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« What SXSW Taught Me About Building A Serendipity Engine | Main | Learn Community Management From Leading Practitioners »

March 22, 2011

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Jenmontfort

I have to give a shout out to my school, Sweet Briar College. Since I graduated I've watched with interest as they launched an engineering program, offering a BS in Engineering Science and a BA in Engineering management. It's a new program, but I'm tremendously proud of the steps they've taken to get this off the ground, including a summer program for high school girls.

This year also saw the launch of an ipad pilot program http://www2.newsadvance.com/news/2010/sep/18/apple-teacher-and-students-ar-511944/ and renovations to one of the class rooms to bring it up to modern technological standards.

All of these efforts makes me very happy and proud to have graduated from such a forward thinking women's college. I think we're on the right track to shape women into leaders in the technology fields.

Maggielmcg

Funny--I started drafting a blog post after reading that same TechCrunch article. I'm so tired of articles claiming that women rule...well, mostly anything, because invariably they really don't. Unless the definition of "ruling" is spending money. They don't earn equivalent wages in many/most sectors. Etc. I'll save the rant for my own post and spare you and your readers ;)

But cool point about women's colleges. I applied to three schools back in the day, two of which were women's schools (one of which was Sweet Briar--cool comment about it above!). I got into all three, but chose the coed one. I wonder if my life would be any different today had I chosen one of the other two?

Rhappe

Jen, that is very cool - CV Harquail also shared this article about Bryn Mawr: http://nyti.ms/dWGwFM

Engineering programs are a start and one prong of the need but I also think it could be elevated to a cross-institute initiative on technology leadership that included placement of interns, management of technology, a tie to sociology & psychology, etc.

Maggie - that was very much my annoyance with the article as well. Um, well, until women are reaping the benefits of all that spending on the other side they are really just providing all the economic juice but not getting the economic benefit. So how does that constitute 'ruling'. Even after having gone to a women's college is is hard for me to explain why they are SO instrumental in developing leadership although I will say taking a class at Amherst opened my eyes. Only two women spoke the entire semester (me and another women) and the other women got shot down repeatedly and the male professor did nothing to mediate. If every class I took had been like that, I probably would have become a lot less vocal too.

twitter.com/JoeCascio

Hi Rachel,

What I found remarkable about the stats you cited was that they shed convincing light on an old debate about women's-only vs coed schools. Frankly, I was always of the opinion that a hothouse flower wouldn't do very well when it had to go outside in the cold. But apparently this is not the case!

But tell me, is it only the Seven Sisters that do this well? That would tend to argue more for the Ivy or old-patrician-girl effect rather than the women's school effect.

Rhappe

Joe -

They are interesting stats and I believe they are for women's colleges generally but I don't know that for a fact... I'd have to do some digging.

It's a slightly strange phenomenon that I can't quite explain although I will say I took a class at Amherst while at Mount Holyoke and was a bit shocked by how domineering the men in the class were, and the complacency of the instructor - if that is what high end co-ed colleges are like generally, it would be tough for women to even find their public voice - never mind use it actively. But that is only one data point.

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