Rebooting Recruiting to Get More Women in Computer Science: Chronicle

October 31, 2012 at 9:36 am 2 comments

A nice piece (with interviews with Barbara Ericson, Jeff Gray, Dan Garcia, and Maureen Biggers) on getting more women into computing.  I like that the story reflects current thinking and research on best practices for drawing more women into computing.  For example, we used to think that having more female professors was critical to provide role models.  But Joanne Cohoon’s work showed us that male professors can motivate women to consider graduate work in computing as well as female professors.

Experts on the gender gap in computer science have increasingly come to believe that a multipronged strategy is needed to close it. The tactics would include the following:

  • More-diverse programming activities, to seize the interest of middle-school girls, in the same way that role-playing video games are embraced by boys.
  • A revamped introductory course, whether taken in college or as an Advanced Placement course in high school, to provide a broad overview of the real-world applications of computer science.
  • Early exposure to research projects during the first year of college. (Ms. Lamm was paired with her mentor, Mr. Gray, during her first month at Alabama.)
  • Opportunities for undergraduates to interact with women who have enjoyed successful careers in technology.

via Rebooting Recruiting to Get More Women in Computer Science – Diversity in Academe – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. rdm  |  October 31, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Personally, I feel that “getting more women” should take back seat to “building up those we already have”.

    Why should we be trying to attract people that are going to earn 30% less than an average worker? Is this fair to them? What other obstacles of respect or fairness have been interfering with the smart women being attracted to our profession?

    I am uncomfortable with the idea of trying to attract people that we routinely treat unfairly, and I think that if we fixed the real problem our work would be more attractive to them..

    Reply
  • […] we draw in women and under-represented minorities, we can’t close the jobs-graduates gap.  We have to change how we teach to draw more women and under-represented minorities, and MOOCs don’t teach that […]

    Reply

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