Women in Technology

  • Lynn Pettis

    SSC Guru

    Points: 442167

    htroup-1087969 (1/6/2010)


    I'm a development manager, and last year I lost two senior programmers who happened to be women. In each case, it was the perceived need for the woman to give up her career to attend the demands of family (read: husband) and child-rearing. An astoundingly 1950's notion, to me.

    When I started in IT back in early 1980's my mentors in VM/CMS were mostly women; the only obvious gender gap then was that more of the "operators" were men, because their job involved heavy lifting (ah, mainframes, and especially mainframe printers.)

    Someplace along the line, though, and I saw this in the 1990s and after 2001, the layoff hammer seemed to come down heavier on the female part of the team. Funny that.

    There is still plenty of subtle sexism (and according to my female co-workers, some not-so-subtle) in the corporate world. It's everyone's duty to fight it.

    Question for managers: do you make an effort to evaluate a resume before reading the name and making a conclusion about gender?

    I would hope so considering my name. Of course, I am careful to include the Mr. in my name in the address on my cover letter, but what if the manager doesn't see that?

  • ManicStar

    SSCoach

    Points: 17992

    MelS-512196 (1/6/2010)


    Just as a point of speculation, we might ask why there are so many more young boys than young girls getting lost in the world of video games...

    Well...why are there not more boys playing with Barbie :)?

  • bwmyers

    SSC Journeyman

    Points: 90

    Does not one have to sport a bald head and a goatee to be considered a "real" programmer these days?

  • jparra

    Mr or Mrs. 500

    Points: 526

    I must say I'm rather shocked at some of the responses in this thread.

    First of all, to say that men are better at thinking logically than women is a completely unfounded bias. I guess it shouldn't surprise me, but to see this kind of bias alive and well in the year 2010 is amazing. Our percentage of female developers is much closer to the 40% mark. I can say without a doubt they are as good and often better than their male counterparts.

    Several years ago educators in Florida were concerned that male students were scoring higher in Science and Math than female students. It was determined that teachers had greater math and science expectations for male students, and higher language expectations for female students. There was a strong push to change the perception among teachers, and encourage teachers to have the same high standards for both sexes. In the past couple of years, female students have scored higher in Math and Science than male students in Florida to the point that there is a concern that male students need a higher level of encouragement.

    With humans, we are what we think we are.

  • jparra

    Mr or Mrs. 500

    Points: 526

    MelS-512196 (1/6/2010)


    Just as a point of speculation, we might ask why there are so many more young boys than young girls getting lost in the world of video games...

    Because young girls are out playing sports and doing other constructive activities?

  • support 79032

    Newbie

    Points: 3

    Or perhaps sexism is OK if it a matter of telling men that they can't can't look after their children?

    Of course what is *really* important in a basically anti-men and and anti-children pro-women society where millions of children are forcibly seperated from their fathers by women who initiate divorce is -are there enough women writing SQL scripts?

    This kind of article just makes one realise how sexist a society we live in -sexist against men.

    Want better health care, longer life expectancy, more time with your kids, less chance of a criminal conviction? Best be a woman.

    As regards the individual who stated that she was asked to leave an IT team because of sexism - maybe they just could not stand you - you might want to watch a few episodes of the 'IT Crowd' to get the gist of why.

  • Lynn Pettis

    SSC Guru

    Points: 442167

    jparra (1/6/2010)


    MelS-512196 (1/6/2010)


    Just as a point of speculation, we might ask why there are so many more young boys than young girls getting lost in the world of video games...

    Because young girls are out playing sports and doing other constructive activities?

    My daughters are excelling. Oldest has already graduated high school, and probably would have done much better had we gotten her into the high school she graduated from sooner.

    Middle daughter has a 4.67 grade point average and is a sophmore, her sights: Chemical Engineering and MIT.

    Youngest, straight A student in elementary school (in the 6th grade). Not sure what she wants to do but talks about being a Speech Therapist.

    Interesting since she had a serious speech problem when she was young.

    Oh, yes, all three are into sports: soccer and cross country.

  • ManicStar

    SSCoach

    Points: 17992

    support 79032 (1/6/2010)


    Or perhaps sexism is OK if it a matter of telling men that they can't can't look after their children?

    Of course what is *really* important in a bassically anti-men andti-children pro-women society where millions of children are forcibly seperated from their fathers by women who initiate divorce is -are there enough women writing SQL scripts?

    This kind of article just makes one realise how sexist a society we live in -sexist against men.

    Want better health care, longer life expectancy, more time with your kids, less chance of a criminal conviction? Best be a woman.

    As regards the individual who stated that she was asked to leave an IT team because of sexism - maybe they just could not stand you - you might want to watch a few episodes of the 'IT Crowd' to get the gist of why.

    Poor baby, is that what you want me to say? Well its not happening.

  • Shaun McGuile

    SSCarpal Tunnel

    Points: 4111

    Manic Star (1/6/2010)


    MelS-512196 (1/6/2010)


    Just as a point of speculation, we might ask why there are so many more young boys than young girls getting lost in the world of video games...

    Well...why are there not more boys playing with Barbie :)?

    Psychologically girls toys are dull...they are not cars/guns/aeroplanes/etc - they are just dolls - to a 3 year old male totally dull

    Hiding under a desk from SSIS Implemenation Work :crazy:

  • emilya.duncan

    Newbie

    Points: 2

    Twenty years ago when I fixed computers to make money to finish an English degree, I was the only woman that I knew, that my friends knew, that my parents knew....that could fix anything technical. I ended up staying in technology because it paid more than a journalist gig and I kind of liked being the 'only woman' in the biz. Now here I am many years later and still I work in a male dominated field. Eyebrows are still raised every time I sit in a conference call or attend a meeting about SQL or Systems Engineering because I am the only woman. It's funny and it is sad that there are not more women in technology because by design we have the skills to be techno masters with our multi-tasking and logical thinking. I am teaching my daughter who is 5 how to be a computer whiz so when she grows up she can have a choice of what she wants to be even if society tells her it's a man's world.

    Below I saw a comment from someone saying they have never met a true woman programmer which is such bull....I've worked with many. I think the problem is not that they don't exist but that people tend to overlook a woman who has the skills. I've never met a man in technology that didn't think he knew more than a woman.

  • emilya.duncan

    Newbie

    Points: 2

    Right on!

  • support 79032

    Newbie

    Points: 3

    "Poor baby, is that what you want me to say? Well its not happening. "

    Probably not - I'd hardly expect someone who wishes to blame failure on her sex rather than her individual failings to stand up and admit that a team of people could not stand her.

    Anyone care to address the fact that there is no-where near a 50/50 division in child custody and yet we are debating how to make more jobs for women when they are actively encouraging sexism in the family courts?

    Why is sexism 'bad' if women practise and support it and defend it in such huge numbers?

  • Lynn Pettis

    SSC Guru

    Points: 442167

    There are good and bad in both sexes. I worked with one lady who we had to clean up behind. In my current position I help support a PeopleSoft Developement/Support team made up of nothing but ladies and they are all very good at thier jobs.

    I also have a member on my DBA team that can't troubleshoot a problem to save himself.

  • nasoto

    Grasshopper

    Points: 21

    Having held various technology positions since 1984 including titles of Technical Project Analyst/Manager, Programmer Analyst, Software Developer and currently Developer, I can share my experiences from over the years.

    On one interview about 2 years ago, the CEO of a small, dynamic and very profitable company whom I was frothing at the mouth to work for stated he had never interviewed a woman for that type of position, which was basically developing. No, I didn't get the job ;-(

    The Rep for my current contract still refers to me as a Business Analyst even though my title is developer and that's what I do, develop.

    In my last position I made 55% of the male developers' salary (and so did the 1 other woman out of 16 men). Currently I'm at about 75% of the other developers' salary.

    Even though the editorial didn't offend me I was closer to tilting that way on the age issue. Just because I'm almost 50 doesn't mean I can't learn a new trick. Anyone who is still working in the technology field HAS to be damn good at learning on the run and constantly reading and learning with every spare minute. I've gone from PCs back in the 80's (everyone came to me for help and I had no training), to mainframe (again no training) to now SQL Server. I think because I absolutely love this type of work is why I've done as well as I have.

    I also believe my experience (age) brings a whole host of other needed skills to any job.

    I am a little tired of taking the humble road ALL the time just to weezle my way in to be "allowed" to work on the cool stuff. I have good ideas, too. Just like diversity in nationalities, we all bring good ideas and experience to the table.

    Thanks for letting me vent ;-(

  • jparra

    Mr or Mrs. 500

    Points: 526

    Lynn Pettis (1/6/2010)


    My daughters are excelling. Oldest has already graduated high school, and probably would have done much better had we gotten her into the high school she graduated from sooner.

    Middle daughter has a 4.67 grade point average and is a sophmore, her sights: Chemical Engineering and MIT.

    Youngest, straight A student in elementary school (in the 6th grade). Not sure what she wants to do but talks about being a Speech Therapist.

    Interesting since she had a serious speech problem when she was young.

    Oh, yes, all three are into sports: soccer and cross country.

    My daughter is a Junior in High School, plays soccer and is a member of the National Honor Society. And she's not a geek. 😀 She hasn't decided what to study, but science and writing are her strongest areas of interest.

    I'm glad that at least in this area, female athletes impress other students. Not like the "good old days" that apparently some posters here still live in.

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