📖Female Pursuit of Computer Science with Jennifer Wang

Jennifer Wang
  • Jennifer Wang co-authored Wang2015 and this podcast mostly speaks about it.
  • 2:55 why pursuit of computer science by women is important for everyone?

    • provides a way of thinking growth as an individual so you can problem-solve
    • empowers you, so you can be more creative
    • relevant and useful, no matter what’s you field
    • it is important for scientists and creators of technologies to represent the users, so we advance technology for everyone, and not only the group who create these things
    • diversity leads to better and more innovative problem solving
  • the percentile of women studying computer science has dropped by ~50% since 1980s (currently, ~20% are women)

    • why?

      • one of hypotheses: personal computer started to be more widespread, computer games targeted boys more, so boys got more exposure
  • are there any

    • trends are possibly reversing
  • societal factors accounting for 95% (for girls)

    • encouragement: from family, educators, media

      • huge influential variable for girls (~29% of cases)
    • career perception

      • girls have more extreme positive/negative perception
    • academic exposure: being exposed to computer science
    • self-perception: as someone who tinkers with things, as a problem-solver, as interested in math
  • encouragement and exposure are the most important things
  • lack of encouragement ≠ discouragement

    • very few boys and girls were discouraged
  • encouragement is important regardless of parents’ background
  • families purchase legos for boys but not girls
  • stereotypes of a nerdy lone programmer
  • ~35:30 the gender gap in computer science in some Muslim/mid-east countries is smaller (even though we have a perception that there is a huge gap there). also, more gender-parity countries like Sweden have a huge gender gap in computer science and some other fields


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