Three Des Moines women hope to turn around a growing trend: Fewer females are pursuing careers in technology, even as the need for workers grows.

Lindsay Alderman of LightEdge Solutions, Becky Mollenkamp of technology incubator StartupCity Des Moines and information technology staffing consultant Michelle Zeiser of Experis have launched a mentoring group. The group plans to support girls interested in careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and encourage a growth in the number of women who pursue those careers.

Zeiser said the goal will be to show girls that STEM careers do not necessarily have to be boys’ clubs.

“We are reaching out to females to say, ‘You are not alone. If you are thinking about this, here are some success stories,’ ” she said. “We are letting them know that there is something out there for females.”

A 2010 study by the National Center for Women in Technology showed the number of women majoring in computer science dropped 79 percent from 2000 to 2008. Additionally, women accounted for just 18 percent of computer science degrees, despite earning 57 percent of all degrees in 2008.

As a result, women now make up just 27 percent of all computer scientists.

Read the article at the Des Moines Register