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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

Women in Big Data: Does Gender Matter?


scale with male and female symbols

Credit: iStockPhoto.com

Why is it that women aren't as numerous as men in technology and computer science? Ten years ago, Larry Summers famously questioned whether the relatively few women in top positions in science might be attributed to "issues of intrinsic aptitude." Despite the public outcry, it's hard to fault someone who merely asks the question. I've even asked myself whether it’s possible that there is an innate difference in the abilities of women and men to reason analytically.

Is it such a bad thing that women are underrepresented in tech and big data? Well, yes, it's a problem for big data and other technology companies that need to hire exceptional talents when nearly 50% of the population is choosing to steer clear of our entire industry. And it's worse for the country because the tech industry happens to be a key driver of the growth of U.S. GDP.

From Datanami
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