The skills required for someone working in the computer science industry are vast. As a result, it’s an appealing career field for a wide array of people, from a diverse population.
While this is true, there’s still a rather glaring issue with this industry – the majority of those entering this field are men. Until 1984, there was a steady influx of women entering professionals, such as computer science, medicine, law, and physical sciences. After this time, the number of women entering this field flattened and then plunged – significantly, even though the number of women continued to rise.
Contributing Factors to the Reduction of Women in Certain Fields
One of the contributing factors to the above-mentioned decline was the introduction of the personal computer, which were toys for playing simple games that were marketed mainly to men and boys. Even though both men and women are equally skilled and talented when it comes to problem solving and logic, they were treated differently by their parents. Boys received computers more often than girls, which made them more comfortable to use these devices while in the classroom.
Teachers have also influenced who entered into the field of computer science. Individuals who received more positive reinforcement had a higher likelihood of going into the computer science field. As a result, it’s crucial for kids to be exposed to computers at a young age; however, there are schools that lack the funding to provide this type of educational experience.
Computer Science Skills: Men vs. Women
Women are just as capable as men in the field of computer science. Some schools, such as Harvey Mudd College, have even changed their course names to make the classes seem less intimidating. For example, CS courses like Introductory to Java was renamed as Creative Problem-Solving in Engineering and Science Using Computational Approaches. The classes were also changed from being an individual course study to more team-oriented and collaborative – which is something that appealed to women.
Reasons More Women Don’t Pursue Computer Science
Many believe that adding checkpoints along the way to affirm success can be beneficial and build confidence. Because collaboration and socialization are essential for women when they are choosing a career, they may feel a sense of isolation until more women get into this field. Women need some role models in this career. The good news is, the gap is being closed within companies such as Loggly and in programs such as Girls Who Code, with the ability to take classes while they are still in high school.
Another step that’s important to encouraging more women to enter this field is building an inclusive culture that encourages them to remain in CS and that offers career advancement. This is crucial since women are leaving technology companies at twice the rate that men do. Inclusion and diversity are policies that are uniquely designed to focus on measuring the advancement and retention of women; however, the challenge is encouraging women to consider a career in this field, as explained by one of the leaders in hiring equally Loggly.
Is CS the Right Career for You?
Yes, computer science is a challenging career to pursue; however, it’s the one that’s worthwhile as job opportunities continue to grow. For those who are still trying to figure out if this career is right for them, learning more about it is a good idea