Infographic: What Happened To Women In Computer Science? 

March 21, 2016 at 7:50 am 2 comments

The basic facts of this infographic were things I knew. Some of the details, particularly at the end were new for me — like I didn’t know that the quit-rate gap between men and women increased with age. (Thanks to Deepak Kumar who pointed to this infographic on Facebook.)

 

Source: What Happened To Women In Computer Science? | Women Who Code

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mylène  |  March 22, 2016 at 9:33 pm

    Thanks for this — worth keeping as a reference. I especially appreciated that they framed quit rates in terms of “extreme work pressure” rather than the mushy-sounding “work-life balance” (a term that is never trotted out unless the discussion is about gender). As one of the technical women contributing to the quit-rate gap, having talked about it until I’m blue in the face, it’s frustrating to think about why it’s still possible for people to be surprised.

    This phenomenon has been documented since at least the 70s, when electrician Susan Eisenberg wrote We’ll Call You If We Need You. Women in technical fields know that it is extremely unlikely that we will retire in our jobs. And the next person who suggests that the effect can be entirely explained by motherhood gets to eat my smartphone. We get underpaid, passed over for promotion, isolated, neglected from cycles of useful feedback so that we struggle either to improve our skills or to develop a foundational belief that our skills don’t need improving, and generally get ground down until we leave for related fields — quality inspectors, technical trainers, drafters, documentation writers. When we track quit rates, I’d be curious to see where people end up. I bet it’s not mostly at home, doing full-time unpaid labour.

    The next questions we need to ask are, why is this not permeating our consciousness even when it has been published over and over by the women who experience it? Unfortunately, that’s sort of the same intractable problem as “why don’t CS educators use evidence-based teaching practises”. Perhaps some of the same approaches would bear fruit.

    Reply
  • 2. lethally  |  March 23, 2016 at 12:00 am

    It seems to be getting worse.

    I’m a volunteer at Code Club in Dunedin, New Zealand. So far, we’ve had about 25 kids (ages 9-12) through our newly formed local club.

    Two girls (one of them my own daughter). The rest boys.

    We really need to rethink how we’re teaching our kids, because it’s quite clear to me that, by the time they reach 9, the stereotyping – and damage – is already done.

    Reply

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