Diversity in CS: The Challenges and Opportunities
Degrees awarded in computer science decreased among both men and women from 1985 to 1995, and women went from earning 36% of those degrees in 1985 to only 28% in 19951
Only 17% of the high school students who took the Advanced Placement Computer Science test in 1999 were females - the lowest percentage of all  tests given.  AB Calculus is up to 47%, Chemistry is 42%, Biology is 56%, and Physics, although still dismal, is over 20%. 1
It doesn't get much better:  in 2001 the percentage of female high school students taking the AP CS exam was 17 and the percentage taking the AP CS AB exam was 11.  In 2002 the numbers were 16% and 10%.  Even Physics fared better with 35% of the high school students taking the Physics B AP exam being women.3
Since 1993, the percentages of women in most Science & Engineering occupations have gradually increased; the exception is mathematics and computer sciences, in which the percentage of women declined about 4 percent  between 1993 and 1999.2
In computer science and mathematics occupations in 1999, women's salaries were approximately 12 percent less than men's salaries, whereas there was a 23 percent salary difference in life science occupations. In these respective occupations, women also reported the highest and lowest median salaries; their highest median salary was in computer science and mathematics occupations ($58,000), and their lowest was in life science occupations ($39,000).2
Other Web Sites and sources:
  • The OSU Computer and Information Science Departments: Diversity Information:  http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/diversity/
  • Systers:  http://ada-byron2.systers.org/mecca/
  • The ADA Project:  http://tap.mills.edu/
  • SIGCSE Bulletin inroads:  Paving the Way Towards Excellence in Computing Education, Special Issue:  Women and Computing, Volume 34, Number 2, 2002 June
  • In 1997 the percentage of non-white persons obtaining bachelor's degrees in computer science was 32.8%.  This was the highest of all science and engineering fields.  The percentage of non-white persons enrolled in graduate school in computer science in 1997 was 54.5%.  However, the percentage of all black, non-Hispanic person obtaining bachelor's degrees in computer science in 1997 was 10.9%.  For Hispanics it was 5.8%, Asians/Pacific Islanders were 11% and Native Americans .4%.  In 1997 whites were 73 percent, blacks 12 percent, Hispanics 11 percent, Asians/Pacific Islanders 4 percent, and American Indians/Alaskan Natives less than 1 percent of the population.3
    However, only 2% of the Ph'd in Computer Science were given to African-American, non-Hispanic persons.  1% were given to Hispanic persons, none given to Native American persons and 10% given to Asian or Pacific Islander persons.4
    Asian, black, and American Indian scientists and engineers are concentrated in fields different from those for white and Hispanic scientists and engineers. Asians are less represented in social sciences than in other fields. In 1999, they were 4 percent of social scientists but more than 11 percent of engineers and
    computer scientists. Black scientists and engineers have higher representation rates in social sciences and in computer sciences and mathematics than in other fields. In 1999, they were 5 percent of social scientists, 4 percent of computer scientists and mathematicians, and approximately 3 percent of physical scientists, life scientists, and engineers. Although their representation is small, American Indians are concentrated in social sciences, making up 0.4 percent of social and life scientists and 0.3 percent or less of scientists in other fields in 1999. Hispanics are more proportionally represented among fields; they were approximately 2.5 to 4.5 percent of scientists and engineers in each field.1

        1. Women, Minority and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering 2000:  http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/nsf00327/frames.htm
        2. 2000-2001 Taulbee Survey - Hope for More Balance in Supply and Demand by Randal E. Bryant and Moshe Y. Vardi:  http://www.cra.org/CRN/articles/march02/bryant.vardi.html
        3. Minority Student Success:  The Role of Teachers in Advanced Placement Courses, http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/repository/ap02_minority_pop_11805.pdf
        4. AP Initiatives: College Board Fellows, http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/article/0,3045,150-157-0-2056,00.html