Friday, 28 September 2007

Women in computing

Caroline and I met with Ron Dillon and Annamarie Kelly of Stow College yesterday afternoon to discuss ways of encouraging women to take-up Computing/IT courses. We came up with a number of ideas including:
  • focussed marketing for women
  • a women's prize in IT
  • promotion of women-friendly qualifications (such as Social Software, Interactive Media, etc.)
  • approaching female organisations (such as the Girl Guides) to encourage young women to take-up technical careers.
The forthcoming meeting of the Sector Panel for Computing & IT will also discuss this issue.

I'd be interested in your comments about this problem (and these ideas).


  1. I was reading a piece recently that suggested that "Girls do play games" but that the perception that they don't is fueled by the way that games are marketed -Perhaps we could look at the way that we market computing courses ?
    On another tack, I have been trying to get interest in a Computing/Modern languages course going for some time - to the extent where we had actually developed a local framework. It never got past the local approval stage, for a number of reasons which did not involve the technical merits of the course.
    It it worth pursuing this route ?

  2. I am currently enrolled in women in computing 310 courses at my university and this issue was brought up by many of the students. I personally play video games myself, but I also must say that I feel that the way many video games are marketed is degrading towards women where you see them dressed in scanty looking clothing and women usually being dolce to men. We did come to the conclusion in our research that women do play video games. I think you hit it right on when you mention that we should examine the way we promote computing courses. It is really upsetting that your Computing/Modern language course didn't go through. Perhaps giving it another shot, I think it is very worthy.