School Seminar: Gender and Technology – An Inclusive Approach to Software Systems Design


Abstract

The disparity of gender representation in technology has been associated with the "Shrinking Pipeline Phenomenon". Consequently, strategies and initiatives have been implemented over the years to tackle this problem. These initiatives attempt to dispel computing career myths, promote the use of mentors and provide accurate information about computing to key influencers. Technological initiatives have also explored the use of software applications such as games to engage more girls with Technology.


The challenge with technological initiatives lies in its inability to equally engage both genders. In recent years, there have been gains in this area with software systems such as entertainment games and social media. However, this success has not addressed the disparity of gender representation in technology i.e. education and workplace.


Considering the ubiquity of software systems in society, initiatives to achieve a similar success using educational software and technology would have an extensive impact on all age and representation groups.


This seminar presentation focuses on a software engineering approach to the issue based on an earlier study and results. The background to the problem, arguments for the causes of the problem, empirical evidence of gender differences with software representations and the argument for an inclusive approach to software systems design will be presented. The presentation concludes with a discussion on current and future work in this area.



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