Women in Computer Science: A 1983 MIT Report

In 1983, female computer scientists at MIT wrote a report on how sexism was pushing women out of their—historically female—field.

These were their recommendations.

In the age of Uber and VC sexual harassment and the Google memo… how much has changed? How many do we still need to start following?

Soon after, Mary Wyer, then an administrative assistant at MIT, designed a computer game to teach students to think critically about gender.

WHICH GENDER IS LEE featured three students, Jack, Diane, and Lee, going about everyday activities. It asked questions like “Who takes the best desk?” and “Who answers a ringing phone?” then asked players to guess “Lee’s” gender.

The game was never commercialized, but Wyer went on to do a PhD on women in STEM fields and to edit the important feminist journal, Signs.

Report and game courtesy of MIT, digitized by Moira Weigel in early 2017.