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Women, IT & The Outrage Machine
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Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
2/20/2014 | 12:45:35 PM
NSF stats tell the story
I think that this stat:  "Women constituted the majority of graduate students in ... medical/other life sciences (76%), biological sciences (57%), and social sciences (54%) ... meshs perfectly with the Girl Scout data. Three of the most math & science oriented young women I know are majoring in life sciences - two in biomedical engineering and one in biochemistry. They can use their talents to help people.

IT really is often portayed as a bunch of guys in a dark room, eating cold pizza, staring at screens and scratching their pits. The problem isn't with the women, it's with how IT is marketed as a profession.

 
GAProgrammer
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GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
2/20/2014 | 1:35:13 PM
Thank you!
Thanks for a female voice of reason finally disputing this PC nonsense that we everyone in the field are exposed to on a regular basis. Your points are accurate, well thought out and logical.
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
2/20/2014 | 1:51:19 PM
Re: NSF stats tell the story
My niece is earning her PhD in math and has done considerable work in computer science. When she talks with my wife and me about her field, she gushes about the work, the challenges, the joy of learning and teaching. She doesn't complain that most of her professors or fellow PhD candidates are men. She doesn't worry that she's going into a field that remains male-"dominated." Maybe she's naive. But i don't think so.
jwestbrooks293
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jwestbrooks293,
User Rank: Strategist
2/20/2014 | 1:54:49 PM
The smarter gender?
Honestly, I think there are fewer women than men in IT because women are more intelligent than the men in IT.  If you look at what employers expect of their IT staffs and what the real hourly rate is for IT work, why would anybody want to get into IT.  Yes, there are people like Mark Zuckerberg who became billionaires.  However, put them on one side of a balance scale and people with ruined lives and health on the other and see which side hits the bottom first.

 

from 40 year IT veteran
majenkins
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majenkins,
User Rank: Ninja
2/20/2014 | 1:56:15 PM
RIght On, Except
Thanks for the well thought out and organized column/post. I like others have lamented the PC Outrage over what appears to be a non-issue. I also loved your question about the garbage collection and have used that and other jobs as a counter point before as well. Now for the exception, though maybe I should save this for your follow up column, but I know a very good developer whose favorite music is country. He does listen to other genres but his favorite is still country. He is currently the manager of our eBusiness applications group.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
2/20/2014 | 1:58:38 PM
Re: The smarter gender?
So you're saying that the issue isn't marketing perception, it's reality? Do you think that's true across industries, and that eventually it will drive away smart people of both sexes?
TechNoSeattle
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TechNoSeattle,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/20/2014 | 2:16:07 PM
Re: NSF stats tell the story
I can't believe she discriminates against programmers that like country music!
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
2/20/2014 | 3:06:29 PM
Re: NSF stats tell the story
Not every woman wants to live in Silicon Valley or be part of a startup culture that requires 24/7 devotion to work -- not every man does, either. IT, more than some other fields, prizes that 24/7 work ethic.

Many female IT leaders have powered through often being the only woman in the room -- as has the author of this column. (Many female IT journalists did the same thing, so I can relate.) You can power through it and you do, if you love the work. Still, I hope this is not the case for the next wave of female IT pros. It is valuable to see how other women manged their IT career paths.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
2/20/2014 | 3:14:02 PM
Re: NSF stats tell the story
Come on -- people discriminate for all kinds of reasons, both consciously and unconsciously. At least she's upfront about it. On another column about rating sites for HC providers there's a discussion of reasons people dump their doctors. We all have our peeves. And honestly, the idea that a coworker might insist on listening to people sing about red Solo cups might make me weigh in against that hire.
TechNoSeattle
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TechNoSeattle,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/20/2014 | 3:14:56 PM
Re: NSF stats tell the story
Sorry, I was just kidding.  :)
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