Project introduction and background information
In most Western countries, women account for no more than 20% of the total population of computer science students. This is regrettably low, for it is frequently underscored that diversity is important for the development of creative solutions. Undergirding this imbalance is that, historically, computer science is mostly being remembered as a male endeavour even though women have contributed substantially to its emergence. In response, the Alice and Eve-event wishes to celebrate women in computer science. By exposing the female achievements across computer science history, aspirant female students are provided with the role models they need to confidently pursue a similar computer science path.
Objective and expected outcomes
In order to support this rationale, the event consisted of an exhibition and a symposium. In the exhibition, attendees are made familiar with both female pioneers and with contemporary, yet leading scientists within the field. The symposium allows the attendees to interact directly with their female role models, seeing technically interesting topics being discussed. Notably, the event aimed at celebrating female achievements with pride, rather than discussing them within the shadow of their male counterparts.
Results and learnings
In retrospect, the event has been met with critical acclaim. More specifically, attendees have praised the elucidation of female trailblazers. In light of this appraisal, the organization wishes to expand both its content and its audience. Moreover, it is believed that the Alice and Eve-event could serve as an example toward other engineering fields that are experiencing a similar gender imbalance.
This research has also been presented at the 48th SEFI Annual Conference on Engineering Education, SEFI 2020, Online, Enschede, Netherlands (20 Sep 2020 - 24 Sep 2020)
More could be found in the paper (at the downloads on the right): “Alice And Eve: A Celebration Of Women In Computer Science” by J.C. van Huizen, M. Huisman, S.A.M. Lathouwers, A.M. Schaafstal, M.I.A. Stoelinga