The Best of Systers Blog Research on Why So Few Women
Once a year systers can convene at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference. One item that I’ve heard for the last few years raised is the question, ‘where is the research.’ Or, sometimes I hear, ‘how can I find research that explains why there are so few women in technology?’ This question is also the one that drove me to start collecting systers links in the first place.
The great news is that there are a series of links that answer these questions, of which I’ll highlight a couple below.
Early Education Will Stem Women’s Brain Drain in Science. This article pushes directly back on the biological excuse that women just aren’t hard wired to be good at math. Instead, it points the finger at stereotype threat and how it is insidiously affecting how girls as young as 12 are thinking about math and science.
- A Cultural Perspective on Gender Diversity in Computing. The researchers in this paper use a case study approach to demonstrate how micro-cultures affect perceptions and outcomes regarding the number of women in computing.
- The Imposter Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention. This is an actual research paper from 1978 that discusses how to respond to the problem that many of us face as women in technology: that as women we feel that our success is attributed to luck and hard work rather than intelligence.
- Defend Your Research: What Makes a Team Smarter? More Women. This research is fascinating and makes the business case for why men should care about women in the workplace. With many people in the workplace believing that the best will trickle to the top no matter what, this research does a good job of explaining why we should care that that isn’t always the case.