Barriers to Gender Diversity in Software Development Education: Actionable Insights from a Danish Case Study

Valeria Borsotti

    Research output: Contribution to conference - NOT published in proceeding or journalPaperResearchpeer-review


    This paper contributes to the growing literature on the gender
    gap in computer science education by focusing on an exploratory
    case study conducted at the IT University of Copenhagen (ITU),
    Denmark. The specific objective of this study was to draw on
    existing research in order to empirically investigate the main sociocultural
    barriers to female participation in the bachelor of Software
    Development at ITU, and to generate insights that would inform
    concrete and effective interventions. This investigation takes the
    form of an exploratory case study, providing insights into
    influential factors such as students’ perceptions, attitudes and
    behavior towards software development education and gender
    differences in pre-university coding skills.
    Empirical evidence has been collected through semi-structured
    interviews with 38 students (undergraduate and high school) and
    surveys with 395 students (undergraduate and high school).
    Research findings from the study have subsequently informed the
    design of local interventions that have led to the recruitment of
    double the percentage of women in the bachelor of Software
    Development at ITU in one year, from 11% in 2016 to 22% 2017.
    The study also describes and discusses such interventions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date15 May 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2018
    EventICSE 2018 40th International Conference on Software Engineering - Gothenburg, Sweden
    Duration: 27 May 20183 Jun 2018


    ConferenceICSE 2018 40th International Conference on Software Engineering
    Internet address


    • Gender Diversity, Software Development Education, Stereotypes, Computer Science Education, Exploratory Case Study.

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