NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1159265
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0018-9359
The Underrepresentation of Women in Computing Fields: A Synthesis of Literature Using a Life Course Perspective
Main, Joyce B.; Schimpf, Corey
IEEE Transactions on Education, v60 n4 p296-304 Nov 2017
Using a life course perspective, this literature review synthesizes research on women's underrepresentation in computing fields across four life stages: 1) pre-high school; 2) high school; 3) college major choice and persistence; and 4) post-baccalaureate employment. Issues associated with access to, and use of, computing resources at the pre-high school and high school levels are associated with gender differences in interest and attitudes toward computing. At the college level, environmental context (classroom design, interactions with peers and role models, signals from stereotypical images) contribute to whether students will major in computing, whereas psychosocial factors (e.g., sense of belonging and self-efficacy) and departmental culture play a role in persistence in computing fields. As in other fields, issues associated with work-life conflict, occupational culture, and mentoring/networking opportunities play a role in women's participation in the computing workforce. Several initiatives and programs have been implemented to address women's underrepresentation in computing fields. While great strides have been made in making computing more accessible, the life course perspective highlights the importance of longitudinal studies in identifying students' pathways to and through computing fields, as well as how interventions across life stages may intersect or cumulate to generate trends in computing participation.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. 445 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854. Tel: 732-981-0060; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: CCF0939370