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Crosscurrents

When women stopped coding

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Under CC license from Flickr user Chris Monk
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Mark Zuckerberg. Bill Gates. Steve Jobs. Most of the big names in technology are men. But a lot of computing pioneers — the ones who programmed the first digital computers — were women. And for decades, the number of women in computer science was growing.

But in 1984, something changed. The number of women in computer science flattened, and then plunged.
 

Once you have something like this happening, it reinforces itself. Computers are for boys. They are boy toys that boys use to do boy things. This became a narrative, this story we told ourselves.

Note: This episode originally aired in October, 2014.

Click the audio player above to listen to the story.

 
 

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Crosscurrents technologycoding