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Sara Ford - What can we do to introduce more women into computer science?

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This is a hot topic on the blogosphere lately so we asked Sara about how she got into computers and how to introduce more women into technology fields.

Here's some other blogs on this topic:

Dori Smith: "My current hypothesis is that women, by nature, are looking for more long-term jobs. The tech field, sadly, ain't it."

KC Lemson:"I've been watching with interest the various posts about why there are so few women in tech and what can/should be done about it."

Ted Neward: "I hate to make this into a "girl thing", but in all honesty, as someone who's watched his sister get treated very differently at a computer store than I would, purely on the basis of her body parts, I can tell you that there is a very real bias in the technical industry."

Tom Peters, in a chapter of his book "Re-Imagine" titled "Women Roar": "Bankers and carmakers and hoteliers and healthcare providers (and countless other business leaders) just don't get it. American women account for more than half of U.S. GDP. They are the instigator-in-chief of most consumer purchases, and of more and more business purchases. Yet companies treat women as a "niche" market, or else ignore this market altogether. Women are the Main Game--because, to quote bank robber Willie Sutton, "That's where the money is.""

Now it's your turn. What do you think about this issue?

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  • Ti-99 Rules! (Sorry, couldn't resist)

    /Lars
  • junior882junior882 Developing ASP.NET as posed

    I'm very impressed with the interviews with Sara. I wish more women out there would get involved in Computer Science and software. Very cool. Keep up the good work. I hope my (future...god willing) daughter will think coding is cool.

  • PeterPeter Peter
    Hey, the TI-99/4A was also the first programmable thing I got my hands on that wasn't called a calculator. I got no software with it, so I was trown in at the deep end and had to write my own games.
    Loved it! The TI Basic manual was great!
  • LwatsonLwatson One ugly mug...

    One of the things I had observed happening at a local Technical College here in RI, was a general inability of the folks in front of the room to be able to convey level of excitement for the very beginnings of CS subject matter onto the students.

    AT the beginning of these processes the room was about 60% male and 40% female. Now as time goes on the female population drops to its anemic 10% or so that mirrors the national average. Now why the males stick around in this poor environment and the females leave for greener pastures may be the same thing that seems to keep the guys from asking for directions when lost.

     

    Now this is not to say that all technical schools and universities are plagued with the same afflictions that I observed, but I wonder how many of those woman who decided that ‘This is for the birds’ would have stayed if some excitement had been available for them to latch onto.

     

    Incidentally I was there for the paper; I was already in my current position having been self taught through the years.
  • I've written a blog entry going into more detail about growing up with computers at an early age to my current thoughts on Women in Computer Science. 

    http://blogs.msdn.com/saraford/archive/2004/05/05/126296.aspx
  • Ian WalkerIan2 In geeks we trust ...

    Sit them on the stairs and send them out for the drinks at break time?

     

    (DevReach 2009 earlier today)

     

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