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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

What Can Be Done About Gender Diversity in Computing?: A Lot!

Moshe Vardi, Communications of the ACM's Editor-in-Chief

The 2015 Grace Hopper celebration of women in computing (GHC, for short) will take place October 14–16 in Houston, TX. GHC is an annual conference designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront. It is the world's largest gathering of women in computing. GHC is organized by the Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology in partnership with ACM. This year's event is expected to bring together more than 12,000—mostly female—computer scientists!

But this impressive number should not be taken to mean all is well on the gender-diversity front. Far from it! According to the most recent Taulbee Survey (covering academic year 2013–2014), conducted by the Computing Research Association in North America, only 14.7% of CS bachelor's degrees went to women. The U.S. Department of Education's data shows the female participation level in computing peaked at about 35% in 1984, more than twice as high as it is today.


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