When I was growing up, I was a math and science nerd. I went to a magnet junior high school for math, and never really considered the gender divide in the natural sciences. I got a computer in high school and began to learn HTML and basic programming languages. The process was never daunting or discouraging, so it came as a bit of a surprise to me to learn that this wasn't always the case when women tried to break into technological fields. I was lucky, in that I had supportive family and teachers as well as something of a natural inclination toward computers. After spending an entire summer building my first website, I decided computing was a field of interest for me.
Arriving here at Swarthmore, I was inundated with the theory alongside the gender divide in computing, as I took both Women and Technology and Computing Ethics and Social Responsibility. Both classes have forced me to look at the question of why there are so few women in technological fields, particularly computing.
Personally, I plan to continue my work in the computing field--I'm a webmaster for the Swarthmore College Computing Society, and this summer I'll be working for the Math Forum, helping to create and implement an online math journal. While both of my classes have raised interesting questions regarding the gender gap in science-related fields, there have been relatively few answers. My task, then, is to keep myself personally involved in technological endeavors and to encourage other women to do the same.
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