Boy Wins A Competition Aimed At Girls In Tech

People are not please with EDF, an energy company in the UK, after they awarded a 13-year-old boy with first place in technology competition marketed for young girls. The Pretty Curious program was originally meant to attract teenage girls to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and still currently has this branding.

EDF claims that while the Pretty Curious program is still aimed at girls, they later opened it up to boys between the ages of 11 and 16 as well. For the competition, children were asked to think of ideas for a connected bedroom product. And while three of the four runners-up were girls, the winning idea came from a boy: a game controller that harnesses kinetic energy from thumb movement.

Many critics of the competition weren’t optimistic about a big energy company’s intentions to begin with.

“EDF Energy chose to link appearance and interest in Stem through the title of their campaign, despite many people pointing out that it was demeaning to girls,”Suw Charman-Anderson, founder of the annual celebration of women in tech Ada Lovelace Day, told the BBC. “”EDF Energy have failed to understand both the nature of the problem [of women in Stem] and the negative impacts that their publicity stunt may well have on girls who took part with genuine enthusiasm and excitement.”

When you look at it that way, this competition is Pretty Ugly.