The future of Women and IT

By Derek Sooman on September 22, 2004, 10:14 AM
"The nature of the industry is going to change. So we need to look at that and say to these young women, 'Here is an intellectual challenge that you'll really enjoy'." - Professor Wendy Hall, Professor of Computer Science at Southampton University.

The personal computer in the 80s seems to have done a great deal to alienate women from computing, and the IT industry as a whole. Computing became about writing tank games in assembler - the "playing and coding of war games". And the computing of the home affected the computing of the office. The IT office became a very male dominated place, as still is. But can it change?

Professor Wendy Hall, Professor of Computer Science at Southampton University, believes that it can. She believes that the nature of computing (and the IT industry) can and will change, and that these changes could and will afford more opportunities to women.

"The sorts of skills required to deal with this brave new world with be the ones women have in abundance, and the subjects that attract more women will be the ones that become more important. Hall predicts that in the next five years, there will be computer science courses that require applicants to have a biology A-Level."

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