More women in technology fields

According to the U.S. Department of Labor,  only 18 percent of computer science graduates in the United States are women. However, it appears that this number will see a steady increase in the near future.

“At Carnegie Mellon University, 40 percent of incoming freshmen to the School of Computer Science are women, the largest group ever,” New York Times writer Claire Cain Miller reports. “At the University of Washington, another technology powerhouse, women earned 30 percent of computer science degrees this year. At Harvey Mudd College, 40 percent of computer science majors are women, and this year, women represented more than half of the engineering graduates for the first time.”

What is the cause for this increase? Some universities have taken a new approach to both how and whom they recruit. At Harvey Mudd, they’ve revised the recruiting brochures to show photos of women, and have hired women as campus tour guides. “We made it very clear that being a female scientist, that’s normal,” Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd.

While Harvey Mudd and University of Washington revamped their introductory courses, Carnegie Mellon University isn’t going to make any adjustments. “We saw some women like applications and some guys like applications and some dream in code, but most people have a mix,” Lenore Blum, professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon said. “So we’re saying very strongly we’re not changing our curriculum; we don’t do anything special for women.”




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