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Very interesting blog ;) I am a woman who is currently enrolled part time in Computer Science in Canada (west coast) and working as a "web developer". I think that it is easier to understand the situation if you look at characteristics of a "good" programmer -- not simply at the numbers of male vs. female comp sci students. I know plenty of male students who just don't get it... Good programmers are few and far between -- it's a certain anal, detail oriented, perfectionist attitude that is needed. Plus, the ability to deliver (not just talk about it but DO it) and to think on your feet! And to add to all the above -- creative. Not necessarily *artistic* but creative as in creative solutions, problem solving etc etc. I worked as a Java developer for 2 years (with only a post-bac diploma pre-.com explosion) -- only girl, only employee < 25. I agree with the previous post that how no one will *believe* that you know what you know without a degree. It's just more competitive out ther...
PPS: Speaking of positive role models -- my grandmother used to "program" with punch cards and computers the size of a romm or something. It made me not so afraid to test the technical waters because I knew a woman personally who could do that. I hope that I have that kind of influence on a young person. Having no sisters, I have been sucessful with my brothers (1 in bach of comp sci, 1 mulling it over between comp sci and engineering) ;)