By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This past week, Facebook’s chief operating officer was in Center City, for a talk at the Bellevue about gender equality in the workplace and at home. When it comes to computer science, getting an early start down that path could pay dividends for our economy.

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While the number of tech jobs soars, women are filling them in fewer numbers than they were even in the 1980s.

“Those jobs pay better and those jobs are very much the future.”

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg calls it a crisis. And without role models,”The reason there aren’t enough women computer scientists is because there aren’t enough women computer scientists.”

These are jobs that pay well — and, in a struggling economy, they’re hiring:

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“There’s not a single trained computer scientist in this country who can’t get a job — at a really high salary.”

To combat that – and fill more slots with American workers – Sandberg says parents should do what might sound counterintuitive in a time when kids are encouraged to get outside.

“Computer games are the gateway to computer science. A lot of kids code because they play games. Give your daughters computer games. Ask them to play them.”

But Sandberg says she gets it – why some kids might not be interested.

“I didn’t want to be most likely to succeed; I wanted a prom date… It turns out, it is way better to be smart than pretty.”

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