Women earned only 18% of Computer Science degrees in 2012, down from 27% in 2001, and this gender imbalance needs to be rectified in order to meet the looming skills gap in the software industry.
A report published last week to coincide with Computer Science Education Week, reveals the way in which the gender divide in computer science is becoming more extreme. It comes from Change The Equation, a business coalition that aims to mobilize the business community to improve the quality of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in the United States.
With the title Half Empty the report points out:
Men have surged back into computing in the past five years, but women have not recovered from last decade’s slump.
The main findings are summarized in this infographic that has the title Code Red, indicating the importance of taking action to remedy the scenario in which half the nation's population is "untapped" in terms of being a resource for meeting the growing IT skills gap.
Source: Change The Equation - click to open in new window)
At the event hosted by Change the Equation to explore the question "where are the women in computing?" Kimberly Bryant, the founder of the nonprofit group Black Girls Code said:
"There's a social image around what a computer scientist looks like. The startup culture is very male dominated. Changing that culture and its dynamics is how we can entice girls to become interested."
A great deal is now being done to reverse the message that has prevailed that tells girls and women that computer science is not a suitable choice, but there is still a way to go.