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.

5 Responses to “What message are the photos on your school’s website sending?”

  1. gmiklau  on August 6th, 2009

    I’m a faculty member on the committee that recently redesigned the UMass Computer Science website. The appeal of our discipline to females and other underrepresented populations was a significant priority of our re-design. While we are always looking for ways to improve, our site currently does include a number of female role models that you may have missed.

    First, the pictures on the front page of our website change often, and do often include females — in fact they have already changed since your message was posted!

    Second, you invite a comparison between our CS home page and the “CCSF CalWomenTech” page, which is tailored to a more specific purpose. There are a number of other pages on our website that are specifically oriented to outreach and diversity. The links below show some examples, including: (i) personal profiles of male and female undergraduates in our admissions materials; (ii) a description of our active CS Women’s group consisting of undergrads, grads, and faculty; and (iii) our various diversity outreach programs, including CAITE.


  2. mrasco  on July 29th, 2009

    Another question could be: what messages are our Professional Society Magazines sending? I liked the June 2009 InTech article by ISA’s Bridget Fitzpatrick. I also like the Dream Jobs Feb. 2009 IEEE Spectrum article.

  3. KathyL  on July 29th, 2009

    Good points…I find it surprising that UMASS hasn’t even tried to find a photo of a female student or faculty member. Their site does look very professional, though. :)

  4. maryj  on July 28th, 2009

    Pretty interesting stuff~ Keep the news flowing, Donna!

  5. daniellas  on July 27th, 2009

    Wow, what a difference a few female role models can make to a website!

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