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2009 January 23
by Marwa

Hello! I am a senior at Bryn Mawr with a Computer Science major and Math minor. As a Computer Science student in a women’s college, I did not personally feel the shortage of women in technology until I went to attend/participate in technical conferences and internships in co-ed environments. I would be one of three women in a room of more than a hundred men! I wondered about the connection between gender and technology, and whether it had to do with how girls and boys interacted with technology and/or computers as children.

I did research with two other students at Bryn Mawr on this topic for a year where we designed, developed and taught a course in Computing for middle school children with robots that we believed would be interesting to both girls and boys. While the course gave us positive response with all the students being more interested in Computing and technology at the end of the course than before, we only had 1 girl out of the 13 students who had enrolled! It was an interesting find and made me realize that the “division” probably gets created a lot earlier than the middle school age. I feel like this course will answer a lot of the questions I have had over my time at Bryn Mawr. When do individuals understand and feel the difference between male and female genders? Just around what age does the attitude of “Boys are good with technology but girls are not” start to affect children, if at all? Why are there so few women in technology and how can we address this?

As a Computer Science student, I guess I tend to relate technology with computing and computers mostly, as my post probably reflects!

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