"you Sound like a Good Program Manager": An Analysis of Gender in Women's Computing Life Histories

Rose K. Pozos, Michelle Friend

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Through the eyes of professional women in computing, we can better understand the impact of workplace structures, higher education pathways, and the particular closed nature of the tech industry. This study of women's life histories contributes to the work of in-depth qualitative examinations of CS learning contexts and psychological studies investigating phenomena such stereotype threat which contextualize the experience of women in computing environments. Drawing inspiration from Margolis and Fisher's (2002) work drawing the "blueprints"of the "boy's clubhouse"of computing education, as well as McDermott and Webber's (2013) analysis of when math learning occurs, we ask when, where, and how is gender being invoked and created, as a way to unpack the places, events, and interactions that shape women's participation in the Silicon Valley workforce. This qualitative analysis of 13 life history interviews with professional women in computing shows that gender becomes salient for women in public settings, particularly in early adulthood when women enter male-dominated classrooms, teams, and workplaces that foster 'brogramming' culture. CS educators, hiring managers, and recruiters all need to be aware that the effects of gender go beyond just including more women in classrooms and on teams. The learning environment, incentives for participation, and the goal of diversity all need to be better aligned in order to foster an equitable workforce.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSIGCSE 2021 - Proceedings of the 52nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages692-698
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781450380621
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 3 2021
Event52nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2021 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Mar 13 2021Mar 20 2021

Publication series

NameSIGCSE 2021 - Proceedings of the 52nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education

Conference

Conference52nd ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online
Period3/13/213/20/21

Keywords

  • belonging
  • equity
  • gender
  • higher education
  • life history
  • women in computing
  • workplace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of '"you Sound like a Good Program Manager": An Analysis of Gender in Women's Computing Life Histories'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this