The number of women graduating from computer science degrees has more than halved since the 1980s. One computer scientists recently spoke to students at the Rochester Institute of Technology and told them that women have to be included in the field to boost the economy, and to encourage equality.
Computer scientist Maria Klawe says she's been the first woman in a few-too-many of her previous jobs.
Although things have improved slightly over the past 20 years, Klawe says programs that support gender equity in computing sciences have stalled.
She says it is important to encourage more girls to go into the discipline because it potentially gives them access to a solid career path and high earnings.
"They're paid fabulous salaries, they have as many job offers as they're willing to do interviews," said Klawe. "The opportunities are phenomenal, and these are opportunities to solve problems that really matter to the world."
Klawe believes the issue is important as she says the economic future of the country depends on more people graduating from the computer sciences, and that can't happen if it doesn't include women.