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Cracking the Digital Ceiling
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Book description

Is computing just for men? Are men and women suited to different careers? This collection of global perspectives challenges these commonly held western views, perpetuated as explanations for women's low participation in computing. By providing an insider look at how different cultures worldwide impact the experiences of women in computing, the book introduces readers to theories and evidence that support the need to turn to environmental factors, rather than innate potential, to understand what determines women's participation in this growing field. This wakeup call to examine the obstacles and catalysts within various cultures and environments will help those interested in improving the situation understand where they might look to make changes that could impact women's participation in their classrooms, companies, and administrations. Computer scientists, STEM educators, students of all disciplines, professionals in the tech industry, leaders in gender equity, anthropologists, and policy makers will all benefit from reading this book.


'Rich with data and examples, thought provoking, affirming, and sometimes deeply troubling, Cracking the Digital Ceiling offers a diverse collection of voices and perspectives on women in computing. It is absolutely a must-read book for anyone seeking to understand and improve gender equity in this important field.'

Alison Derbenwick Miller - Vice President, Research and Emerging Technology, Oracle

'At the University of Malaysia, half the undergraduate students in CS/IT are female. The same is true in CS at Carnegie Mellon (CMU), one of the most competitive programs on the planet. Why do these universities defy stereotypes or perceived norms? As this important and ground-breaking volume in the gender in STEM literature clearly and convincingly demonstrates with research from around the world, culture and micro-culture are key factors at play. In Malaysia, computing is not viewed as a masculine field. Elsewhere, the good news is that one can pro-actively change the microculture, as at CMU. It’s not rocket science. Common-sense programs work. Just do it!'

Lenore Blum - Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania

'Drs Frieze and Quesenberry expertly weave evidence from around the world to build a fascinating case for the critical role of culture change in helping increase the participation of women and girls in computing. A must read for those who want to change the status quo!'

Gerry Katilius - Vision 2020 National Women's Equality Initiative Delegate and former Google Global Diversity Unbiasing Program Manager

'Beginning with eye-opening global data, this book provides insights into how cultural expectations caused women’s under representation in computing. Hope is omnipresent, as evidence is presented showing how cultural change increases diversity and inclusion. Technology will be positively impacted as more girls choose computing and more women contribute to the field.'

Kathleen Buse - Case Western Reserve University, Ohio

'Incredible variety and breadth of countries, with many insights on the issues surrounding women in computing. This is a great book for those starting out their readings in gender issues in computing, but also for those that need more information about the women in computing issues around the world.'

Daniel Mosse - University of Pittsburgh

'Computing is not just for men! Frieze and Quesenberry have teamed up again to teach us the complexities that exist in women’s low participation in computing around the world. Read this book, use what you learn to adapt locally, and let’s change the face of computing!'

Tracy Camp - Colorado School of Mines

‘… a fine addition to this extensive research on the topic, as it further strengthens the case for more women to participate in digital economies. The book is a definitive, thought-provoking, and extremely well-organized collection of global perspectives carefully curated by experts Carol Frieze and Jeria Quesenberry.’

Tetyana Darian Source: Technical Communication

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  • Introduction
    pp 1-22

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