Issue No. 03 - May-June (2017 vol. 19)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MCSE.2017.42
Wendy DuBow , University of Colorado, Boulder
Alexis Kaminsky , Kaminsky Consulting, LLC
Joanna Weidler-Lewis , University of Colorado, Boulder
Previous research has suggested that access and exposure to computing, social supports, preparatory privilege, a sense of belonging in computing, and a computing identity all contribute to women pursuing computing as a field of study or intended career. What we know less about is what keeps young women persisting in computing despite the obstacles they encounter. This article describes findings from analysis of 64 in-depth interviews with young women who in high school expressed interest in computing by looking into National Center for Women and IT's Aspirations in Computing Award. The dataset includes award winners and nonwinners, some of whom have persisted in computing and some who have not. The authors' findings suggest that multiple, redundant supports, including community reinforcement, as well as a bolstered sense of identity/belonging, may make the difference in who persists and who does not.
Computer science education, Interviews, Engineering profession, Gender issues, Professional aspects
W. DuBow, A. Kaminsky and J. Weidler-Lewis, "Multiple Factors Converge to Influence Women's Persistence in Computing: A Qualitative Analysis," in Computing in Science & Engineering, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 30-39, 2017.