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Female gender code.

I was very interested to learn that there was a higher ratio of women working in computer science from the 1960s to 1980s ("Sexism Bytes," Summer 2014 Herizons). My mother got her first job as a computer scientist in 1966 at Bell Canada, at a time when one computer filled a room. Because computer science was a growth industry, a number of large companies were actively doing campus recruitment drives of bachelor of science students (there being no such thing as a computer science degree at that time). That recruitment drive is what brought my mom into that career, which she followed through until retirement.

I come from a family of three girls and one boy. My mother praised us all for our analytical skills, maybe hoping we would follow in her footsteps. On one occasion, when praising my brother for demonstrating good problem-solving skills, she added the comment, "So maybe you can be a computer scientist when you grow up." He replied, "But mom, can boys do that job?" Alas, none of the three daughters have followed our mother's example, but it looks like our brother has finally come around to the idea that computer science might be something a man can do too. Now in his 30s, he is about to graduate with a degree in computer science, as a second career.


Vancouver, B.C.

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Title Annotation:letters
Author:Adin, Emilie K.
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Sep 22, 2014
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