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Charming Pythonistas

Sep 13, 2007, 02:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Anna Martelli Ravenscroft)

"Women are woefully underrepresented in IT. With few exceptions, women represent less than 30 percent of the IT workforce in most countries, while comprising approximately half the workforce. Even worse, undergraduate enrollment in CS majors has trended downwards, from 36 percent of US graduates in CS down to only 17 percent in 2004. Commonly cited barriers to entry of women into IT include discrimination, low self-efficacy, perceived difficulty, lack of role models and mentors, the 'geek' stereotype, and even the definition of IT itself. The issue is of concern to our industry and is being studied extensively. Proposals and projects to overcome the barriers are springing up all over the world, with varying areas of focus, from middle-school girls to retention of experienced women engineers.

"In the late 1990s, Carnegie-Mellon University was able to improve entry and retention rates significantly. What worked for them...?"

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