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11,217 official + unofficial events during SXSW
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Sunday, March 15 • 11:00am - 12:00pm
Can Fandoms Fix Tech's Gender Gap?

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According to the National Center for Women and Information Technology, 12% of 2012 computer science degree recipients from major universities were women. That number represents a staggering decline from just a decade ago. We talk a lot about closing the gender gap, but how can we if universities aren't producing more women in STEM fields? Jessica McDonald, Director of Marketing and Communications for SparkFun Electronics, argues that the answer lies in changing how we think about teaching technology. She'll present original research describing how participation in fandoms--yes, fandoms--through sites like Tumblr and cosplay are shaping a new generation of techie girls, as well as discuss initiatives her company has taken based on this research in an effort to help close the gender gap.

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Speakers
avatar for Jessica McDonald

Jessica McDonald

CMO, SparkFun Electronics
Jessica McDonald lives in Denver and is a technophile, gamer, and all-round geek. She serves as the marketing director for SparkFun Electronics in Boulder. She earned her Master’s degree from the University of Denver and holds undergraduate degrees from The Pennsylvania State University... Read More →


Sunday March 15, 2015 11:00am - 12:00pm
ACC Room 6AB Austin Convention Center

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