Gender Issues in Computer Science and Software Engineering

Prof. Orit Hazzan, Dr. Dalit Levi, Tami Lapidot
Cite As:
Hazzan Orit, Levi Dalit, Lapidot Tami. Gender Issues in Computer Science and Software Engineering Haifa Israel: Samuel Neaman Institute, 2002.
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This research focuses on women in the software industry. It addresses three sub-topics:
Female high-school pupils studying of computer science: Formal and informal data indicate that the percentages of the high-school female pupils who study computer science at the level of 5 points (the higher level) of the matriculation exam remain relatively low (about 25%). In October 2001, with the financial support of the Samuel Neaman Institute, we started examining the studying of computer science by female high-school pupils. At the end of this research (September 2004) we aim at describing the research results. One of the leading activities of this project is the recruitment of computer science teachers to join the research by inviting them to be involved in data collection and analysis.


Undergraduate female students studying at the department of Electrical Engineering of the Technion: During the last three years the department of Electrical Engineering of the Technion organizes a one-day exposure conference for high school female pupils, in order to attract more women to study at the department. Currently, the percentage of women who learn at the department is about 15%. This year, supported by the Samuel Neaman Institute, a research was conducted in order to check the influence of this day on the attitude of the female pupils towards their studying at the Teachnion in general and towards their studying at the department of Electrical Engineering of the Technion in particular. As it turns out, while in the morning (just when the conference started) only 19 pupils out of 124 (15%) considered the study of Electrical Engineering positively, at the end of the day 65% of the pupils answered positively the question “Will you consider studying at the Department of Electrical Engineering of the Technion?”. A full report about this research is available.


Women in the Israeli software industry: In this research the focus is placed on the fitness of different software development methods and environments to women's management and work styles. Data for this research, which started at the beginning of 2004, is gathered by interviews with women from the Israeli software industry and by observations of Israeli software teams both in the academia and in the industry. We hope to identify characteristics of software development processes and environments that fit women's work, management and communication style. The importance of this research to the exhaustion of the Israeli technical and scientific work power is clear.

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