Gender and Technology Elaine Rich Dept. of Computer Sciences

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Gender and Technology
Elaine Rich
Dept. of Computer Sciences
Males and Females are Different
• The Women’s Health Initiative
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/whi/whywhi.htm
• Games and entertainment
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/games/learnmore/wome
ningames.mspx
• Communication styles
http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~ear/JustTannenPart.ppt
Is Inequity a Problem?
• Women buy more jewelry than men do. Is this a
problem?
No, but it is for computing
• The consumer perspective: Do women
reap equal benefits from technology?
• The good jobs perspective
• The pipeline effect on our economy
perspective. Is global competitiveness at
stake?
The Consumer Perspective
• Are women taught to use computing?
• Is technology marketed to women?
• Is technology designed for women?
Teaching Computing to Girls
• 16% of students who take the AP CS
exam are girls.
• The learning environment is key.
http://www.ao.uiuc.edu/ijet/v1n1/bain/index
.html
• And all-girls robotics clubs are taking off.
Advertising
• http://www.utpjournals.com/jour.ihtml?lp=simile/issue21/j
ohnson1.html
Technology Advertising
Time for Casio to Grow Up
DisGraceful Award for March
13, 2001 ad.
Software Advertising
October 2002 GraceNet Award scooped by Peter deLevett, reporter for the
San Jose Mercury News.
Gender-Matched Software
• Gender neutral looks a lot like the male
version
• Stress at using “other” software increases
in public settings
• Correlated with expectations of success
vs. failure
See Huff paper
The Jobs Perspective
From Bureau of Labor Statistics
Employment change 2004-2014
(in 1000s) %
Home health aides
Network systems and data communications analysts
Medical assistants
Physician assistants
Computer software engineers, applications
Physical therapist assistants
Dental hygienists
Computer software engineers, systems software
Dental assistants
Personal and home care aides
Network and computer systems administrators
Database administrators
Physical therapists
Forensic science technicians
350
126
202
31
222
26
68
146
114
287
107
40
57
4
56
55
52
50
48
44
43
43
43
41
38
38
37
36
The Jobs Perspective
Veterinary technologists and technicians
Diagnostic medical sonographers
Physical therapist aides
Occupational therapist assistants
Medical scientists, except epidemiologists
Occupational therapists
Preschool teachers, except special education
Cardiovascular technologists and technicians
Postsecondary teachers
Hydrologists
Computer systems analysts
Hazardous materials removal workers
Biomedical engineers
Employment, recruitment, and placement specialists
Environmental engineers
Paralegals and legal assistants
21
15
15
7
25
31
143
15
524
3
153
12
3
55
15
67
35
35
34
34
34
34
33
33
32
32
31
31
31
30
30
30
Who Will Fill Those Jobs?
• Either we will.
• Or someone else will.
Who Designs and Builds Computer
Technology?
• Attracting students to study it
• Retaining students
• Career paths
A Bit of History
1945 ENIAC The first electronic digital computer
The Early Programmers
• The women of the Eniac
• Grace Murray Hopper
Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, USNR, (1906-1992)
The first compiler
The “high-level” programming
language Cobol
A computer “bug”
http://www.jamesshuggins.com/h/tek1/first_c
omputer_bug_large.htm
Some Trends
• Women studying CS in the US peaked in
about 1983. The number has declined
since then, while other measures of
women’s academic achievements have
increased.
The Rest of the World
Country
% women
Year
Botswana
10
1998
Nigeria
31
1997
South Africa
32
1998
India
20
2002
Iran
41
1999
Malaysia
51
1991
Germany
10
2000
Iceland
24
2000
Spain
25
1998
Mexico
39
1999
Why Have the US Numbers Gone Down?
• Games attract boys: The Turing Scholars
evidence.
• High school students think they know what
computing is about (and who is supposed to do
it).
–
–
–
–
It’s solitary.
It doesn’t benefit society.
It’s for boys.
It’s for geeks.
• Not cool.
• Don’t have other interests.
• The self-confidence factor.
Women Students – the CMU Story
• In 1995 - entering class in CS: 7% women
• In 2000 - entering class in CS: 42% women
• Studies in the 90s: Women reported feeling isolated,
intimidated
• Studies circa 2005: Many fewer differences between
women and men.
• Why?
– Women no longer an extreme minority
– Recruiting changed to emphasize talent rather than
prior programming experience.
See:
– Unlocking the Clubhouse
– Blum and Frieze paper
Women Students - the UT Story
• First Bytes
• Women in Turing Scholars
• But today only 12% of our undergraduate students are
women.
Career Paths
• Books and specializations
• ACM programming languages study
What’s Your Specialization?
Authors in a Sample from the P-H CS List 2006
Men
Ethics
Women
%Men
%Women
3
4
42.9%
57.1%
Multimedia and Web Design
17
14
54.8%
45.2%
Intro to CS
12
9
57.1%
42.9%
Human Computer Interaction
20
9
69.0%
31.0%
Software Engineering
20
5
80.0%
20.0%
Artificial Intelligence
23
3
88.5%
11.5%
Game Programming
27
3
90.0%
10.0%
Graphics and Image Processing
10
1
90.9%
9.1%
Operating Systems
23
2
92.0%
8.0%
Networking
28
2
93.3%
6.7%
Theory
28
1
96.6%
3.4%
9
0
100.0%
0.0%
40
0
100.0%
0.0%
Compilers
Computer Architecture
What Programming Languages Do You Know?
• A survey conducted between June, 2000 and
April, 2001. (CACM 47:1, Jan. 2004)
• 83% of respondents were male.
• Average number of programming languages was
3.25 (males), 2.53 (females).
• For people with < 1 year experience, average
number was 2.38 (males) 2.03 (females).
• For workers over 40, average number was 2.92
(males) 2.23 (females).
What Programming Languages Do You Know?
All workers.
What Programming Languages Do You Know?
Workers with < 1 year experience.
And Now Add Ethnic Diversity
• The numbers are so small that statistics
tell us little.
See the short note by Valerie Taylor
Summary
• Computing needs women.
• Women need computing.
• There is no evidence that women aren’t
good at it.
• There is no compelling evidence that
many of them couldn’t be fascinated by it.
• There are steps we can take to turn the
tide, particularly with girls before they
enter college.
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