Although teenage girls are now using computers and the Internet at rates similar to their male peers, they are five times less likely to consider a technology-related career or plan on taking post-secondary technology classes (Melymuka, 2001). The National Center for Women & Information Technology reports that of the SAT takers who intend to major in computer wide format engineering copier and information sciences, the proportion of girls has steadily decreased relative to the proportion of boys, from 20 percent in 2001 to 12 percent in 2006. The total number of these students (boys and girls) has been decreasing since 2001, when it peaked at 73,466.
According to a College Board report, among SAT takers in 2006, slightly more girls than boys report having "course work or experience" in computer literacy, word processing, internet activity, and creating spreadsheets/databases. More boys than girls (59% vs 41%) reported course work or experience with computer programming. Of the 146, 437 students (13%) who reported having no course work or experience, 61% were girls and 39% were boys.
Many more boys than girls take Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Literacy Science exams. According to the College Board, in 2006, 2,594 girls and 12,068 boys took the AP Computer Science A exam, and 517 girls and 4,422 boys took the more advanced AP Computer Science AB exam. From 1996-2004, girls made up 16-17 percent of those taking the AP Computer vmware capacity planning Science A exam and around 10 percent of those taking AP Computer Science AB exam.
Articles (most recent first)Edit
- Women in Web Design by Jeffrey Zeldman, April 19, 2007. "The percentage of women in the IT workforce has declined by 18.5% since 1996, from a high of 41% in 1996 to 32.4% in 2004."
- Computer Science Takes Steps to Bring Women to the Fold New York Times, April 17, 2007.
- Girls Ask Alice for Programming Skills EWeek, March 19, 2007. Describes success teaching girls object-oriented programming using a great program called Alice in Programming Land, developed at Carnegie Mellon.
- The Hidden Engineering Gender Gap by Joyce Park, Jan 2, 2007. Also see Part 2: A Modest Proposal. Park describes her experiences as a woman in hi-tech. The comments are as interesting as the articles themselves. Park is co-founder and CTO of Renkoo.
- Technology is a girl's best friend? Engadget, August 2006.
- Fixing Engineering's Gender Gap Businessweek, March 2006. Also see Niti Bhan's response. From her blog, March 2006.
- Janet Abbate, "Women and Gender in the History of Computing," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing Oct.-Dec. 2003
- If Girls Don't Get IT, IT Won't Get Girls Computerworld, Jan 2001. Mentions possible causes.
- Computer education culture discourages girls, survey says CNN Technology, April 11, 2000.
- An IBM timeline of women in technology. Begins in 1890. Focuses only on IBM women.
- Women, girls and information technology Wikipedia entry.
- Girls and Computers Meeting on April 26, 2007 at Concord Academy in Concord, MA.
- The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference "is designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront. Presenters are leaders in their respective fields, representing industrial, academic and government communities." October 14-17, 2007 in Orlando, Florida.
- Project IT Girl '09 Hands-on training in math, science and technology. "Be an IT Girl and use cutting edge technology to solve problems you're passionate about, earn a college scholarship, enhance you're college application and get a paid summer internship!"
- Mills Interdisciplinary Computer Science degrees "Mills offers unique graduate programs for people with bachelor's degrees in other fields who wish to transition into computer science or interdisciplinary work. Reportedly almost all students are women."
- Girls summer computer and technology Camp sponsored by National Computer Camp at Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut "National Computer Camp is America's original computer summer camp for kids since 1977 with camp locations coast to coast."
- Science Jobs, Technology Jobs for Women and Minorities: Educational CyberPlayGround™ Science jobs for women and minorities. "Technology jobs are no longer the realm for men only. Find resources on science and technology careers for women and minorities at the Educational CyberPlayGround™."
- Science and Technology Jobs and Careers for Women and Minorities From Educational Cyberplayground™.
- TeacherTech The teacher training component of GirlTECH.
- Anita Borg Institute "The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI) believes that involving women in technology - how it is taught, learned, created and used - benefits everyone. ABI provides resources and programs to help industry, academia and government recruit, retain and develop women leaders in high technology careers."
- Digital Sisters, Inc. "A non-profit organization created to promote and provide technology education and enrichment for women and children who are traditionally underserved."
- GenTech "A gender, inclusive pedagogy and technology" research project whose mandate is to create conditions within which girls and women have maximum access to, and confidence in, a wide range of new information technologies." Based in BC, Canada.
- GirlGeeks.org Online community for women and girls interested in technology.
- National Coalition of Girls Schools: Best Practices in STEM Highlights the best programs from schools around the country. Even more coming this summer!
- National Girls Collaborative Project "brings together organizations throughout the United States and Puerto Rico that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)."
- Society of Women Engineers The K-12 section has some rich subsections of Programs and Resources.
- WITI Women in Technology International. Huge organization and website. "WITI's mission is to empower women worldwide to achieve unimagined possibilities and transformations through technology, leadership and economic prosperity." Their web site provides visitors with news, career opportunities, articles and info to empower women through technology.
- WIT Project at Vermont Technical College, is "committed to encouraging young women in middle school and high school to study math, science and technology and to explore opportunities for careers in these fields. Through our Summer Technology Camps, Speakers Bureau, and many other programs, we help girls, parents and teachers dispel stereotypes and overcome barriers to girls' educational and career success."
Research (most recent first)Edit
- Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing by Jane Margolis and Allan Fisher (MIT Press, 2001). See also their web site, which includes articles and working papers. Their working paper on interventions is not yet available, but they do have a one on the issue they see as key to attracting girls: Computing for a Purpose.
- Executive Summary: Tech-Savvy: Educating Girls in the New Computer Age (2000) This frequently cited report offers some great suggestions. "A recent survey of teen-agers found that girls have little interest in IT careers. But if you read about their views on leadership and the workplace, girls are just what the future of IT needs." You can also download the article and the full report (PDF).
- Girl Power! survey (1999) Survey finds that girls are generally not receiving as extensive computer technology training as are boys. From Essence in Home & Garden.
- Building Their Future: Girls and Technology Education in Connecticut (1996) from the Journal of Technology Education. "Why do a disproportionate number of girls turn away from math, science and technology?" Still informative despite its age.
Suggestions for attracting girls to IT (most recent first)Edit
- A Study of Girls’ and Young Women’s Electronic Information Design and Content Preferences (2003), conducted by Douglass College, the undergraduate women’s college of Rutgers.
- Getting Girls Interested in Computers (2001) Rice Univ study, with 10 suggestions for making computer courses more girl-friendly.
- Ten Tips on Getting Girls Interested in Computers (2001) From the newsletter published by WISE, Women in Science & Engineering at University of Iowa.
- Executive Summary: Tech-Savvy: Educating Girls in the New Computer Age (2000) This frequently-cited report offers some great suggestions.
- Educational CyberPlayGround: Tech-Savvy: Educating Girls in the New Computer Age (2000) One citing of aforementioned report, with lots of other good info.
- Educational CyberPlayGround: What you can do to help GRRLS get into technology! (2000) How to help girls get into technology. Real women engineers and other role models for girls.
- Some inspiring films showing women and students in IT:
- You Can Be Anything: Medium (10mb mp4)
- Gentech Survey results from U of British Columbia, Canada. Appears to be published in October, 2001.
- Girls and Tech Survey (public version). Concord Academy, Feb, 2007.
- Femina Web Search for Women "Femina is the leading searchable directory of links to websites for, by and about women including business, education, entertainment, health, motherhood, recreation and politics." Hasn't been updated recently.
- www.gURL.com "An interactive web thing for girls." Not specific to tech, but a well-managed space for girls.
- Techsavygirl's links on women and computers This looks like a particularly useful list of recent material, including blog posts (which often have very interesting stories in the comments).