Tackling the underrepresentation of women in computing and finding novel help in athletics

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Researchers address the underrepresentation of women in computer science by conducting a four-year longitudinal study to explore the relationships among athletics, personality measures, gender, and performance in Computer Science I (CS1). The study explores personality traits (openness, persistence, and endurance) that enhance women's performance and persistence in both athletics and computer science, according to a literature review. Experimental results show female athletes out-perform (measured by CS1 grades) all other groups: male athletes, male non-athletes, and female non-athletes. The authors report results from statistical analyses to support hypotheses regarding reasons for female athletes' superior performance in CS1. The paper closes with a Future Work section that indicates how the lessons learned from female athletes in computer science might be applied to addressing the underrepresentation of all women in computing.