Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Computer Science

Thesis Type

Honors College

First Advisor

Lisa Dion

Second Advisor

Jackie Horton


computer science, gender diversity, women in computer science, impact of education, Python analysis, gender studies


The number of women in computer science is declining and both retention and recruitment are major issues. The goal of this thesis is to focus on retention of women in computer science and determine the impact of female role models on women in computer science. The research consisted of a survey distributed to current students, alumni, and professionals who have encountered computer science in their lifetime. Using Python, I conducted data analysis to determine the impact of gender on multiple different benchmarks of satisfaction in the field after a first experience with computer science. Female students were much more likely to be more interested in computer science after an experience with a female teacher, and more broadly, all students were more likely to have more interest after encountering a female teacher. Additionally, female and non binary students were much more likely to report that they think the gender of their teacher had an impact on their interest in computer science and staying in the field. This research shows how increasing the number of female computer science teachers will benefit all students, especially female students, when it comes to increasing interest in the topic. Drawing these conclusions shows how recruitment that values diversity isn’t enough. There needs to be a focus on retaining and engaging gender minority students and workers to ensure that the benefits of a diverse field, not just diversity alone, can be achieved.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.