In the articles of Lady Science, Issue No. 9 really caught my interest. Issue No. 9 discusses the role of women in the computer sciences and since I have an interest in the computer sciences, I felt inclined to read this article as it may contain content I was not aware of in the development of computer science (in both hardware and software aspects). The issue opens with a discussion about the popular TV show Silicon Valley and how the producers portray the history of computer science all wrong.
In the reading, what surprised me the most was when the writer said that about 40% of participation in computer science during the 1980’s was by women. I did not expect women’s participation in computer science to be this high during the 1980’s. I’m not really sure why but it may have to do with the more prominent figures of computer science emerging during this time period, such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Steve Wozniak. These prominent figures appear to be the cornerstone of all modern computer science. I feel as if it is only natural to assume that more men were engaged in computer science during the 1980’s since there were no prominent female figures to assume the role in the development of computer science.
Later in the reading, the writer stated that women played an integral part in computing during World War II. This information did not surprise me very much. Although I felt as if men would play an important role in the computing during WWII at first, I then understood that many men would have been gone in the war to be busy at home working on the computing. Since there were possibly less men, this meant that women would need to do most of the computing as the men fought. It really only made sense that women would be doing most of the computing in this time period.
In an effort to understand the role of women in computer sciences, there are a few questions I would ask the writer. The first one I would as is “How does the role of women in computer sciences in modern times compare to the role in the past?” I feel as if the obvious answer would be that women play just as an important role as men do. Another question I would ask is “Are there currently more women in the computer science field than men?” The only reason I would ask this is because I have many female friends that are computer sciences majors but have no male friends that are computer science majors. The last question I would ask is “What exactly was the role of women in development of the ENIAC?” The writer expanded on this topic slightly but I feel the need for a more in-depth answer about the role of women in relation to the ENIAC.
If given the opportunity to ask the writer a question about the conclusion in the article, I think I would ask this question, “What do you think the major reason is as to why the role of women in computer sciences if often overlooked, even though women have been involved with computers for over a century? And why?”
Image By Fletcher6 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7027485