What really helps get women a STEM college degree
This article highlights Georgia Tech as a negative example: “Just 37% of this year’s freshman class at Georgia Tech is female. And that’s increase over previous years, thanks in part to the school’s dedicated women’s recruitment team.”
But I think that the author doesn’t really get what draws women into STEM (or any other field). Below, the argument is that there are so many women in CS in Qatar because the government emphasizes it. I visited Qatar, and spoke to women in CS there — no one once said that they were there because their government encouraged them. It had far more to do with values and family concerns. I’ll bet that Georgia Tech has a far larger recruitment effort than at Harvey Mudd, even though Harvey Mudd is getting more success drawing women into computing. It’s way more complicated than recruiting and emphasizing.
Getting young women interested and immersed in computer science programs comes at a time when one million new jobs in tech-related fields will be created in the next decade.
But fewer women are going into these fields. Just about 2% of women have a degree in a high-tech field, according to Catalyst.
Currently, a quarter of all Americans in computer-related occupations are women, compare that figure to countries like Oman and Qatar, whose governments emphasize girls’ education and STEM fields.