Re 2: Statistics on women in technology

Date: Wed Jul 28 1999 - 12:12:35 EDT

Kym Mulhern wrote:
I'm looking for quick and reliable sources of information/statistics on
women and technology --- particularly women and Internet usage, women in
technology-related fields, and girls in technology-related educational programs.

One immediate source of a lot of current statistics and information is the NSF
document, "Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and
Engineering"...the latest document is on the NSF web site as is a good overview
of some of the issues, found in the 1997 Annual Awardee Meeting of the Program
for Women and Girls, also on the site. <>

Also you may want to look at two books:
>FromBarbie to Mortal Combat: Gender and Computer Games, edited by Justine
Cassell and Henry Jenkins (MIT Press, 1998) and Processed Lives: Gender and
Technology in Everyday Life edited by Jennifer Terry and melodie Calvert
(Routledge, 1997).

The TERC website is also a good resource

Some interesting data we've found that we collectively need to examine as we all
explore the area of SMT:

*Among 17-year old females, the 1994 average science profieincy score was lower
than the 1969 score, despite improvement in the average proficiency scores
between 1986 and 1994. At age 17, the gap between the average science
proficiency scores of males and females was generally smaller between 1986 and
1994 when compared with the gap observed in 1986. Female students tend to score
lower than male students on the NAEP science assessment at ages 9, 13, and 17.

Althrough the differences are small (from 1 to 3 percent lower) they are
statistically significant and have been persistent since 1970. The gap is also
greatest at age 17. (NSF)

{IF we're to improve the involvement of women in all the sciences, we need to
start paying evenmore attention to the pipeline in early grades--and probably
need to further examine the issue of assessment design and testing and the
classroom interactions/expectations that create disparities}

The impact this has is evident in postsecondary ed:
(1992-1994-percentage of postsecodnary degrees awarded to women)

Field of study Associate Bachelor's Master's Doctorate
Mathematics 38 46 38 22
      sciences 59 51 55 41
Physical sciences
    total 42 34 29 22
Chemistry NA 41 41 28
Physics NA 18 15 12
Computer and
  sciences 51 28 26 15
Engineering 13 16 15 11
(Sources: National Center for Education Statistics, 1996)

For more information, as well as for referrals to projects or researchers
working on these and related topics, contact the WEEA Equity Resource Center at
1-800-225-3088 or see our web site <>

As you or others collect information on gender and technology, I'd encourage you
to post that info on EDEquity so we can all share the information. We here are
especially interested in learning more about programs, research, outcomes that
focus on gender AND race, ethnicity, disability, and language. Does anyone have
examples, etc?

Katherine Hanson
WEEA Equity Resource Center
EDC, 55 Chapel St., Newton, MA

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