ICTs for Development

February 24, 2008

Women and ICTs in Developed Countries

Filed under: Uncategorized — htone @ 5:30 pm
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As an undergraduate at Santa Clara last year, I spent 4 months covering the School of Engineering for my Advanced Journalism class. For my final story for the class, which my school’s newspaper ended up running a few weeks later, I coincidentally chose the topic of women in engineering, because though my alma mater boasts a 25% female engineer population, that percentage actually translates to a very small number because my school is so small. Even so, the number of girl engineers and female engineering faculty was apparently quite impressive on a national scale, but I was always disturbed by the fact that 2 female mechanical engineers in the Class of 2009 could be considered an impressive number.

On that note, the Society of Women Engineers at Santa Clara did a lot of great outreach programs to high school aged girls, to encourage them to pursue a career or a degree in any type of math or science, despite the fact that it’s not the “norm.” I always thought that their outreach efforts were wonderful, and was actually able to interview a few girls who had come to Santa Clara for engineering after spending a few days on campus while in high school. Some of the college girls and faculty members I interviewed provided some interesting and useful insight into this gender divide, so for your reading pleasure, I’ve provided the link to my article here.

*Note: I was only 20 when writing this article, so for those of you with significant journalism experience…don’t judge too harshly 😉

I’m bringing this article to life again because in the reading for this week, I thought it was interesting to note that the number of women going into ICTs and engineering in developed countries, like US and Canada, was not as impressive as it could be, especially compared to women in developing countries. Though my article focuses on a very specific area and a specific population at a small university, I think it could definitely be indicative for nation-wide trends in not only the US, but other developed countries too.

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