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Reality Check

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Dame Wendy Hall

Dame Wendy Hall

Credit: Jon Banfield

Dame Wendy Hall, president of ACM, is one of the world's leading computer scientists and a fervent advocate for women in science. She notes that although women face less difficulty in pursuing a science and technology career than they did three decades ago, there are still challenges. "Generally speaking, it's much harder for women to put in the 24/7 effort that you still seem to have to put in," Hall says. "It's not so much the day-to-day stuff of going into work and juggling childcare, it's the traveling."

Hall also says that women's suggestions are still being generally ignored in a primarily male venue, and women are often not credited even when their ideas are eventually implemented. She observes that women still generally shun computer science because computers were initially marketed to fathers and their sons, and this stigma has not been eliminated.

Hall helped launch the Web Science Research Initiative at Southampton University as an interdisciplinary effort to get more women into computing by examining the evolution of technology and its social impact. She says the university will have many Ph.D. students carrying out interdisciplinary work using social science methodologies to study the interconnection between the rate of change of technology and the things people do with it.

From London Guardian (UK)
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