Media Matters:. How representation and cultural climate are contributing to the decline of women in computing. Dr. Kim Surkan Program in Women’s and Gender Studies, MIT firstname.lastname@example.org. Media Consumption is Growing.
How representation and cultural climate are contributing to the decline of women in computing
Dr. Kim Surkan
Program in Women’s and Gender Studies, MIT
Children ages 8 to 18 spent an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes a day in 2010 consuming television/Internet media, up from 6:21 in 2004 (Kaiser FF)
NSF data shows BS levels in
increased more rapidly
between 1972 and 1984 than
in any other STEM discipline.
BUT. . .
After 1984, CS was the ONLY one
that has seen a decrease in the
participation of women, a trend
that continues to this day.
(Hayes, in Gender Codes, 2010)
Bias in hiring reflects gender stereotypes about women in science and math
Hackathons are another important recruitment outlet for programmers and entrepreneurs, yet the culture is overwhelmingly male and often includes frat-boy misogyny.
In September 2013, Australians JethroBatts and David Boulton sparked controversy and protest with the unveiling of their Titstare app at TechCrunch Disrupt, described as “an app where you take pictures of yourself looking at tits.”
Their presentation was followed later in the day by “Circle Shake,” in which Kangmo Kim air-masturbated to demonstrate an app that counts how many times an iPhone can be shaken in 10 seconds.
“The spirit of our event was marred by two misogynistic presentations. . . Sexism is a major problem in the tech industry. . . We are sorry.”
--TechCrunch, September 8
Women who speak out against sexism and misogyny are targeted by hate speech online
Anita Sarkeesian was “cyber-mobbed”
after starting a Kickstarter project to
fund her video series on the representation
of female characters in games
Adria Richards became the target of online harassment after tweeting a photograph of men making sexual jokes about “forking” and “dongles” at PyCon in Santa Clara in March 2013. She later lost her job over the incident.
"I don't think that I would consider myself a feminist. I think that, I certainly believe in equal rights. I believe that women are just as capable, if not more so, in a lot of different dimensions," she said. "But I don't, I think, have sort of the militant drive and sort of the chip on the shoulder that sometimes comes with that. And I think it's too bad, but I do think feminism has become, in many ways, a more negative word. There are amazing opportunities all over the world for women, and I think that there's more good that comes out of positive energy around that than negative energy."
Comments from article “This is Why There Aren’t Enough Women in Tech” http://valleywag.gawker.com/this-is-why-there-arent-enough-women-in-tech-1221929631
Goldie Blox – engineering game for girls,
designed by Debbie Sterling
Roominate - wired dollhouse building kit for young girls, designed by Alice Brooks and Bettina Chen
Hayes, Caroline Clarke. “The Incredible Shrinking Woman.”In Gender Codes: Why Women Are Leaving Computing. Ed Thomas Misa. NJ: Wiley, 2010. 25-50.
Mandell, Nina. “Marissa Mayer: I Don’t Think That I Would Consider Myself A Feminist.” Fast Company.February 28, 2013. http://www.fastcompany.com/3006417/creative-conversations/marissa-mayer-i-dont-think-i-would-consider-myself-feminist
Martins, N. and K. Harrison, Racial and Gender Differences in the RelationshipBetween Children’s Television Use and Self-Esteem: A Longitudinal Panel Study. Communication Research, 2012. 39(3): p. 338-357.
Misa, Thomas, ed. Gender Codes: Why Women Are Leaving Computing. NJ: Wiley, 2010.
Raja, Tasneem. "Gangbang Interviews" and "Bikini Shots": Silicon Valley’s BrogrammerProblem.” Mother Jones.April 26, 2013. http://www.motherjones.com/media/2012/04/silicon-valley-brogrammer-culture-sexist-sxsw
Rideout, V.J., U.G. Foehr, and D.F. Roberts, Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year Olds, in A Kaiser Family Foundations Study, K.F. Foundation, Ed., 2010.
Sorenson, Jen. “The Universal Laws of Ladies in Science.” http://jensorensen.com/2012/10/03/this-weeks-cartoon-the-universal-laws-of-ladies-in-science/
Tiku, Nitasha. “This is Why There Aren’t Enough Women in Tech.” Valleywag Gawker. 08/29/2013. http://valleywag.gawker.com/this-is-why-there-arent-enough-women-in-tech-1221929631
Yurkiewicz, Ilana. “Study Shows Gender Bias in Science is Real. Here’s Why it Matters.” Scientific American. September 23, 2012. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/unofficial-prognosis/2012/09/23/study-shows-gender-bias-in-science-is-real-heres-why-it-matters/