Women in computing

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Global concerns about current and future roles of women in computing occupations gained more importance with the emerging information age. These concerns motivated public policy debates addressing gender equality as computer applications exerted increasing influence in society. This dialogue helped to expand information technology innovations and to reduce the unintended consequences of perceived sexism.[1]

The Gender Gap[edit]

Statistics in Education[edit]

In the United States, the number of women represented in undergraduate computer science education and the white-collar information technology workforce peaked in the mid-1980s, and has declined ever since. In 1984, 37.1% of Computer Science degrees were awarded to women; the percentage dropped to 29.9% in 1989-1990, and 26.7% in 1997-1998.[2] Figures from the Computing Research Association Taulbee Survey indicate that less than 12% of Computer Science bachelor's degrees were awarded to women at US PhD-granting institutions in 2010-11.[3]

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.[4] The National Center for Women & Information Technology reports that of the SAT takers who intend to major in computer 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.[5] While this number has been decreasing, in 2001, the total number of these students (both boys and girls) reached its peak at 73,466.

According to a College Board report, in 2006 there were slightly more girls than boys amongst SAT takers that reported to having "course work or experience" in computer literacy, word processing, internet activity, and creating spreadsheets/databases.[6] It was also determined that 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.

According to statistics, more boys than girls take Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science exams. According to the College Board in 2006, 2,594 girls and 12,068 boys took the AP Computer Science A exam, while 517 girls and 4,422 boys took the more advanced AP Computer Science AB exam. From 1996 to 2004, girls made up 16–17% of those taking the AP Computer Science A exam and around 10% of those taking AP Computer Science AB exam.

Statistics in the Workforce[edit]

Women’s representation in the computing and information technology workforce has been falling from a peak of 38% in the mid-1980s. From 1993 through 1999, NSF’s SESTAT reported that the percentage of women working as computer/information scientists (including those who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in an S&E field or have a bachelor’s degree or higher and are working in an S&E field) declined slightly from 33.1% to 29.6% percent while the absolute numbers increased from 170,500 to 185,000.[7] Numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Catalyst in 2006 indicated that women comprise 27-29% of the computing workforce.[8][9] A National Public Radio report in 2013 stated that about 20% of all US computer programmers are female.[10]

Benefits of Gender Diversity[edit]

It can be argued from an economic standpoint that for a country's IT industry to withstand competition from abroad, underrepresented groups like women must play a greater role.[11]

Numerous sources state that there is a growing demand for IT workers with leadership, interpersonal, and communication skills to combat the general drop in worker retention and ineffective training. In particular, the cost of replacing a skilled technical employee has been estimated to be as high as 120% of the yearly salary of the position. Furthermore, over 50% of 900 IT leaders in the US who were surveyed in 2006 cited retention of skilled professionals as a primary concern. In addition, leaders with business and soft skills are sought after to fill such positions. Qualitative studies show that many women who are interested in technology are interested in a combination of technical and non-technical work. This interest is why women are often potentially a good fit to fill these roles.[12]

On a similar note, it has been argued that the inclusion of women in computing will mitigate innovation-hindering effects such as groupthink by preventing the group from becoming too homogenized. Gender diversity has been suggested to give benefits such as better decision making, increased creativity, and enhanced, innovative performances.[12] Additionally, a gender diverse workforce will help businesses to better cater to their clients. This diversification of ideas helps businesses to bridge the gap between products and consumers since their product and service offerings will reflect the varied interests of those who pay for these goods and services.

The book Gender and Computers: Understanding the Digital Divide proclaims that the lack of participation of females in computing excludes them from the "new economy", which calls for sophisticated computer skills in exchange for high salary positions.[13] A consequence from such exclusion will likely result in further social and gender inequality.

Factors Contributing to Lack of Female Participation[edit]

Education[edit]

A study of over 7000 high school students in Vancouver, Canada showed that the degree of interest in the field of computer science for teenage girls is comparably lower than that of teenage boys.[14] The same effect is seen in higher education; for instance, only 4% of female college freshmen expressed intention to major in computer science in the US.[13] Research has shown that some aspects about computing may discourage women. One of the biggest turn-offs is the "geek factor". High school girls often envisage a career in computing as a lifetime in an isolated cubicle writing code. The "geek factor" affects both male and female high school students, but it seems to have more of a negative effect on the female students.[15] In addition, computer programmers depicted in popular media are overwhelmingly male, contributing to an absence of role models for would-be female computer programmers.

In part to qualify for federal education funding distributed through the states, most U.S. states and districts now focus on ensuring that all students are at least "proficient" in mathematics and reading, making it difficult for teachers to focus on teaching concepts beyond the test. According to a Rand Corporation study, such a concentration on testing can cause administrators to focus resources on tested subjects at the expense of other subjects (e.g., science) or distract their attention from other needs.[16] Thus, computational thinking is unlikely to be taught either standalone or as integrated into other areas of study (e.g., mathematics, biology) anytime in the near future. The National Center for Women & IT distributes free resources for increasing awareness of the need for teaching computer science in schools, including the "Talking Points" card, "Moving Beyond Computer Literacy: Why Schools Should Teach Computer Science".[17]

Female and Male Perspectives[edit]

According to a 1998–2000 ethnographic study by Jane Margolis and Allan Fisher at Carnegie Mellon University, men and women viewed computers very differently. Women interviewees were more likely to state that they saw the computer as a tool for use within a larger societal and/or interdisciplinary context than did the men interviewed. On the other hand, men were more likely to express an interest in the computer as a machine.[14][18] Moreover, women interviewed in this study perceived that many of their male peers were "geeks," with limited social skills. Females often disliked the idea that computers "become their life."[14] The students observed and interviewed in that study were probably not representative of students in general, since at that time, in order to be admitted to CMU Computer Science a student needed to have some programming experience. More research is needed to understand the ability to generalize Margolis' and Fisher's findings.

From a two year research initiative published in 2000 by AAUW found that "Girls approach the computer as a “tool” useful primarily for what it can do; boys more often view the computer as a “toy” and/or an extension of the self. For boys, the computer is inherently interesting. Girls are interested in its instrumental possibilities, which may include its use as an artistic medium. They express scorn toward boys who confuse “real” power and power on a screen. “I see a computer as a tool,” a high school girl declares. “You [might] go play Kung Fu Fighting, but in real life you are still a stupid little person living in a suburban way.”[19] Still, the National Assessment of Educational Progress showed as far back as 2000 that boys and girls use computers at about the same rates, albeit for somewhat different purposes.

Nearly 1000 students in University of Akron were surveyed, and it was discovered that females hold a more negative attitude towards computers than males.[13] Another study assessed the computer-related attitude of over 300 students in University of Winnipeg and obtained similar results.[13]

This is thought to contribute to the gender disparity phenomenon in computing, in particular the females' early lack of interest in the field.[13]

Barriers to Advancement[edit]

Research on the barriers that women face in undergraduate computing[20] has highlighted such factors as:

  • Undergraduate classroom teaching in which the “weedout” practices and policies privileging competition over cooperation tend to advantage men.
  • Laboratory climates in which women are seen as foreign and not belonging at best, and experience blatant hostility and sexism at worst.
  • Well-meaning people who unwittingly create stereotype threat by reminding students that "women can do computing as well as men".
  • Strong resistance to changing the system in which these and other subtle practices are continuously reproduced.

Just like in the pre-college situation, solutions are most often implemented outside of the mainstream (e.g., providing role models, mentoring, and women’s groups), which can also create the perception among women, their male peers, and their professors that to be successful, women need "extra help" to graduate. Most people do not realize that the "extra help" is not academic, but instead access to the kind of peer networks more readily available to male students. Many women decline to participate in these extracurricular support groups because they do not want to appear deficient. In short, the conditions under which women (and underrepresented minority students) study computing are not the same as those experienced by men.

Lack of Acknowledgment and Promotion of Skills[edit]

Women in technical roles often feel that the skills and feedback they bring to their jobs are not valued. According to a Catalyst report called "Women in Technology: Maximizing Talent, Minimizing Barriers", 65% of females in technical roles felt that those they reported to were receptive and responsive to their suggestions, as compared to 75% of women in non-technical roles.[9] This also speaks directly to the retention of females in the industry as females will commonly leave a company when they feel that what they are offering a company is not valued.[9] The report shows the concerns felt about this by sharing the following quote from an interviewee: "I would like to be involved with more projects than I am currently involved in; I feel that I am being underutilized. I would prefer my supervisor give me an opportunity to expand my skill sets and my responsibility at work".[9]

However, it is not enough to just acknowledge skills. Women also lack the support and advocacy needed to promote these skills.[21] Women feel alone and at a loss because they lack role models, networks, and mentors.[21] These support systems not only help women develop talent and opportunities for career advancement, but they are also needed to promote women to more senior roles.[21] It can be understood that advocacy is a major player in the advancement of females into senior tech roles.

Cultural/Family Peer Pressure[edit]

Studies reveal gender bias in early socialization at home and in school, feelings of being deficient in mathematics and science, a lack of exposure to computers, the use of computers mostly for word processing, the masculine image of computers, and the absence of the female role modes all of which contribute to the underrepresented of women, including minority women. Though most of these barriers are likely to apply to women, there may be additional historical and cultural factors that may play an essential role in their relative interest in CS and CE education.[22] Family has been of paramount importance in many communities. Some family structures tends to include extended family and several generations living in close proximity to each other. Women, especially grandmothers, play a key role in family life. Women are responsible for exposing children to their traditions and ceremonies, and teaching native languages. Many females, identified family affairs to being a barrier to success in CS or CE education. When women do decide to study CS/CE ,they are sometimes not appreciated within their family and community mostly because “ the image of a computer scientist is of a white male.”[23] Women are often stereotyped as operating outside traditional norms if they pursue degrees in CS/CE. Women who do enter CS/CE programs are sometimes seen outcasts, plain, and unfeminine.

Attracting Women into Computing[edit]

The majority of data collected about women in IT has been qualitative analysis such as interviews and case studies. This data has been used to create effective programs addressing the underrepresentation of women in IT.[24] Suggestions for incorporating more women in IT careers include formal mentoring, ongoing training opportunities, employee referral bonuses, multicultural training for all IT employees, as well as educational programs targeting women.[11]

The number of female college entrants expressing interest in majoring in computer science worsened in the 2000s to pre-1980's levels.[25] A research study was initialized by Allan Fisher, then Associate Dean for Undergraduate Computer Science Education at Carnegie Mellon University, and Jane Margolis, a social scientist and expert in gender equity in education, into the nature of this problem. The main issues discovered in interesting and retaining women in computer science were feelings of an experience gap, confidence doubts, interest in curriculum and pedagogy, and peer culture.[26] Universities across North America are changing their computer science programs to make them more appealing to women. Proactive and positive exposures to early computer experiences, such as The Alice Project,[27] founded by the late Randy Pausch at Carnegie Mellon University, are thought to be effective in terms of retention and creation of enthusiasm for women who may later consider entering the field. Institutions of higher education are also beginning to make changes regarding the process and availability of mentoring to women that are undergraduates in technical fields.[28]

Another strategy for addressing this issue has been early outreach to elementary and high-school girls. Programs like all-girl computer camps, girls’ after-school computer clubs, and support groups for girls have been instilled to create more interest at a younger age.[11] A specific example of this kind of program is the Canadian Information Processing Society outreach program, in which a representative is sent to schools in Canada, speaking specifically to grade nine girls about the benefits of Information Technology careers. The purpose is to inform girls about the benefits and opportunities within the field of information technology.[29] Companies like IBM also encourage young women to become interested in engineering, technology and science. IBM offers EX.I.T.E. (Exploring Interests in Technology and Engineering) camps for young women from the ages of 11 to 13.

Additionally, attempts are being made to make the efforts of female computer scientists more visible through events such as the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women conference series which allows women in the field to meet, collaborate and present their work. In the USA, the Association for Women in Computing was founded in Washington, D.C. in 1978. Its purpose is to provide opportunities for the professional growth of women in computing through networking, and through programs on technical and career-oriented topics.[30] In the United Kingdom, the British Computer Society (BCS) and other organizations have groups which promote the cause of women in computing, such as BCSWomen, founded by Sue Black, and the BCS Women's Forum. In Ontario, Canada, the Gr8 Designs for Gr8 Girls program was founded to develop grade 8 girls' interest in computer science.

Recent Efforts[edit]

In September 2013, Ada Developers Academy, a tuition-free 1 year intensive school in computing for women was launched by Technology Alliance in Seattle, and students could even apply to receive a $1000-per-month-stipend. The first half of the course will focus on HTML/CSS, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails and database fundamentals. The Academy plans to take on new students every 3 months, in a rotating program.[31]

Having started in the US, Girl Develop It is a network of city chapters that teach women from all parts of the country learn to develop software. As of 2013, it has 17 city chapters running regular courses and events.[32]

Hackbright Academy is an intensive women-only 10 week programming course in San Francisco. A Moms in Tech sponsorship for Hackbright Academy is also available for mothers who are former IT professionals and wish to retrain and return to work as a technically-hands-on lead or manager, sponsored by Facebook.

Gender Theory and Women in Computing[edit]

There are a number of thinkers who engage with gender theories and issues related to women and technology. Such thinkers include, for example, Donna Haraway, Sadie Plant, Julie Wosk, Sally L. Hacker, Evelyn Fox Keller, Janet Abbate, Thelma Estrin, and Thomas J. Misa, among others.[33] A 2008 book titled Gender and Information Technology: Moving Beyond Access to Co-Create Global Partnership uses Riane Eisler's cultural transformation theory to offer an interdisciplinary, social systems perspective on issues of access to technology.[34] The book explores how shifting from dominator towards partnership systems — as reflected in four primary social institutions (communication, media, education, and business) - might help society move beyond the simplistic notion of access to co-create a real digital revolution worldwide.[34]

A 2000 book titled Athena Unbound[35] provides a life-course analysis (based on interviews and surveys) of women in the sciences from an early childhood interest, through university, to graduate school and finally into the academic workplace. The thesis of this book is that "women face a special series of gender related barriers to entry and success in scientific careers that persist, despite recent advances".[35]

Computer scientist, Dr Karen Petrie, from University of Dundee, has developed a very clear argument to illustrate why an attack on sexism in computing is not an attack on men.[36] Professor Ian Gent, University of St Andrews has described his idea which is key to the argument as the “Petrie Multiplier”.[37]

International Perspective[edit]

A poster encouraging women to pursue technology studies at University of Valle, Cali, Colombia. It reads: "If it's not appropriate for women, it's not appropriate. Women and technology." c. 2000.

The western countries seem to have a consensus regarding women in computing and exhibit very similar numbers.

A survey, conducted by SWIFT ("Supporting Women in Information Technology") based in Vancouver, Canada, asked 7,411 participants questions about their career choices. The survey found that females tend to believe that they lack the skill set needed to be successful in the field of computing. This provides a strong base for a positive correlation between perceived ability and career choice.[38] For more information about Canada in particular, see Women in computing in Canada.

A project based in Edinburgh, Scotland, "Strategies of Inclusion: Gender and the Information Society" (SIGIS) released its findings based on research conducted in 48 separate case studies all over Europe.[39] The findings focus on recruiting as well as retention techniques for women already studying in the field. These techniques range from the introduction of role models, advertisement campaigns, and the allocation of quotas, in order to make the computing field appear more gender neutral.[40] Educating reforms, which will increase the quality of the educating body and technological facilities, are also suggested.[40]

The situation in Asian countries differs greatly. Research suggests that Malaysia has a much more equal split that varies around the half-way mark.[41] It is suggested that this may be due to the fact that Malaysian women view careers in information technology as a means of employment rather than a status symbol. A job in the computing industry also implies a safe work environment. Strong belief by the previous generation that IT would be a flourishing sector with many job opportunities caused parents to encourage their children to take a computing career, no matter the gender.[41]

In India, a growing number of women are studying and taking careers in technical fields. The percentage of women engineers graduating from IIT Bombay grew from 1.8% in 1972 to 8% in 2005.[42] Computer science is a popular subject among female students, as it utilizes mental rather than physical strength, and allows them to work indoors. Women with a good education and employment prospects are becoming more desirable as marriage partners. However, women remain underrepresented in information technology fields, possibly due to social constraints which allow women less freedom to study, and less access to resources and opportunities.[43]

In Native American populations, Native American women face several issues that are different from Native American men who pursue degrees in CS or CE.Studies reveal gender bias in early socialization at home and in school, feelings of being deficient in mathematics and science, a lack of exposure to computers, the use of computers mostly for word processing, the masculine image of computers, and the absence of the female role modes all of which contribute to the under-representation of women, including minority women.[44] Though most of these barriers are likely to apply to Native American women.Because of Patriarchy, cultural value, and social norms, Native American women may have more problems studying CS/CE than Native American men. Because of patriarchal way of life that dominates children's social and educational worlds, Native American women are historically seen as physically and intellectually less capable.[45]Many Native American women also do not enter CS or Ce programs because it is a white-male-dominated field.Economics play a key role, the U.S. census of 2000 shows less education, lower earnings, more poverty, and poor health status among Native American women than the majority of population. These economic difficulties experienced by Native American women are linked to the resources they are exposed to and the opportunities they have. It is well Known that minority-serving schools, especial tribal schools, face the “digital divide” [46]

Timeline of women in computing worldwide[edit]

Ada Lovelace, considered to be the first computer programmer.
  • 1842: Ada Lovelace (1815–1852) was an analyst of Charles Babbage's analytical engine and considered the "first computer programmer."[47]
  • 1893: Henrietta Swan Leavitt joined the Harvard "computers", a group of women engaged in the production of astronomical data at Harvard. She was instrumental in discovery of the cepheid variable stars, which are evidence for the expansion of the universe.
  • 1926: Grete Hermann published the foundational paper for computerized algebra. It was her doctoral thesis, titled "The Question of Finitely Many Steps in Polynomial Ideal Theory", and published in Mathematische Annalen.[48]
  • 1940s: American women were recruited to do ballistics calculations and program computers during WWII. Around 1943-1945, these women "computers" used a Differential Analyzer in the basement of the Moore School of Electrical Engineering to speed up their calculations, though the machine required a mechanic to be totally accurate and the women often rechecked the calculations by hand.[49]
  • 1942: Hedy Lamarr (1913–2000), was an actress and the co-inventor of an early form of spread-spectrum broadcasting.
  • 1943: Women worked as WREN Colossus operators during WW2 at Bletchley Park.
  • 1943: The wives of scientists at Los Alamos were first organized as "computers" on the Manhattan Project.
  • 1943: Gertrude Blanch led the Mathematical Tables Project group throughout the war. It operated as a major computing office for the US government and did calculations for the Office for Scientific Research and Development, the Army, the Navy, the Manhattan Project and other institutions.
  • 1946: Betty Jennings, Betty Snyder, Fran Bilas, Kay McNulty, Marlyn Wescoff, and Ruth Lichterman were the original programmers of the ENIAC. Adele Goldstine, also involved in the programming, wrote the program manual for the ENIAC.
  • 1948: Kathleen Booth writes the assembly language for the ARC2 computer.
  • 1949: Grace Hopper (1906–1992), was a United States Navy officer and the first programmer of the Harvard Mark I, known as the "Mother of COBOL". She developed the first-ever compiler for an electronic computer, known as A-0. She also popularized the term "debugging" – a reference to a moth extracted from a relay in the Harvard Mark II computer.[50]
  • 1949: Evelyn Boyd Granville was the second African-American woman in the U.S. to receive a PhD in mathematics. From 1956 to 1960, she worked for IBM on the Project Vanguard and Project Mercury space programs, analyzing orbits and developing computer procedures.
  • 1950: Ida Rhodes was a pioneer in the analysis of systems of programming. She designed the C-10 language in the early 1950s for the UNIVAC I – a computer system that was used to calculate the census. She also designed the original computer used for the Social Security Administration.
  • 1958: Orbital calculations for the United States' Explorer 1 satellite were solved by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's all-female "computers", many of whom were recruited out of high school.
    Mechanical calculators were supplemented with logarithmic calculations performed by hand.[51][52]
  • 1961: Dana Ulery (1938–), was the first female engineer at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, developing real-time tracking systems using a North American Aviation Recomp II, a 40-bit word size computer.
  • 1962: Jean E. Sammet (1928–), developed the FORMAC programming language. She was also the first to write extensively about the history and categorization of programming languages in 1969,
    and became the first female president of the Association for Computing Machinery in 1974.
  • 1962: Dame Stephanie "Steve" Shirley (1933–), founded the UK software company F.I. She was concerned with creating work opportunities for women with dependents, and predominantly employed women, only 3 out of 300-odd programmers were male, until that became illegal. She adopted the name "Steve" to help her in the male-dominated business world. From 1989 to 1990, she was President of the British Computer Society. In 1985, she was awarded a Recognition of Information Technology Award.
  • 1965: Mary Allen Wilkes was the first person to use a computer in a private home (in 1965) and the first developer of an operating system (LAP) for the first minicomputer (LINC).
  • 1965: Sister Mary Kenneth Keller (1914?–1985) became the first American woman to earn a PhD in Computer Science in 1965.[53] Her thesis was titled "Inductive Inference on Computer Generated Patterns."[54]
  • 1966: Margaret R. Fox was appointed Chief of the Office of Computer Information in 1966, part of the Institute for Computer Science and Technology of NBS. She held the post until 1975. She was also actively involved in the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and served as the first Secretary for the American Federation of Information Processing Societies (AFIPS).
  • 1971: Erna Schneider Hoover is an American mathematician notable for inventing a computerized telephone switching method which "revolutionized modern communication" according to several reports. At Bell Laboratories, where she worked for over 32 years, Hoover was described as an important pioneer for women in the field of computer technology. She was awarded one of the first patents for computer software.
  • 1972: Adele Goldberg (1945–), was one of the designers and developers of the Smalltalk language.
  • 1972: Karen Spärck Jones (1935–2007), was a pioneer of information retrieval and natural language processing.
  • 1972: Sandra Kurtzig founded ASK Computer Systems, an early Silicon Valley startup.
  • 1973: Susan Nycum co-authored Computer Abuse, a minor classic that was one of the first studies to define and document computer-related crime.[55][56]
  • 1973: Lynn Conway (1938–), led the "LSI Systems" group, and co-authored Introduction to VLSI Systems.
  • 1975?: Phyllis Fox worked on the PORT portable mathematical/numerical library.
  • 1975: Irene Greif became the first woman to get a Ph.D. in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[57]
  • 1978: Sophie Wilson (?), designed the Acorn Microcomputer.
  • 1979: Carol Shaw (?), was a game designer and programmer for Atari Corp. and Activision.
  • 1980: Carla Meninsky (?), was the game designer and programmer for Atari 2600 games Dodge 'Em and Warlords.
  • 1982?: Lorinda Cherry worked on the Writer's Workbench (wwb) for Bell Labs.
  • 1983: Janese Swanson (with others) developed the first of the Carmen Sandiego games. She went on to found Girl Tech.
  • 1984: Roberta Williams (1953–), did pioneering work in graphical adventure games for personal computers, particularly the King's Quest series.
  • 1984: Susan Kare (1954–), created the icons and many of the interface elements for the original Apple Macintosh in the 1980s, and was an original employee of NeXT, working as the Creative Director.
  • 1985: Radia Perlman (1951–), invented the Spanning Tree Protocol. She has done extensive and innovative research, particularly on encryption and networking. She received the USENIX Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007, among numerous others.
  • 1985: Irma Wyman (~1927–), was the first Honeywell CIO.
  • 1987: Monica S. Lam receives a Ph.D. for her work on optimising compilers. She has since then performed influential research in many areas of computer science as well as co-authored a famous textbook on compilers.
  • 1988: Éva Tardos (1957–), was the recipient of the Fulkerson Prize for her research on design and analysis of algorithms.
  • 1989: Frances E. Allen (1932–), became the first female IBM Fellow in 1989. In 2006, she became the first female recipient of the ACM's Turing Award.
  • 1989: Frances Brazier, professor of Computer Science at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, is one of the founder of NLnet, the first Internet service provider in the Netherlands.
  • 1992–: Donna Dubinsky (1955–), CEO and co-founder of Palm, Inc., co-founder of Handspring, co-founder of Numenta, Harvard Business School's Alumni Achievement Award winner for “introducing the first successful personal digital assistant (PDA) and who is now developing a computer memory system modeled after the human brain.”
  • 1993: Shafi Goldwasser (1958–), a theoretical computer scientist, is a two-time recipient of the Gödel Prize for research on complexity theory, cryptography and computational number theory, and the invention of zero-knowledge proofs.
  • 1993: Barbara Liskov, together with Jeannette Wing, developed the Liskov substitution principle. Liskov was also the winner of the Turing Prize in 2008.
  • 1993: Chris Wellens founded InterWorking Labs, the first company devoted to testing networks and building network testing equipment .
  • 1994: Sally Floyd (~1953–), is most renowned for her work on Transmission Control Protocol.
  • 1996: Xiaoyuan Tu (1967–), was the first female recipient of ACM's Doctoral Dissertation Award.[58]
  • 1997: Anita Borg (1949–2003), was the founding director of the Institute for Women and Technology (IWT).
  • 1998: LinuxChix an international organization for women who use Linux and women and men who want to support women in computing was founded by Deb Richardson.
  • 1999: Marissa Mayer (1975–), was the first female engineer hired at Google, and was later named Vice President of Search Product and User Experience. She is currently the CEO of Yahoo!.
  • 2003: Ellen Spertus earned a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 1998 with the notable thesis "ParaSite: Mining the structural information on the World-Wide Web."
  • 2004: Jeri Ellsworth (1974–), was a self-taught computer chip designer and creator of the C64 Direct-to-TV.
  • 2005: Audrey Tang (1981–), was the initiator and leader of the Pugs project.
  • 2005: Mary Lou Jepsen (1965–), was the founder and chief technology officer of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), and the founder of Pixel Qi.
  • 2005: Ruchi Sanghvi became the first female engineer at Facebook.[59]
  • 2006: Maria Klawe (1951–), was the first woman to become President of the Harvey Mudd College since its founding in 1955 and was ACM president from 2002 until 2004.
  • 2006: Melanie Rieback's research concerns the security and privacy of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, she is well-known to have program the first virus to infect RFID devices.[60]
  • 2006: Joanna Rutkowska presented Blue Pill, a rootkit based on x86 virtualization, at the Black Hat Briefings computer security conference.
  • 2008: Elektra is a member of the Chaos Computer Club and she developed Mesh Potato, a device for providing low-cost telephony and internet in areas where alternative access either didn’t exist or is too expensive.
  • 2010: Stephanie Wehner is known for introducing the noisy-storage model in quantum cryptography.
  • 2012: Eleanor Saitta is the principal Security Engineer at the Open Internet Tools Project (OpenITP) and she specializes in complex system failures, security, risk analysis and cryptography.

Notable organizations for women in computing[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Russell, Cohn, 2012.
  2. ^ Camp, Tracy (2001). "Women in Computer Science: Reversing the Trend". Colorado School of Mines.
  3. ^ "Computing Degree and Enrollment Trends", 2010-2011 CRA Taulbee Survey. The Computing Research Association.
  4. ^ Melkymuka, Kathleen (8 January 2001). "If Girls Don't Get IT, IT Won't Get Girls", Computer World.
  5. ^ Stross, Randall (15 November 2008). "What Has Driven Women Out of Computer Science?", The New York Times.
  6. ^ 2006 College-Bound Seniors - Total Group Profile Report, CollegeBoard SAT.
  7. ^ "Characteristics of Scientists and Engineers in the US", National Science Foundation.
  8. ^ Thomas J. Misa, ed. (2010). Gender Codes: Why Women Are Leaving Computing. Wiley/IEEE Computer Society Press. pp. 32-34.
  9. ^ a b c d Foust-Cummings, Heather; Sabattini, Laura; Carter, Nancy (2008). "Women in Technology: Maximizing Talent, Minimizing Barriers". Catalyst.
  10. ^ Laura Sydell (Director) (2013-04-29). "Blazing The Trail For Female Programmers". National Public Radio. http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/04/29/178810467/blazing-the-trail-for-female-programmers. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  11. ^ a b c Ramsey, N.; McCorduck, P. (2005). "Where are the women in Information Technology?". Anita Borg Institute.
  12. ^ a b Simard, C. (2007). "Barriers to the advancement of technical women". Anita Borg Institute.
  13. ^ a b c d e Cooper, J.; Weaver, K. (2003). Gender and Computers: Understanding the Digital Divide. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN 0-8058-4427-9
  14. ^ a b c Handcock, Mark S. et al. (2004). "Focus on Women in Computer Science", University of British Columbia. Archived from the original on 10 May 2012.
  15. ^ Dean, Cornelia (17 April 2007). "Computer Science Takes Steps to Bring Women to the Fold". New York Times. 
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Further reading[edit]

  • Thomas J. Misa, ed. Gender Codes: Why Women Are Leaving Computing (Wiley/IEEE Computer Society Press, 2010). ISBN 978-0-470-59719-4
  • Light, Jennifer S. "When Computers Were Women." Technology and Culture 40.3 (1999) pp. 455–483.
  • Cooper, J. and Weaver, K. (2003), Gender and Computers: Understanding the Digital Divide, Philadelphia : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, ISBN 0-8058-4427-9
  • Newitz, Annalee and Anders, Charlie. "She's Such a Geek!"; 2006.
  • Galpin, Vashti (2002). "Women in computing around the world". ACM SIGCSE Bulletin 34 (2): 94–100. doi:10.1145/543812.543839. 
  • Ronald Cohn Jesse Russel (January 1, 2012). Women in Computing. VSD. ASIN B007MHPV2Q ASIN: B007MHPV2Q. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  • Margolis, J., & Fisher, A. Unlocking the clubhouse: Women in computing. (Cambridge, MA:MIT Press,2002).
  • Moses, L. E. Our computer science class rooms: Are they friendly to female students? (SIGCSE Bulletin,1993) 25(3), 3-12.
  • Sanchez, V.G., & Varma, R. Native american woman in computing (University of New Mexico, USA,2006).

External links[edit]