Computer Science: A Color that Clashes

Thursday, March 2, 2006 12:00
Posted in category CS404 Archive

There is no doubt in my mind that women make great computer scientists. My “American” Mother-in-Law and Cousin current living in Georgia are both accomplished programmers and role models. I have no doubt that women face challenges and road blocks when trying to pursue this career. However, interest in the computer arts greatly diminishes in High School. This is very unfortunate as High School is the institution where fragile minds begin to nature future dreams, aspirations and goals. During High School, young women have a great desire to be accepted socially. They don’t wish to be left behind or be singled out. As I concluded my high school education, I clearly remember the stereotypes placed on members of the computer club. These stereotypes spurred from misconceptions greatly generated by the entertainment industry. In movies, computer hobbyists were, and in some cases still are, portrayed as smart, socially withdrawn, poorly dressed and physically weak individuals with poor hygiene and a laugh that would make pigs come running. Of course, the computer club at my school didn’t do much to deter this misconception in some areas. While some of these areas may greatly discourage women from entering the computer field, men have less anxiety when it comes to displaying unique qualities. In order to overcome this mountain of misinformation, there need to be more female role models spotlighted during High School. This will help women feel that they can succeed in any arena of study without being ostracized socially.

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