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Women in Tech Will Grow Alongside Digital

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ACM president Vicki L. Hanson

Says ACM president Vicki L. Hanson, "As many more women are introduced to computing via strengthening links between computing and other fields, prevailing assumptions of what a computing professional looks and acts like will become outdated."

Credit: ACM

ACM president Vicki L. Hanson expects the ranks of women in information technology (IT) fields to grow as computer skills and knowledge become increasingly necessary for all industries.

"While most [professionals] will not become expert, basic [computing] skills will be required for them to be effective in their careers and to deal with the myriad of online offerings for communication, entertainment, retail, and government services," Hanson predicts.

She also says parallel with this trend will be the hastening obsolescence of stereotypical images of computing professionals.

"The efforts of ACM's Council on Women in Computing (ACM-W), as well as ACM-W student chapters, add to the sense of discovery and excitement that will naturally come to many women as they are introduced or (re)introduced to the computing field," Hanson writes. "These groups provide nurturing environments that include mentors, friends, and numerous opportunities for professional development."

Hanson cites ACM-W Europe's recent womENcourage conference in Austria as one example, while ACM-W India found female-only hackathons to be an excellent strategy for convening women across India.

"Our ideas about the kinds of people who work in the computing field, and the real or imagined barriers to their participation, are being redefined every day," Hanson writes.

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