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Recruitment And Retention Of Women In Computer Science & Engineering

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session


Tagged Division

Information Systems

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1020.1 - 15.1020.14



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Paper Authors


Afsaneh Minaie Utah Valley University

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Afsaneh Minaie is a professor of Computer Science at Utah Valley University. Her research interests include gender issues in the academic sciences and engineering fields, Embedded Systems Design, Data Bases, and Digital Signal Processing.

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Kirk Love Utah Valley University

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Kirk Love is an associate Professor of Computer Science at Utah Valley University. His research interests include gender issues in the academic sciences, Digital Image Processing and Robotics.

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Paymon Sanati-Mehrizy University of Pennsylvania

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Paymon Sanati-Mehrizy is an undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania studying Biology. His research area of interest includes the Demographics found within the Education System, particularly relating to underrepresentation of particular groups in the Sciences. After graduation, Paymon hopes to attend Medical School.

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Reza Sanati-Mehrizy Utah Valley University

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Reza Sanati-Mehrizy is a professor of Computer Science at Utah Valley University. His research interests include Data Structures, Data Bases, and Data Mining.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Recruitment and Retention of Women in Computer Science & Engineering


Today, an important issue in academics is the need to increase the participation of women in engineering and science. It is well known that women are significantly underrepresented in the scientific fields of the world, and computer science is no exception. The percentage of female graduates in our Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department is 2.2% while the national average percentage of Bachelor’s degrees in computer science which was granted to females in 2007-2008 is 11.8%28. Clearly, the representation of women in our Computer Science program is far lower than the national average.

There are several reasons for attracting women to computer science, including the fact that more than 50% of consumers are women. If those designing products are able to relate to the female section of the population, there is a better chance of selling the products. Industry needs women designers. In addition, female perspectives can be very useful in improving the work environment. Women excel in verbal and interpersonal skills and are very good collaborators29.

This paper presents the study of different approaches that are used by different colleges and universities for recruiting and retaining women in computing. This paper also addresses the low enrollment in our computer science department and the reason that our female enrollment is lower than the national average and how we should go about fixing this issue.


There are many studies spanning decades related to the issue of gender in engineering and computer science. Social influences, family influences, peer influences, fundamental psychological differences, and motivational issues have all been broken down, dissected, and researched on numerous occasions. Typically, solutions call for 8, 9, 10:

≠ Improved mentoring. ≠ Increasing student exposure to professional women in computer science and engineering. ≠ Providing a better sense of opportunities in computer science and engineering to young women. ≠ Big sister programs. ≠ Attempts to promote a larger feeling of belonging among the community of women involved in computer science and engineering.

Studies have suggested the implementation of new improvements to curriculums, yet enrollments of women in computer science have continued to decline12, 13. More recent studies have begun to outline fundamental differences in the ways young women think versus the thinking process of young men with regard to their careers, contributions to society, fundamental views of technology, and motivations behind choices and education 8, 11.

Minaie, A., & Love, K., & Sanati-Mehrizy, P., & Sanati-Mehrizy, R. (2010, June), Recruitment And Retention Of Women In Computer Science & Engineering Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16752

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