Margaret Burnett is an ACM Fellow, a CHI Academy member, and a Distinguished Professor at Oregon State University. Her research on gender inclusiveness in technology -- especially in software tools for programming and problem-solving -- spans over 15 years. Burnett and her team systematically debunked misconceptions of gender neutrality in a variety of technology platforms, and then created the GenderMag method to help technology professionals find and remove the gender biases in their own products. She has presented keynotes and invited talks on this topic in 9 countries. She serves on a variety of HCI and Software Engineering committees and editorial boards, and on the Academic Alliance Advisory Board of the U.S. National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT).
Talk: "Gender-Inclusive Software"
Abstract: Gender inclusiveness in software companies is receiving a lot of attention these days, but it overlooks a potentially critical factor: software itself. Research into how individual differences cluster by gender shows that men and women often work differently with software for problem-solving (e.g., tools for programming, debugging, spreadsheet modeling, end-user programming, game-based learning, visualizing information, etc.). In this talk, I’ll present a method we call GenderMag. At the core of the method are 5 facets of gender differences drawn from a large body of foundational work on gender differences from computer science, psychology, education, communications, and women’s studies. In field studies, software practitioners have identified a surprisingly high number of gender-inclusiveness issues in their own software. We present these results, a brief look at new research on GenderMag in the classroom and in higher-education's IT, and ways you can get involved.