Gender Issues in Computer Science: Lessons Learnt and Reflections for the Future

01/30/2021
by   Letizia Jaccheri, et al.
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Women are underrepresented in Computer Science disciplines at all levels, from undergraduate and graduate studies to participation and leadership in academia and industry. Increasing female representation in the field is a grand challenge for academics, policymakers, and society. Although the problem has been addressed for many years, progress has been difficult to be measured and compared across countries and institutions, and has been invariably slow, despite all the momentum and impulse for change taking place across several countries. Therefore, it is important to reflect on knowledge, experiences, successes, and challenges of existing policies, initiatives and interventions. The main goal of this paper is to provide an overview of several initiatives, studies, projects, and their outcomes. It contributes to building a body of knowledge about gender aspects in several areas: research, education, projects, networks and resources. This paper is mainly based on discussions in working groups and the material collected for and during a series of talks on the topic held by the first author and by feedback received by the community. This paper provides the academic community, policymakers, industry and other stakeholders with numerous examples of best practices, as well as studies and recommendations on how to address key challenges about attracting, retaining, encouraging, and inspiring women to pursue a career in Computer Science. Future work should address the issue in a systematic and research based way.

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