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Girls/Women and Computing

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Last edit: 07 September 2023

English Key Stage 3-5 year (EYFS), 5-7 year (KS1), 7-11 year (KS2)
Scottish Curriculum Levels P1 (3-6 years), P2-P4 (6-9 years), P5-P7 (9-11 years)
Curriculum Topic Algorithmic Thinking, Creating Media, Computer Networks, Computer Systems, Data & Information, Design & Development, Effective use of tools, Impact of technology, Programming, Safety & Security, Enrichment/STEM/Cross Curriculum
Resource Type Teaching Resources, Example Programs and Live Lessons, References, Guidebooks and Handbooks, Classroom Displays

CAS Include

CAS Include is CAS's working group on making a difference by increasing the diversity of students studying Computer Science. Their Diversity Toolkit for hub leaders and teachers can be accessed and used for free.

Other organisations and resource sites supporting diversity

Code First Girls

We support young adult and working-age women to develop further personal and professional skills. This includes technical skills in coding and programming as well as personal skills. We connect women to a community of other talented and like-minded women and companies who can support and accompany them through their professional development. We help companies train their people, recruit new people, and develop their talent management policies and processes so they don’t miss out on amazing female tech talent.

The Ultimate STEM Guide for Kids: 239 Cool Sites About Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

A guide to STEM for kids organized by age and interest, which includes a section dedicated to resources and activities for girls, Masters in Data Science (2014)

CC4G

Computer clubs for girls

Dot Divas

Young women with the power and passion to make a difference. Girls into Computing - some great resources focus on careers

Women in STEM

Expert-driven guide for women interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) disciplines including:

  • A list of scholarships and grant opportunities exclusively for women in STEM
  • A list of the top careers for women in STEM
  • An interview with Dr. Wendi Heinzelman, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Rochester

Scholarships, Colleges and Careers in Computer Science

Despite the wide range of job opportunities in computer science, women remain significantly underrepresented in the field. Today, however, many companies, organizations, and colleges are committed to increasing the number of women in computer science. Learn what’s being done and how you can prepare for a successful career in this innovative field. (USA)

Website Development Learning Center

This list from DeVry Bootcamp provides free resources for women who want to learn basic website coding. (USA)

Videos about women in computing 

Big Dream is a 90-minute film that follows the intimate stories of seven young women who are breaking barriers and overcoming personal challenges to follow their passion in science, math, computing & engineering. From small-town Iowa to the bustling streets of the Middle East, Big Dream immerses viewers in a world designed by and for the inspiring next generation of girls. You can apply to host a screening, at your school, PTA, or other events (follow the link).

Profiles of women in computing, produced by Microsoft Research. Also Bridging the gender gap, an 8-minute video. You can find more on MSR's main diversity page](http://research.microsoft.com/diversity)

Inspiring women in computer science or technology, past and present

Hacking the Nazis: The secret story of the women who broke Hitler's codes TechRepublic 2018. Of the 10,000-plus staff at the Government Code and Cypher School during World War II, two-thirds were female. Three veteran servicewomen explain what life was like as part of the code-breaking operation during World War II.

Karen Spärck Jones - Professor at University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory

Limor Fried - founder of Adafruit, a small company that makes electronics kits

Ada Lovelace - mathematician and first computer programmer

Dame Stephanie \"Steve\" Shirley - businesswoman. She founded a software company that employed only women. Called herself \"Steve\" to facilitate business in a male-dominated environment.

Grace Hopper coined the term "bug" after investigating and finding the cause of a problem to be a moth in a relay. Work on programming languages. Recipient of many honours for her work.

Beatrice Shilling during WWII designed a modification for the Merlin engine fitted to Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft to prevent power loss during negative G manoeuvres, a limitation which enemy pilots were exploiting to escape.

Studies/articles about the issue 

The future of women at work  McKinsey Global Institute June 2019.

Female performance and participation in computer science: a national picture (England, GCSE, 2016), an article shows that working-class and ethnic minority females are more likely to take CS GCSE than their richer peers and white British peers. It also shows that CS is a particularly difficult subject to score well in when compared to other subjects, particularly for females. When controlling for attainment in other subjects boys outperform females by 0.31 of a grade.

Why don't more young women study computing, a working paper investigating the low participation of girls taking computing in Northern Ireland Schools, June 2019.

The Roehampton Annual Computing Education Report looks at all girls schools computing provision and schools dropping the subject. (2019)

The Ivanti Women in Tech Survey 2018. We polled over 500 women in technology to discover their insights into being a woman in the world of technology...Nearly 30% of our respondents said being good at maths/science inspired them to get into technology.... The least common answer to the question of what inspired women to get into technology was “role-model at school”.

The state of women in computer science: an investigative report (2018) TechRepublic, 2018. "Top colleges boast about reaching gender parity in intro to computer science courses. But very few of those women go on to graduate with a CS degree. TechRepublic writer Alison DeNisco talked to women from schools like Carnegie Mellon, MIT, and Georgia Tech about why this is happening." 

Girls Into Computing (2018) - CAS Manchester. Excellent booklet from CAS Manchester team containing practical tips on getting Girls involved more with computing at school. * [2018]

Females and Computing - CAS Survey 2018 Between the 19th March 2018 and 29th March 2018 CAS conducted a survey, shared to CAS members via the CAS Community forum, asking 14 - 18 year old girls several questions about their perceptions of computing and computer science. This document briefly summarises the findings of that survey. *

The Roehampton Annual Computing Education Report (2018) covers computing provision in English schools at GCSE and A-level. Includes breakdown by gender characteristic schools, uptake among girls from different socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds, and results by gender. Includes maps listing schools with best provision for females.

The state of women in computer science: An investigative report (2017) - Top colleges boast about reaching gender parity in intro to computer science courses. But very few of those women go on to graduate with a CS degree. TechRepublic writer Alison DeNisco talked to women from schools like Carnegie Mellon, MIT, and Georgia Tech about why this is happening. This download provides the magazine version of the article as a free PDF for registered TechRepublic and ZDNet members. The online version of this story is available here. [2017] 

Improving Gender Balance - Reflections on the impact of interventions in schools (2017), Institute of Physics. The IoP has been doing really good work on diversity in physics at school level. See also their reports Closing doors (2013) and Opening doors (2015).

The Roehampton Annual Computing Education Report (2016) covers computing provision in English schools at GCSE and A-level. Includes breakdown by gender characteristic schools, uptake among girls from different socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds, and results by gender. *

Women in Data Science: 4 Perspectives (2015) is a discussion between four data scientists on opportunities for women interested in tech careers, Masters in Data Science.

Women Who Choose Computer Science -- What Really Matters, Google 2014. 

Solving the equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Engineering and Computing (2014), a report of the AAUW, which has lots of other relevant resources.

Diversity in tech: gender breakdown of key companies (Guardian Data Blog 25 Nov 2014).

Women in technology video from Career Player. Suitable for 13 - 18 year old girls either as a complete 11 min video or as separate clips answering different questions (2014)

[Sept 2013] Careers in technology video from Career Player, with numerous female role models. Suitable for 13 - 18 year old boys and girls either as a complete 27 min video or as separate clips answering different questions

Girls in IT: The Facts  2012, is a synthesis of the existing literature on increasing girls’ participation in computing. Sponsored by NCWIT’s K-12 Alliance (in the USA), it aims to bring together this latest research so that readers can gain a clearer and more coherent picture of 1) the current state of affairs for girls in computing, 2) the key barriers to increasing girls’ participation in these fields, and 3) promising practices for addressing these barriers.

Giving women the access code (New York Times 2 April 2012) Describes Harvey Mudd's "Introduction to Computer Science" course. Nearly 40% of Harvey Mudd's CS graduates are women, an exceptionally high percentage. 

Year 8 is too late

Computing's too important to be left to men]

CS4FN - The Women are here - huge variety of articles here

How do boys and girls differ in their use of ICT?

Evaluation of CC4G

National Center for Women & IT - some great stats

International

The STEM Field’s Changing Workforce

Purdue University Global's Resources for Women in Computer Technology

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