Women are making progress in enrollment in engineering and computer science at prestigious U.S. schools. More than 50 percent of engineering bachelor’s degrees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Dartmouth College went to women in 2015, according to federal data. Women also account for 48 percent of first-year computer science students at Carnegie Mellon University. The federal government and industry leaders concede there should be a greater effort to bring women into science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and they have promoted programs such as Girls Who Code to foster interest among young girls. However, Harvey Mudd College president Maria Klawe, former president of ACM, cautions the systematic exclusion of women from such fields still exists, and it is mainly more unconscious than conscious. Role models are especially important in fields where there are far fewer female than male professors, and MIT engineering dean Ian Waitz says schools must be vigilant against sex discrimination. Research shows selective private schools, especially the most prominent, are doing a better job than public universities in establishing gender parity in engineering and science. Still, public university officials say they are actively reaching out to high schools to get more girls interested.
More info here: The Washington Post (09/16/16) Nick Anderson