Gender Differences in High School Students’ Decisions to Study Computer Science and Related
Proceedings of the 46th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer
Science Education, ACM (2015)
Hai Hong, Jennifer Wang, Jason Ravitz,
Mo-Yun Lei Fong
Increasing women’s participation in Computer Science (CS) is a critical workforce
and equity concern. The technology industry has committed to reversing negative
trends for women in CS, engineering, and related fields. Building on previous
research, we surveyed 1,739 high school students and recent college graduates to
understand factors influencing decisions to pursue CS-related college degrees.
Results indicate social encouragement, career perception, academic exposure, and
self perception are the leading factors for women, while the influence of these
factors is different for men. These factors are actionable, and understanding
differences in their influence on men and women will inform our approaches to
achieving gender parity in tech.