Women in Computer Science. Women who code write the future. Image of club members. Women in Computer Science. Women who code write the future. Image of club members.

Our Mission

Our mission is to foster a community at Amherst College where womxn can feel seen, connected, and supported in their pursuits of technology and computer science.

What Do We Do?

At WiCS, we aim to strengthen and enrich our community in both the practical and the social aspects of tech.

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Our events involve workshops built towards improving technical skills, as well as opportunities to educate our members on the obstacles that face womxn today.

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Tech Conferences

Recurring events we organize include trips to tech conferences for our students, including the Grace Hopper Celebration and the WeCode tech conferences.

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WiCS Alumni Speaker Series

And, most notably, we have our annual WiCS Alumni Speaker Series, where we feature Amherst alumni to discuss their experiences as womxn in tech post-graduation.

Why Do We Do It?

Womxn vs Women

There is a severe lack of womxn’s representation in STEM fields, especially in tech. In the US, womxn only comprise 18% of the degrees earned in computer science; men comprise the remaining 82%. By missing one-half of the population, companies lose the potential for groundbreaking, out-of-the-box innovations. Moreover, certain issues are not seen, let alone solved. (For example, Apple’s Health app didn’t have the ability to track menstruation for an entire year!)

The lack of gender diversity in the workplace—and thus in products—begins in the classroom. Most colleges boast a 50-50 ratio in the overall student demographic, and introductory courses for computer science commonly reflect this even ratio. However, it becomes troublingly skewed in higher-level courses. This low retention rate can be attributed to multiple reasons, including a lack of womxn role models in technology, a confidence gap between genders, and gender stereotypes (such as the male geek-programmer). The low-retention-rate phenomenon is so prevalent that it has been coined the “leaky pipeline.”

Evidently, womxn in tech need to be supported, and WiCS serves to do so at the root: college.

TechRepublic: The State of Women in Computer Science
NPR: Why Aren’t There More Women in Tech?
Verge: Apple promised an expansive health app, so why can’t I track menstruation?

Like the website?

Over winter break, the WiCS website had the ultimate revamp! Five of our WiCS members undertook this endeavor to design, write, and build the site!

image of people who worked on the the website revamp project

Web Design Team: April Dottin-Carter, Naila Thevenot, Skye Wu, and Karen Liu
Content Writing Team: Karen Liu and Hope Tsai
Project Manager and Web Developer: April Dottin-Carter

image of people who worked on the the website revamp project