Women in technology are a rarity, that’s why computer science seniors Samantha Hangsan and Nikki Nguyen formed the new Women in Computing Club at Long Beach State.
Eighteen percent of computer science degrees earned by women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Hangsan and Nguyen want to create an open and supportive environment for women interested in entering the field of technology.
“We want to empower women to succeed in their careers,” Hangsan said. “Things we are focused on are, in particular, the mentorship aspect. Providing resources to women that they may not know about, things that aren’t as easily accessible.”
Computer science is a predominantly male-dominated major. Hangsan and Nguyen didn’t meet one another until a professor introduced them to each other and encouraged them to create the Women in Computing Club.
Nguyen notes that there can be feelings of “imposter syndrome” with women in computer science classes. They want to eliminate the feelings of self-doubt from female students with the Women in Computing Club.
“You can be the only female out of 45 students [in a computer science class],” Nguyen said. “You might feel alone sometimes, so we want to promote that sisterhood and sense of community. Because it’s so heavily dominated by males, you might not feel as confident…but we just want to support each other.”
The Women in Computing Club currently has nine student members, but they were able to get over 30 students to sign up in the first hour of CSULB’s Week of Welcome event. Nguyen and Hangsan encourages males to join as well.
“We don’t discriminate, we’re a very inclusive organization,” Nguyen said. “The whole basis is to support women.”
The Women in Computing Club is working on a series called Distinguished Women in Tech. Distinguished Women in Tech will have women experienced in the technology industry come and talk about their research and projects.
“We welcome anybody and everybody that is interested in computer science and who is supportive of promoting diversity and inclusion in technology,” Hangsan said.