The University of Wisconsin-Madison received a “Best Practice” grant of $279, 211 from the Center for Inclusive Computing to increase the number of women graduating with bachelor’s degrees in computer sciences. Strategies supported by the grant include initiatives to attract and retain women in computer sciences, develop programs that address disparities, and create a community of support for women. Ten other universities, including Barnard College, Columbia University, Rutgers and the University of Minnesota, also received the “Best Practice” grant.
In an era when career opportunities in computer sciences are plentiful, women continue to be underrepresented in computer sciences programs across the country, including at UW-Madison. While the percentage of women graduating with computer sciences degrees at UW-Madison has increased over the past few years, it was still only 16% of computer sciences degrees earned this year. That’s lower than the national average of 19%, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, and much lower than the 37%, nationally, who represented women’s share of computer sciences degrees earned in 1984.