Association for Computing Machinery, Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education
Place of publication
New York N.Y.
The under-representation of women in the computing profession in many parts the western world has received our attention through numerous publications, the noticeable low representation of women at computer science conferences and in the lecture halls. Over the past two decades, the situation had become worse. Please refer to the other articles in this special issue for detailed statistics, a discussion of factors that contribute to the low participation rate by women, and for suggestions on how to reverse the current trend.This paper seeks to add to the dialogue by presenting preliminary findings from a research project conducted in four countries. The aim of this research was to gain an insight into the perceptions future computer professionals hold on the category of employment loosely defined under the term of "a computer professional." One goal was to get insight into whether or not there is a difference between female and male students regarding their view of computer professionals. Other goals were to determine if there was any difference between female and male students in different parts of the world, as well as who or what most influences the students to undertake their courses in computing.The team of researchers gave an extensive questionnaire to undergraduate students enrolled in a variety of computing degree programs. The students enrolled in these programs at Victoria University of Technology in Melbourne, the University of East London, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Ithaca College located in Ithaca, New York. This article reports on the analysis of the results from the questionnaire. It discusses the gender differences in the responses from the students in these countries to try to get a worldwide perspective. At this time, it does not yet report on the similarities and differences between the groups of participants from each of the four countries. Instead, it investigates whether there are gendered differences in the views of this rather broad sample of student population of future computer professionals.
Field of Research
080699 Information Systems not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
970108 Expanding Knowledge in the Information and Computing Sciences
HERDC Research category
C3 Non-refereed articles in a professional journal