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Gender issues in studying Computing. Reena Pau School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton HEA-ICS: Schools Outreach Workshop: 19 th May 2006. What am I going to talk about?. Current Situation What is computing? Gender Breakdown UK Initiatives

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Gender issues in studying computing

Gender issues in studying Computing.

Reena Pau

School of Electronics and Computer Science,

University of Southampton

HEA-ICS: Schools Outreach Workshop: 19th May 2006


What am i going to talk about
What am I going to talk about?

  • Current Situation

  • What is computing?

  • Gender Breakdown

  • UK Initiatives

  • Tried and Tested Solutions

  • What is important to get women into Computing?

  • Conclusion


Current situation slide
Current Situation Slide

Classroom/Home

GEEKY!!!

Bio -Technology

?????

Agents

Artificial Intelligence

Semantic Web

Facts from the stats!

  • Women can do and enjoy the course.

  • Women make good IT Professionals.

  • The future IT Profession is less technical and will require more people skills.


So what is the real computing
So what is the real computing?

  • Helps Learning

    • Learning Technologies Group

  • Enables Communication

    • Agents/ Semantic Web

  • Saves Lives

    • Bio-Technology

  • Security

    • Biometrics – fingerprinting

      Computing solves real life problems creatively




Uk initiatives
UK Initiatives

1980-1990

  • 1967 – 1980 CS courses starting up

  • proportions of women similar to Maths, about 25-35%

  • 1982-1986 swift national change in CS courses

  • 1988 WiC Conference – national move to workshops for girls

  • 1990 WiC conference – reported interest/enjoyment

Current

  • Computer Clubs for Girls

  • BCSWomen

  • Setwomen Resource UK

  • Womenintechnology.co.uk

  • Equaliteq

  • Set4Women

  • Athena


Tried and tested
Tried and Tested

Carnegie Mellon – United States

  • Carnegie Mellonfemales in computing: 7%  41% (1995-2000)

  • [email protected] Range of activities including.

    • The CM Road Show  STUDENTS

    • Lectures  TEACHERS

    • Interaction  ORGANISATIONS

      Diversity is an ongoing process rather than a project

Soton/Staff Action Research

  • Southampton – schools in Hampshire and London Docklands

    • Repeated interventions longer periods of time

  • Staffordshire schools

    • Loaded the success story, successful visits to industry, role models, longer periods of time

    • followed with questionnaires

  • No worries about doing other careers using computers,

    BUT NOT IT courses


What is important to get women into computing
What is important to get women into Computing?

  • Role Models

  • Computing Experience

  • Self-confidence

  • Family


Role models
Role Models

My Role Models when

I was little

Successful

Cool

My friends

Liked them as well

Confident

Inspirational


Computing experience
Computing Experience

School

Computer Graphics

Web Site Designer

Computer Games Designer

Programmers

MS Word

MS Excel

Industry


Self confidence
Self-confidence

Its not really for me….

Its for clever

people

I am not good at it

I don’t understand much


Family
Family

I’ve been sitting in

Front of the computer

all day and I am shattered…

Why not do something

You will enjoy?

You don’t want to spend your life in front of a computer do you…..


So what does this all mean
So what does this all mean?

  • Image and perceptions put people off computing.

  • We can’t change the way the world is….but we can influence the people who matter (I don’t mean Tony Blair)!!!

  • Diversity isn’t just a one off scheme or project – it is something that is on going.

  • This is an industry and people issue  not just a gender issue.


Who are we looking for
Who are we looking for?

We are looking for the:

  • Best of the best

  • Creative

  • Social Skills

  • Problem solving skills

  • Visionary

  • Enthusiastic


Conclusion
Conclusion

Challenging

Hip

Inspiring

Creative

We have to show computing for what it really is:


Thank you
Thank you

Any Questions?


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