Assignment 3: Gender and computing (CSC D03—Social Impact of

Option 1: Gender effects on my career

In 700 words (or more) discuss the effects of your gender on your career in computing so far, and the effects you think it might have in the future. Consider the following questions:* If you are female . . . • How and when did you first become interested in computing? Generally speaking, did your friends and family encourage or discourage your interest? Do you think they would have acted differently if you had been male? Was the attitude to women in the culture in which you grew up a factor? • Have you had any problems along the way that were due, in part or whole, to your gender? Any special advantages? Have you observed any special advantages or disadvantages for men?

• Do you intend to go on in computing as a career if you can (either in a job or in graduate study)? If so, do you expect your gender to influence your prospects? If not, does your decision have anything to do with gender? • Do computers seem to you to be a ‘male’ thing? Do most men seem to think about computers differently from the way you do? Are you a nerd? • Do you think that your interest and success in computing makes you different from most other women? Include any other points that you consider relevant to the topic

Option 2: The divide of the genders Argue either for or against the following proposition in 700 words or more. (You might choose to agree with one part of the proposition and disagree with another part.) Women will always be a minority in computer science and information technology because most women just aren’t interested in this kind of thing, and nothing can change that. It’s built into men and women that they tend to have different interests and abilities. Whichever side you take, you’ll need to present at least some of the opposing arguments in order to knock them down. You will need to do some research in order to be able to argue intelligently on the basis of facts

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