Written for FLARE‘s 9-5.
When you started studying computer science at Dal, how many women were in your classes? Very few, sadly. It started out at around 17 percent but it dwindled over the years. That’s the unfortunate reality about being a woman in tech: it’s always a higher percentage when you start and then people leave for one reason or another.
Did you find it hard being one of very few women? I’m an outspoken and confident person so I didn’t fall into the trap of anticipating a lot of negativity. I also found a lot of student societies, like the Women in Technology Society at Dal, that were supportive. I didn’t feel alienated by the male students. It was a positive experience overall—but I know that other girls don’t always experience that.
Why do you think more women aren’t entering computer science? A lot of girls are taught early on that math and science are for boys. So, before they’re even conscious of it, young girls learn not to pursue STEM fields, and I think that’s really where the problem is.