craigconnects: Connecting the World for the Common Good
contact

Craig's Blog

Will women dominate the tech field?

Hey, big news: for the first time, women outnumber men in a UC Berkeley Computer Science course. Could this be a new trend?

Stats are a little wavering and it's unclear. Mike Cassidy at Mercury News says that after Harvey Mudd College began emphasizing coding instead of siloing it, and started paying for freshman women to attend the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, "the percentage of female computer science majors at Harvey Mudd increased from about 10% before the initiatives to 43% today."

Cassidy also thinks that the number of women in the computer science field is getting worse. He said that "in 1984, more than 37% of computer science bachelor's degrees in the US were awarded to women. By 1995, the figure had dropped to about 28.5 %. The latest U.S. Department of Education figures from 2011 put the number at 17.6%."

compsci

From my perspective, it seems to be improving overall. Folks, there are more female computer science grads at Stanford than ever before, women are outnumbering men for the first time ever at a UC Berkeley Computer Science course, and the number of Harvard sophomore women who are declaring their major as Computer Science has increased over the years. It seems to me that it's the little things that are increasing, and those things really add up.

IG

2012 Infographic from Women Who Tech

What have you noticed about women in the Computer Science field? Do you think that gender equity's on the upswing?

 

Proud to be Suba!

Hey, I've mentioned the support I've provided for the computer center at Mfangano Island, and have recently received a few updates from people who have been using the center. I wanted to share their stories with you. I shared Eric's  story about not being able to press the keyboard buttons earlier this month, and here's Nancy's story:

I am Nancy, I was born in Mfangano and raised in Kisumu City. All my life I familiarized myself with technology, everything around me was connected to the use of computers and other electric devises. After nine years of living in the City, I was to move back to Mfangano to work in the EK Center as a radio presenter. I was thrilled by the idea because I did not know what to expect in the Island since it was considered a remote place without any development. I knew life was going to be quite different and difficult especially on the communication part.

To my surprise, things were different from what I thought. As I got into EK Center, I was amazed at the sight of it, the different kinds of programs that were run in the center, especially the IT and Radio department. I was relieved, they had the programs I thought would be a problem, communications! The first thing I did was to sit next to a computer and opened my favorite site, I usually use for communicating with my friends and the rest of the world, ‘Twitter’! Later I was taken to the radio, and for the first time in my life, I was heard speaking on the radio. I never thought such a great thing could happen to Mfangano Island; It gives me more reason to be a Suba!  Connecting with my friends all over the world from this ‘remote’ Island sounds a dream, to be exact so unreal!

Nancy Sungu EK Radio Presenter

Nancy Sungu is a young girl, who is a radio presenter with the EK Community Youth Radio

10 women entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter

twitter

Folks, my team and I have listened to many of the suggestions you've been sending our way, and we've compiled a list of 10 women entrepreneurs that you should follow on Twitter. These women really have their boots on the ground, and are doing good work. Please comment below to share your favorite women entrepreneurs.

Majora Carter

Majora Carter is an internationally renowned urban revitalization strategy consultant, real estate developer, and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. She's responsible for the creation & successful implementation of numerous green-infrastructure projects, policies, and job training & placement systems.

majoracarter

Heather Russell

Heather Russell told TechHub that she became an entrepreneur because "My parents are artists and writers and always had their own business. From ad agency to travel agency. I just grew up without a concept of working for someone else and to do your own thing, your own way."

heatherrussell

Aliza Sherman

Aliza Sherman helped pave the way for women online and in the Internet industry. She is a web and social mobile pioneer whose work helped shape the early new media industry. In addition to starting the first woman-owned Internet company in the early 90s, Cybergrrl, Inc., she's been writing, speaking and consulting about social media since 2006 and social mobile marketing since 2010. She is also well known for her expertise on women’s technology and business issues.

alizasherman

Natalia Oberti Noguera

Natalia Oberti Noguera is Founder and CEO of Pipeline Fellowship, an angel investing bootcamp for women that’s changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for women social entrepreneurs.

natalia

Melinda Emerson

Melinda Emerson, known as SmallBizLady, has been a thriving entrepreneur for nearly 15 years and is an internationally known keynote speaker. A pioneer in social media marketing, she's the creator and host of #Smallbizchat, the longest running live chat on Twitter for small business owners.

melindaemerson

Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington is the Chair, President, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of fourteen books. In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet.

arianna

Susan Wojcicki

Susan Wojcicki is the CEO of YouTube. Previously, she was the Senior Vice President of Advertising & Commerce at Google. She oversaw the design, innovation and engineering of Google’s advertising, commerce, and measurement platform products, including AdWords, AdSense, DoubleClick, Offers, and Google Analytics.

 

susan

Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer is the current President and CEO of Yahoo! since July 2012. Previously, she was a long-time executive and key spokesperson for Google.

marissa

Helene Gayle

Helene Gayle joined CARE USA as president and CEO in 2006. Prior to her current position, she was the director of the HIV, TB, and reproductive health program for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

helene

Ellen Degeneres

Ellen DeGeneres is a stand-up comedian, television host, and actress. She starred in the popular sitcom Ellen from 1994 to 1998 and has hosted the syndicated talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show since 2003, going on its 11th year.

ellen

I Could Not Press the Computer Keyboard Buttons

Folks, I've been doing some monetary support for the computer center at Mfangano Island, and have recently received a few updates from people who have been using the center. I wanted to share their stories with you. Here's Eric's story:

It was in June 7th, 2010 that I first joined Ekialo Kiona Center. Though I had been living on Mfangano Island for a long time, I had never used nor handled a computer before. When I heard that becoming an EK member would give me the opportunity to learn and use computers, I got excited and joined the club. All people who join the free community cyber-cafe (with onsite Voluntary HIV counseling and testing) through biannual HIV testing receive free unlimited access to the Internet. Even though I had never known my HIV status before and feared the process (and of course knowing my status) I decided to go through the process, just to get chance to touch a computer.

It was not easy for me in the IT room! Just touching the keyboard was so strange to me. In fact I believed that the ‘Wazungus’ (white people) were the people who knew and can handle these gadgets. At first I feared I could damage the computer so I did not want touch it. But anyway, I got the opportunity that I could not leave to pass. It took me only three months to know everything about the computer: handling the keyboard, writing, accessing information, and using the internet, among others.

I can remember an incident when I received my first email message from my friend Graham Tattersall, who I had met some years back. I yelled so loud that it made a lot of noise in the IT room and I had to be sent out for more than thirty minutes before being allowed in again. I didn’t believe I could get a mail from that far. It is marvelous; technology has changed my life and the lives of many people like on Mfangano Island.

That is the power of technology through EK Center on Mfangano Island and its environment. Thanks to those who have made this a reality.

Eric Omondi

 

Eric Omondi is a youth and is currently a volunteer in the EK FM Youth Radio, a project under EK Center