Girls and Computer Science: An Infographic

How Girls Hold Themselves Back from Pursuing Computer Science [INFOGRAPHIC]

This infographic by Play-i. Play-i is creating a programmable robot that teaches computer science to kids ages 5+ in a fun, accessible way. To get updates, sign up here.

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  • Steve

    I think there is a detail that blows up this analysis. It’s in the chart. If women’s participation in computer science is dependent upon them seeing other women doing computer science, then how did the number get so high in 1985?

    The gender roles were arguably more intense then and the women comprising that 36% had even fewer women role models to look at.

    It seems to me that with women making up 57% of undergrads and 52% of STEM majors, the decline of women in Comp Sci can be explained by the emergence of a wider variety of STEM majors which interest women. When I was in engineering school, the amount of women entering Chemistry and Nuclear Engineering was staggering.

  • Andrew Dowling

    My number one thought was how many people majored in computer science in 1985? I suspect it would be a pretty low number, so that subsequent delineations (of gender or whatever) would not be so significant in the grande scheme of things. I’d rather see it compared to 1995 . . if it was still high for women then, that would be a stronger point.

  • Kent Anderson

    I debated about asking this but apparently I am dense enough to ask. Is the over all goal to have equity in every career path? Are we now encouraging men to enter nursing or teaching because those are dominated by women. I applaud women being computer engineers or scientist or whatever they are called. Is necessarily bad that a job leans towards one gender over another? Are we sure that a 50/50 split on everything is the best?
    And now that women are receiving the majority of degrees are we going to see efforts and programs to make sure the boys are getting back into school? Those are my questions.

  • Alice

    No, the point is that women and men should be encouraged to choose their career paths based on their individual interests and potential, instead of being chased off by gender essentialists. That message is what matters, not equal percentages. However, the elementary school statistics indicate that many girls are chased off solely because of their gender, not because they don’t have the ability or the desire.

    **Edited**

  • BradK

    I’m not sure I understand. Who are the gender existentialists? Actually, what is a gender existentialist? What message do you mean and how does it relate to elementary school percentages? Is there an associated article I missed?

  • Michael DeLong

    Exactly. The infographic states, “And the situation is getting worse,” as if it’s somehow bad that women make up 18% of those majoring in computer science.

    As the graphic says, girls want to help people, and I think that means they want to help people in a more hands-on way than jobs in computer science offer. Yes, women ARE different from men.

    To answer your questions, no, a 50/50 split on everything is not best. It is to be expected, and absolutely ok, that some jobs have more women (or more men).

  • patriciamc

    I think the point is that many girls are letting silly stereotypes/preconceptions get in their way of pursuing a career in computer science. Maybe this emphasis on the difference between men and women (so prevalent in the church) is steering them away from computer science in that many parts of society say that women should only do work done traditionally by females even if their talents lie elsewhere.