Nathan Ensmenger has not only written a fascinating book about how computing became so male (see book link here), he also maintains a blog that updates the story. The quote and picture below is from a recent post about a recently discovered source that describes women in computing from the 1960’s, back when women were considered better programmers than men. The rhetoric about women being more “sensitive” reminds me of Karen Ashcraft’s plenary talk at NCWIT which I highly recommend (see link here). The story about the Miss USA winner who became a computer programmer is particularly striking.
The Bodony story is not an isolated incident. The book is full of stories from women, and in fact includes an entire chapter devoted to women in computing (“The Equal Sex”). Seligsohn goes so far as to suggest that female programmers are not only equal in ability to men, but superior:
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