The persistence of the gender gap in computing

  • Durndell A
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16-18 year old polytechnic entrants, who had enrolled for business or natural science subjects in 1986 or 1989, were studied to assess the persistence of the gender gap in computing. Whilst 1989 entrants were more knowledgeable about computing, the gender gap in favour of males persisted. Reported use of computers, particularly a students own computer, was higher in 1989, but again the gender gap persisted. The 1989 entrants were asked why they had chosen not to study computer studies, using open ended and fixed answer questions. Whilst gender differences did occur, gender similarity was more apparent. A negative image of the computer specialist interacting with a terminal all day was very important. It is suggested that the provision of more courses with a mixed curriculum would partially resolve the gender question. © 1991.

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  • A. Durndell

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