Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

A Blueprint For Getting More Women Into Information Technology

View as: Print Mobile App Share:
Stimulating interest in computers among girls must start early.

Harvey Mudd College president Maria Klawe has drafted a blueprint for correcting the biases and shortcomings that push girls and women away from computer science.

Credit: Getty Images

The rise in qualified U.S. information technology (IT) graduates is far from fast enough to keep up with industry demands for IT skills, and the outsourcing of many such jobs overseas is likely to continue.

This trend is compounded by the large number of female graduates opting for careers in the life, physical, and social sciences instead of computer and information sciences.

Encouraging more young women to pursue IT careers would involve significant cultural change, eliminating the factors that tend to push them out of the field.

Possibly the most responsible factor is the long-held and wrongheaded perception that boys are superior to girls at math, a view reinforced by popular culture as well as by parents. A CompTIA report says schools must shoulder some of the blame for girls' low IT interest, with staff members qualified to teach computer science seriously lacking.

Harvey Mudd College president Maria Klawe, a former president of ACM, has drafted a blueprint for correcting these biases and shortcomings, mainly by removing intimidation in classrooms and barring all notions that some people are better at computer science than others. Klawe's suggestions for encouraging more women into IT include hosting early internships and recruiting many female faculty to serve as role models and mentors.

From The Economist
View Full Article


Abstracts Copyright © 2016 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


No entries found