The Challenges Of Female Women In Computer Science Engineering

1696 Words 7 Pages
I am currently majoring in computer science engineering. It is a field that is reasonably racially diverse but completely dominated by males. In my Computer Science 205 class, there is a total of 5 girls including myself and 30 males. This creates for an interesting class dynamic that I was not aware of until recently. When you walk into the class, all the female students are sitting on one side and the male students are on the other. This means that unless our teacher picks the groups for us, we always split up by gender. I never thought this was a problem until I went that convention for female computer science majors. It was brought to my attention how my classes were specified for a male student, how I am less likely to talk when in a …show more content…
Engineering in general is a men’s major; however, times are changing. Being a female in engineering is becoming more popular as companies are looking to create diverse teams in within their staff. The only problem with this is that once they let the women into the work field, they are not giving them anywhere to go. Stephen McNamee and Robert K. Miller talk about how young women are at a systematic disadvantage when they try to advance in their fields because of the lack of senior mentors. “Senior professional men are often reluctant to take on younger female professional proteges, and younger professional females are reluctant to cultivate ties with senior professional men.” (The Meritocracy Myth, McNamee and Miller 82) It is because of this lack of mentorship that women are not creating the social capital needed in the workforce to get better jobs. My gender has not greatly impacted the education that I have received and if anything makes me work harder. However, I know that when I am older it will greatly influence the job opportunities that I …show more content…
They taught me that in order to well, I needed to balance my social and cultural capital because they worked hand and hand with each other. “Social capital focuses attention on differential access to opportunities through social connections.” (The Meritocracy Myth, McNamee and Miller 77) Cultural capital is your ability to “fit in” with the people around you. This past year I was given the opportunity to test my social and cultural capital when I went to Texas for The Grace Hopper Celebration. GHC is a convention to help women in technology fields to get recognized. My dad works for Bank of America and had a few acquaintances who were going to be at the conference. He gave their names and told me I should stop by. When I got there, they talked to me about my dad for a few minutes and then insisted that I sign up for an interview, something I was not expecting. The interview was not one of the best. I did not know any of the technical questions due to my lack of knowledge within computer science, but the behavioral part went pretty well. A few days later, I got a call saying that they were extending me position in their internship program for the Summer of 2017. I used my social capital to help me secure an interview and then it was all up to me. The skills I had learned from interacting with adults and coaches my whole life made me comfortable around them, that was my cultural capital. I was able to open up and talk

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