Megan Squire serves on 'women in technology' panel for All Things Open conference
Six female leaders in technology discuss the under-representation of women in technical roles, and what can be done to encourage participation by women
Megan Squire, an associate professor in the Department of Computing Sciences, served as one of six women chosen for an Oct. 23 panel discussion about the role of women in technology at the All Things Open conference in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The conference hosted more than 1,000 professional software developers and managers working on open source software at companies such as Red Hat, Cisco and IBM.
The panel session was moderated by DeLisa Alexander, executive vice president and chief people officer at Red Hat, and addressed questions such as why female under-representation in technology exists, why it’s important that more females choose to go into technology and open source, and what can be done to encourage it.
"We cannot find enough qualified people to do the important jobs that we have to do," Alexander said in opening the session. "Half the world’s population is female, and in the U.S. workforce, 47 percent are female. Then you look at computing jobs and only 25 percent of those jobs are held by women. If you look at the number of people who are entering degree fields for computer science and information science that are female, it’s 12 percent.”
Squire drew applause when she explained that while plenty of studies have shown that the reaching girls in middle school and filling the pipeline is important, it is equally important to study the "leaky pipeline": why do women leave technology and not return?
In a separate session, Squire also introduced her research on how and why the academic community studies open source software.
The "All Things Open" conference was held Oct. 22-23, 2014, at the Raleigh Downtown Convention Center.