Coding is attracting women by the thousands

The number of female students taking Advance Placement Computer Science Exam has grown by 135 percent since 2016.
women in coding

Ten years ago, 2,600 female students took the Advance Placement Computer Science Exam. Fast forward to today, and you’ll find that 29,000 female students took an AP CS exam this year.

The growth in the number of female students taking the AP CS exams has grown by 135 percent since 2016. Moreover, underrepresented minorities have increased participation by nearly 170 percent over last year.

The numbers come from, a nonprofit organization with the mission of attracting more women – and men – to the field. was founded in 2013 by twin brothers Hadi and Ali Partovi.

The greatest gains in AP participation have come from female students and under-represented minorities, and according, the numbers are increasing each year.

Racial diversity in’s AP Computer Science classrooms exceeds the nation’s average, because of our work in urban schools,’s CEO Hadi Partovi said in statement. “The results we’ve seen from school districts using are incredible.”

“Because 70 percent of students in CS Principles classrooms indicate they want to pursue computer science after graduation, we are optimistic that these gains will have a downstream impact on diversity in tech at the university and workforce level, Partovi adds.

However, he cautions against being too optimistic.

Participation in AP Computer Scienceis still far from balanced. Female students still account for only 27 percent of all students taking AP Computer Science exams, and underrepresented minorities make up just 20 percent, he notes. The situation continues in higher education, where 83 percent of computer science majors are men.

Partovi ends on a high note: This summer is preparing nearly 900 new teachers to begin teaching AP Computer Science Principles, expanding access to tens of thousands of students in urban and rural schools that previously had no computer science offering.

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
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