Question/Answer: How Do We Improve Computer Science’s Image?

question markSee Wechie’s Comment of 8/21: There seems to be hundreds of separate initiatives to encourage girls to study computer science but there remains an image problem. How can we get an industry wide campaign going to improve the image of computing?

Yes, Wechie you are correct, there is a huge image problem. American Association of University Women’s Study, Tech Savvy: Educating Girls in the New Computer Age (2000) which you can download for free, documents the image problem among girls and many other studies have gone on to replicate these findings.

I would like to see one of the major computer giants – such as Apple or Electronic Arts – use their marketing savvy and department to team with a nonprofit (such as us) to develop a multi-media marketing campaign (YouTube, facebook, TV commercials, Posters) that could create a more positive image of computer science for women and girls (and men!).

Of course, we also advocate that schools help to change the image by showing female role models in posters and career videos — our womentechstore has many resources to help with this. I’ve personally previewed the videos we have and they are extremely well done. (Shameless plug). Now if we could combine this with a national campaign by industry leaders this could be the push that’s needed.

2 Responses to “Question/Answer: How Do We Improve Computer Science’s Image?”

  1. Shyno Chcko Pandeya  on November 19th, 2009

    WGBH and ACM have partnered together with funding from NSF to change the image of computing. It is called the New Image of Computing.

    Most high school students view computer science as “boring, antisocial, and irrelevant to their lives” The consequences of that perception are dire, with study after study showing a potentially devastating lack of interest in the field.

    This initiative is focused on changing the image of computing among college bound girls 13 – 17. The concept we are moving forward with is Dot Diva. We are still in early testing phases and will be developing messages, branding, and building a community of Dot Diva’s to educate, excite and engage girls with computer science.
    Find out more about us at and fan us at

  2. BJ Wishinsky  on October 15th, 2009

    One small thing that we recently did at the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology was to release the video “I am a Technical Woman” to show the diversity of women who work in computing.

    The video can be viewed and downloaded for offline use at

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