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In their book The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know, journalists Katty Kay and Claire Shipman presented compelling evidence that women, in general, have less confidence in their abilities than men, which negatively affects their outcomes in the corporate world. Is this difference in self-confidence a real thing in the tech world? To help examine that, Piazza, a platform used by college students to ask and answer each others’ class-related questions, recently used data on more than 2 million questions generated by almost 1 million undergraduate and graduate students at schools in the U.S. and Canada to calculate the “gender confidence gap” in various fields of study.
Defining the gender confidence gap as the percentage difference between the average number of questions answered by male and female students, Piazza found a confidence gap of -37% between men and women in computer science. This gap was greater than that between the genders in non-CS STEM fields (-18%), humanities (-7%), social sciences (+5%), and business (+11%).
While the Piazza findings provide evidence of a confidence gap in computer science overall, how does the gap vary by school? Click on the Next arrow above to see gender confidence gap as calculated by Piazza for U.S. News & World Report’s top 16 graduate computer science departments in 2014.
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