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“Keep It Going, Girl!” An Empirical Analysis of Gender Differences and Inequalities in Computer Sciences

Silvia Maria Förtsch, Anja Gärtig-Daugs, Sandra Buchholz, Ute Schmid

Abstract


This article aims to investigate gender differences among German computer sciences graduates. Utilizing data from the unique Bamberg Alumnae Tracking Study, we analyze whether or not male and female graduates differ in their level of academic achievement in computer sciences. We also examine the graduates’ self-perceptions of their professional skills as well as their individual career ambitions and career opportunities. The results of our empirical study show that the academic achievements of female graduates within our sample group are as good as those of male graduates. However, female graduates exhibit lower self-belief in their professional skills, partly because lower-achieving male graduates still display very high professional self-efficacy beliefs, irrespective of their previous academic achievements at university. Additionally, we find differences in men’s and women’s career ambitions and career opportunities in computer sciences. The career ambitions and career opportunities of male graduates depend less on their academic achievements at university, whereas female graduates have to be very ambitious to be able to hold a leadership position in the same field. Overall, we interpret these findings as indicative of the presence of gender stereotypes within computer sciences.

 


Keywords


computer sciences; academic achievement; professional self-efficacy beliefs; career ambitions; career opportunities; gender equality

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