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'the Imitation Game' Gives Girls a Computer Scientist Role Model


Keira Knightley (left) and Benedict Cumberbatch (foreground) in the movie The Imitation Game.

Girls Who Code CEO Reshma Saujani suggests Keira Knightley's portrayal of Joan Clarke in "The Imitation Game" provides young women with a role model that could help change the face of computer science and related disciplines.

Credit: Black Bear Productions

Actress Keira Knightley will provide young women with a role model that could help change the face of computer science and other science, technology, engineering, and math fields, suggests Girls Who Code CEO Reshma Saujani.

Knightley plays the character of Joan Clarke in "The Imitation Game," a film about the pioneering computer scientists who built a machine to crack Germany's Enigma code during World War II. Clarke is the lone woman in the group, and she encounters challenges that women face when trying to make a name for themselves in male-dominated fields. Alan Turing designs a test to identify the brightest cryptologists, but Clarke is repeatedly told women can only apply for a secretary position in another room. Clarke eventually is allowed to stay, and she becomes the first person to complete Turing's test and wins a spot on his team.

Saujani says movies and the media can do a lot to help change perceptions about women in technology. "We really need to influence culture and so girls need to see women who they admire who look like them doing the very things they don't think they can do," she says.

From U.S. News & World Report
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