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Facebook COO Extols Video Games For Young Girls

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A person plays with a video game on an iPad at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), in Los Angeles on June 8, 2011. (Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images)

A person plays with a video game on an iPad at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), in Los Angeles on June 8, 2011. (Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images)

MargieShafer20100909_KCBS_0346r Margie Shafer
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PALO ALTO (KCBS) – One of Facebook’s leaders is urging parents to let their daughters play video games because it is one way to close the gender gap in computer science.

Twenty years ago, 37 percent of computer science majors were women, but today, fewer than 20 percent of computer science majors are women.

”The best thing we can do is get in there early, which means computer time for your daughters,” said Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg. “We also need an educational system that teaches everyone basic science and basic math.”

Sandberg notes that high-tech jobs pay well, so a gender gap in computer science ties into the wage gap, where on average women still make 70 cents to the dollar compared to men.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

”If over the next ensuing years we don’t solve this gap, it becomes an increase in the wage gap for women,” said Sandberg.

Sandberg said that letting your daughters play video games may pique their interest in computers.

Sandberg was the lone woman on a recent White House panel on jobs and competitiveness.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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