An Investigation into the Decline of Female Participation within the Computing Industry (2015)
In today’s modern world, gender equality is battled for and we strive to ensure the sex of a person in no way obstructs their aims and goals in life. Wages for men and women are on their way to being equal, sexist behaviour is frowned upon and no longer do we live by the stereotypical nature that a man earns the living and the woman makes a home. So why, in this apparently modernized world, do women still remain the minority in STEM based subjects such as, mathematics, science and computing. In a world where more females attend university than males, women still continue to only make up a disproportionately small segment of Computer Science majors. Many factors have been attributed towards the shocking decrease in both women achieving degrees in Computer Science subjects and then continuing to work in those Computer Science subject areas; lack of female role models, gender stereotypes, peer pressure and general lack of interest in the STEM subjects.
The aim of this project is to gain a deeper understanding into why women still steer away from working in Computing. How the idea that a women is incapable of achieving in a Computer Science subject is seen as normal and socially acceptable in the 21st century. To actually listen to women and their experiences of how they were influenced into choosing their career path/degree specialism. To gain a better understanding to why a social stigma still revolves around Computing and why this continues to disenchant females.
The report consists of a background into the research area, primarily focusing on literature review of other similar studies, including specific studies into girls and computing. The different forms of methodology intended to be used to gain more knowledge about girls who study STEM subjects such as interviews, surveys etc. and then how this data will be analysed and then linked with previous studies and research, to show common themes and areas of importance.
The aim of this dissertation project is to build a greater understanding into why this fear of going into the industry still remains strong. Why it still remains normal to go into an A Level ICT class and expect to see a large amount of boys with a scattering of girls to balance it out. To not only understand from females why they either chose to pursue a STEM subject or decided another path in their lives, but to also see the other side, why males feel their female counterparts feel disillusioned towards the degree subject.