SHU’s Information Technology Department Works to Promote Jobs for Women
Sandy Honda, associate professor in Sacred Heart University's Department of Computer Science and Information Technology, recently welcomed Park City Charter School junior high students to her classroom to introduce them to the field of computer science. The program has been running for four years and has included students from Bridgeport, Trumbull and Stratford.
Over the past 20 years, the enrollment of women in computer science programs has been almost non-existent, Honda said. Her aim is to spark an interest in junior high girls who attend the workshops. “I hope these sessions will make them see that using some of these computer programs can be quite enjoyable. They also have a chance to hear women speak who work with computers in all different fields,” she said.
One of the highlights of the workshop for students was the chance to work hands on with Adobe Flash and animation. Honda, along with the department’s computer science majors, introduced the students to some of the creative aspects involved in computer science.
“I learned a lot today, and I think more women should get involved. Even at my school, I take a technology class and it’s only myself and one other girl in a class full of boys,” said student Kimberly Yvonne Brown.
Honda taught the young women that computer science it is not simply a man’s world. “I think women can offer something that men can’t. Women, at times, have the ability to listen better and they are just as smart as the males,” she said.
Honda also emphasized the benefits of women taking computer classes in both high school and college, even if they do not want to work in the field. She stressed that no matter what job a person has, he or she will need to use computers.
“People seem to think that if you want to be a computer person, you have to work for a computer company, and that is not true. Almost all companies use computers and need computer help. I just want to open their eyes to all of the different industries and options available to them,” Honda said.
This semester, Honda has run two successful classes where she invites guest speakers, conducts hands-on workshops and motivates students to consider a career in computer science.