In some of my other posts (like here and here and most recently here), I’ve looked at factors that cause women to drop out of science careers—a phenomenon called the “leaky pipeline.” In computer science, however, the goal is to get more women into the pipe to begin with.
Computer science has a branding problem (and it’s gotten worse). When girls picture a room full of male programmers eating Doritos and drinking Mountain Dew, they don’t see how they fit into this picture. This perception, along with other factors, has driven down the percentage of undergraduate computer science degrees earned by women from 37% in 1985 to just 18% in 2010. Over at the AAAS MemberCentral Qualia blog, I examine some of the ways different organizations are trying to combat this problem. Read more here.