Giant tech companies like Google and Facebook have struggled to achieve any kind of gender balance in their technical staff, in part because computer science programs at top universities skew heavily male. Most of these schools talk about outreach to female students and other measures, but one has actually done something about it. Harvey Mudd's CompSci majors are now 55% female, according to this article in the LA Times by Rosanna Xia:
That number compares to a mere 10% ten years ago and a current national average of 16%. The article describes a host of changes at Harvey Mudd, including a curriculum revamp and recruitment of new profs.
There's a lesson here beyond gender parity, too. The curriculum changes seem to have produced a different attitude toward CompSci among the entire student body:
"The introductory course is now one of the most popular across the Claremont campuses. More than 40% of non-computer science majors, hooked after the first class, go on to take at least two more programming courses."
[Image credit: LA Times]