How women were pushed away from STEM fields : Planet Money A lot of computing pioneers were women. For decades, the number of women in computer science was growing. But in 1984, something changed.

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When women stopped coding (Classic)

When women stopped coding (Classic)

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Elsie Shutt founded one of the first software businesses in the U.S. in 1958. And the programmers were all women. Courtesy Elsie Shutt hide caption

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Courtesy Elsie Shutt

Elsie Shutt founded one of the first software businesses in the U.S. in 1958. And the programmers were all women.

Courtesy Elsie Shutt

Note: This episode originally aired in October, 2014.

Mark Zuckerberg. Bill Gates. Steve Jobs. Most of the big names in technology are men.

But a lot of computing pioneers, the ones who programmed the first digital computers, were women. And for decades, the number of women in computer science was growing.

But in 1984, something changed. The number of women in computer science flattened, and then plunged.

Today on the show, what was going on in 1984 that made so many women give up on computer science? We unravel a modern mystery in the U.S. labor force.

Music: "The Midas Network," "Brain Matter," and "80s Light Show."

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