The gender inequality in the technology sector remains one of the widest in the country. Although it is slowly closing, women are still at a numeral disadvantage. The fact EDF Energy opened this competition to both genders in interests of fairness is therefore, in my opinion, unfounded. Yes, from a short-term point of view it is easier to allow boys and girls to participate if they want, but what about the bigger picture? There are already plenty of males interested in tech - why not make it more accessible to the other half of the population?
EDF Energy has been criticised after a 13-year-old-boy won a competition that was part of a campaign to attract teenage girls to the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths. Children were asked to think of ideas for a connected home bedroom product. EDF said that while its Pretty Curious programme is still aimed at girls, the UK competition was later opened up to all 11 to 16-year-olds. It continues to share the same website and branding as the girls' scheme. The BBC understands that the decision had been made to open the competition up to both genders in the interests of fairness, and that the contest attracted "a couple of hundred" entries.