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Why are there so few females in engineering and tech fields?

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Eiuol
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This table shows a breakdown male/female across various types of subjects in college degrees. While there are 20 - 22 women for every man in the Computer Science and Engineering disciplines, there are 380 women for each man in "Education" and 577 to 100 men in "Health professions and clinical sciences". So, I suppose clues to the answer about few women in IT can also be asked by looking at the other disciplines: why do significantly fewer men end up as teachers or dental hygienists etc. Why don't men go into those fields just as much as women do? Edited by softwareNerd
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It's so easy to make up / postulate reasons why their is an imbalance of women to men in IT/computing. So I won't bother.

But I agree that the imbalance is very much evident in young teens or even earlier, so I doubt the problem (if it is a problem) can really be tackled at college level.

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It's so easy to make up / postulate reasons why their is an imbalance of women to men in IT/computing. So I won't bother.

That's exactly the point of the thread, though. What reasons are there?

But I agree that the imbalance is very much evident in young teens or even earlier, so I doubt the problem (if it is a problem) can really be tackled at college level.

I agree, that's why I was thinking about what ways education can be altered to make various fields more visible to young kids. Not just hard science fields, either. From what I know, elementary school teachers do tend to treat female and male students differently in terms of teaching style, which exaggerates even more a distinct difference when differences I think are not even there, or negligible. I'm not even talking about career success, only being interested enough in a subject to pursue a degree. I'm not sure how many people in general actually pursue degrees because they're interested, though.

Edited by Eiuol
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Well it's easy to suggest dozens of reasons, but it's very hard to verify how much truth is in any of those suppositions. Eg.

- programming is a 'male way of thinking' (a female former maths teacher actually said this to me in one of my programming classes, which she was struggling with)

- smart women have better options in other careers that pay more e.g. medicine, law

- computing is a boys club and females will have to endure immature behaviour, condescension and insensitivity

- men on average have better abstract thinking and visualisation skills

- womens 'soft skills' are not as useful in computing as they are in other fields

- girls feel more socially pressured to fall in line with the crowd, so while they can be smart during high school, it's bad for them if they embrace any activities considered 'geeky'

- girls don't play computer games as much, maybe because they're not as competitive or something, or people would think it was strange, and so there are few girl gamers to graduate into programmers

- the solitude required to program is less appealing to women

- the overtime required of programmers (due to the notorious scope creep of IT projects) is at loggerheads with the desire to go home and be with the children

- could be that computing is simply one of the last-standing subjects to change after society abandoned the idea that intellectual professions were for men

- lack or female role models in the field

- lack of female role models in entertainment (eg. characters like Chloe in 24)

- ...

But i've got no idea if any of those are actually correct.

I think to solve the problem parents must take a more active role in encouraging their daughters to tinker with computers. And its neat when programming can tie into some other fun activity, like how it has for boys with gaming.

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