Culture and environment as determinants of women's participation in computing

Carol Frieze, Orit Hazzan, Lenore Blum, M. Bernardine Dias
2006 ACM SIGCSE Bulletin  
There are some arguments that suggest women need academic handholding, such as a "female friendly" curriculum, in order for them to participate and be successful in computer science and related fields. Then there are other arguments that suggest we need to change the field to suit women or help women adjust to the field. In this paper we present a different perspective that shows none of these may be necessary. The "Women-CS Fit" is already there! Specifically, under certain cultural and
more » ... cultural and environmental conditions we can see that women fit very well into computing fields and what we have been attributing to gender is actually the result of cultural and environmental conditions. The reasons for women participating in -or not participating in -the field of computer science have little to do with gender and a lot to do with culture. In other words, we need to recognize that this is a cultural issue, and an issue that concerns us all. Appropriate local interventions in the micro-culture can have large effect. This argument is illustrated in this paper by three case studies.
doi:10.1145/1124706.1121351 fatcat:724urucwufg2reitltwyieu2mi