[TUHS] Women in computing

Toby Thain toby at telegraphics.com.au
Fri Feb 15 08:22:24 AEST 2019

On 2019-02-14 3:37 PM, Jon Steinhart wrote:
> Deborah Scherrer writes:
>> There have been several studies.  As I remember, girls in school do 
>> indeed receive as much encouragement in computers as do males.  And 
>> girls do indeed have access to as many resources as males.  So the 
>> studies came to no conclusions.
>> My personal thought is that, in high school, it's the "nerd" factor.  If 
>> I were back in high school and saw the kind of guys that are getting 
>> into computers now, I would stay a thousand miles away from them and 
>> that field.  But, alas, I don't think anyone has tried to research that 
>> idea...
>> And/or: I have a friend who was a professor of CS in Amsterdam.  She had 
>> many grad students of both sexes.  She says she had to practically force 
>> the women to stay in the field.   They would see the guys getting overly 
>> focused on the computer details themselves, completely overlooking the 
>> goals of the project.  The women would get frustrated and complain to 
>> the professor.  She would have to convince them that the guys just did 
>> that, and that the women should stay on track.
>> I do admit, I have a husband who does that.  Personally, I have ALWAYS 
>> looked at computers as a tool to accomplish something grander than just 
>> being a computer.  But I am usually out-shouted.  ;-)
> I think that many of us old folk on this list started out in a time when
> getting a computer to be a computer was an accomplishment.  But I agree
> that enough of that has been done that using computers as tools subservient
> to larger goals is where the bulk of the work exists today.
> There's a theory that sounds superficially plausible to me, which is that
> women leave the field because they're more responsible than men.  The theory

I was REALLY hoping gender essentialism wouldn't be enlisted in this
thread. Oh well.

> is that women think more about whether a profession will provide them with
> the security and stability necessary to support a family.  ...
> Jon

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