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Women and Computing Computer science has become one of the fastest growing careers in the past few years With the advancement in technology and the high demand for those with a solid knowledge in computing more and more people are choosing computer science as their field of interest But in the past few years people are drawing their attention to the fact that most computer scientists these days are men It seems that women have been excluding themselves from the field of computer science for as long as we can remember Although computer science is still one of the most popular majors in many universities women only make up a small percentage of computer science graduates Have women just been ignored or are they just trying to stay away from these technical careers Many researchers have been trying to find the reasons as to why there are so few women getting a degree in computer science or are working in the computer industry The small number of women majoring in computer science can be directly tied to the difficulties that women face in becoming computer scientists There are many cultural and societal factors that contribute to womens experience in computing The earliest computer software that children are exposed to reflect the gender biases and stereotypes of the software designers For example studies show that educational software is designed to appeal to boys 6 Another study of computer science students finds that women students feel much less confident comfortable and successful in the curriculum than men even though they all perform equally in the subject matter 4 The main challenges facing women in pursuing careers in computer science are lack of mentoring and role models difficulties in self-esteem gender discrimination and difficulty in balancing family and career responsibilities It is well known that women have been underrepresented in scientific fields for a long time During 1987 and 1988 women only made up thirty percent of
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