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Harvey Mudd's Maria Klawe Says Women in Tech Need More Role Models

Women are bypassing careers in computer sciences and engineering because there aren’t enough role models for them in corporate America, according to Maria Klawe, President of Harvey Mudd College.

Women are bypassing careers in computer sciences and engineering because there aren’t enough role models for them in corporate America, according to Maria Klawe, President of Harvey Mudd College. Klawe has been recognized nationally for her efforts to increase participation of women in the so-called STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math. ‘If you think about Google, who do you think about. You think about Sergey and Larry. Sergey and Larry do not look all that attractive to young women. They work by themselves, they don’t have a social life, they are very smart but really there’s not much else they do in their life but sit at a computer and type. Women don’t make the connection about the potential of a stem job.’ ‘The problem is there isn’t this connection between the fact that somebody who is writing software to extend battery life for an electric vehicle is actually doing something wonderful for the earth and something that is actually highly creative and fun. We’re not promoting the correct image of what a computer scientist or engineer does, and their potential impact on the world.’ Harvey Mudd has had success increasing the participation of women in computer science and engineering majors after modifying its curriculum, which Klawe said can be duplicated at other universities.