Gender Gap in Science Statistics (ORCID)

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A recent study by ORCID has found that it appears that, at the publication level, the gender gap in science is reducing! A summary of findings include:

  • Among one million scientists in, 33% are women.
  • In 2001 women scientists were 7% of all researchers mentioned in HighlyCited; the number grew to 13% in 2014.
  • The gender gap in HighlyCited researchers is narrower for social sciences (31% women in 2014) compared to computer science (9% women in 2014).
  • In some fields the gender gap is closing fast: HighlyCited women engineers were 11% in 2014, up from 1% in 2001; same for mathematics 11% in 2014, up from 4% in 2001.
  • In other fields the gender gap is not closing (example: HighlyCited female researchers in Physics were 4% in 2014, compared to 5% in 2001).

ORCID is an open non-profit community driven effort to create and maintain a registry of researchers worldwide. More on the findings here.

Salaries for Computer Sciences Majors (NACE Report)

Computer science majors earned the top average starting salary among Class of 2014 computer and information sciences graduates at the bachelor’s degree level, according to NACE’s Spring 2015 Salary Survey report.

At $66,801, the average starting salary of computer science majors was the only one of the computer and information sciences graduates to top $60,000.

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How to Get More Female Computer Science Grads

 - Safia Abdalla, a freshman in the computer science program at Northwestern University - KENDALL KARMANIAN

In the US alone, there’s a 1.2 million demand for computer scientists/engineers. If more women were intrigued by the profession, they could help address the gap. But women only make 18% of CS/CE degrees. Recruiting and retention of women in male dominated careers is a problem worldwide. This Chicago Business article shares an approach to solving both the problem of recruiting and retention of women.

In my experience at the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez (UPRM), where there are almost 40% of women in engineering, it takes a multi-pronged approach to bring in and retain women in engineering and computer science. You need to start as early as possible in making science and engineering attractive and non-stereotyped. “When gender perceptions and negative stereotypes towards women in mathematics and science are non-existent, the gender gap in performance seems to disappear.” according to a 2014 UPRM study. You need role models at all levels, including society. And most importantly, incorporating project-based learning is critical. Why the latter? Women’s perceptions, problem-solving approach and contributions make them feel valued. As Richard F. Baz from WPI reports, project-based learning has significantly more impact on women than on men. It appears that when women have connections with their environment they feel valued. Project-based learning allows students, especially women, to “build more intimate connections with people… because we were living with the people we were working with…”


Computer Science – the Most Popular Major at Stanford

Wow! For the first time ever in 2012, the number of Stanford students specializing in computer science is bigger than those in human biology, a long-standing favorite, 380 to 329, according to a new analysis by the university. Engineering ranks third, with 250 students.