Today I’m going to talk about some information about women in computing. I just returned back from a trip for CRA-W Grad Cohort workshop in San Diego. The aim of the work shop was to help new female grad students in the area of computing to overcome the problems they face during their studies, and also to encourage female under grad students to continue for the higher education in computing fields.
The CRA-W Grad Cohort workshop, was first started in 2004 and is supported by many sponsors from industry like Microsoft, google, IBM, Intel, some national labs as well as academia such as a lot of universities and institutions (This year Virginia Tech was also a sponoer), the National Science Foundation, and the computing community.
It was so effective for me that I wanted to share it with others. I got to know a lot of people in my area and I was able to make a stronger network with professional and expertise people in my area. We had a chance to interact with about 20 senior female computing-related researchers and professionals, who share their expertise, survival skills, as well as more personal information and insights about their experiences. The workshop was a mix of formal presentations and informal discussions and social events. A lot of them could give me advise and tips how to improve the quality of my studies, resume advising sessions, career advising sessions, discussing the academic jobs or non-academic jobs, how to improve the self esteem, how to have a good presentation and many more helpful sessions.
But the main reason I wanted to talk about here in my weblog is showing the importance of encouraging women in computing related as well as STEM majors. The fact is that men tend to dominate the tech industry jobs and for women, the numbers aren’t growing. A 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce shows only one in seven engineers is female. Women have seen no employment growth in STEM jobs since 2000. As in my field, women hold only 27 percent of all computer science jobs. Even though female graduates hold 60 percent of all bachelor’s degrees, less than 20 percent of bachelor’s degrees in computer science are women.
Attracting more women in STEM fields will maximize innovation, creativity, and competitiveness. Scientists and engineers are working to solve some of the most difficult challenges of our time, and engineers design many of the things we use daily. When women are not involved in science and engineering, experiences, needs, and desires that are unique to women may be overlooked.
A number of things can enhance a young girl’s interest in science and for sure holding such events such as CRA-W grad cohort, ACM-W, association for women in computing fields at each university can overcome help this a lot.
The graph is taken from: http://cs.stanford.edu/people/eroberts/cs181/projects/women-in-cs/statistics.html#nsfdata