Posts tagged ‘Grace Hopper’

Computing in the Core is Launched

Coinciding with the release of the Running on Empty report was the announcement of the “Computing in the Core” coalition:  “Computing in the Core” includes Microsoft, Google, SAS, ACM, NCWIT, CSTA, NCWIT, ABI, and CRA. Their goal is “to elevate computer science education to a core academic subject in K-12 education, giving young people the college- and career-readiness knowledge and skills necessary in a technology-focused society.”

Fewer than 65 percent of K-12 schools in the United States offer an introductory-level computer science course, much less rigorous training, according to a recent study conducted by the Association for Computing Machinery and the Computer Science Teachers Association—and an Oct. 6 Computing in the Core summit aimed to draw attention to the need for more computer science teachers.

James Shelton, the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement, spoke of how computer science education was never explicitly included as a part of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Coalition, which works to support STEM education programs for teachers and students.

“We want a well-rounded curriculum for students. That means reading and writing … but it also means the other things that add into making a student well-rounded,” Shelton said.

via Summit: U.S. needs more computer science teachers | Policy |

October 11, 2010 at 11:06 am Leave a comment

At GHC: Saying High-Tech Is a Meritocracy Doesn’t Make it So

I am at Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing this week, which is here in Atlanta. The below piece by Caroline Simard, who is charge of research for the Anita Borg Institute (which organizes GHC each year) was clearly timed in ACM Technews to coincide. It is a fascinating point that women and minorities don’t get the same rewards for the same efforts, and sometimes because they hold the stereotypes themselves.

His assertion that Silicon Valley is a pure meritocracy and that anyone with a good idea can get VC funding or advance in the workplace and “get rich” is more difficult to substantiate. High-technology in general, and Silicon Valley in particular, prides itself on being a meritocracy — and while we all work hard to live up to this ideal, saying it is doesn’t make it so. Research shows that women face persistent barriers to retention and advancement in the high tech industry — to name a few: isolation, a lack of access to influential social networks and mentors, lack of role models, stereotyping, unwelcoming cultures, and organizational practices that are not adapted to a diverse workforce. The lack of access to relevant social networks was also found to be a factor in women’s limited access to venture capital, and research found that VC firms with women partners were more likely to fund women entrepreneurs. For a comprehensive view of the issues in the workplace, and the statistics, one can read our Anita Borg Institute 2008 report in collaboration with the Clayman Institute at Stanford University, as well as a report recently published by NCWIT which aggregates several sources of research on the issue. In a 2008 study, MIT Professor Emilio Castilla found that even in environments that are designed to be meritocratic, women and minorities receive less compensation for equal performance. Such bias is more likely to occur when there is more discretion for individual managers.

Is this bias deliberate, and is it purposefully done by men to bring down women? In most cases, no and no. In fact, women are just as likely to hold gender stereotypes about science and technology as are men.

via Caroline Simard: Saying High-Tech Is a Meritocracy Doesn’t Make it So.

September 30, 2010 at 10:37 am 6 comments

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