Analyzing the discourse of Girls Who Code concerning gender inequality
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STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields currently face a significant gender gap. As it is widely recognized that the shortage of women is caused by lack of access and lack of an inclusive culture, multiple initiatives emerged that focus on getting more women into STEM fields. However, some of these initiatives received criticism for the fact that education for women is not a fitting approach, as it is STEM culture itself that needs revision. This thesis aims to expose how the initiative Girls Who Code (GWC) constructs this gender inequality problem in the discourse of their website and Instagram platform. Specifically, it investigates whether this discourse aligns with the actual problems of the gender gap in the STEM sector. Here, discourse is the way a topic is talked about that holds certain implications or power structures. I conducted a critical discourse analysis in order to place the discourse of the GWC website and Instagram in the current social and political context of gender inequality. The analysis showed how their Instagram is pointing explicitly the toxic masculinity in tech culture, while the website is more nuanced. Also, the gender-specific approach of GWC might not be the appropriate solution to fixing the gender gap. Overall, I conclude that the discourse of GWC indicates that GWC is maintaining the exact culture it is trying to improve, by focusing on fixing women instead of fixing the system itself i.e. the toxic traits of tech culture.