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Study: Here's how to beat the stereotypes that keep women out of computer science
This special series focuses on important community issues, innovative solutions to societal challenges, and people and non-profit groups making an impact through technology. For computer science to grow, its most persistent stereotype has to fade. That's the takeaway from the work of a group of University of Washington researchers that's showing just how easily the image of the geeky, socially awkward computer developer discourages women from considering careers in the field. One of the group's most recent experiments shows why. n the experiment, published in Frontiers in Psychology, female college students had two-minute conversations with actors they thought were students majoring in computer science. Half the actors fit the computer geek stereotype, wearing 'I code therefore I am' t-shirts and saying they liked solitary things like playing video games. Half the actors didn't fit the stereotype, wearing solid color t-shirts and saying they liked to hang out with friends. You can probably guess the rest. The students who talked with actors playing the stereotype were significantly less likely to say they were interested in majoring in computer science than students who talked with the other actors.
Posted on 18 Feb 2015
The Next Generation Of Women In Stem
The word 'engineer' is derived from two Latin terms meaning 'to devise' and 'cleverness.' Contrary to popular perception, successful 'engineering' has always required creativity and lots of out-of-the-box thinking. Thomas Edison may have had a lot of right-brain success, but it took him a whole lot of left-brain ideas to get there. This is broadly true of all STEM fields, and also a key reason why diversity in STEM professions is important. We always need people who, in the words of Steve Jobs, 'think different.' STEM careers have been traditionally male-dominated, with a number of barriers-some cultural, some more overt-that have impeded the retention and advancement of women in STEM fields. But empirical evidence tells us that companies with higher levels of gender diversity perform better than their competitors.
Posted on 18 Feb 2015
STEM Classes See Decline in Female Enrollment: Report
Science, technology, engineering and math fields, also referred to as STEM, have a history of lacking in women. New numbers show the trend isn't changing. According to the Higher Education Authority and Voxxi's new figures, 10 years ago 47 percent of new entrants into science, math and computing courses in higher education courses were women. In 2013, the percentage fell to 40 percent. In that year, there were 436 female entrants into computer science at university level out of a total of 2, 613 or 16 percent. Less than 7 percent of technology positions in Europe are filled by women and in the U.S. entrants in computer science classes were continuing to go down.
Posted on 18 Feb 2015
How Elementary School Teachers' Biases Can Discourage Girls From Math and Science
There are various theories, and many of them focus on childhood. Parents and toy-makers discourage girls from studying math and science. So do their teachers. Girls lack role models in those fields, and grow up believing they wouldn't do well in them. All these factors surely play some role. A new study points to the influence of teachers' unconscious biases, but it also highlights how powerful a little encouragement can be. Early educational experiences have a quantifiable effect on the math and science courses the students choose later, and eventually the jobs they get and the wages they earn.
Posted on 11 Feb 2015
Words Of Wisdom From Some Of The World's Most Influential Women Leaders
As in years past, far more men than women attended the World Economic Forum in Davos. Only 17 percent of the 2,500 participants at this year's gathering were women. However, those women who joined the conversation brought plenty of creative, memorable ideas to the table. Here are 11 quotes on a range of topics from some of most influential women at Davos this year.
Posted on 06 Feb 2015
Companies With More Women Board Directors Experience Higher Financial Performance, According to Latest Catalyst Bottom Line Report
Fortune 500 companies with the highest representation of women board directors attained significantly higher financial performance, on average, than those with the lowest representation of women board directors, according to Catalyst's most recent report, The Bottom Line: Corporate Performance and Women's Representation on Boards. In addition, the report points out, on average, notably stronger-than-average performance at companies with three or more women board directors. The study, which is the second of Catalyst's Bottom Line reports, looked at three critical financial measures: return on equity, return on sales, and return on invested capital, and compared the performance of companies with the highest representation of women on their boards to those with the lowest representation.
Posted on 06 Feb 2015
Why Women Are Ditching Stem Careers - And How To Change It
Since 1990, the number of women entering careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or commonly known as STEM, has basically remained stagnant. Today, women make up half of the workforce, attain more college degrees than men, and earn at least half of their family's income. Technology-related careers are one of the fastest-growing and highest-paying paths and women in STEM jobs earn 33% more than those in non-STEM jobs and enjoy a smaller income gap relative to men, yet companies still can't quite figure out how to attract and retain more talented women in STEM. The report says that at this point in their lives, women in STEM careers begin letting go of their aspirations of becoming part of the leadership team, because they don't want to sacrifice everything else in their lives to get there.
Posted on 05 Feb 2015
The Journal of International Innovation: A Partnership for Women in STEM
Interesting interview with Janet Bandows Koster who leads AWIS, an organisation that champions the interests of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics across all disciplines and employment sectors. Working for positive system transformation, the Association strives to ensure that all women in these fields can achieve their full potential.
Posted on 26 Dec 2014
Careers of the future
Using the most up-to-date occupational research, this guide has been produced to showcase 40 top jobs in 10 key occupations that our analysis of the UK job market suggests will be crucial over the next decade. The aim is to inspire young people about the wide range of jobs that are out there, inspiration which they can use when mapping a career pathway.
Posted on 26 Dec 2014
Facebook’s First Female Engineer Speaks Out on Tech's Gender Gap
Interview with Ruchi Sanghvi the first female engineer at Facebook, Sanghvi who helped develop two of the company’s more important creations: the iconic Newsfeed and the Facebook Platform, which lets outside coders build applications that plug into the world's most popular social network. Then, at Dropbox, she dreamed up a similar developer platform for the big-name file-sharing service-dubbed DBX-overseeing the company's metamorphosis from a simple collaboration tool into a something that could potentially connect all the tidbits of your digital life.
Posted on 19 Dec 2014

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