How the Issue Arose
-Is It a Problem?
-The Role of Gender Bias
-The Pipeline Effect
Is There Gender Bias?
Why is the Pipeline Shrinking?
-Academia vs. Industry
-Lack of Self-Confidence
-Personal Life, Family and Academia
-Females Who Switched Out
-Males Who Switched Out
The "hidden" problem - where to begin?
The harder and more subtle problem to identify is characterized by the pipeline effect - the fact that as one progresses
down the "pipe" of the study of computer science, more women quit earlier than men. Rather than being actively rejected or turned down
by some individual or committee, women are choosing to leave the field, due mainly to the intrinsic nature of a heavily male-dominated
One question which is of particular importance is: where does this pipeline begin? At which point do women begin to be "filtered" out of
the computer science field? Does it start in college, or high school, or at a much earlier age, when parents buy their daughters dolls and clothes,
while they buy their sons video games and action figures?
The circular phenomenon
If one of the primary reasons for not pursuing computer science among women is the fact that it is such a heavily male-dominated
field, then we find ourselves with a self-fulfilling, circular problem. The less women who pursue (and complete) their computer science
studies, the more heavily male-dominated the field will become, which will lead to fewer and fewer women entering the field.
How do we solve this circular problem? Is it acceptable to give women special treatment in order to increase their numbers? Is it acceptable to
possibly compromise the quality of the department in the hopes that the long-term benefit of
increasing women faculty will outweigh any perceived present deficiencies? If so, what about the effects that special treatment have