WOMEN & COMPUTING

Angela Telerski telerski at stu.beloit.edu
Thu Mar 28 09:52:30 EST 1996


B.A.Shama at MCS.salford.ac.uk wrote:
: What are the reasons for there being so few women in computer science?

: Is it family ties?, Not intelligent enough?, Think differently to men?,
: Have they not been studying in this discipline for long? The discipline not 
: being attractive enough, either financially or in a practical context?

: What can be done to improve the situation?
: More education at an early age?, Not being stereotyped into certain jobs?,

: ANY COMMENTS?

Believe it or not, the first two computer programmers were women:  Lady Ada
Byron Lovelace (for whom the language ADA was named after) and Grace Hopper
who designed the language COBOL.

Unfortunately, that was some time ago.  Although the numbers are increasing,
there are still too few women in CS.  Here at Beloit, there are only 3 of us
and until last year there was only 1 female CS major.  I think a lot of the
problem arises from the image that surrounds CS types.  So often, we see
them portrayed as geeky, bright but socially inept males.  Far too
infrequently does the media show the bright and dedicated women who work
hard to solve your computational problems.  

As for the discipline not being attractive enough, I think that is just a
matter of not enough knowledge.  If a few more women knew that the average
starting salary for a person with a BS in CS straight out of college was
$31,000, there would be a lot more women in the field.

Angela Telerski
Computational Biology
Beloit College



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