Document (#32594)

Editor
Cohoon, J. McGrath u. W. Aspray
Title
Women and information technology : research on underrepresentation
Imprint
Cambridge, MA : MIT Press
Year
2006
Pages
xviii, 500 S
Isbn
0-262-03345-3
Abstract
Experts investigate the reasons for low female participation in computing and suggest strategies for moving toward parity through studies of middle and high school girls, female students and postsecondary computer science programs, and women in the information technology workforce. Computing remains a heavily male-dominated field even after 25 years of extensive efforts to promote female participation. The contributors to "Women and Information Technology" look at reasons for the persistent gender imbalance in computing and explore some strategies intended to reverse the downward trend. The studies included are rigorous social science investigations; they rely on empirical evidence - not rhetoric, hunches, folk wisdom, or off-the-cuff speculation about supposed innate differences between men and women. Taking advantage of the recent surge in research in this area, the editors present the latest findings of both qualitative and quantitative studies. Each section begins with an overview of the literature on current research in the field, followed by individual studies. The first section investigates the relationship between gender and information technology among preteens and adolescents, with each study considering what could lead girls' interest in computing to diverge from boys'; the second section, on higher education, includes a nationwide study of computing programs and a cross-national comparison of computing education; the final section, on pathways into the IT workforce, considers both traditional and non-traditional paths to computing careers.
Footnote
Rez. in: JASIST 58(2007) no.11, S.1704 (D.E. Agosto): "Student participation in computer science (CS) has dropped significantly over the past few years in the United States. As the Computing Research Association (Vegso, 2006) recently noted, "After five years of decline, the number of new CS majors in fall 2005 was half of what it was in fall 2000 (15,958 vs. 7,952)." Many computing educators and working professionals worry that this reduced level of participation might result in slowed technological innovation in future years. Adding to the problem is especially low female participation in the computer-related disciplines. For example, Cohoon (2003) showed that the percentage of high school girls indicating intent to study CS in college dropped steadily from 1991 to 2001, from a high of 37% to a low of 20%. The National Science Foundation's most recent report on Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering (National Science Foundation, 2004) indicates that while females obtained 57% of all bachelor's degrees in 2001, they obtained just 28% of computer-related undergraduate degrees. These low percentages of female participation are reflected in the computing workforce as well. Women and Information Technology: Research on Underrepresentation provides an overview of research projects and research trends relating to gender and computing. The book takes a proactive general stance; the ultimate goal of publishing the research included in the volume is to lead to significant gains in female representation in the study and practice of the computing-related fields. ... The volume as a whole does not offer a clear-cut solution to the problem of female underrepresentation, but a number of the chapters do indicate that recruitment and retention must be dealt with jointly, as each is dependent on the other. Another recurring theme is the importance of role models from early on in girls' lives, in the form of both female faculty and female computing professionals as role models. Still another recurring theme is the importance of female mentoring before and during the college years, including both informal peer mentoring and formal faculty mentoring. Taken as a whole, this is a successful work that is probably most useful as a background reference tool. As such, it should assist students and scholars interested in continuing this undeniably important area of research."
LCSH
Computers and women
Sex differences in education
Women computer scientists
RSWK
Frau / Informationstechnik / Aufsatzsammlung (SWB)
Aufsatzsammlung / Frau / Informationstechnische Grundbildung (GBV)
Frau / Informatik / Beruf / Unterprivilegierung (BVB)
BK
54.08 / Informatik in Beziehung zu Mensch und Gesellschaft
71.31 / Geschlechter und ihr Verhalten
DDC
004/.082 / dc22
LCC
QA76.9.W65W66 2006
RVK
MS 3050

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