I am a high school senior and have been fortunate enough to be accepted at both MIT and Stanford. I am interested in pursuing engineering, specifically computer science, but am hesitant due to the gender disparity, especially at Stanford. I know that in 2012, Stanford's CS program was only 20.9% female. By contrast, over a third of CS majors at MIT are female.
I have followed your story very closely and am so impressed by all of your accomplishments! I am very lucky that my friends have all been very supportive of women in general and me in particular in engineering, but I began to focus more on the gender disparity after hearing you speak. I was outraged and disappointed by your story of the professor who called you out in front of your class and asked who thought you should pass. Do you think that professor singled you out because you were female? How frequently did you encounter professors and classmates who discouraged you because of your gender? How much do you think your gender impacted your academic experience as an engineer? Do you know if the climate has changed, and do you have any insight about attending one school over the other?
Thank you so much for your time and feedback. I really look to you as a role model and believe that the work you are doing is critical for the next generation of engineers!
by Ashley, Reno
on March 29, 2014