I got my ex-girlfriend into software development. She comes off as a very stereotypical girly girl. She likes clothes, shopping, and top 40 pop music. I convinced her to take an intro programming class her sophomore year of college. Now she's a software engineer at Amazon.
All it took her was a little convincing that she could do it, and that normal people (I suppose I seemed normal to her) do it too.
I don't know if it's society or what, but it seems a lot of girls suffer from this (conscious or not) line of thinking.
I'm versed in science (esp. math and physics) and like to talk about such subjects so I've been regularly asked for help, and every single time I helped a girl the cause of their demise was lack of confidence. Contrary to guys (which seem to have confidence in excess but need some form of support), telling them upfront is useless because it's so ingrained that I have to take a more subtle route. I explain her something complex, and keep going deeper until (usually takes about ten minutes) there's a a-ha, not about the subject at hand but about herself, a moment where she realizes that at every step she got everything I said, and now she gets a glimpse something so complex that ten minutes ago she thought it would forever be unfathomable to her, when I did not actually explain so much as pragmatically but subtly demonstrate that yes, she can do it. Subsequent results at school, even in unrelated disciplines and without more training, are off the charts.
It seems the "mens do the real stuff" society thing is so pervasive that it permeates through and makes them lose the confidence required, and they just need to be bootstrapped out of it so that they can finally say "This is within my reach".