Diversity in Computer Science


Mrs. Rountree and her female students with their award.

Shelby West, Writer

Bob Jones won the College Board’s AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award. Jennifer Rountree, a computer science teacher at Bob Jones, said that she is “pleasantly surprised” that Bob Jones won the award. “We’re making strides,” said Mrs. Rountree, “but there’s still a lot that’s similar to what it was like thirty or forty years ago, in terms of the number of women in [computer-based] fields.”

Bob Jones currently has nine female students enrolled in it’s two AP Computer Science classes. “It’s been tough to get females into the program,” said Mrs. Rountree. “We have come a long way from being just one or two at the most in either AP class.” 

Recently, former Bob Jones student and current software engineer Chiitra Tibbs spoke to students about workplace discrimination in computer science during Patriot Path. She discussed topics like what got her into computer science, why women make good programmers, her experience working in software engineering, and what’s it like being one of the only women on your team. “Usually, our metaphors and how we explain center around things we like,” said Tibbs. “Well, I’ve never been a Caucasian male, so some of our experiences are not the same.” She also discussed her unique experience being a female African American software engineer. “I always expect people that I work with to assume that I don’t know what I’m doing,” said Tibbs, “and I assume that until I know that I’ve proven to them that I am just as capable as them.” 

Mrs. Rountree hopes to have more female students participating in computer science in the years to come.