Where have all the women gone? Women in computing - what's the problem, why should you be bothered, and what we can do about it.

Thursday 6 December 2012

7.00pm, refreshments from 6:30pm

MC130, City Campus, University of Wolverhampton | Map and directions

Free to attend for both Members & Non-Members


Hannah Dee - University of Aberystwyth

Hannah Dee is a lecturer in computer science at Aberystwyth University, and has worked in computer vision research for over a decade. Within the BCS, Hannah is a committee member of BCSWomen and deputy chair of BCS Mid Wales Branch. She's been active in encouraging women and girls to consider careers in computing for a long time, and runs the UK's only conference for women undergraduates, the BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium.


The early years of computing were full of women. Bletchley Park, the Harvard Observatory and many other pioneering organisations of computation were the preserve of women. Indeed, the first meaning of the word "Computer" was to refer to someone - usually a woman - performing routine sums. Sometime in the 1970s this changed. It is very hard to distinguish correlation from causation, but the decline in women seems to coincide with the introduction of computers to the classroom.

Now women number about 14% of the IT workforce and there is a clear "Leaky Pipeline" with women choosing to drop out at each stage of educational progression. This talk will discuss the nature of the problem, why we (as UK PLC) need to take it seriously, what the BCS is doing about it and what you can do to help.