Bookmarks for w/c 14 April: Barbara Liskov interview, maternity course, City pay gap

Fascinating interview with MIT professor and Turing Award winner Barbara Liskov over at Liskov starts off by explaining how her award-winning research into data abstraction made its way into widely used programming languages such as C++ and Java, but the really interesting stuff comes in the second and third pages, where she talks about her thoughts on privacy in the cloud, AI, the implications of multi-core processing, and finally, her thoughts on why women are under-represented in IT:

“I don’t believe [it] has to do with basic abilities but I do think it has a lot to do with the way that our society is – what we think is appropriate for women to do [and] what we think is appropriate for men to do. I also think in the case of computers that the way computers [are seen as geeky] – the whole notion of the nerd sitting at the computer by himself or playing a violent game is also a turn off for girls. That’s probably another reason why girls aren’t going into computer science.

I do think it’s mostly a problem before they get to college – if they get to college and they still are open-minded enough to be interested and they didn’t cut themselves off by taking the necessary science and math ahead of time then I think at least they aren’t going to hit the glass ceiling until they get quite far along.”

Course: Managing Maternity for Women in IT (London, 24 April). One-day workshop from the Women in Technology network, aiming to help women about to depart on maternity leave, or returning from it, to manage their careers together with motherhood.

City women face pay shocking pay gap. Initial findings from the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report into the financial sector reveal pay gaps of up to 60%, suggesting a pretty impenetrable glass ceiling. The inquiry’s final report will be out later this year.