technology workers and engineering students, and efforts are being made to encourage women to enter these fields.

Although Japanese girls and boys perform similarly in math and science on international standardized tests, research shows that girls lose interest and confidence in math and science when they reach age 15 and must choose between the science and humanities tracks in high school.

UNESCO data indicates women account for 14% of university graduates in engineering programs and 25.8% of graduates in the natural sciences in Japan, versus 20.4% and 52.5%, respectively, in the U.S.

The nonprofit Waffle offers one-day tech camps for middle school and high school girls in an effort to reverse that trend.

Said Waffle's Asumi Saito, "Our vision is to close the gender gap by empowering and educating women in technology."

From The New York Times
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