The Illinois Technology Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the development of the technology talent pipeline in the State of Illinois.

Can early computer science education boost number of women in tech?

By Mike Cassidy   Mercury News Columnist

Even as women have made big strides in once-male-dominated professions such as law and medicine, they’ve been left far behind when it comes to computer science, a lucrative discipline that is the primary driver of the 21st century economy.

At Stanford, only 23.5 percent of computer science degrees last year were awarded to women. At UC Berkeley, the number was 16.2 percent. The schools broadly mirror the national picture. But that’s only part of the story.

The fact is, the numbers have been getting worse. In 1984, more than 37 percent of computer science bachelor’s degrees in the United States were awarded to women. By 1995, the figure had dropped to about 28.5 percent. The latest U.S. Department of Education figures from 2011 put the number at 17.6 percent. READ MORE

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