Where have all the girls gone?

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Where have all the girls gone?


My initial attraction to this project was due to having studied Computing from an early age and also having an interest in the research area. Throughout my education there have been only a small number of female students participating in computer classes and lab sessions. The purpose of this research investigation was to find out why there is a gender imbalance in this particular field. This project is not just relevant to one or two modules of my degree programme, it is relevant to the whole degree programme and the Computer department. The under representation of female students are in all the modules, although some modules have a higher percentage of female students than others. The objective of this project was to investigate the decrease in female undergraduates in Computing degrees. This was achieved by reading relevant published materials and past projects that have been previously conducted in this research area. Several activities were conducted throughout this project to identify the possible causes behind the decrease in female applicants in Computing degrees. These activities involved interviewing and distributing questionnaire surveys to students and teaching staff from several UK education establishments. Once the published materials were reviewed and the activities were completed the findings from the investigation was analysed. This helped identify some of the possible causes, which may have an influence in contributing towards the decrease in female applicants. The findings were used to develop a set of actions to be taken, which would help resolve the current problem that is being faced. The recommendations are for the parents of the school pupils, teaching staff, universities and the computer industry.