CODE Film Review: Diversity in Computing
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I recently had the opportunity to organize a screening of CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap with the help of Collective Idea and the Hope College Department of Computer Science. We held the film in Graves Hall on the Hope College campus, and are happy with the conversations it started about the lack of women and minorities in the computing industry.
A variety of people were in attendance at the screening. In addition to people from Collective Idea and the Hope CS Department, there were faculty and students from a few different departments, and community members who were also interested in discussing the topic. The film, and the discussion that followed, emphasized two important efforts when approaching this issue: exposure and support.
Part of the reason that that only 24.9% percent of programming or software jobs in the tech industry are filled by women is that they are not exposed to it as much as men when they are younger. In addition, there is a stereotype in America that computer and math related jobs are “male” jobs.
Another important point discussed is the lack of support in the workplace for women in technology. The film gave examples of women standing alone to defend a positive environment for themselves in the workplace. I’m thankful that I’ve always felt welcome and included as a women at Collective Idea. Throughout the entire planning process for this screening, Daniel Morrison, the founder of Collective Idea, was extremely supportive of the event. It’s great to be at a place where I’m encouraged to bring attention to issues that are so related to my own position, and work with people who realize the importance of having a diverse team.