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Matthias Höfer, Carmen Noguera & Valérie Schafer

Women, Gender and Computing

ISBN: 978-3-906817-14-9
DOI: 10.13098/infoclio.ch-lb-0010
Publication date: 2023


The book "Women, Gender and Computing (from the 1940s to today)" analyses how the role of women in computing has evolved in the US and Europe. It studies how this field became more and more a masculine domain.

This anthology is structured in three parts. The first one focused on (In)Visibility through time, highlighting women's important role in the early years of computing. It enlightens the evolution of their role, first as human computers or punch cards operators, until the strong professionalization of the sector, and showcases their invisibility through time.

The second part, on users and gendered representations, shows how the field of computing has been clearly centered around men, may it be through advertising or national policies.

The third part is focused on empowerment, appropriation, and activism, starting with the first pioneering women in the software industry, such as Elsie Shutt in the 1950s and Stephanie "Steve" Shirley in the 1960s. On the most actual trends, this part includes different initiatives to encourage women into coding, gaming, and computing as a whole.

This Living book mixes historical, sociological, and anthropological approaches, abandoning restrictive outlooks on computing science as a solely programming-centered field. The selected materials provide an overview of practices and representations of experts, computer workers, and users.