Detecting the gender gap in computer science research

Dr. Katja Lohmann, Universität Hannover, Dr. Frank Hannig and Dr. Sandra Mattauch, Chair of Computer Science 12 (Hardware/Software Co-Design) (left to right) have detected a gender gap in computer science research together with Prof. Dr. Jürgen Teich, Chair of Computer Science 12 (Hardware/Software Co-Design), and Prof. Dr. Daniel Lohmann, Universität Hannover. (Image: Jenni Hamilton/Worktastic Video Productions)

Fewer active female researchers

Women are under-represented in many STEM areas, even more so in Germany than in other countries throughout the world. This is a common claim here in Germany, and has been scientifically proven to be true with respect to the proportion of female students and professors. A study led by FAU has now shown that the proportion on active female scientists in computer science, regardless of academic level, is less than ten percent. Not only in Germany, but also internationally.

Link to video about the research project on Vimeo

The authors of the study class active female researchers as those who regularly present their research at computer science conferences and subsequently publish their findings in conference proceedings. Conferences are extremely important in the area of computer science due to the possibility to actively present results in presentations and due to the short publication times. The research team led by Dr. Sandra Mattauch, Chair of Computer Science 12 (Hardware/Software Co-Design) at FAU based their investigations on the data of the DBLP Computer Science Bibliography, a bibliographical collection of scientific publications on computer science available online. The analysis of the ratio between the genders is based on conference proceedings from 19 international conferences over the last six years. The researchers determined the gender of the authors on the basis of their names and established that the international proportion of women actively publishing their work was under ten percent on average. ‘There definitely is potential for improvement, especially as women often take a different approach to research,’ explains Dr. Mattauch. The method chosen by the team of researchers can also be used to collect data for various subject areas and conferences in the chosen time period.

Link to original publication

Further information:

Dr. Sandra Mattauch