Under-Representation of African American Women Pursuing Higher-Level Degrees in the Computer Science/Technology Fields

Under-Representation of African American Women Pursuing Higher-Level Degrees in the Computer Science/Technology Fields

Alfreda Dudley-Sponaugle (Towson University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-741-6.ch006
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Abstract

White males have dominated the computer sciences/technology disciplines since inception. Statistical data have shown that representation of female students in the computer sciences/technology fields has been consistently lower than for their male counterparts. Representation of African American students in these areas has been consistently low as well. There are relatively few African American women represented in the computer sciences/technology areas. The number of African American women pursuing a higher degree in these areas is almost non-existent. There aremany factors which may contribute to this trend. This paper will focus on some of the complexities involved in this problem. Using statistical data, the author will also cover the social/economic, educational and cultural barriers which have an effect on one of these underrepresented populations. In conjunction with this information, she will include some of her own experiences as a former student and as an educator.

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