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A few years ago, a group of female engineers at Google in Israel decided to tackle the gap they saw between the number of men versus number of women working in CS and engineering. They established the “Mind the Gap!” program, aimed at encouraging girls to pursue math, science and technology education. Their ongoing success story is up on our blog today.
Women make up more than half the global population, but hold fewer than a third of the world's engineering jobs. In the U.S., female students comprise fewer than 15 percent of all Advanced Placeme...
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Glad to hear about initiatives like these. My daughter Jr High aged daughter was invited to a similar project at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln called GEM (Girls Empowerment and Mentoring) run by the Computer Science and Engineering department. These are awesome programs, way to go Google.
 
What about the women currently in the work force that would like to pursue computer science after the fact? For example, when I was picking a major as an undergrad and even a graduate student, I wasn't really aware of the computer science world and the impact it would have on the Internet/society. After earning my degrees, I find that getting into computer science would greatly benefit my career path. What would you recommend for those of us that want to pursue computer science now, after being in the work force for some time and already having a BS? Should we go back to school and spend another 4 years trying to get a BS in Comp Sci? It would be interesting to hear that perspective.
 
Women holding so few engineering positions isn't a problem. Women don't have to want to do the same things that men want to do. Google, just like so many other companies and individuals, is looking at this "problem" from the wrong angle. It's not about getting more women, it's about providing an environment more suitable for the females you already have, such as having a mentorship program.

All of these we-need-more-females-in-tech/omg-life-is-hard-for-chicks posts make me wish I was in a different industry.
 
+Rachel Wong it really depends on what you want to do with it, what you already have your degree in, what job opportunities there are in your area, how you learn, and what level of computer competency you have already. Some areas of computer science are really hot right now, others are harder to find jobs in. If you have a BS in math, or science or something similar, you might be able to get away with taking classes for certification, and/or self-teaching (if you are skilled with a computer already and learning something that is in demand in your area) instead of getting a full 4-year degree.

If you are trying to get into an area of computer science that is not as in demand, or you aren't as comfortable with computers, having a degree will give you an edge, and you would get the extra class-learning-time. The down-side is that it's more expensive and time consuming.

With Web-related positions, when I was looking for a job, I found that people seemed to care more about years of experience in computer science in general, and specific skills (do you know x, y and z) than what your degree was in, or if you even had one. I'm not sure how that translates to the rest of the computer science industry, which has been around longer, though.
Alex C.
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Nice initiative. I agree with +Randi Harper though, I am a bit against forcing them in too much.
 
It is not so much about encouraging woman to pursue engineering education, but about the work place environment. My daughter manages a department in hard rock mining, an industry that does not have many women in those positions.
 
I'm all for equality, don't get me wrong here, but it has been showed that men generally succeed better at math than women because one is (again, generally) more passionnate about it than the other. Now if you want me to look for the study in question, just poke me.
 
keep in mind that something called the self fulfilling prophecy exists. That might have something to do with why men generally succeed at math and science while women excel at literature and the arts.
 
I believe that the lack of passion is due to the social expectation that females do not excel as well as males in math and science. There was a study which showed that given no expectations, both male and female children do equally well in Math related activities.
 
+Félix Boissonneault, That's a tricky thing, passion. There are a lot of things that are considered "masculine" activities which men likely are more passionate because they have been socially conditioned to be so, and most people do better at things they are passionate about. Not that it's not possible for men to be innately more or less passionate about things, I just wonder how much of it was that girls think they shouldn't be passionate about math, because it's not a "feminine" thing.

I wish I had the links till, but a few years ago, I read a really interesting study where they told girls either something along the lines of "girls are worse at math than boys" and then gave them a math test and the girls scored lower than the other group which got the opposite message.
 
I don't think it has anything to do with social expectations, I think men are more naturally inclined towards math and science while women are more naturally inclined away from them. With enough due process to remove these inclinations (through years and years of "nudging" women to these fields) I would think it would correct the line itself and possibly even swing the other way. We have to remember that for many many MANY years, women were considered second rate citizens in many countries while men were the only ones allowed to go to school, never mind choosing what they wanted to study. Today, more so than ever, that is the exact opposite of the truth (in many countries) and women have begun to thrive in any and all environments.
Alex C.
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Ultimately it's not really the percentage that matters (even though if it's 0, it does), what matters is that women are respected and supported for whatever they want to do.
 
+Meghan Sanders I think I read the same article for my psych class. It deals with the self-fulfilling prophecy and how positive reinforcement from teachers can help students perform better in school.
 
Really?? I would like to see a study that shows that self fulfilling prophecy.
 
weird is what i say and what is up with your pic mane?
 
+Walt Grande Real Estate Professional
I'm having trouble locating the exact article.
Here is one that looks at how math-anxious female math teachers influence their female students: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100125172940.htm
and one on the concept of Stereotype threat (the tendency for people to subconsciously fulfill negative social stereotypes of a group they belong to) as it relates to math and gender:
http://pss.sagepub.com/content/11/5/365

+Jacob Becker
And a cross-cultural study that examines mathematics scores in comparison to cultural gender equality: http://www.ams.org/notices/201201/rtx120100010p.pdf
 
I can't believe that Picnik is closing down!!!! Well my picnik just ended and will take my little studio with it! i AM NOT AS PHOTO SHOP PERSON....HELP!!! PLEASE TELL ME YOU WILL COME OUT WITH SOMETHING EVEN BETTER!!!! HELP US STARVING PHOTOGS AND ARTISTS STAY IN BUSINESS!
 
Jayne,
I too will miss Piknik. I use SmugMug to store my photos and was able to use Piknik to edit from their site. They are assured me that there will be a replacement that I will like just as much! I hope so!
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כל הבנות בבי"ס הלכו לשמוע הרצאות באוניברסיטה, ומה הבנים עשו באותו זמן?.. שיחקו כדורגל יום שלם?
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