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Big Data Shows Women Engineers Downplay Coding Skills


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Fewer women than men acknowledge their coding skills in job candidate profiles.

A new study estimates women engineers contributing to open source software websites are about 10% less likely than men to self-report their coding skills in job candidate profiles.

Credit: iStock

A study by Stanford University's Raviv Murciano-Goroff estimates that female engineers contributing to open source software websites are about 10 percent less likely than males to self-report their coding skills in job candidate profiles.

The research suggests recruiters give women's profiles about 12.37% less attention than men's profiles, even for seasoned coders who both self-report programming skills and have those skills independently verified by the recruiting platform's algorithms.

Murciano-Goroff identified the disparity in self-reporting among women and men engineers with apparently similar experience in coding languages such as JavaScript, Ruby, C#, PHP, and Python.

A possible factor underlying this trend is a confidence gap among young women compared with men when evaluating their own skills.

The possibility also exists of women engineers intentionally omitting certain languages from their self-reported list if they are less interested in jobs requiring them to use those specific languages.

From IEEE Spectrum
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