Tag Archive: Diversity

Articles on diversity analysis and efforts.

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TECHNOLOchicas: Raising Awareness of Technological Opportunities for Latinas


In the U.S., both the Hispanic population and the number of computing and STEM-related jobs are exponentially on the rise. By 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor expects 1.1 million computing-related job openings, making it one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy. The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics reports that currently one in five women in the U.S. are Hispanic, and by 2060, nearly one in three women will be Hispanic.

Yet, in 2015, only one percent of the jobs in the computing workforce were occupied by Latinas. Furthermore, in 2014, Hispanic women received 2 percent of doctoral degrees in computer and information sciences.

Our country’s global economic power and influence greatly depend on our innovation competitiveness, but we’re not taking advantage of our diverse population. Latinas represent a vastly untapped talent pool, and the current representation of Latina girls and women in tech is dismal, both in the workforce and in education. Developing Latinas as qualified, technical job candidates is vital in not only increasing the bottom line of the U.S. economy and creating diversity in the computing workforce, but also for improving the economic outlook of the Hispanic community.

Student at grad cohort 2016Student at grad cohort 2016

2016 Grad Cohort: Strengthening the Community of Women in Computing


CRA-W recently hosted its latest Graduate Cohort Workshop (Grad Cohort) on April 14-15, in San Diego, Calif. Thanks to support from various sponsors, more than 550 female graduate students in computer science attended the event, up from 365 in 2015. Despite its significant growth, the program remains selective; more than 1,000 students applied for this year’s workshop. At the gathering, 31 speakers from industry, academia, and government shared their advice and strategies for success in graduate school.

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Want to Encourage Gender Diversity? Choose Your Words WISEly


In recent decades, there have been many Women In Science and Engineering (WISE) initiatives aimed at increasing the participation of women in these fields. In computer science and engineering, the percentage of women pursuing degrees and careers has remained relatively low. According to CRA’s annual Taulbee Survey of Ph.D. granting institutions, less than 15 percent of undergraduate computer science degrees were awarded to women in the 2013-14 academic year [1]. Given the significant increases of women in other traditionally male dominated fields such as law and medicine in the past 50 years [2], computing’s persistent low representation of women is rather disappointing, to say the least. Women’s low participation is also alarming when we consider the increasing number of jobs in computing, as well as the positive impact of improving gender diversity on innovation in research settings [3] and on collective intelligence [4]. So the question becomes, how do we change things?

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Women More Likely Than Men to Leave Intro CS Courses Due to Teaching Style and Rigor


CERP recently collected data from Intro CS students as part of the “booming enrollments” research underway at the CRA. Within this dataset, a sample of undergraduate students (N = 50) who had recently dropped an Intro CS course reported their reasons for doing so. Women were significantly more likely than men to report they did not enjoy their Intro CS professor’s teaching style, and that the course content was too challenging, p < .05. These findings suggest that the “weed out” technique in Intro CS may have a more negative impact on women than men, and that the current “boom,” if left unchecked, has the potential to impair diversity efforts in CS.

Shining the Spotlight on Undergraduate LGBTQ Women


CERP surveyed 101 undergraduate students majoring in a computing field who indicated that they had seriously considered changing to a non-computing major. Of those students, 7% identified as LGBTQ women, 7% identified as LGBTQ men, 27% identified as heterosexual women, and 59% identified as heterosexual men. When asked to indicate the reason they thought about changing their major. LGBTQ women were significantly more likely than their male LGBTQ and heterosexual peers to have considered leaving their major due to a low sense of belonging in computing, p < .05. These findings suggest the field of computing should take significant efforts to enhance LGBTQ women’s sense of belonging in computing.

Gosha with StudentsGosha with Students

CRA-W/CDC REU Programs Encourage Minorities to Pursue Ph.D.s in Computing


Part of CRA’s mission is to facilitate the development of strong, diverse talent in the field. CRA takes action to help increase and strengthen the computing workforce through programs such as the Collaborative Research Experiences for Undergraduates (CREU) and Distributed Research Experiences for Undergraduates (DREU) programs.

The 2014 Taulbee Survey reports 152 African-American students enrolled in computer science Ph.D. programs–only 1.3 percent of the total students enrolled. Despite these low numbers, there is not a shortage of success stories. Morehouse College, a historically black institution, produces 13 percent of the male African-American Ph.D. students. I recently caught up with Kinnis Gosha, assistant professor of computer science and director of the Culturally Relevant Computing Lab (CRCL) at Morehouse College. Gosha has a Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing and started the CRCL in 2011. The lab investigates research problems centered on creating innovative computing technologies to solve cultural problems and issues.