I hope this holiday season has brought you much joy and success. Today, I’m asking you to finish 2013 with an impact on the future of girls in America and the technology industry that increasingly powers more of our lives.

You hear all over the place that the U.S. economy isn’t where it should be, and there aren’t enough jobs to go around. However, that is only partially true.

The Deptartment of Labor and Industry predicts 1.5 million technology jobs will be added to the U.S. market over the next five year period. That’s certainly not surprising, considering that technology keeps us safe, healthy, productive and entertained.

But it is also predicted that less than half of those jobs can be filled by qualified candidates here at home. Talk with any tech company and they will say they’re already starting to feel the pinch of limited – and qualified – resources to do the work at hand. When this happens you see increased offshoring of jobs, low prioritization of consumer needs, and continued quick and chaotic deployments like the famous Affordable Care Act site launch.

What is causing this lack of talent? One great place to start is with women. They comprise 61% of college graduates but only 25% of them have a job related to technology. These jobs also tend to be high paying, with great career advancement potential, and with the flexible work-life conditions that especially cater to women with children, and families in general. So why are they opting out of tech type jobs? The research shows that career path preference is often chosen way back in middle school, and girls are increasingly choosing to opt out of this perceived “men’s work”.

There are organizations that are trying to address this challenge. One great group is TechGirlz, who’s’ mission is supported by industry, research, White House, parents and educators all across the country. If you’d like to learn more about them and supporting the growth of America’s economy by inspiring girls into technology, visit their website. This problem won’t go away on its own, so it is incumbent on everyone to make sure women, and younger girls, know that the tech field can hold great promise for them if they give it a try.