gender issues

Barbie the Computer Software Engineer

A couple of months ago I reported on a study that suggested computer engineering programs needed to cut down on the masculine dork factor if they wanted to snare more female students. Well, now Mattel has done one further and created computer software engineer Barbie. Yes, this won't be the first plastic, female figurine to grace the murky, Cheetos-dusted man caves of the computer engineering world. But it might just be the first to lack swords, machine guns or a pair of triple Ds. Face it, for all her failings as a female role model, Barbie's far less sexualized than your typical anime heroine.

Computer Sciences to Abandon Nerd Image and Talk to Girls

This week I wrote an article for Discovery News on how stereotypically nerdy environments turn prospective female students away from the field of computer science. You know the kind of environment I'm talking about: "Star Trek" posters on the walls, scantily clad anime figurines sexing up the desk space and random video game boxes, empty Coke cans and Funion bags littering the corners of a room with nary a gleam of natural lighting in sight.