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Women Dropping Out of IT

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the both-blatent-and-subtle dept.

Businesses 706

Women's eNews has an interesting look at women in tech, with numbers showing that women are bailing out of the IT field at a rapid pace. "Technology jobs are predicted to grow at a faster rate than all other jobs in the professional sector, up to 22% over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compensation is also good. In 2008, women in tech made an average salary of $70,370. ... But women's stake in that rosy outlook is questionable. For starters, men's pay during the same time period was $80,357. A study by the National Center for Women and Information Technology ... also finds that women are leaving computer careers in staggering numbers. 'Fifty-six percent of women in technology companies leave their organizations at the mid-level point, 10-20 years in their careers,' said Catherine Ashcraft, the senior research scientist who authored the report. In 2008, women held only 25% of all professional IT-related jobs, down from 36% in 1991, according to the group's report, 'Women in IT: The Facts.'"

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706 comments

This just proves (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704154)

They're smarter than the men.

Re:This just proves (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704206)

He's absolutely right. Women are too smart for careers in computers. Most intelligent women take a close look at the unrepentantly fucked-up culture that surrounds computing careers, and run like hell.

It's men who are dumb enough to tolerate the aspy-programmer types, the sneering arrogant IT guys, the mailing lists full of flaming personal attacks leveled by closet bullies empowered by semi-anonymity, the phallic-compensating gadget consumerists, constantly "helpful" types who manage to insult while trying to rescue, and the sexually inept who use pinup wallpaper and leer at any woman in eyeshot. Membership in (or at least tolerance of) a repellant boys' club is an almost-mandatory feature of our industry.

Men don't have to be passionate about computers and programming to do well in our field. It's possible to be a day-job geek who never plays video games, doesn't own an iphone, and doesn't read xkcd, yet still thrive in high-tech. They get flamed them for a few newbie questions and they'll just think you're an asshole. But brilliant women who are not passionate about the field are smart enough to tell us all to go fuck ourselves after the first serious flame, because they know nobody should have to put up with that shit.

So yes. Women are in fact generally too smart for careers in computers. He nailed it.

Re:This just proves (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704276)

Most intelligent women take a close look at the unrepentantly fucked-up culture that surrounds computing careers, and run like hell.

They try, but they can't, because they wear shoes precisely designed to prevent any form of rapid ambulation.

Re:This just proves (5, Funny)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704318)

Yet, they still tend to stay far enough away from people who say things like "rapid ambulation" in casual conversation to make it irrelevant.

Re:This just proves (5, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704706)

If anti-intellectualism is what is required to blend well with the society, I say: fuck the society.

Re:This just proves (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704436)

I just quit my 15 year IT career to be an artist. As a bonus, all the medical conditions I had while in IT disappeared within 2 months of leaving it. I probably just added years to my life expectancy. My salary went way down, of course. Then again, without all the stress I'll live to spend some of it now.

IT isn't a place for women, but it's not a place for men either. It's a sinkhole that takes the best and brightest and turns them into bitter husks (if they don't run off screaming first).

IT careers are fundamentally broken. IT is not treated like a science. IT workers don't have unions to protect them like mechanics and doctors. IT gets the worst of everything. Most people can only immerse themselves in code and gadgetry for so long before they notice that their peers appear to be leading more enjoyable lives.

I still like computers and I follow the latest technologies that interest me, but I never intend to work IT again. It's just not worth it.

Re:This just proves (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704580)

>>>all the medical conditions I had while in IT disappeared within 2 months of leaving it

I refuse to let myself become stressed-out in my job. Even if my boss is breathing down my back and saying, "If you don't get this done I'll find someone else who can," I just ignore the mother fucker. I chose this career to ENJOY it not to be treated like a McDonalds employee, and if he does replace me with somebody else, so be it. At least I'll be happier than Mr. Heart Attack.

Re:This just proves (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704684)

I just quit my 15 year IT career to be an artist. As a bonus, all the medical conditions I had while in IT disappeared within 2 months of leaving it.

You made a good choice if your health is affected. Not everyone can handle high pressure jobs. That doesn't mean you'd have done better in any other high pressure job.

IT workers don't have unions to protect them like mechanics and doctors.

Have you seen the hours doctors are expected to work? As for stress do you REALLY think life and death decisions are less stressful than IT work?

Re:This just proves (5, Insightful)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704694)

    My IT career quit me. {sigh}

    I haven't found new work in it, and with a total income of a whopping $0 (not including unemployment and friends giving me food and places to sleep), I have to consider other options.

    I've been trying to find serious IT work. I'm either:

1) Over qualified, where they don't want me because the senior folks are afraid I'll take their job, or I'll bail as soon as better money comes along.

2) Not qualified, because I don't know some specific qualification required for the position. I may seem like I know everything, but it's still impossible to know everything.

3) Not interested at the rate. $10/hr for a 3 month part time gig that requires moving across the country to a high cost of living area isn't exactly an acceptable offer.

    So women are leaving IT? Big deal. Lots of people are. I'm about ready to be a short order cook, or an auto mechanic, but lately I've just been a handyman, doing anything friends need in exchange for food, drinks, and places to sleep.

Re:This just proves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704476)

Women are too smart for careers in computers. Most intelligent women take a close look at the unrepentantly fucked-up culture that surrounds computing careers, and run like hell.

Not necessarily disagreeing, but what is the excellent alternative where propects and pay are as good or better, and the colleagues are a joy to work with...?

Re:This just proves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704488)

Yep, they usually migrate to sales or business development. Basically, any smart person working in IT with minimal social skills (meaning having a life outside WoW...) will someday migrate to sales or business development. Only awkward weird types will stay pure IT.

Re:This just proves (3, Insightful)

ya really (1257084) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704500)

Men don't have to be passionate about computers and programming to do well in our field. It's possible to be a day-job geek who never plays video games, doesn't own an iphone, and doesn't read xkcd, yet still thrive in high-tech.

Since when does owning a phone every non-geek has make you a geek?

Re:This just proves (5, Insightful)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704532)

Fucking Gods! The is the most sexists post I've seen in slashdot in ages! But its aimed at men so it ok right?

Women are not more intelligent than men, statistics prove it. Women simply have different options and opportunities.

It's men who are dumb enough to tolerate the aspy-programmer types, the sneering arrogant IT guys,

These are mostly myth, sure they exists but I've been in several IT firms and people are generally nice.

the mailing lists full of flaming personal attacks leveled by closet bullies empowered by semi-anonymity,

That's human interaction for you, guess what? Women are prone to as much if not much more drama when it comes to discussions.

the phallic-compensating gadget consumerists,

Yes! The only reason people consume is because they have small dicks! That explains why women love to go shopping! No wait, consuming is only bad when you are a guy right?

constantly "helpful" types who manage to insult while trying to rescue,

Again myth, and you'd be surprised how women manage to be dickheads nonetheless. My mother worked in an all female environment and I've heard several stories about abusive bosses and cheating employees.

and the sexually inept who use pinup wallpaper and leer at any woman in eyeshot.

Teehee, you said "sexually inept", you should've said "sexually repressed" but of course you wanted to be as offensive as possible.

Even so this is about your only stab that almost hits something, but women aren't excepmt from this because they are smarter, they have the privilege of having a lower sex drive meaning not only they have less urges but also that there's a ton of guys ready to calm any urge that might arise.

Men don't have to be passionate about computers and programming to do well in our field.

That's questionable, Show me a good programmer that isn't passionate about programming.

But even so, what shall we do with men who ARE passionate about programming? Shot them?

But brilliant women who are not passionate about the field are smart enough to tell us all to go fuck ourselves after the first serious flame, because they know nobody should have to put up with that shit.

Well if they are not passionate about the field by definition they don't have the drive to remain in the field you dumb ass. What about brilliant women who ARE passionate about computers? Or does passion about a carrier equal stupidity? Or is it maybe just for IT?

Your post is dripping with sexism, hate and intentional stupidity. A modern society should not have any acceptance for such a despicable attitude.

Re:This just proves (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704608)

Why is it that the only people who use the word "sexist" are the ones protesting against it's use?

Re:This just proves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704616)

YHBT. YHL. HAND.

Re:This just proves (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704538)

Besides that, perhaps computers themselves are just too "cold" and without a human touch. All the science-leaning girls I know go into some field of medicine. OTOH, I do know a fair amount that go into math and I don't consider that any warmer but may be wrong.

Massive egos, though, exist in any scientific field, as well as the rest of the crap you describe. Although I don't consider the run of the mill "IT" scientific and it really depends if that means they are a code monkey, maintaining computer systems, or a true computer scientist. Vast differences between all of those, not least of which is the smarts required.

Re:This just proves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704542)

I agree with your characterizations, and it does annoy me that I have to put up these things in order to make and learn about what I consider to be beautiful. But, as you say:

It's possible to be a day-job geek who never plays video games, doesn't own an iphone, and doesn't read xkcd, yet still thrive in high-tech.

So I think we need to distinguish between people who are naturally nerdy and people who in the field. There's some overlap, sure, but it's not as big as the internet makes it look. Everyone I personally know in both IT & CS is a decent person to be around, not a Nick Burns type at all.

I think it's mostly *these sites* that breed the above-mentioned behavior, because of the anonymity. Slashdot-behavior is to IT as YouTube-behavior is to the general population. That is, really extreme and not indicative of the big picture (aside: I find c2.com to be especially repulsive). In real life, the relationship is more important than the argument, so you drop it before people start calling each other Nazis. Online, it's all about being right, no matter how goddamn trivial the question is.

I think even the best of us have gotten by bitten by the "I just have to point out how much of an idiot this person is" bug. And if that's the only thing you post under that article, and if everybody does that, can you guess what the comments for tech articles start to look like?

Finally, I think both the men and women who are turned off by this sort of behavior tend to stay in academia. They say that "those who can't do, teach," but in my experience, the notable thing about my profs has not been that they lack any knowledge, but that they are more sociable and well-rounded. I'm sure there are some moonbats out there, but all of my CS & math profs were just lovely, and the male/female ratio does seem to be better on a campus than in a cube farm.

(I'm male)

Re:This just proves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704614)

...that people with average iq don't stand those with a higher one, and they have to get flap the remnants of their ego by using other means, mainly social stereotyping and exclusion.

Re:This just proves (0)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704634)

"It's men who are dumb enough to tolerate the types, the sneering arrogant IT guys, the mailing lists full of flaming personal attacks leveled by closet bullies empowered by semi-anonymity, the phallic-compensating gadget consumerists, constantly "helpful" types who manage to insult while trying to rescue, and the sexually inept who use pinup wallpaper and leer at any woman in eyeshot. Membership in (or at least tolerance of) a repellant boys' club is an almost-mandatory feature of our industry."

This adequately describes Corporate America. Nothing unusual here. Really, It is not the least unusual nor exceptional. Mediocrity, juvenile behavior, incompetence, tolerance of the most offensive behavior for those who *seem* to deliver results, and lording it over the lesser types is pretty common in the office. Working for a Fortune 100 company has been an interesting experience. Dealing with incompetent developers, management that won't hold them accountable, failing systems that are too big to fix, unrealistic expectations, sometimes ytou just want to show up and stay out of trouble. The bright spots are the people that really care and give it all they have, and my team that is in the unique position of having both a consultancy role and significant multi-process access to go in and solve problems. We are rarely found to be wrong, and more teams are calling us in either to solve problems or advise on process or design. I can't imagine working on a dev team that spends 3 months on evaluation and design and in 24 hours the internal 'client' shows them that they got it entirely, 100% wrong.

IT is not exceptional. It is proof of IT's maturity and inclusion in Corporate America that IT has all the complaints and shortcomings of all the rest of the corporate world...

Re:This just proves (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704640)

HAH! That's something I would first-post on a lonely Friday night to get the flames goin! Good Show, old man.

He's absolutely right. Women are too smart for careers in computers...

And that's why they go into HR or other administrative jobs: They get to talk, and babble all day about their new color of nail polish or last night's episode of Jon and Kate.

It's men who are dumb enough to tolerate the aspy-programmer types

Who actually get work done because they're good at what they do while not being vain and needy for attention

the phallic-compensating gadget consumerists,

See above. In my experience, it is the needy, attention-hungry women who spend more time tethered to Facebook, and cling to it with their smartphones when they can't be at their desk. They are also more likely to pimp their phones with tacky pink covers and fake stick-on rhinestones, which do nothing to dispel the stereotype of the vain attention-whore.

and the sexually inept who use pinup wallpaper and leer at any woman in eyeshot.

Yeah, wear tight clothes and low-cut tops, bat eyelashes and giggle at every man in sight. It's friendly correspondence if they guy's a manager, or hot, or both. Otherwise it's sexual harassment.

Membership in (or at least tolerance of) a repellant boys' club is an almost-mandatory feature of our industry.

Aww, don't wanna have a beer with the ol' boys Friday after work? It's okay, we know you feel insecure when there's a lot of women in the room who are more attractive and interesting than you are. We're not going to pander to you because you have a vagina between your legs. You have to prove yourself to us as we have to prove ourselves to you. Which means being strong, having a personality, and gettin' the job done. Just lookin' pretty ain't gonna cut it.

Men don't have to be passionate about computers and programming to do well in our field...

But it helps. Every skill gives you an edge. If taking the time to learn about something is too much work for you, then move to HR and talk about last night's episode of Real Housewives and flirt and talk and Facebook all day with a minimum of effort.

But brilliant women who are not passionate about the field are smart enough to tell us all to go fuck ourselves after the first serious flame, because they know nobody should have to put up with that shit.

Typical woman in I.T.: "Like, oh...my...god. Did he just tell me to get actual work done? That's discrimination and sexual harassment. I'm so quitting this job and going back to the couch with the Oprah and the bon-bons to spend 6 months looking for another job. I'm glad my sugar-daddy husband is a better programmer than I am!"

-- Ethanol-fueled, I.P. banned again.

Re:This just proves (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704240)

Actually, the women are upset they can't simply show up to a place for 40 hours a week to collect the exact same amount of money for accomplishing, by comparison, little to nothing of actual worth or value, as is the case in a typical office environment.

So, they're all migrating to paper pushing positions, or meaningless HR roles, because the female brain is pitiful, insignificant, and quite honestly, just can't cut it most of the time.

Re:This just proves (1)

mederbil (1756400) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704648)

The smartest person I know works with me at an IT company. She's the only female tech... in town. She's also a student at the University of British Columbia taking science. She's going to make a lot more money than a typical IT person and only intends to have IT as a fall back career. Definitely smarter than the average man.

Re:This just proves (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704722)

No wonder all worthy Nobel Prize winners, all Field Medal winners, all Chess Masters, greatest technologists, all greatest writers are Men... History has shown which of the genders has the superior mind, and that gender is Male.

Why is it that when we look at the best track runners and see that they are Africans, we are ok that physically whites are inferior to Africans. And we as males understand this, and accept it, and move forward without having to come up with various bs and name calling, and pretend this difference does not exist. Yet when once again, through history and current facts it is shown that one gender, or one ethnicity produces better Scientists/Minds than another, we must quickly try to stifle this fact, and try to pretend the difference does not exist.

It is a fact that Males in general have much greater physical and mental potential than females. Deal with it, no matter how much you whine, or make up excuses, and for whom you spread your legs will change this fact. The best Scientists will always be male, all greatest inventions will always come from males, originality and reasoning is what males have evolved for because of the necessity to struggle with the varied environments, and needed strategies for big game hunting. Females have evolved to simply sit in caves and try not to screw up raising a child by accidentally killing that child through some stupid mistake.

Not just women (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704164)

Lots of people drop out of IT. Mostly the people who have the best common sense.

IT has too many aspy losers, people who can't do the right thing, and people who don't work in their own best interest. It's a dumping ground for the filth of humanity who others at some point have perceived that they would best work with computers instead of people.

This leaves people like me that are in it for the challenge of complexity and those who can't do anything else.

Re:Not just women (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704202)

also a dumping ground for narcissistic assholes apparently.

Re:Not just women (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704260)

Besides there is a GREAT reason why the women make 70k while the men make 80k. Men don't take maternity leave and men don't take sick leave because their kids have the sniffles. Add up the costs for all the extra leave women take and all the work that they don't get done when on leave and it can easily explain the pay difference. No discussion about the gender difference of pay rates is honest without considering things like maternity leave. I really don't care if that offends anyone, it is simply fact and if the truth offends you then you have problems you cannot blame on me.

By "aspy losers" do you refer to Asperger's syndrome? I haven't seen very much of this in IT. I don't think that everyone who lacks social skills has some kind of medical disease and even if I did, I am not qualified to diagnose it as I am not a doctor. It may be a lot more common among programmers than among sysadmins and front-line support folks who must deal with others on a regular basis.

I will say I am rather skilled in IT myself yet do not work in the field. My friends have asked me why, as though they picture some big-time salary and prestige like what any other profession requiring that much specialized knowledge would receive. I explained to them it is nothing like that, you are treated more like the janitor of the computer systems and are likely to be the whipping boy when things beyond your control go wrong. Example, the execs want to purchase a system but you advise against it because that system is known for frequent crashes. They purchase it anyway and now it's your fault that they have problems when they went against your advice. All authority structures are full of this kind of blatant hypocrisy. What's different about IT is that you are likely to get the blame no matter what, possibly because you are seen as an expense and not as a bread-winner like the sales team.

Re:Not just women (0, Offtopic)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704330)

By "aspy losers" do you refer to Asperger's syndrome? I haven't seen very much of this in IT.

Stevie Wonder's never seen very many guys with white sticks.

Re:Not just women (2, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704380)

Men don't take maternity leave and men don't take sick leave because their kids have the sniffles.

I never thought that I would live to see the Platonic ideal of horseshit, but here it is.

Re:Not just women (2, Funny)

Sam36 (1065410) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704444)

I hate women in the workplace >_>

Too much drama, too many workplace affairs, then they try to file suit against me for staring at the cleavage through their low cut tops. Freaking trolls.

Re:Not just women (4, Informative)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704466)

Next time, RTFA. The figure is specifically adjusted for "comparable experience", just to factor out time off for maternity leave and childcare. Paying women less for comparable experience is pure sexism.

But there's a nice unexamined assumption in your post: Why the fuck aren't the men taking parental leave or caring for the children?

Re:Not just women (2, Insightful)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704546)

Define "comparable experience". There is a vast difference in talent and ability between people who work in IT, and none of that can be reflected in any objective metrics.

Re:Not just women (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704620)

Time spent on the job at the same tasks. It doesn't matter if X and Y are vastly different productively at an individual level, if you have a sufficient sample size.

Unless you're sure that women are, on average, less productive than men in IT.

Re:Not just women (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704474)

I call BS. I'm a divorced/remarried male and I have almost equal time with my kids fortunately. I do take off when they have sniffles. I did it when I was still with my first wife...way more than she did(when you consider her time off was not with the kids and a whole other story). I encourage my employees to take time when they need it for family. It makes for a more loyal employee generally. I also encourage working from home. It's a great resource to rely on when some application needs a mod by COB on the day they are off.

Re:Not just women (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704618)

70000 dollars? 80? I can hardly get a job for 35000. I'm certified and experienced, have good references and a well written resume. am I the only one who thinks these numbers are artificially inflated?

Re:Not just women (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704698)

There's a lot of jobs on the coasts, where costs are higher and annual wages compensate for this.

Sexist (5, Funny)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704182)

Since the women leaving the IT field are bringing down the percentage of women in the IT field, of which there have been many stories on about on Slashdot saying this must increase, they're working against the raising of women in the IT field. Therefore, they must be sexist.

That must mean... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704186)

That must mean they're going back into the kitchen, good for them that's where they belong.

Posted by male IT worker, never seen a competent woman in IT.

Re:That must mean... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704430)

hehe, good riddance. I can't work with the stench of stank pussy wafting through the office.

That explains the pay difference... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704192)

In 2008, women in tech made an average salary of $70,370...men's pay during the same time period was $80,357....
Fifty-six percent of women in technology companies leave their organizations at the mid-level point, 10-20 years in their careers

Re:That explains the pay difference... (3, Insightful)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704212)

1. Start at 18
2. Quit at 28
3. Have kids
4. Sue for discrimination in wages due to "experience".
5. PROFIT!

Re:That explains the pay difference... (4, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704486)

Hold on, hold on, I am writing this down, this is good shit, you have all the steps.

Now, how do you 'Have kids' exactly?

Re:That explains the pay difference... (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704624)

You need to move out of Basement 1.0 and upgrade to Apartment 1.0, so you can acquire Girlfriend 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, and so on...... after about 3 years you can then use the Bribe With Ring Addon to turn Girlfriend X.0 into Wife OS X 10.0. Eventually Kid 0.1 will emerge.

But be careful. After about twenty years, maybe as fast as ten years, Wife 10.0 will start to look like this: http://www.beforeandaftermarriage.com/celebrity/fat-keely-shaye-smith [beforeanda...rriage.com] or affectionately called "Grandma 40 Plus"

Re:That explains the pay difference... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704408)

In 2008, women in tech made an average salary of $70,370...men's pay during the same time period was $80,357.... Fifty-six percent of women in technology companies leave their organizations at the mid-level point, 10-20 years in their careers

It's cool and trendy these days to make women look good even while they are making themselves look bad. Speaking in purely financial terms, they are really screwing themselves over by leaving at the mid-level point. You need experience and maybe some seniority to earn the real money in this field, since at the lower level jobs you are easy enough to replace.

Maybe women make less money because they are less serious about this career path. That's OK and not a bad thing. They are choosing what's important to them and they should be free to do that. All of that is fine, until some well-meaning but thoroughly misguided jackass writes a summary making it sound like these poor innocent women are being financially abused and taken advantage of by those big evil savage men. That whole "damsel in distress" thing is far too easy to play up and gets lots of attention every time, even when the damsel herself is not the one doing it. Just look at the approval of this sexist post [slashdot.org] because it portrays women as smarter and more sophisticated than men even though the same people would find reverse sexism repugnant like the hypocrites they are. If that's really their IT culture then they're working for some bad companies. Anyway, that's how powerful that "knight in shining armor" thing can be whenever the "damsel in distress" card is played.

The other thing that needs to be accounted for is the options women have that men don't. Women see having a family or having a career as a choice. They can do one, the other, or both. Men don't get to view that as a choice. For men, they must have a career, period. If they want to also be a father, they do it after they come home from the office. Just leaving the working world mid-level through your career is not an option for men unless they win the lottery or want to go on welfare. Of course this is going to result in a pay discrepency. Really at around $10k for this industry, I'm amazed it's as low as it is.

Bottom line, I have known women who were very serious about their careers. They were good at what they did and well respected. They did as well as the men and tended to do a little better. This might be because some of them had the perception that they had to outperform men to be respected, a notion that is really no longer the case because of political correctness. It might also be because management looks more "diverse" and "inclusive" and non-discriminatory when they preferentially promote women and give them raises. Either way they worked like men, they took their jobs seriously like men, and they put in overtime hours like men. Coincidentally they were paid like men and promoted like men.

Re:That explains the pay difference... (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704570)

C'mon, mod parent up. We keep pretending like there is no real difference between men and women, and all this does is emasculate men and frustrate women.

More Facts (1)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704676)

Other relevant facts: Women are also more likely to work part-time; a type of position that pays less. They're also more likely to leave work for raising children.

No Shit Sherlock. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704196)

I couldn't tell, I mean I was covered in women when I started this field, and now its a sausage fest.

Children? (5, Insightful)

leenks (906881) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704198)

Could it possibly be that women drop out of these jobs 10-20 years into their careers to have children? Could this also explain the difference in "average" salary if their careers have a break or work shorter weeks?

Re:Children? (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704306)

Child-rearing really doesn't have very much to do with it at all, between school, day-care, a partner and parental leave. What probably does have a lot to do with it is that women are offered shittier salaries on average, as noted (and have been forever) and they get tired of banging their heads on the old glass ceiling.

Re:Children? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704376)

I doubt that you can rule the earlier notion out completely just based on that. A lot of women just stop pursuing their careers to focus on raising a family, regardless of how much maternity leave or benefits they get from their work. They want to be there to raise their kids without having to attend a full time job every day.

Re:Children? (4, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704454)

Actually, it does have something to do with it. When a woman takes parental leave, she goes on the bottom of the list to move up. And like it or not, women almost always get stuck with making sure the kids get to school, go to the doctor, etc. so she is usually the one who has to leave work early or miss an entire day on short notice, further putting her on bottom of the promotion list. When kids are sick, day care will NOT accept them (fever = no acceptance). Well shit, kids get sick all the time, and it is almost always mom that stays home with them, not dad. Who has to pick the kids up at school or day care? Mom usually gets that task.

Don't get me wrong, there are some great dads out there, but facts are facts and mom still does most of the maintenance in the vast majority of families. Typically, dad's job pays more, so the lesser paid takes more risk by taking time off. This is a cultural issue.

Even in a perfect situation where 1 man and 1 woman start the same job at the same pay and are equally capable, the woman will usually end up being slightly less reliable, punctual, and willing to work overtime. This is a trade off that she has made, and at the end of the day, the boss *IS* going to favor the guy who always shows up on time and will work overtime with no notice, no questions asked. That doesn't make him a bad boss, actually it is expected that you give the promotions and raises to the person showing the most initiative.

And when a woman takes off for 2 to 3 months, PAID, it does hurt the perception of her in the workplace. I know, I've seen it. The guys bitch because of it, and since most of the employees are guys to begin with, it puts the woman on the outside looking in. And if a woman is 3 months pregnant, the boss doesn't want to put her in charge of a long term project because she will be gone for a few months and maybe not come back ever. I see that happen all the time, where the woman works until birth is close just to get the 3 months extra pay, knowing she is going to not come back. I can't blame her, even if it causes problems for work. Even when a boss is perfectly fair, he would be negligent if he didn't consider these facts.

I'm certainly not trying to rag on women at all, but these are real world examples of why some women get paid less. Having 3 kids in 8 years will produce enough "paid while off" time that any boss HAS to consider it when promoting.

Re:Children? (3, Informative)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704590)

Child-rearing really doesn't have very much to do with it at all, between school, day-care, a partner and parental leave. .

Spoken like someone who does not have children. Until you do, you have no idea what it takes, especially if it's not smooth sailing.

By the way I'm male, in IT and on parental leave. 2 weeks is all I get per child. I have a newborn daughter, and a boy under 2. My wife's had 4 hours sleep tonight. That's a good night for her. 2 days ago she got an hour and the only thing that got her through is she has me and her parents to take over so she can sleep during the day. I dread what it is going to be like with me back at work and her parents gone. It does get better as they get older but you'll still have shitty days. Like the day my daughter came home but I couldn't go pick her up because my older boy had a fever and had a very rough night (temperate baths etc). I see what my wife goes through and I'm very glad she doesn't have to add work to the mix right now. As they get older the challenges change but if you think a little bit of parental leave and a partner helping makes it all smooth sailing, you're in for a shock if you ever have kids.

Re:Children? (3, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704646)

>>>women are offered shittier salaries on average

False. When you compared men and women of equal years, they make equal salaries. You make the same mistake as those who claim people only lived to 40 in the 1700s. That is the AVERAGE lifespan, and it's drawn downward because of early death, but if a person survived past age 20 his life expectancy was 70-80 years. Same as now.

Likewise women tend to quit early, but when you compared a 60 year old man to a 60 year old woman in IT, you'll find they make the same salaries.

Karma Suicide!!! (3, Informative)

ShadowBot (908773) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704714)

Funnily enough, I'm just reading super-freakonimcs and the authors mentioned a few things about the general male-female wage gap, which confirmed things in my personal experience.

All the research done shows women are are more likely to leave the workforce earlier than men or downshift in thier careers. Even the summary says that.
Basically, most of the factors that affect the pay gap are things done by choice.

On a personal level even a small amount observation will show that most women don't make as much money as men becuase they really don't want to.

When any of my male acquaintances are looking for a job thier first question is always "How can I get a job that pays more money."
With my female acquaintances when they are looking for a job the first comment is almost always "I want to know if i will like it there."

Men value money more on average while women value work environment and quality. Men are more likely to ask for a raise than women. And men are more likely to quit becuase they didn't get the raise while women are more likely to quit becuase they don't like the environment.

All this naturally leads to the conclusion that men will make more money than women but women will enjoy thier jobs more than men.

Can any of you say this isn't true in your own personal experience?

Re:Children? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704464)

Quite possibly. Very many IT positions is high on or more of:

a) On call duty
b) Unplanned overtime
c) Planned out of hours work
d) Crunch times

Parents of small children are naturally not very flexible, and certainly two inflexible parents just does not work. If you need to come in on call, then you need your partner or a babysitter to be on call. You can't phone your daycare and say "Sorry, I'm working overtime tonight but I'll be there by 8 PM". Planned work is better, but hardly optimal. And unlike a relationship you can't put a toddler on hold for a few weeks during crunch time. I'm not surprised many pick a job where you leave your desk on time every day.

Re:Children? (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704652)

There must be some IT positions that don't have all that though.

This is why IT workers need unions though...

Unplanned overtime and crunch times should be illegal.

And "on call duty" is just normal work, and should be considered as such.

Being available to be called during certain times is work.

Re:Children? (4, Insightful)

jayveekay (735967) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704516)

"56% of women in technology companies leave their organizations at the mid-level point, 10-20 years in their careers," said Catherine Ashcraft, the senior research scientist who authored the report.

Is 56% a large number relative to other careers? What percentage of women in retail sales change companies in their 30s? What percentage of men in tech companies change jobs in their 30s? Are we supposed be shocked by the number 56% in the absence of anything to compare it to?

I'm a guy who has been working as a software developer for 20 years, and I changed organizations (companies) in my 30s. And it had nothing to do with children.

Yeah ... and 1 in 10 are gay .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704208)

we've heard this busslhit before and nobodys buying any of it.

Does "Technology" = "IT" ? (5, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704216)

The terms are being used interchangeably here. The bloom is off the rose on IT careers, certainly (in the US, at least), and not just for women. And the number/type of pure IT careers is imploding, I'm sure (once upon a time there were "webmasters" who were counted as IT guys). But capital "T" Technology as a whole? The highly technical careers that use computers and software as tools? I'm not convinced.

Fewer woman programmers and server room jockeys, OK. But fewer woman technology workers and technicians? Not so sure. Sounds like stats being massaged to prove a point for somebody...

why? because.. (4, Informative)

Dee Ann_1 (1731324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704280)

because of the way we are treated in general.

Men talk over us or around us.

If I'm speaking most men will just interrupt and talk right over as if I'm not even in the room.

And if I'm competent, which I am, I'm seen as a threat and treated as "the enemy"..

The pay is lower and we have to put more nonsense than we should.

Bottom line: we are treated with disrespect and disdain. In general. It's the old "Women should be seen but not heard" problem.

I dropped out of the IT world a few years ago because of the afore mentioned reasons.

Re:why? because.. (1, Troll)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704440)

I am going to maintain the necessary level of stereotype here right now: sudo make me a sandwich.

(don't hurt me, I couldn't resist it, I am an IT guy.)

Re:why? because.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704588)

Did anyone else hear this whining noise in the background? Guys?

Re:why? because.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704680)

Nonsense and bullshit. You just use this as your excuse for being less capable than the men you're around. If you get "talked over" it's because you're not on their level, and they're not willing to talk down to you. Just because you think you're competent doesn't mean you're right. Nerds judge people based on their ability to get the job done; nothing else. Companies, too, select people based on their ability to do the job. To do otherwise would put them at a competitive disadvantage vs. their opposition.

Re:why? because.. (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704688)

>>>If I'm speaking most men will just interrupt and talk right over as if I'm not even in the ro

So? Men do the same to me, and I am a man. That's how men communicate. Is it rude? Yes but that's how men are - constantly interrupting one another. It's not because you're a woman but because the men are treating you like any other man. You need to learn to interrupt them too, if you want to be heard.
.

>>>And if I'm competent, which I am, I'm seen as a threat and treated as "the enemy"..

Again, no different than how men treat me, and I'm a man. It is the way of things. Maybe you need to read "Men Are From Mars" which has very useful insights into how men think and talk differently from women, because you seem to expect men to act like women (don't interrupt, don't be competitive), and they simply aren't hardwired that way
.

Sexist field (2, Interesting)

rlh100 (695725) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704284)

A common theme with woman sysadmin that have left the field is that they are tired of the environment. Tired of the macho attitudes. Tired of the put-downs. Tired of having to prove that they are tough enough to be part of the group.

Not quite sexual harassment, but alpha geek males who have something to prove and not enough social skills.

And it is not that they can't compete in this environment. It is more that they get tired of same old sh*t over and over again. They move out of the field into a more supportive environment.

I wish us guys would get our heads out of our backsides. I enjoy working with women. They bring a gentler feel to the group. But I am sure I will get flamed saying that IT is not sexist, that there is no problem and women need to get a thicker skin. And that my friends is exactly the problem.

Re:Sexist field (1)

Dee Ann_1 (1731324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704340)

Thank you...

That's refreshing to hear a man fess up and be honest...

Thank you.... :-)

Re:Sexist field (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704592)

I'm curious - do you always expect men to be dishonest with you? We may be boors at time, but I would dispute that the majority of us are dishonourable.

If I were to say "It's refreshing to hear a Jew be honest" I would be censured; how is it ok for you to say the same thing of males [wikipedia.org]?

Re:Sexist field (5, Interesting)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704372)

I have never met an IT person nor worked in a place of IT where I can honestly say we have ever put down a woman that works in the field. But keep in mind, there is a difference here. Something so many women seem to forget.

IT nerds don't have to give you respect *because you're a woman*.

IT nerds give respect *when you know what you're doing*.

This is a key difference, because we (used to) have a ton of women in our company in IT that commanded a lot of respect. These smart, knowledgeable, and powerful women left the job not because of the men, but because of the pressures of the job (our DBA left because she was having to get up at 12AM to do database maintenance stuff because of a contracted developer we had).

Re:Sexist field (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704446)

Nonsense. Men are scared dickless of skilled, knowledgable women, and do everything they can to undermine them and chase them away. You can't stand the competition, and you especially can't stand people who really do care about merit, rather than depend on good-ole-boy bullshitting.

Re:Sexist field (2, Interesting)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704626)

Hey, I wish I could depend on good-ole-boy bullshitting: the three management layers above me are staffed with women, and the hiring manager has told me outright that I won't be getting promoted because of my visual disability.

But don't let me interrupt your militant feminist rant.

Re:Sexist field (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704632)

Insightful?

Shall we put the shoe on the other foot and talk about males in female dominated professions? *crickets* Thought so. My personal experience in working in both female and male dominated fields is that respect is given to the competent regardless of gender, although many people like to rationalize their failures by claiming *ism.

Re:Sexist field (4, Interesting)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704544)

I have never met an IT person nor worked in a place of IT where I can honestly say we have ever put down a woman that works in the field. But keep in mind,

I have. From a male manager at one job - just out of the army - thought every single female manager didn't know what the hell they were doing.

At another job as a sysadmin, pretty much the entire male help desk was against the lone, new-hire female because she assumed people calling for help actually knew what it was they were calling about, or at least treated them that way.

And yet at another job, my mostly 20-something male co-workers thinking a new female sysadmin was hot and not much else.

Maybe you just haven't worked in enough bay area places yet (Well, that last one was in Chicago).

Re:Sexist field (2, Insightful)

novium (1680776) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704392)

Gentler? Hah. What a load that is. I work for the Girl Scouts. The entire staff is women. 90% of our volunteers are women. There's nothing gentle; it's just more subtle. I'd rather work with guys, tbh- though the exception is misogynistic assholes. It's one thing to be catching shit from someone who is just an equal-opportunity jerk; it's another thing entirely to know that you're only catching shit because you're female, and that there's nothing you can ever do to stop that. Therein lies the difference, I think.

Re:Sexist field (4, Insightful)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704402)

You're absolutely right, but take it a step further: Even without women, why do we put up with bullshit pseudo-macho alpha geek behaviour? It's not like it's any benefit to getting the job done, and it smacks of the same sort of delusions that young lawyers and young stock brokers fall prey to, the "go hard or go home" school of working yourself to death for your boss's sake.

Well, actually, I don't. Nearing my 40th birthday, my consultancy is screaming along, and dealing with other IT guys in their late 30s, I find we're all quite mature and professional, and don't behave in ways that women would find offputting, usually because we have wives and often daughters that remind us that keyboard commandos aren't the only or best people in the world.

Re:Sexist field (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704732)

>>>I enjoy working with women. They bring a gentler feel to the group.

And more boobs. And better legs. And they wash their hands after using the bathroom! Even when I play games I typically pick the woman character (hot) rather than the male character (ick). Being surrounded by a bunch of dudes sucks, and I've often considered going into a different profession with more women - like teaching. Or healthcare.

why must everything be equal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704322)

I tire of articles that insidiously imply that lack of equality must be due to irrational discrimination. I guess the authors haven't figured out that the white straight male isn't the only societal cross-section that can self-select a career. ..or maybe they're just blowhard leftwingers with sand in their vaginas/manginas. If so, they can join their rightwing blowhards in the tenth level.

Women should stick with what they're good at (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704366)

Stripping!!!

There are women in IT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704368)

Where?

Each place I've worked at in the last ten years might as well have been in Saudi Arabia.

Same thing every few months (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704384)

Every few months we are hearing this: women are not going to IT, there are fewer women than men in IT, women are moving out of IT etc.etc.etc., and this probably applies to engineering just as well, though I am not sure.

OK, can we have all the women drop out of IT already so that we can switch the stories to something more positive, like: "Another Woman Joined an IT Shop This Month!"

It's just depressing to hear the same thing over and over, obviously we have overabundance of wiener in this profession and it's not going to change, that's how things are, this is a lonely profession, often self-absorbed, requires sacrifice of many things in life for sure, like being a totally normal sociable person. In TFA it says that women are getting 'special treatment' - getting tasks that are impossible to solve, that often their roles are diminished to that of a secretary during a meeting, whatever.

Seriously, I haven't seen this kind of treatment of women in any of the shops I worked in, but I am not one so maybe it was happening and I just didn't notice it, beats me. It says that a women with 10 to 20 years of experience is getting a salary that is about 11% smaller of a comparable male worker, again, who knows, we don't normally share our salary data among each other, right?

Maybe it is time for women to start their own women oriented IT shops and just go that way.

gender differences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704404)

After the dot com era ended and massive offshoring of jobs to India became commonplace, the bloom was off on IT as a career. People don't believe the recent spate of magazine pieces proclaiming IT as one of the hot fields to get into... maybe it looks good today (relatively speaking), but things change quickly.

Now that the bloom is off, the old gender related differences reassert themselves. As a generalization, women like working with people, whereas men have more appreciation or tolerance with working with machines and systems. A lot of the coordinator and project manager type roles that woman would feel more comfortable in, have been casualties of the general belt tightening over the last 10 years.

And BTW, women appreciate working in office environments were people dress nicely, not with stuff pulled off the rack from Old Navy and the Gap.

Lack of objectivity? (1, Insightful)

CaptainNerdCave (982411) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704480)

Maybe it's just my experience, but I have gathered that a higher percentage of women seem to ignore objective data if their "intuition" suggests otherwise. Fewer women have a "scientific method" approach to problem solving, and instead prefer a heuristic method (existential ideas about the world aside), or even "trial and error".*

Fields like IT, engineering, physics, chemistry, biology, etc require a more objective and rational approach to solving for unknowns. Statistically, this problem-solving method appears to be a field where women are lacking.

Re:Lack of objectivity? (1, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704658)

Maybe it's just my experience, but I have gathered that a higher percentage of women seem to ignore objective data if their "intuition" suggests otherwise. ... Statistically, this problem-solving method appears to be a field where women are lacking.

Except you haven't done any studies, just "gathered." You say "statistically" to give your assertion an air of scientific credibility, but you have no statistical methodology here. You're going with your gut feeling. Your hunch. Your ... wait for it ... intuition.

Pot, meet kettle.

How does make sense with rest of the news? (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704494)

How does this make sense with the rest of the news?

There was just an article in The Atlantic called "The End Of Men" about how fewer men and more women are going for higher education as well as getting the better paying jobs?

What is the deal with the article saying that IT jobs and good paying ones are growing? For years on IT sites anxiety producing stories of outsourcing are standard fare

Women drop out of every field (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704642)

This is a simple biological fact: women have babies. Due to this, women are far more likely to drop out of their careers than are men. They are not forced to do so, they choose to. This is the cause (and the only cause) of the alleged wage disparity. In short, this article is absolutely meaningless.

What do they want us to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32704644)

Do they want us to teach women geek culture? Do they want to teach geeks how to dress well and play football? Do they want to give a special scholarship to women that get into IT? An scholarship that poor women need more and will use in a career that they like?

Women avoiding IT in UK (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704696)

The number of female IT professionals [newstechnica.com] in the UK is falling, according to the British Computer Society, despite similar or superior academic scores and recruitment in the sector as a whole having risen in the same timeframe. The lack of flexibility offered by employers is blamed.

"It's a free market world," said Ubuntu Linux developer Hiram Nerdboy. "It's about competence and getting the job done. Working sixteen hours a day on a project you really love is par for the course. That we're all eighteen to twenty-five is from the accelerated Internet-based learning of the new generation, not exploitation of young workers who don't know any better."

Over a third of women in IT had complained of sexism up to sexual harassment at work. "It's women who just don't have social skills," said Nerdboy. "They object to the guys freely choosing to all go down the strip club after work. They're just not team players."

Open source projects have worse figures than industry, with male to female ratios approaching fifty-to-one. Many women cite gross sexism on mailing lists and IRC. "In my experience, women just don't have a working sense of humour and can't take a joke. My girlfriend thought it was funny! Even leaving helpful comments on their blogs didn't work. 'Political correctness' is no exaggeration. Anyway, I met my girlfriend online!"

"...," said his girlfriend, RealDoll Ada.

"And it's not like you can get the applicants," added Nerdboy. "We can hardly get any girls to apply for a job here. They're obviously naturally not good enough geeks. It must be evolutionary. We need more pink computers."

Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth explained that "this stuff is difficult to explain to girls" and thought they'd have gotten the hint when he called 8.04 "Hairy Hardon." "Worrying about sexism in open source just detracts from the battle for Linux. So we've put the tits back into the default desktop. And arses."

Crime-fighting geek Shuttleworth, who dresses as a billiionaire playboy by night, swore that plenty of women liked him lots and that he obviously wasn't unable to get laid or anything, having gotten seriously rich in the dot-com era, not to mention having gone into space. "Chicks dig that stuff. Trust me, I've met lots of girls. More than five!"

Canonical Community Manager Jono Bacon echoed this sentiment on his blog. "We just don't understand how come women are 15% of all computer programmers but only 1% of open source programmers. It must be a bit complicated for them. That's why I've written this spontaneous blog post, completely unrelated to anything my boss may or may not have said, on all the fantastically talented women in free software, even if none of them seem to work much on Ubuntu any more. Also, I'm absolutely confident that saying I'm in a computer geek heavy metal band will get me lots of chicks too, even if their pretty little heads can't understand Linux."

A special women's edition of Ubuntu 10.10 will be released on a bright pink CD. "It doubles as a makeup mirror!" said Shuttleworth.

All I need to know about this ... (0, Troll)

The AtomicPunk (450829) | more than 3 years ago | (#32704724)

... is what I learned from democrats:

This is clearly sexual discrimination with no need to probe into why there are differences. We must immediately pass a low mandating a $10k raise for all females in IT, spend $500M overhauling universities to make computer science more appealing, and change entrance standards to require 70% of all students to be female.

Then, at last, we'll have eliminated sexism!

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