Addressing the Need for More Female Computer Science Graduates
Gender equity in computing has long been a national goal advanced by those concerned with fairness and by those who know that the female point of view improves the design and development of software systems. Unfortunately, the percentage of young women entering computing-related majors keeps falling, and the female dropout rate is higher than the very high male dropout rate.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a large increase in the need for B.S. and M.S. computing graduates in the next decade. The largest untapped pool of potential computing majors and, eventually, computing professionals, is science- and math-talented high school students, but only about 10% of entering undergraduate majors in computing majors are female. Despite the many initiatives aimed at attracting young women, the number of female computing majors keeps dropping.
Prof David Klappholz is involved in the Real Projects for Real Clients Courses (RPRCC) initiative, a K-12 and college level ACM-W project aimed at recruiting young women into, and retaining them in, computing-related majors. The initiative’s approach is based upon a 35-year-long psychological study that followed hundreds of mathematically- and scientifically-talented youth from middle school to middle age and elucidates gender differences in career choice.
Galorath’s head of development is female, as is nearly half our development staff. And so naturally from us, three cheers for RPRCC!
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