What Has Driven Women Out of Computer Science?I don't know about Alex, and obviously my feelings don't necessarily translate to how the few females in our class felt, but I don't feel like our CS program was inherently a boys club.
Obviously your interests from childhood can influence what you want to become, but people also make decisions about what they want to be based on things that take place later in life. If a girl is never interested in computers because Halo and Counterstrike make that kind of stuff "boys things," and as an adult she lets her 10 year old opinion stand-pat, then chances are she was never really going to be all that interested in CS.
Here's the other things no one is talking about, both of which bode well for the ladies.
1) Maybe women don't have to go into "male" jobs they aren't as interested in because the traditionally female jobs they'd rather do have started to pay better. Either closing the gap between what they make compared to their male counterparts, or exceeding what they would make at the other job.
2) Maybe the female CS boom of 20 years ago was due to the fact that it was new and thus one of the "male" jobs you could be taken seriously in. Now that those barriers are coming down maybe that female that wanted to be a chemist doesn't have to "settle" for CS.
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|Alex - 3619 Posts
I think it's because computer science is all about building and understanding logic, and all women are completely illogical.
Really, I have no idea why there aren't more women in this field. Game nights were pretty boys clubish, but it's not like you had to go to game night to be in the major or you were an outcast. And maybe at some points the computer lab itself seemed boys clubish because the women decided to go off and have their own computer lab. If everyone is supposed to be on level playing field, then everyone should be on a level playing field. At some point, programs that try to cater to a particular group to get them on par with the majority start to actually become the thing that is keeping them from being part of the "normal" group. That's the only explanation I have, organizations were started to get more women into computer science but those programs actually led to more segregation/stigmatism for women and therefore they went to another major where they could blend in better.
|Jeremy - 9475 Posts
Yeah, it seemed like any examples of segregation I can think of was self-segregation. They wanted to work together, just like you, Bret, and I always tried to work together. Once you were in those groups there was no reason to interact with the other groups. When we did all work together I don't feel like there was any animosity one way or another.
Edit: If anything, whats-her-face (Teresa?) was the "leader of the class"
|Jeremy edited this at 11/18/2008 1:43:00 pm