Talk:Women in computing

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meg whitman[edit]

Adding Meg Whitman? I would think that Bill Gates would be on a typical list of famous men in computer science. Or am I wrong about that? If not, it seems that Meg Whitman and other women in business related to computers belong on the list here of "famous" women. - SteveMetsker

Marissa_Mayer[edit]

Add Marissa Mayer?

Marissa Ann Mayer (born on 30 May 1975) is the Vice President of Search Product and User Experience at American search engine company Google.

Mayer was the first female engineer hired at Google and one of their first 20 employees, joining the company in early 1999.

stats[edit]

one reads A report from the Computing Research Association indicated that the number recently fell below 20%, from nearly 40% 15 prior. [3]

which points to http://www.cra.org/statistics/ from where we can find http://www.cra.org/info/taulbee/women.html

which if you read it does not say about fall but the OPPOSITE!--Nkour 17:38, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

Merge[edit]

I don't feel that the content in Women, girls and information technology really belongs here. The decline of women's involvement in the computer and information technology field is a separate issue that's the focus of several studies. The focus of this article seems better suited to talk about famous women in the field and (perhaps) professional resources for the women that participate in it today. Maura Dailey 20:24, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Concur - The article proposed for merger hasn't had the depth of editing and it seems to trivialize the impact and influence of professionals in this field who happen to be women.
geoWIZard-Passports 13:53, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Do Not Merge - Separate topics. Do not merge. --lquilter 14:24, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
  • After almost 2 months there have been no arguments to merge and everyone agrees to not merge. I removed the merge template from this and other page. --lquilter 14:29, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and removed the merge template - it looks like it never actually got removed :) Leigh Honeywell (talk) 04:05, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

I Agree -Please do not merge. These are absolutely distinct topics. I, for instance, came to this page in order to find organizations for women in computing, and I do in fact see those on this page. It's very logical. That logic would be lost if the page were merged with the page on Women, girls and information technology. 209.251.153.11 (talk) 18:53, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

List of famous women[edit]

I think this would be better in chronological order. Any comments?JulesH 14:49, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree. It appears to be in alphabetical order by first name (except for the last one added at the end). That order is not at all meaningful, and just confusing. Chronological would be much better, starting with the year of their first major computing accomplishment. For example:
  • 1842: Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), analyst of ...
  • 1946: Betty Jennings, ..., original programmers of the ENIAC
T-bonham (talk) 08:38, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Maybe we should unify the criteria to choose which is the date selected as an entrance of new women inside the timeline. By looking at the current timeline it appears that many dates refer to the moment when those women have achieved a significant contribution to computer sciences and computing development. This is mostly food for thought. :Spideralex (talk) 19:26, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Mitchell Baker?[edit]

Would Mitchell Baker, current President of Mozilla Foundation and CEO of Mozilla Corp count as famous? Frankchn (talk) 05:08, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

I prefer the wording "notable" to famous, and if an individual merits a Wikipedia page then he or she is notable. The real question is: is this page about women involved in computing in technical capacities, or do businesspeople count as well? I'm not sure I'd include a woman just because she is an executive of a technology company. There are probably many more of those than there are women who have advanced the art of computing through technical achievements. Robert K S (talk) 05:14, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Declination of women in CS merger[edit]

  • Strongly oppose: why not use "women in computing" to talk about women doing research, women innovators, the fact that many women were the first programmers because they could type, and other information that has a primary relevance to the said topic (famous women & organizations is a good start). The lagging #s issue is a side note to this topic yet it dominates this article! Most of the content here should be ported to the "declining..." article. I went here looking for something altogether different than the talk of how there aren't enough women in CS. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.200.173.113 (talk) 18:07, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Support this merger; looks like a clear instance of a new page created that should have been here. --Lquilter (talk) 02:29, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
  • The article titled: Declination of Women in Computer Science deals with the declination phenomenon localized in Canada. The article titled: women in computing briefly mentions this matter on the global scale using the United States as an example. By Keeping the two articles separate, information seekers can find out the Canadian status of the situation much faster. Thus the merger should not be carried out. --TSornalingam
Yes, well, it's not titled "Decline of women in computer science in Canada", so it's not at all clear that that's what it is; I'd say rather that hampers information seekers. Also please note wikipedia manual of style regarding article titles. --Lquilter (talk) 18:47, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Thats a great suggestion, I will make the necessary changes. Thank you. --TSornalingam
This article has been renamed: Declination of Canadian Women in Computer Science--TSornalingam —Preceding unsigned comment added by TSornalingam (talkcontribs) 21:30, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
You still missed reading WP:MOS about how to do capitalization of articles. --Lquilter (talk) 23:38, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Alternative Reasons for Lack of Women in Computer Science[edit]

Several issues were not discussed as why women may eschew computer science as a career choice.

  • Education requirements: A typical computer science degree on average may take up to five years to complete (the lights rarely go off in the computer labs) and if there ever is a lapse along the way (childbirth, marriage, unemployment, etc.) recovery maybe difficult, especially in a fast changing field. Computer science schools and employers look at any interruptions or gaps in education as a negative.
  • Work Environment: Computer science may require 80+ hour weeks (just like college) and telling the employer that you have to take a month or more off for children or leaving work to no less feed a child (or even having a child) will interfere with their dead lines. If there is a project and a computer science person leaves for several months, they would most likely be unusable on this same project resulting in a reassignment to another project. This flexibility requires larger companies with multiple projects and many of those employers are going overseas to do their computer science or cutting back.
  • Unemployment, lower pay, and re-education: As computer science becomes more short term "contract" work, women may find themselves in a glutted computer science market with greater unemployment, lower paychecks than expected, or requiring more re-education because of gaps in employment caused by family obligations and unemployment.

All in all, women (and men) who are smart enough to be a computer science are smart enough to see that computer science may not be a good career choice for anyone who wants a life that involves a family, or even a life. The high tech community is not family friendly and very unforgiving of those who have a family or are not driven to "own their job". This is an industry wide problem that is devoid of childcare facilities and increasingly less health care the further one gets away from the top companies. As more competition from overseas comes into play, wages and benefits will decrease, thus making a computer science career choice for women even more unattractive. Other, non-computer science professions are more forgiving of people taking sabbaticals and smart women are more likely to seek those choices. What needs to be done to attract more women into computer science is to improve equal pay, flexible work hours, childcare, career re-entry, re-education, maternal leave, and health benefits in all high tech companies. This would reassure women that computer science is a valid career choice and not just a horse race.Septagram (talk) 04:08, 27 September 2008 (UTC)


Quest Atkinson (talk) 03:19, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
In addition to these reasons, readers should also consider lack of awareness as a possible deterrent. Young girls at the elementary and secondary academic levels are not exposed to computing in the same way and degree that they would be to other subjects (i.e. biology, drama, math, etc.). When we look to countries in the east where participation is almost equally distributed between the sexes, we should ask why. One of the contributing factors in this shift between west and east is that many of these eastern countries are more technologically advanced where massive technology R&D investments are made. Computing and technology in these countries has become more of 'a way of life' and so the awareness is there.

I happened upon the IT industry somewhat haphazardly. While I'm passionate about the field and enjoy exploring it both academically and professionally, I'm confident that had a guidance counselor, peer or parent mentioned the opportunities and benefits of the field, I may have made a more conscious decision to be a part of it.

Decline of women in CS[edit]

Judging by the graph given, it seems that the rise and decline of women in CS can be completely explained by the rise and decline of all people in CS (the graph shows that males rose and declined at exactly the same times as women and seemingly proportionally). Giving an idea of the change of male/female ratio may be more important.

--66.189.98.178 (talk) 08:18, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Concur: I agree that they should provide a ratio rather than the overall numbers. Graphs such as that may allow more people to believe that the number of women in CS is proportional to the decline in CS enrollment overall and that the gap is not increasing. Although it looks as though that graph has been removed, I believe it is important to accurately depict the increasing gender gap so that it will not be overlooked and change can be made in the field. An article mentioned in the New York Times provides a better overview (with accurate graph) that shows this disparity: What Has Driven Women Out of Computer Science?.

Torontostudent24 (talk) 17:04, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Hedy Lamarr[edit]

I have my doubts about the 'co-inventor' claim-- in an interview she gave (citation needed..), she disavowed any real involvement with the invention/patent, and it done as more of a courtesy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 203.14.156.195 (talk) 03:02, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Reference: Locate the IEEE Spectrum article about her from the 1980s. 99.11.227.190 (talk) 19:04, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Merges[edit]

I propose that Women, girls and information technology and Women in the Information Age should be merged here. The first is an essay-like article that is essentially a content fork (computing=information technology) and the second is a non-notable research project. Fences&Windows 19:34, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

I see the first merge was proposed in 2006. I think four years and no improvement shows that article is not viable as a separate topic. Fences&Windows 19:37, 23 June 2010 (UTC)

No discussion after two years... I guess that means no-one's interested, but for what it's worth, I think these articles should be merged. Women, girls and information technology probably wasn't a content fork when it was created, but as it stands, these two articles both cover the same subject matter. It makes sense to bring them together into one comprehensive article, surely? (As for Women in the Information Age, it doesn't even seem worth a mention in this article. I'd be in favour of deleting it entirely.) DoctorKubla (talk) 17:00, 29 April 2012 (UTC)

I don't think Women in the Information Age is even worth merging. There's really no information on the subject except for its existence and who is leading it. I have proposed it for deletion. RockMagnetist (talk) 17:06, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

Proposed split of article[edit]

It's an article which focuses on the lack of women in computing. The Overview, Attracting women into computer science, Gender theory and women in computing, and International perspective all ride a serious bummer which should live on another page. I went to this page to read about women in computing. Not why women are not in computing to the same proportion as men.

See the stereotype threat effect http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereotype_threat


Can I get a witness? Can someone help fix this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rcmulcrone (talkcontribs) 19:09, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Some problems with the article[edit]

"Global concerns" is vague. Is there a specific desire (on whose part, then?) to increase the percentage of women in computing? It's 20% in the USA. And if that is to be the main focus of the article, maybe it should be labeled differetly, e.g., strategies for reducing the gender gap. I don't care if 90% of the article is about this, as long as it's labeled properly.

Also, if Lovelace is going to be used as an illustration, bear in mind that her notes about an algorithm that could have been programmed on Babbage's machine are controversial. Some people say that your instructions are a computer program, whether or not you ever ran it on a machine; others insist that a plan for a program, however detailed and useful, remains a plan until translated into a specific computer language. Until then, it's an idea for a program, possible a wonderful idea ... but not a program. This might, paradoxically, discourage high school girls from becoming programmers because she only wrote about it and never got to do it. Grace Hopper might be a better role model. But we must be careful not to ***do*** advocacy here; rather, we ***report*** on other people's advocacy.

Anyway, I changed "misconceptions" to concepts. Much of computing, in the software development industry, actually does involve sitting in front of a computer writing code. Not all day, of course, but it is the central aspect of the job. It may be that women aren't as willing as men to do this. Now if we'd like to write about the other aspects of computing, such as discussing ideas with others, that's fine. But I didn't see anything in the cited New York Times article to show that the "lone programmer in a cubicle" image is a is a misconception. Joel Sposky and Steve McConnell both recommend private offices for programmers, where he (or she) can work undisturbed for long stretches of time. --Uncle Ed (talk) 12:30, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

The page (and wikipedia in general) has series problems[edit]

1/ Some of the dates on the time line are wrong, off by a decade is some cases.

2/ Major gaps: people, topics, relation to world events are missing.

3/ Too much historical emphasis on the recent. Some of the women's roles were more managerial and economic (e.g., Meg) rather than technical. If you are comparing with Bill Gates: are you jealous, simply because he is a billionaire or because of his early technical skill writing a BASIC interpreter which made him a billionaire?

4/ Reference material in general is 21st century.

5/ Watch more for honors, titles and award for older folk, but be mindful of the young. 99.11.227.190 (talk) 19:12, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Spam[edit]

The section "Organizations for women in computing" is becoming a bit of a spam magnet. Stricter inclusion criteria would help to deal with this. I suggest limiting the list to notable organisations only – ie. those that have their own WP article. DoctorKubla (talk) 08:58, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Okay, since no-one objects, I'll go ahead and trim the list of non-notable entries. DoctorKubla (talk) 07:16, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Timeline, or list of famous women?[edit]

The timeline of women in computing is suffering from a bit of an identity crisis – it's trying to be both a "timeline of women in computing" and a "list of famous women in computing" at the same time. Which results in a bit of a mess, because the two are not synonymous. A timeline is usually understood to be a list of significant, landmark events, but not every notable woman in computing was involved in such an event. Entries like "Phyllis Fox worked on the PORT portable mathematical/numerical library" or "Sally Floyd (~1953–), is most renowned for her work on Transmission Control Protocol" just don't belong in a timeline; they would, however, belong in a list of notable women. We need to decide which type of list we want this to be.

In the meantime, I'm going to remove the following entries, where neither the event nor the people involved appear to be significant:

If anyone objects to this, feel free to revert me and we can discuss it. But I'm mainly hoping to encourage discussion of my broader question: should this list be a timeline of events, or simply a list of famous women? DoctorKubla (talk) 08:22, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Please do not assume that a lack of an article on someone mean a lack of notability. The most often cause for that is that the person or his/her field have been overlooked by editors. No objection, however, to remove events which do not say much about the development of computing. Dimadick (talk) 06:24, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

These "Women in..." articles may reveal, ironically, favouritism and bias themselves.[edit]

Even as they discuss discrimination and bias against women, they often themselves read like they're written by gender biased ideologues. There seems to be a gynocentric focus on women at this encyclopedia. What about African Americans in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (or computing, or whatever) or hispanics, or any other racial or ethnic minority groups for that matter? Are they not considered as important of a topic for an encyclopedia? I'm addressing here a potential favouritism shown towards women as an historically disadvantaged group that I think needs some attention at this encyclopedia. It's as important for an encyclopedia not to show favourtism towards a certain group as it is for an encyclopedia not to be biased. I would appreciate any comments about this.

(It's no one's fault that the vast majority of the editors and writers here are men, but I am wondering if there exists a possible, and completely needless, "guilt trip" on the part of many male editors here as the cause for this favouritism towards articles on women; I only bring this up because surely there has to be some explanation, pyschological or otherwise, as to why there is so much attention given here at Wikipedia to only women in almost every aspect of life and yet so little given to any other groups of people. Just a possible psychological explanation for this obvious discrepancy.) Alialiac (talk) 11:46, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

This even has it's own category now: Category:Women_in_computing, but it's nothing compared to this expansive women+biology tree I found recently: Category:Women_biologists.--Obi-Wan Kenobi (talk) 19:29, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

assignment[edit]

I believe this page is still having an identity crisis. Is it a page about how women are underrepresented or is it a page about the history of women in computing? Judging from the title I would say the history of women in computing but judging from the content I would say it is an article about how women are underrepresented with a foot note about the history. Reading through the table of contents and looking back at the title of the article I was confused. I am doing research for a school assignment. I believe that if I was looking into why there are so few women in Computer Science this article may help. However I agree with the earlier comment on how “Decline of Women in CS” has decreased proportionately with the number of men in the profession. I believe this article draws too much attention to the fact that the number of women in the Computer Science field has recently decreased and does not draw enough attention to the fact that at the same time the number of males in the field has proportionately decreased as well. I believe that the information in this article is important but I think that the title and the content do not match. The title suggests a general understanding of the topic but the table of contents communicates that the article is all about how women are underrepresented in the field and progressively becoming more of a minority. Please give me feedback the whole reason I am writing this is to try to expand my understanding of the issue. Colinqb (talk) 18:02, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

NPOV[edit]

Lots of this article is "gender theory" speculation not backed by soild research. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 131.114.88.111 (talk) 15:02, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

Such as? You may well be right – I haven't read this article closely – but broad statements are hard to act upon. Can you give some examples of information in the article that isn't backed up by reliable sources, or that puts forward a non-neutral POV? DoctorKubla (talk) 18:22, 21 March 2014 (UTC)