The Why Factor


The extraordinary and hidden histories behind everyday objects and actions


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Why aren’t more women in computer science?

The history of computing is filled with the accomplishments of women. But in the West, the number of women taking computer science degrees has fallen sharply from its peak in the 1980s. In the developing world, however, the trend is going in the other direction, because learning to code offers economic opportunities not available to women before. Women are still outnumbered in computer science classrooms, but there are more of them. In this edition of The Why Factor on the BBC World Service, Sandra Kanthal asks why there areso few women in computer science, and what is driving them from a field they helped to create? Guests: Dame Wendy Hall, Regius Professor of Computer Science, University of Southampton Dr Barbara Ericson, Assistant Professor of Information, University of Michigan Dr Anjali Das, Head of Learning, Centre for Computing History Miriam Posner, Assistant Professor of Information Studies and Digital Humanities, UCLA Noemi Titarenco, Software leader and product manager, Los Angeles Fereshteh Forough, Founder: Code To Inspire Apple Macintosh Commercial – 1984 produced by Fairbanks Films Image: A woman studies a computer screen (Credit: Getty Images)