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Girls and Computers

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IntroductionEdit

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."

OpportunitiesEdit

  • 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."
  • TeacherTech The teacher training component of GirlTECH.

Organizations (alphabetical)Edit

  • 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 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)."
  • 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' education and career success."

Research (most recent first)Edit

  • 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.

Suggestions for attracting girls to IT (most recent first)Edit

  • Some inspiring films showing women and students in IT:
A Day in the Life: Small | Medium | Large (118mb)] | More
I Am an Engineer: Small | Large (55mb mpg)
You Can Be Anything: Medium (10mb mp4)

SurveysEdit

Other sitesEdit

  • 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.
  • Computer Literacy Lessons and Training Courses
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