Women in Computer Science

Studying Computer Science is a good choice for anyone who wants the means to give vent to their curiosity, imagination and creativity. A Computer Science education gives one the means to both solve problems and then implement those solutions, in all sorts of application from biology via astrophysics to psychology. As the Head of the School of Computer Science here at the University of Manchester I want people from all parts of society to participate in this opportunity. Currently, too few women study Computer Science and this is something I very much wish to change.

In the UK, women are under-represented in Computer Science. This is true for many, but not all parts of the world, and has been true since the early 80s. There are various studies into the reasons for women being under-represented. Computer Science is such an exciting and creative subject area, and comes with very good career options in a broad range of application areas. There are also an increasing number of initiatives for women in Computer Science to network, and for girls to get excited or more confident about Computer Science, led by various organisations - see below for more links.

Our School of Computer Science has an unusually high number of women among their academic staff, namely 24%. I’d like this number to be even higher; for Computer Science in the UK we do well in terms of numbers of women, but I want to do much better. The people in the School of Computer Science have the aim of ensuring that the school is a fair environment for learning, working, and research - and would love to see more women study Computer Science.  

Athena SWAN accreditation

The Athena SWAN Charter for women in science recognises and celebrates good employment practice for women working in science, engineering and technology (SET) in higher education and research.

The Athena SWAN Charter is a scheme which recognises excellence in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) employment in higher education.

The beliefs underpinning the Charter are:

  • The advancement of science, engineering and technology (SET) is fundamental to quality of life across the globe.
  • It is vitally important that women are adequately represented in what has traditionally been, and is still, a male-dominated area.
  • Science cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of the whole population, and until women and men can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords.
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