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Number of Women in Computer Science Jobs Dropping -- Down to 1960 Levels!

Number of Women in Computing Jobs Dropping -- Down to 1960 Levels!

A disturbing report has been released by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). The report shows that although progress has been made by women in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), the field of computer science is falling behind at alarming rates.

The scoop on STEM

In the biological sciences, women are doing very well, according to the report. They represent 39 percent of chemists and material scientists and 53 percent of biological science professionals. In engineering, progress is small. Women have increased from 9 percent to 12 percent between 1990 and 2013 in engineering jobs. But in the field of computer science, the numbers are actually dropping. In 1990, 35 percent of computing jobs were held by women. In 2013, that number dropped to 26 percent, which is the same level it was in 1960.

The reason why we should be alarmed

This is a big concern. Why? Christianne Corbett, an AAUW senior researcher, explained that the STEM fields of engineering and computing represent "80 percent of the STEM jobs available and the best-paying jobs.” In addition, nearly all the women who made it to the Fortune's Most Powerful Women list majored in STEM fields.

Possible reasons for the decline of women in computing jobs

Some suggested causes for the drop offered by the AAUW report include:

  • Many hiring practices still favor men
  • High school computing programs still draw more boys
  • Women are more likely to leave the field than men

While some colleges have been more successful in drawing more women into computing majors, and some companies have increased efforts to broaden their recruitment, more progress needs to be made.

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