Gender and programming contests: Mitigating exclusionary practices
- Article: Gender and programming contests: Mitigating exclusionary practices
- Author(s): Maryanne Fisher, Anthony Cox
- Journal: Informatics in Education 5 (2006), no. 1, 47-62
- Conference: Perspectives on computer science competitions for (high school) students
Abstract: Individuals vary across many dimensions due to the effects of gender-based, personality, and cultural differences. Consequently, programming contests with a limited and restrictive structure (e.g., scoring system, questioning style) are most favourable and attractive to a specific set of individuals with the characteristics that best match this structure. We suggest that a more inclusive and flexible structure will allow contests to be more appealing to a wider range of participants by being less biased towards specific traits. As well, by making contests more broadly appealing, they become better post secondary recruiting tools that can potentially be used to attract under-represented populations to the discipline of computer science. In this paper, we focus on gender-based differences and the effect of a competition's structure on female participants.
Keywords: programming contests, scoring systems, gender bias
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