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Women are (as we know) unfairly underrepresented in the STEM category i.e (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
Boswell points out that although teenage girls are now using computers and the Internet at rates similar to their male peers, they are still five times less likely to consider a technology-related career or plan on taking post-secondary technology classes.
Signs were promising back in the mid 1980s, Boswell points out that (in the US at least) computer science education undergraduates peaked somewhere around the middle of the decade but — the figure has declined ever since.
Poor ratings for female coders in the UK and the US appear to sit alongside countries such as Germany and the Netherlands — but Norway and Sweden show a little more promise.
Citing figures over a decade old (but probably still worth making reference to) Boswell highlights that…
- 41% of Iranian CS graduates were female in 1999
- India’s percentage of female IT undergraduates doubled (from 12% to 24%) from 1997 to 2000;
- South Africa had an impressive 32.1% graduates in 1998; Mexico’s 1999 number was a whopping 39.2% and…
- Guyana had an astounding 54.5% of female CS graduates in 2001
Arthur Andersen runs a project labelled GROW (Growth and Retention of Women) Project and many firms appear to be addressing the perennial challenge and problem thrown up by a lack of diversification in the technology workforce.
This subject demand repeated analysis and discussion, so more power to Intel’s Boswell for flagging the issue in 2013.