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The Dangers of Keeping Women Out of Tech


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Harvey Mudd College President Maria Klawe

"What's facing us is a very, very different future. The haves will be the people who have the skills that are needed, and the have-nots will be the people whose skills are no longer needed," says Harvey Mudd College President Maria Klawe.

Credit: Brian Guido

Computer science is one of the few STEM fields in which the number of women has been steadily decreasing since the '80s. In the tech industry, women hold only around one-fifth of technical roles. In light of these stats, the prevailing view in Silicon Valley these days is "This is terrible, let's fix it."

In Southern California, Maria Klawe has done what tech has not. For the past 11 years, she has served as the president of Harvey Mudd College­ — a small liberal arts school in Claremont, California, known for its intensive STEM focus — where the number of women in its computer science program has grown from 10 percent to 40 percent. On the subject, she's optimistic: Change is possible. Now it's the industry's turn — and it could take a lesson from Klawe.

From Wired
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