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Tech talent actually shows promise for a more female future

March 8, 2018

The tech industry has a huge gender diversity problem, but the fact that more women are taking computer science courses suggests that could change.

Starting early: Last year, over 29,000 high school girls took an Advanced Placement computer science exam—about 27 percent of the total test takers. That’s up from 18 percent in 2007.

Continuing to college: Increased interest among high school students is giving college programs a boost. Top universities like Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Tech, MIT, and Stanford have seen sizable upticks in women studying computer science over the past five years. MIT’s program jumped from 34 to 42 percent women; Carnegie Mellon’s went from 26 to 41 percent.

Why it matters: Having a diverse tech workforce is crucial for the fair development of technologies like AI—to help prevent bias and ensure it’s solving the problems of the wider society, not just the issues of a single (white, male) group. More women getting a computer science education is a sign that things are moving in the right direction.

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