The most complete set of solutions we have ever come across was in
Ellen Spertus 1991 study
"Why Are There so Few Women in Computer Science?".
This is merely a summary of some of the solutions she offered, as used
in our presentation.
Though we would certainly like to see more women in computer science
in the future, the main question is not to have a 1:1 ratio of women
and men in the sciences. The main hope is that an environment is created
in which every woman who wishes to pursue computer science as a field
feels supported and comfortable to do so. The goal is to remove the barriers
to entry and the barriers to "continuation" that exist for women in the
computer science field.
- Expressing to the community that sexual harrassment is not acceptable.
- Making a commitment to egalitarian, not special treatment for women.
- Asking the women's opinions about the academic department and making
- Checking the statistics periodically to ensure that rewards and
responsibilities are balanced across gender, age, and racial lines.
- Making tenure and motherhood compatible.
- Providing mentors and advocates for women in computer science (and in
the sciences in general).
- Making sure that female students are involved in research.
- Attending classes with other women.
- Getting involved in communities, both in and outside the campus. For
example, getting involved in a Women in Sciences group on campus and/or
an online community such as systers or linuxchick.
- Reacting to subtle and overt discrimination. Women must react to the
discrimination they face because often the people who discriminate may not
be aware that they are doing it.
- Encourage women in the sciences. However small or subtle, encouragement
makes a big difference.
To see Swarthmore specific solutions that have been tried or thought
about, see the Swarthmore recommedations