AI lab Technical Report 1315, August 1991, 112 pages. Why Are There So Few Female Computer Scientists?

By Ellen Spertus

This report examines why women pursue careers in computer science and related fields far less frequently than men do. In 1990, only 13% of PhDs in computer science went to women, and only 7.8% of computer science professors were female. Causes include the different ways in which boys and girls are raised, the stereotypes of female engineers, subtle biases that females face, problems resulting from working in predominantly male environments, and sexual biases in language. A theme of the report is that women's underrepresentation is not primarily due to direct discrimination but to subconscious behavior that perpetuates the status quo.

Keywords: women, sex, gender, bias, technology education

cost: $8.00

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