Programmed Inequality

New book my Marie Hicks
Programmed Inequality : How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing

Women used to be present in computer work in higher percentages than they are today. Ever wonder what happened? Turns out that the story of gender and the progress of computing are a lot more tightly linked than we once thought…

In Programmed Inequality, Marie Hicks explores the story of labor feminization and gendered technocracy that undercut British efforts to computerize. That failure sprang from the government’s systematic neglect of its largest trained technical workforce–simply because they were women. Women were a hidden engine of growth in high technology from World War II to the 1960s. As computing experienced a gender flip, becoming male-identified in the 1960s and 1970s, labor problems grew into structural ones and gender discrimination caused the nation’s largest computer user—the civil service and sprawling public sector—to make decisions that were disastrous for the British computer industry and the nation as a whole.

Looking forward to the book will be published in January 2017!

We will be a Nordic Centre of Excellence!

The best news this last week is that we – that is me and colleagues at Western Norway Research Institute, will be part of one of two new Nordic Centres of Excellence!

Our NCoE has this long title:

Beyond the Gender Paradox: Women’s Careers in Technology-driven Research and Innovation in and outside of Academe

Professor Gabriele Griffin from Uppsala University is project leader, Tampere University is a partner, led by Hanna Ylostalo, and I will lead Western Norway Research Institute’s work. Our NCoE will be financed with 20 mill NOK by Nordforsk over the next five years.

The other NCoE will be “Nordic Centre for Research on Gender Equality in Research and Innovation” (NORDICORE), with project leader Professor Mari Teigen, University of Oslo.

Congratulations to both NCoEs!

They will be announced at Gender Summit (GS9) in Brussel next month.

Risky Research and Protecting Yourself from Online Harassment

Best Practices for Conducting Risky Research and Protecting Yourself from Online Harassment

 Researchers who investigate sensitive topics may face online harassment, social shaming, or other networked forms of abuse. In addition to potential impacts on the researcher’s reputation and mental health, fear of harassment may have a chilling effect on the type of research that is conducted and …

By Alice E. Marwick, Lindsay Blackwell and Katherine Lo
Source: Best Practices for Conducting Risky Research and Protecting Yourself from Online Harassment || Data & Society

CfP: 2017 International Conference on Social Media & Society (#SMSociety)

In Toronto, Canada in July 28-30, 2017. Deadline for submissions between December and Januar – see link below

SUBMISSION WEBSITE  The 2017 Social Media & Society Conference (#SMSociety) invites scholarly and original submissions that relate to the broad theme of Social Media & Society. We welcome both quantitative and qualitative work which crosses interdisciplinary boundaries and expands our understanding of the current and future trends in social media … Continue Reading →

Source: Submission website

“Increasing Number of Women in Computing Hinges on Changes in Culture, Not Curriculum”

Carol Frieze (left) and Jeria Quesenberry – Photo

Fewer women than men pursue computer science, but correcting that imbalance won’t be accomplished via quick fixes or by making coursework less strenuous. Rather, the culture of computer science departments must change, as outlined in a new book, “Kicking Butt in Computer Science: Women in Computing at Carnegie Mellon University.

Source: Increasing Number of Women in Computing Hinges on Changes in Culture, Not Curriculum

“start by empowering a girl you know”

8 ways you can empower girls to learn coding

1. Know the specific barriers we need to overcome.
2. Start with concrete first steps in your own life.

The lack of women and girls in computer science is a well-documented problem. Now it’s time for the average person to finally do something about it.

Addressing the issue of girls and coding in your community doesn’t require you to start your own nonprofit or advocacy organization. In fact, you can start very small, like choosing to empower a girl you know.

3. Find organizations putting in the work already.
4. Be a role model.
5. Encourage your local school to teach girls how to code.
6. Lead a coding club for girls.
7. Recognize that computer science is an intersectional issue.
8. Understand where girls need to begin, too.

Source: 8 ways you can empower girls to learn coding

“Håper Rey i Star Wars kan få flere jenter til å like realfag”

Verden trenger flere kvinner i ingeniørfag, matematikk og naturvitenskapelige fag, og NASA håper filmer som Star Wars kan bidra. – Vi vet ikke om den nye Einstein vil være en kvinne eller mann, påpeker NASAs forskningssjef Ellen Stofan.

Source: Håper Rey i Star Wars kan få flere jenter til å like realfag

On how not to use video games in education

Teachers and Gamers Agree: ‘Slave Tetris’ Isn’t How You Educate Kids About SlaveryThanks to a social media backlash, a Danish company learned the hard way that there are better methods for teaching students about a painful chapter in history.

Source: Teachers and Gamers Agree: ‘Slave Tetris’ Isn’t How You Educate Kids About Slavery | TakePart

“En leder kan ha autoritet også i kjole og perler”

Det at anerkjente kvinnelige ledere kler seg på en tradisjonelt feminin måte, kan endre måten vi oppfatter feminine tegn og symboler på, mener forskere.

Source: En leder kan ha autoritet også i kjole og perler |

Interessant studie om autoritet og tradisjonelle maskuline og feminine symboler og iscenesettelse gjennom klær og estetikk.

A. Bolsø, W. Mühleisen: Framstillinger av kvinner kledd for makt. Tidsskrift for norsk kjønnsforskning, Årg. 39, Nr. 3-4, 2015.


Code School for children and heads of state – Reaktor

Encouraged by the positive feedback from the participants, we agreed that all children should get the chance to try out the basics of programming in a fun, tangible way. Word of a public code club spread through word of mouth and social media, and the registration for the first Code School filled up within an hour. Over 300 children were placed on a waiting list.

“BUT how can we get boys and girls excited about coding?” they ask in the video. By drawing with code!

Code School from Reaktor on Vimeo.

Source: Code School for children and heads of state – Reaktor

“Girls Who Code to give $1 million to underprivileged girls”

Nonprofit Girls Who Code is giving away scholarships to low-income girls who want to take their free summer coding classes. Here’s why.

Roughly 1% of girls study computer science — and just 20% of software developers are women. So Girls Who Code alumni have the potential to add a big influx of women into the STEM pipeline.

Source: Girls Who Code to give $1 million to underprivileged girls – Jan. 19, 2016


Memory, Commemoration and Communication: Looking Back, Looking Forward
An opportunity to spend a couple of days in late July in Leicester!

The International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) invites submissions of abstracts for papers and panel proposals for the 2016 IAMCR conference to be held from 27 -31 July, 2016 in Leicester, UK. The deadline to submit abstracts is midnight GMT on 15 February 2016.


  • Deadline for abstracts: 15 February


251304Interested in what makes some people or groups become excluded from (global) digital culture? And what we can do to achieve higher degree of inclusion?

Together with Fulbright Professor Radhika Gajjala I will be teaching DIKULT251 and DIKULT304 this semester, and we have built a course around the topic of exclusion mechanisms and inclusion strategies in global digital culture.

We will have new guest researchers every week, talking about their own research with reference to inclusion/exclusion. Our first guest is Lin Prøitz on the 19th of January, and she will talk about Visual Social Media Lab and their report: “The Iconic Image on Social Media: A Rapid Response to the Death of Aylan Kurdi“.