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Breaking the code: Examining female representation in computer science
Given the popularity of the computer science major, it's likely that you've heard some of your friends complain about a coding assignment. But what percentage of those friends are female? Competition for tech talent is intense, with new computer science graduates commanding one of the highest starting salaries. However, men still hold a disproportionate number of jobs in computer science fields. A National Science Foundation study in 2013 found that women's participation in engineering and computer science fields was less than 30 percent. Some students and faculty at Duke have noticed the gender gap in the computer science major. However, according to data provided by Frank Blalark, assistant vice provost and university registrar, the percentage of female computer science majors actually fell from 22.7 percent in 2014 to 17.5 percent in 2015. Rodger noted that she has also observed an emerging trend for female computer science students to exit the major as course levels get higher.
Posted on 10 Nov 2016
Single-Sex education will not bridge the STEM gap
To the average person, news of a massive gender gap in STEM-related fields would likely be unsurprising. A report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center shows that in 2014, 81 percent of Bachelor's degrees in engineering were obtained by male graduates, while 19 percent of degrees were received by female graduates. Similarly, computer sciences saw a gap of 82 percent to 18 percent between males and females, and physical sciences were divided into 61 percent male and 39 percent female, while females dominate fields in the social sciences. This report, just one in a series of similar studies, is hardly news, and it seems that Americans are well aware of the gender gap. The question now is how to shift the balance toward equal representation.
Posted on 31 Oct 2016
Supporting prospective women in STEM starts with accessible mentors
A recent UW study explored current gender disparities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, and it concluded that an unwelcoming culture was the main deterrent to women entering these fields. Lead author Sapna Cheryan, an associate professor in psychology, said that most studies focus on disparities in STEM fields as a whole, but this one focused on the presence of higher representation in some fields versus others. Although women are well-represented in certain STEM fields like biology, chemistry, and math, the disparity becomes more apparent in computer science, engineering, and physics.
Posted on 31 Oct 2016
When A Company Is Failing, Female CEOs Get Blamed More Frequently Than Men
It's not your imagination or a just a hunch: Female chief executives are treated differently by the media than their male counterparts, a new analysis of press coverage of CEOs confirms. As you might expect, female CEOs' personal and family lives are much more frequently the subject of articles, according to the study, an examination of news coverage of 20 chief executives - men and women - released Wednesday by the Rockefeller Foundation. More striking than that? The study's authors could not find a single article written about a male CEO that mentioned family life.
Posted on 31 Oct 2016
Meet Dot, the new children's show character inspiring girls to embrace tech
Dot is like a lot of 8-year-old girls in 2016 - spirited, smart and savvy when it comes to all things tech. Although Dot is a cartoon, she is doing real-world work to inspire girls to take these qualities into their adult lives. A new children's show, Dot, featuring the young character recently premiered in the hopes of tackling tech's gender gap. The titular character is a spunky girl with insatiable curiosity about the world - and she uses technology to help learn, create and explore. The groundbreaking show explores what it's like to live as a child - particularly a young girl - in a tech-focused world.
Posted on 31 Oct 2016
Film 'She Started It' eyes struggle of women tech entrepreneurs
''She Started It'' focuses primarily on two young women: Thuy Truong, a Vietnamese serial entrepreneur, and Stacey Ferreira, who dropped out of college to pursue a business idea. Ferreira and her brother had already started and sold a company successfully. Directors and producers Insiyah Saeed and Nora Poggi followed Truong and Ferreira for two years, capturing moments like Truong practice-pitching at 500 Startups, venture capitalist Dave McClure's fund and accelerator, and Ferreira listening to her mother extol the virtues of going to college, while telling Ferreira's brother that many successful people don't.
Posted on 31 Oct 2016
Design Interactive Place-Based Learning with Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality (VR) and 360 image exploration provide educators with opportunities to embrace Placed-Based Education by extending the walls of the classroom to learn in virtual environments near and far. The availability of inexpensive VR headsets, 360 cameras and a variety of apps to create 360 photos has brought VR closer to the mainstream in education this year. This increased access to VR resources provides educators with a natural fit for learning through Place-Based Education. At the most basic level, one way to embrace 'Genius Loci', the spirit of a place, is to provide students with opportunities to tell digital stories about local areas of interest powered by ThingLink's interactive 360 image editor. The tool provides a seamless way for students to capture learning on the go through mobile devices, and it offers a platform for constructing deep digital stories.
Posted on 20 Oct 2016
New fellowship aims to increase diversity in the life sciences
A new program aims to launch the careers of diverse life scientists - including women and members of other underrepresented groups - by providing up to 8 years of support, covering both the postdoctoral training and junior faculty stages. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute's (HHMI's) Hanna H. Gray Fellows Program, announced 19 September, will award up to 15 recipients with $60,000 of salary support and $20,000 in flexible funds paid to their institutions for each of up to 4 years of postdoc training. Fellows who obtain a tenure-track position at a U.S university that offers a doctorate in their field will then receive $250,000 of annual research support and $20,000 in flexible funds for up to an additional 4 years.
Posted on 20 Oct 2016
What It Will Take to Keep Women from Leaving STEM
A recent survey showed that STEM degrees are among the most lucrative for graduates. When you look at the gender breakdown of students entering these fields, it's about 60% male and 40% female, and at the PhD level the numbers are closer. But what happens as people's career trajectories progress? Over time, those talented women with their PhD in STEM start to drop out of technical and industrial careers. By the time careers reach leadership levels, as few as 15% of those talented women remain, according to some estimates. There are a number of reasons these women are dropping out of the workforce. Sexism in STEM fields takes many forms, including derogatory comments, stereotyping and harassment, opportunity gaps, and biases about what women should look like. What's more, women in these fields are paid less, promoted less, and have less access to prestigious work. Losing female talent in STEM is a detriment to research and innovation, especially because the supply of STEM cannot meet demands, and can lead to female customers being neglected by technological and social innovation.
Posted on 20 Oct 2016
Young Tech-Savvy Women Encouraged to Apply for Aspirations Awards
A search is underway for the best and brightest tech-savvy girls. The Aspirations in Computing Awards program recognizes the talent of high school girls in Minnesota, who are interested in technology. Kirsi Kuutti is a past award winner and former student at Duluth East, where she led the Daredevils robotics team. She's now a UMD student, and also works with NASA through the U.S. Department of State's Pathways Internship Program. "I flip-flop between UMD and NASA," Kuutti explains. "I do engineering work. I've built fluid systems, sat Console and Mission Control, and this spring I'll be returning to Mission Control to help with garbage collection on the space station."Kuutti is a 2013 winner in the Aspirations for Women in Computing Awards. The awards are sponsored by the The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). It's for high school women looking to pursue a computing degree or career.
Posted on 07 Oct 2016

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