Tag Archives: Quick Strategies

UC Santa Cruz, 44% female graduates in engineering in 2007

Recruitment 101: In 2007, a survey of master’s degrees awarded by U.S. engineering schools showed that the University of California, Santa Cruz, ranked third in percentage of degrees awarded to women. Of the master’s degrees awarded by UCSC’s Baskin School of Engineering in 2004-05, 44.2% went to women. In 2006, women made up 17.2% of engineering students nationally.

I was curious – did UC Santa Cruz’s website have images of women? I went to the homepage for the engineering school and counted in the rotating photos four that showed both women and men, four that showed men only and two that showed women only. In most of the photos the women were engaged in using equipment.  Hats off to UC Santa Cruz for the many images of women engaged in engineering on their website and for having nearly half female graduates in their engineering program.

U Mass Computer Science Department Adds Photos of Women to its Website Homepage

I am happy to see that U Mass’s Computer Science (CS) Department added photos of women to its homepage. Out of seven photos–two now feature women! Unfortunately, the photos of women don’t show them working in the field with equipment as photos 1, 2 and 4 do for the males. The photos now show a woman writing on a board in a classroom setting and two women in an office setting. One of the recommendations IWITTS makes in our WomenTech training is that photos are taken of women working with equipment. Too often women are portrayed in “passive” roles in the workplace while males are in “active” roles.

A faculty member who was on U Mass’s Computer Science website redesign committee commented on my previous blog article and posted additional URLs where we can see photos of women in Computer Science. I applaud that U Mass CS has these specialized programs for women. They should feature them on their homepage. I do still think that the homepage needs to have an equal or close to equal number of photos of female and male students (equally engaged in hands-on activities). Many women wouldn’t bother to go past the homepage, if the images are all male (or almost all male).

Readers, please comment about other STEM/technical education school websites with photos of all male students AND if you know of a website that shows half female and male photos we’d love you to comment about that, too!

What message are the photos on your school’s website sending?

Recruiting Strategies 101: If you were a female student who wanted to study computer science which of these colleges would you attend after looking at their websites?

University of Massachusetts, Amherst (edit: Since this blog was first published the University of Massachusetts computer science website has been updated with photos of females.)

City College of San Francisco

Female role models are critical to recruiting women and girls to career areas in which there are very few women. That’s why in our CalWomenTech Project we built a Women in Technology section for each school’s website that features female role models, women in technology associations and much more…

Are you interested in developing a website section for your school or program, featuring women in technology? We’ve made it easy for you.  See our WomenTech Step-by-Step Web Guide. We even give you instructions on finding female role models.

Quick Recruitment Strategy: If your school only has photos of males on the website for your program, change those photos right away and make sure there’s more than one woman! It’d be best if women are pictured in at least one-third, if not half, of the photo images.