Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Stanford President Has 4 Ideas For Boosting Women In Tech -FORBES

Stanford President Has 4 Ideas For Boosting Women In Tech: Stanford President John Hennessy acknowledges that women are underrepresented in technical fields, and offers four changes that might help fix the problem.

1. better role models and inspiration for girls, aimed at “getting them to believe that they can create a better world.”

2. the rise of a “gamification culture” that put heavy emphasis on “killing people and killing monsters.” Boys may like such on-screen diversions, but, as Hennessy noted, “it’s not what girls found attractive.” That problem may be fixing itself, he suggested, as computers now provide a gateway to social media, with high levels of engagement by girls.

3. the “isolation effect” at universities, particularly for students who end up being the only woman in a tough math or science course of 30 people. In such situations, a woman getting a disappointing B or C may become discouraged and lack any peer encouragement to bounce back. His remedy: better support networks for female students.

4. the risk that female students see computer science as a lonely pursuit that involves “sitting in front of a terminal for 10 hours a day, coding all the time, without any interaction with anyone else.”

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