In USAToday: Women band together, make inroads into tech
The basic story here is one we’ve heard before. What I liked about this one was who is talking. These aren’t just interviews with the academics and others working with NCWIT. These are interviews with corporations and engineers, and even our Georgia Tech Dean of Engineering, Gary May. This is a broader base for the argument for getting more women into computing.
Despite an influx of females among Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial ranks, the computer-science field remains dominated by men. According to the National Science Foundation, women have plummeted from 28% of the graduates in computer sciences at U.S. schools in 2000 to 17% in 2010, the most recent year for which data are available.
“There should be more female engineers,” says Rani Borkar, general manager for Intel’s Architecture Development Group. She came to the U.S. from India in 1985 and has seen steady, if slow, progress.
The field’s stunted growth, especially for women, is rooted in education. There just aren’t enough kids weaned on the topic in high school and, before that, elementary school, says Gary May, dean of the College of Engineering at Georgia Tech.
Computer science is taught in a fraction of U.S. high schools. Only 2,100 of 42,000 were certified to teach advanced-placement computer science courses in 2011,and just 21,139 students took the AP exam.