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Girls Go Geek Again

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the what's-the-goal-you-have-in-mind dept.

Education 378

nessus42 writes "Computer science has always been a male-dominated field, right? Wrong. In 1987, 42% of the software developers in America were women. And 34% of the systems analysts in America were women. Women had started to flock to computer science in the mid-1960s, during the early days of computing, when men were already dominating other technical professions but had yet to dominate the world of computing. For about two decades, the percentages of women who earned Computer Science degrees rose steadily, peaking at 37% in 1984.... And then the women left. In droves. ...it looks like women are now returning to computer science."

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Oh I'm sorry (4, Funny)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36912684)

I thought the headline read "girls DO geek again" and I got all excited for a minute there. Domn Slashdot misrepresenting headlines.

Re:Oh I'm sorry (4, Funny)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#36912716)

Not to be confused with "girls do geeks again", which has its own set of likelihoods.

Re:Oh I'm sorry (0)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913382)

Like I said girls DO geeks again. So what gives? Where can I find said girls? Or is this just another case of false advertising. Also quoted in TFA "The Bachelor Girls of Japan and A Dog Speaks: Why a Girl Should Own a Pooch. There's a joke in tere somewhere. And yet the only somewhat hot looking woma pictured in the article is Marissa Mayer from Google. This article is utter deception and no good can come from it.

Re:Oh I'm sorry (2)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913482)

Girls do geeks again. However, they are all female geeks. Sorry.

Re:Oh I'm sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913608)

Also not to be confused with "girls do greek again" - also something to get excited about.

Re:Oh I'm sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36912938)

I thought the headline read "girls DO geek again" and I got all excited for a minute there. Domn Slashdot misrepresenting headlines.

Funny coincidence how I just did a girl yesterday for the first time in 3 years...

Re:Oh I'm sorry (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913000)

how I just did a girl yesterday

You dont usually do girls?

Re:Oh I'm sorry (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913258)

You dont usually do girls?

I usually do women. At my age, girls are illegal!

Re:Oh I'm sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913562)

Showoff T_T

Re:Oh I'm sorry (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913072)

The fact that this is the first comment on this article is pretty ironic, given that it's these kind of attitudes that keep women away.

Re:Oh I'm sorry (4, Insightful)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913226)

... given that it's these kind of attitudes that keep women away.

If that were true, wouldn't women keep out of pretty much every industry?

Re:Oh I'm sorry (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913332)

You, sir, are notably pithier than I am.

Re:Oh I'm sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913362)

If that were true, wouldn't women keep out of pretty much every industry?

Having previously worked at both a hospital and at your traditional software company, this is a no. The "let's treat women as objects to fuck" jokes never came up at the hospital, probably because the female PIs (which was about half of all PIs) wouldn't stand for it. This can't be said for the software company I worked at, or for the guys I went to grad school (in CS) with.

The fact that you think it's normal indicates that you've never really tried to fit in in a group with a significant female population.

Re:Oh I'm sorry (4, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913282)

Yeah, because you know jocks aren't chauvinists. There is nothing endemic to geek culture which is necessarily negative toward gender equality or respect. Those negatives exhibited by males in geek culture or jock or metrosexual or what-have-you are endemic to the social values imprinted across the entire gender. It is wrapped up in what it means to be male and how men should value themselves vs. women, and the cultural context in which these are expressed, be it geek culture or some other, is really just a lens on that broader social deficiency.

Re:Oh I'm sorry (4, Insightful)

smelch (1988698) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913356)

No, that's not it. Girls love to be talked to that way, they dont' like seeing other girls talked about that way when they aren't. The problem with geeks doing it is that they're overtly creepy and unable to bluff enough "casual" interest to cover the scent of their all-too-eager interest.

Women stay away because guys intimidate them and don't respect their intelligence, it has nothing to do with sexual jokes.

Re:Oh I'm sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913626)

I thought the headline read "girls DO Greek again" and I got even more excited than you.

The difference is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36912704)

To the women, it's just a job. Not a lifestyle.

Re:The difference is... (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36912880)

They defiantly approach problems differently, I find women developers tend to be less interested in the next big things but the daily process of keeping things working... Now I could be way off because most of the Women developers I have worked with are from the 1980's graduates, and are focused on retirement. But even with younger women developers they seem less interested in trying to make something and more to keep it running or do what it is told.

This isn't a bad thing, I have seen some very good code produced, and very timely.

However it does sometimes create a situation where it is harder to create a change in the process.

Re:The difference is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913068)

and how many male developers you see that are interested in trying something new? Just for the record, in my case it is ZERO.

/. cannot math today it has the dumb (0)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | more than 3 years ago | (#36912724)

"Computer science has always been a male-dominated field, right? Wrong. In 1987, 42% of the software developers in America were women." That means 58% were men ... and 58 > 42, last time I checked ... looks like I was right about computer science always being male-dominated, thank you very much.

Re:/. cannot math today it has the dumb (4, Insightful)

mmmmbeer (107215) | more than 3 years ago | (#36912768)

There may be some disagreement about what it means to "dominate." Clearly the author feels it requires a higher disparity.

Re:/. cannot math today it has the dumb (1)

MichaelKristopeit424 (2018894) | more than 3 years ago | (#36912828)

a published author should not impose their feelings as fact.

slashdot = stagnated

Re:/. cannot math today it has the dumb (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36912946)

You have so entirely missed the point or value of the article and even summary; lost in the minutiae. As for the non sequitur commentary I wholly disagree and continue to enjoy what slashdot has to offer. Feel free to take your attitude over to digg or reddit. I head they appreciate such snark over there.

Re:/. cannot math today it has the dumb (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913310)

To quote the fine article:

From 1984 to 2006, the number of women majoring in computer science dropped from 37% to 20%

That's 37 % of what? Of all women majoring? Or of all students majoring in CS? Of a reference value, e.g. the number of students in 1968?

And how exactly is the relative share connected to absolute numbers?
It might well be that the number of female students actually increased during that period.
And the reason that the relative share dropped is just because the number of male students increased much more.

That's an important distinction, because it means that women did not leave the field.
They did just not follow the male crowd that joined the PC revolution.

Re:/. cannot math today it has the dumb (1)

MichaelKristopeit421 (2018882) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913450)

perhaps a woman did the study and found comfort in the higher probability of vague correctness gained from not qualifying their variables.

slashdot editors should not publish such non-sensical ignorance.

slashdot = stagnated

Re:/. cannot math today it has the dumb (1)

MichaelKristopeit420 (2018880) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913420)

ur mum's face have so entirely missed the point or value of my response to the article and even summary; lost in the minutiae.

opinion =/= news.

you're an ignorant hypocrite.

cower in my shadow some more, feeb.

you're completely pathetic.

Re:/. cannot math today it has the dumb (4, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#36912916)

I question the "leaving in droves" comment though. Did the females leave or did the number of males coming in just go up an a rate faster than women? According to their data, far more men have submitted resumes than women.

Re:/. cannot math today it has the dumb (1)

Dthief (1700318) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913008)

The women got annoyed at all the men who were pimply and awkward, and so they "left in droves". But humanity has a short memory, so the next generation of women to go through this pain is coming.

Re:/. cannot math today it has the dumb (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913112)

That's a fair point.

Re:/. cannot math today it has the dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36912778)

i hope this is a joke, right?

Re:/. cannot math today it has the dumb (0)

Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) | more than 3 years ago | (#36912812)

Yeah, I was about to point out the same. Fail -_-

Re:/. cannot math today it has the dumb (1)

drpimp (900837) | more than 3 years ago | (#36912922)

That means 58% were men ... and 58 > 42, last time I checked ...

You might be missing a variable ??? ...
If ... X (% of women) + Y (% of men) + Z (% of other [transgender / lack thereof ???]) = 100%, then Y = 100% - Z - 42% = 58% - Z, and Z = 100% - 42% - X = 58% - X
... just sayin'

Re:/. cannot math today it has the dumb (1)

SilentStaid (1474575) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913344)

Last time I checked, XX were women and XY were men... and some form of tucking represented the others. /ducks

Re:/. cannot math today it has the dumb (1)

ldobehardcore (1738858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913552)

What about Klienfelter's (46/47 XXY) and Turner's Syndrome (46XX/45XO, and several other chromosomal abnormalities implicated.)?

Re:/. cannot math today it has the dumb (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913200)

It's always had majority men, but 58-42 is very different from the roughly 80-20 split that it has now. It's sort of like the difference between pediatric medicine (currently about 55-45 in favor of women) and nursing (95-5 in favor of women).

In the cases where you have a gender in an extreme minority, you often get silly social reactions around them. For instance, male geeks who stay in all-male environments might not get used to treating women professionally rather than drooling over them or harassing them. Similarly, some female nurses (particularly older female nurses) have been known to mistreat male nurses because they think there is something wrong with the men.

Re:/. cannot math today it has the dumb (1)

Roachie (2180772) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913662)

And where is this 42% coming from? Everywhere I've ever worked its been a sausage fest.

Hey (1)

rinoid (451982) | more than 3 years ago | (#36912758)

S/He said girls. ...

it's a good thing.

How many developers (1)

Leon Buijs (545859) | more than 3 years ago | (#36912760)

were there in 1984 anyway?

Re:How many developers (2)

luckymutt (996573) | more than 3 years ago | (#36912822)

Interestingly, there were only 100.
That made the statistician's job really easy.

This may be true... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36912786)

But they certainly aren't in any of my classes. Which is of course, quite disappointing.

Re:This may be true... (1)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913460)

Even if they are, most of them are not what you would want to look at; let just say that i would not consider interfacing your hardware with their software.

they're looking for something (1)

amn108 (1231606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36912826)

It seems the girls are looking for something.... coming, leaving, coming again. What might it be? Girls are strange :P

Re:they're looking for something (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913492)

My dad says that's how they shop, check the same shelf over and over again to see if anything's changed :-P

Re:they're looking for something (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913672)

It seems the girls are looking for something.... coming, leaving, coming again.

Am I the only one thinking of that song from Blazing Saddles here?

they all seem to work at MS or Google (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#36912886)

most of the hot women i've seen on Google+ so far seem to work for MS or Google. and in media

Thank god! (5, Funny)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 3 years ago | (#36912920)

Its been a total sausage fest in I/T for the last 20 years. We need more women so we can act uncomfortable and awkward in what we consider our native surroundings.

Re:Thank god! (4, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913014)

We need more women so we can act uncomfortable and awkward in what we consider our native surroundings.

Wait, we're geeks ... I thought uncomfortable and awkward was our native surroundings. :-P

Re:Thank god! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913096)

Good point, however we mean even more uncomfortable and awkward than usual.

Re:Thank god! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913250)

Does this mean I can no longer giggle when I say, "This drive needs mounting" ?

Honey, can you compile that code? (5, Funny)

chrisj_0 (825246) | more than 3 years ago | (#36912954)

and then get me a beer :)

Re:Honey, can you compile that code? (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913434)

LM chauvinist ass off. That was funny.

Re:Honey, can you compile that code? (1)

Roachie (2180772) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913704)

"See, bright eyes, coding is just like... making a sandwich."

Of course girls liked it at first. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36912962)

Computers were simple to program up until the late 80's. Eventually computers got too complex for their puny girl minds to comprehend. So they left the discipline.

Numbers (3, Insightful)

brit74 (831798) | more than 3 years ago | (#36912970)

In 1987, 42% of the software developers in America were women... the percentages of women who earned Computer Science degrees rose steadily, peaking at 37% in 1984
If women with computer science degrees peaked in 1984 at 37%, then it also means women working as software developers were less likely to have a degree.

From the Article: "In the past year, the number of women majoring in Computer Science has nearly doubled at Harvard, rising from 13% to 25%"
If there was that much change in a single year, I'm betting it has more to do with the admissions process or other factors than any society-wide phenomena.

Re:Numbers (1)

Dthief (1700318) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913074)

less likely compared to what stat....what is only 1% of men had a CS degree.....also 37% of women is 37% of a larger group than those developing software, which is a small subset, so 100% in that subset might have degrees. Unless you are leaving out some crucial information, or wording what you said very poorly.

Re:Numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913516)

Since 42% of software developers were women, but at the peak, only 37% of graduates were women, you are left with two possibilities to explain the discrepancy:

1) A higher percentage of men than women got degrees in CS and then did not work as software developers. Men going into academia probably contributed somewhat to this, since I imagine the percentage of women that went into academia was lower than the percentage of men (judging from my professors).

2) A higher percentage of the women working as software developers did not have a degree in CS.

Without looking at hard numbers, I don't have any proof to back it up, but I would guess that reason 1 is not enough to explain the discrepancy between the two peaks. This means that 2 must be true, and proportionally fewer women had degrees in CS. This doesn't mean that they weren't just as good or better developers, but it might help explain why the number of women in software engineering dropped, since HR people like fancy letters after employees names.

Re:Numbers (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913736)

You sound like one of my community-college stats students.

Re:Numbers (2)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913716)

"If women with computer science degrees peaked in 1984 at 37%, then it also means women working as software developers were less likely to have a degree." ... in computer science.

For example, I worked as a software engineer with my M.A. in mathematics & statistics. I know others who had physics degrees, etc.

Just my theory. (2, Insightful)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 3 years ago | (#36912994)

It has to do with the complexity of the systems. Those early computer systems were not very complicated. Then, throughout the late 80s and 90s systems and software became much more complex. However, in the last ten years or so, much of the complexity is hidden. Programming and systems management has become just a lot of pointing and clicking without any need (usually) to really understand what's going on underneath the covers.

I want to add that this is just a theory, and that tt's not that I think women are incapable of understanding very complex systems, it's just that I think the majority of them have no interest in that kind of work.

My mom was a computer operator in the 70s (3, Insightful)

Quila (201335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913278)

These days your average person pushes a button, types in a username/password, and starts clicking things to get to work.

She powered up various large devices in order, typed a long hex boot string into the system, then proceded to load punch cards, open reel tapes and hard drive cake platters, and perform other various complicated tasks.

It's a lot easier now.

Re:My mom was a computer operator in the 70s (1)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913644)

That's actually making my point. That 70s era computer was pretty simple even though there were a lot of parts. Jobs tended to be run one at a time in individual batches. There would be books of written procedures that would say things like, "1. Load tape xxx. 2. Insert card stack yyy. 3. Type CALL PR0102C and press Enter." Very simple stuff compared to later systems where multiple users ran multiple applications from multiple locations and networked with systems all over the place.

When I started in this industry we had punch cards, but things escalated exponentially. Modern interfaces have greatly simplified the job again.

Re:Just my theory. (1)

bubblejet (957207) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913592)

Back in the 1960s programming viewed more like secretarial work [thesocietypages.org] . [thesocietypages.org] So I think it's equally likely that more men would have entered the field earlier, but didn't because programming was still seen as a "women's" job. Also I don't really buy the argument that women aren't interested in complex systems (or not interested in math, etc), when the gender disparity in other fields such as biology and statistics is much smaller or even more heavily weighted towards women.

Re:Just my theory. (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913722)

Computers in the 70's and early 80's were immensely difficult to work on. They were huge, had, at best, text based interfaces assuming that they weren't older models with card readers, were programmed in either C or Assembler (FORTRAN or COBOL if you were a specialist in the relevant field) had disk drives that required physical mounting (as in you picked up the big heavy assed disk and "mounted" it on the drive, that's where the term comes from)... It was only toward the mid-eighties that things for most operators started to get easier, and even then by the standards of a world used to Windows, OSX, and Linux it was quite challenging. We're talking about a time when people actually worried about writing code compact becasue you could literally, all by yourself and without an error condition, run machines out of memory doing simple stuff.

There's complexity now too, don't get me wrong, but it's just different complexity not more or less of it.

Something here not right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913004)

I find these figures hard to believe. Sure there are lots of women in the IT field but not at the same level as men. Every IT company I know usually have 90% men and 10% women doing high level IT work. Most of the women are doing secretarily work, answer phones etc.

Don't believe me, look up any major software package and see how many female names developed it?

I have nothing against women working in IT, I wish there were more, but it seems that most women are not interested in this type of work.

Re:Something here not right (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913210)

I have nothing against women working in IT, I wish there were more, but it seems that most women are not interested in this type of work.

As feminist enlightened research has already shown, this is a fallacy. Men are actively pushing women out of top positions by getting undeserved promotions, whereas women has to work five times as hard as men for peanuts. Men are evil.
Feminist state Sweden has implemented good measures to prevent this and as a result some 85% of University degrees there are females,and well deserved.
Men are evil.

Re:Something here not right (2)

jtollefson (1675120) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913346)

I'm sure I'm just responding to flamebait... but I'll bite.

Every manager I've had in the past 10 years has been a woman. Matter of fact I just lost out a promotion to a woman. I'm not bitter either, she's just as good as I am and has been with the team longer.

There may be a disparity of women to men in many IT workplaces... but it isn't always the case. Take your stereotypes somewhere else because they don't always apply.

Re:Something here not right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913386)

If you had finished some math courses, you would know that 50/50 means 50/50. Not 90/10. And given that the required skills necessary to become a good software developer are not gender specific, it is obvious that there is some discrimination at play here....

Doesn't add up (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913010)

Perhaps I missed a math lesson somewhere, but aren't 42%, 34%, and 37% all below half, meaning that even at that time the respective fields were male-dominated?

Re:Doesn't add up (1)

datababe72 (244918) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913254)

You need to normalize to the percent of the total work force that was female to get a more meaningful picture.

Or, for a shortcut, you could compare to the percentage of teachers that were women at the time.

My guess is that those were pretty high numbers for a field at the time.

And of course, the juvenile comments from some of the slashdotters on this thread is amply demonstrating why many women find these fields unwelcoming.

Language-dependant? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913016)

Girls made up about 10% of the students at my college course (software architecture), and none of the ones I knew personally could actually code (they'd get someone else to do their assignments for them). That was about 10 years ago.

To be honest, about 50% of the guys couldn't code, either, but I've never met a woman that could code in C. I have met a few who were reasonable at BASIC and not completely cluelss about Pascal (in highschool) and I've met several (older) women who could code very well in assembly. Also, I believe that during the early days of computing (think punch cards), the majority of programmers (at least in the UK) were women.

I wonder if the disappearance (and reappearance) of women might be related to the type of languages used. Maybe C / C++ is just not XX-friendly?

Re:Language-dependant? (1)

CompMD (522020) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913054)

Maybe I'm feeding an AC troll, but there are 1500 people in the engineering department where I work, the majority being software engineers. While there aren't many women, all of them can code in C and C++, because that's what we use for our products.

Re:Language-dependant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913202)

i happen to know a woman who actually is using C/C++/Oracle. And who also did some java development without even having java skills in her resume.
And just for the record, she was "forced" to do the java development, because the male java expert was not able to do it, for one reason or another...

Itchy (2)

kereira (795255) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913062)

Although it's great that more women are getting back into CS, these kinds of articles make me itch. Geek girls shouldn't be hired or coerced into taking CS because of or in spite of their gender. They should be hired because they're good at what they do, and they should be encouraged to study if they have a sincere enthusiasm for the subject. If it turns out that the best students, or the best employees are male... so be it. /female CS grad and web developer

Re:Itchy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913402)

I absolutely agree with the above. Women in CS should be treated no different than men.
Unfortunately, because the men in CS are usually sexually repressed and/or depressed, they have difficulty looking at women as anything other than a WOMAN.
The obvious solution to this is to relieve the sexual repression. Women in droves need to flock to and have sex with men in CS. Then the men will no longer treat women any differently, and women would find easy entry back into CS.

Are you part of the problem or the solution?

Re:Itchy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913658)

I find that it helps to accept the fact, right up front, that they'll never have any romantic interest in you. After a while you just do it automatically without thinking about it.

42%? (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913066)

Since when is 42% dominating?

Re:42%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913182)

EXACTLY!!!

Re:42%? (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913318)

I'm assuming there was a large surge of hermaphrodites interested in computer science that year.

Re:42%? (2)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913428)

The 42% are women and the 58% are nerds. That's when.

Women Were Driven Out (4, Informative)

Grond (15515) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913184)

Women didn't leave the field voluntarily. Once it became apparent that programming was becoming a lucrative field women were systematically driven out by a system that favored men [stanford.edu] :

Eager to indentify talented individuals to train as computer programmers, employers relied on aptitude tests to make hiring decisions. ... [T]he tests were widely compromised and their answers were available for study through all-male networks such as college fraternities and Elks lodges. ... [A] second type of test, the personality profile, was even more slanted to male applicants. Based on a series of preference questions, these tests sought to identify job applicants who were the ideal programming “type.” According to test developers, successful programmers had most of the same personality traits as other white-collar professionals. The important distinction, however, was that programmers displayed “disinterest in people” and that they disliked “activities involving close personal interaction.” It is these personality profiles, says Ensmenger, that originated our modern stereotype of the anti-social computer geek. ... Although the stereotype of the anti-social programmer was created in the 1960s, it is now self-perpetuating. Employers seek to hire new recruits who fit the existing mold. Young people self-select into careers where they believe they will fit in—for example, women currently comprise 18% of computer science undergraduate majors, down from 37% in 1985.

The gender disparity in programming is not the result of slight differences between men and women or subtle unconscious biases. It is the result of overt discrimination going back decades to the origin of the profession. And it will take overt action to correct the disparity.

Re:Women Were Driven Out (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913504)

I have to say that I was both socially awkward and interested in computers long before I ever thought about a career, or social stereotypes. I think it is just true that slightly autistic/whatever people have an affinity for logic and programming.

Re:Women Were Driven Out (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913618)

Oh goody another person who lacks social skills is blaming it on self-diagnosed assburgers. "It can't be my fault that I'm awkward and like to grab the bra straps of the women around me it must be mah assburgers!!!"

Re:Women Were Driven Out (5, Interesting)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913510)

Boo hoo. I'd feel a lot worse about this if it wasn't being overtly done in the opposite direction in other industries. Who is complaining about the over representation of women and the active discrimination against men and masculinity in the health services industry eh? I once applied for a job at a hospital, and even though it was an IT support position they still ran me through a personality test. Apparently I failed it because I valued truth over compassion and was more inclined toward introspection than socialization. Clearly that invalidated my adequacy as candidate. Most ironically, while the test said something to the effect that the questions should be answered as honestly as possible, when the interviewer saw that I had 'failed' their test for suitability in their monolith, she asked if I wanted to change things. I said straight up that the test said it wanted the most honest answers possible, so if I changed anything I would either have been lying before or lying now, and what purpose would either serve? They didn't even value their own nonsense. They just want people to fit in or get out.

So yeah, I'll be more sympathetic when I see people trying to change unjust systems in both directions. Until then it's just sexist hypocrisy.

Re:Women Were Driven Out (5, Insightful)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913540)

So they selected anti-social people who at the same time were highly social in joining fraternal organizations? Sounds perfectly and utterly non-contradictory.

Re:Women Were Driven Out (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913580)

"[T]he tests were widely compromised and their answers were available for study through all-male networks such as college fraternities and Elks lodges"

Well unless the tests where knowingly leaked by someone in charge just to all male groups then that is not discrimination just apparent evidence that men cheat better.
Which actually could be a good skill in programming where taking some open source code and inserting in your program can speed up development time.
and for sys admins, well pirating can be a useful skill I suppose.

I find it weird that a test was actually looking for a unsocial person, but I could see productivity and a few other benefits for having a unsocial employee and as far as I know it is legal to discriminate on stuff like that.

Also the stats seem to be rather backwards to draw any real conclusions from, stats showing a large number of graduates and low employment in their field would be proper evidence that this discrimination is happening.

Re:Women Were Driven Out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913660)

says some random idiot

Re:Women Were Driven Out (1)

DemonGenius (2247652) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913714)

Maybe this was true then, but if the barriers are effectively broken down, why aren't we seeing the influx? We probably would if it was absolutely essential for women to hold software development jobs. However, the negative representation of programmers in Western media has much more to do nowadays in keeping women away than anything. They most likely will work and study in places where people are seen as more attractive. In India, where Western influences aren't as strong, the ratio of female to male software developers is much more even (according to my Indian co-worker).

Cause and effect (3, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913208)

I don't think it has anything to do with a rising interest in IT. its that women need jobs these days too, due to the economy, so i bet you will find ALL industries are increasing their woman count. Especially 'clean' jobs since most women ( or men really ) don't want to go out and dig ditches for a living.

Re:Cause and effect (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913426)

Exactly what I was going to say. I'm sure there's a correlation between tough economic conditions and the migration of women to traditionally non-feminine fields. Perhaps it's strong enough that it could even be used as an indicator of some sort - the GGI for Girl Geek Index.

it looks like... (1)

ca111a (1078961) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913216)

women are now returning to computer science

Where?!!!

Re:it looks like... (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913480)

My employer for one, two out of three directors are women and nearly half the IT staff are women as well. My group (infrastructure) is the odd man out with no females currently but that's mostly because we are a small group and our lone female employee left a few years ago and her replacement happened to be male.

Girls gone geek (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913238)

If nothing else, one thing this article reaffirms is that Marissa Mayer is easy to look at.

Re:Girls gone geek (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913544)

That got me to RTFA. Rawr.

I suppose the fact that we are attracted to attractive women makes us sexist, objectifying pigs, too.

Typo (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913290)

I think it was supposed to read "Girls Go Greek"

simple explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36913594)

Microsoft released Windows 1.0 in 1985. They had been threatening with that since 1983. Of course the women left, they are much smarter than us men.

Why (2)

Jorl17 (1716772) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913638)

Why is it that America always represents the world? The World is so different from America.

How is the being the majority, not dominating? (0)

chemosh6969 (632048) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913670)

And how many of these women are ones that did something with computers decades ago yet still claim they're IT experts even though they've never kept up with technology? That's the type of majority I've run across in my career at different companies. A handful of competent ones and then the old ones that stay where they are and can't understand anything new because they refuse to learn because they seem to think they don't need to keep up with anything. Those are the ones that still call help desk because they need someone to plug in their keyboard for them. It's always an excuse though about why they can't do it but they always have an excuse.

Misogyny is rampant in CS (1)

warrax_666 (144623) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913730)

Unfortunately, misogyny is rampant in all "geek" fields (as it is in the rest of society). Just see the "Perform Like A Porn Star" talk at Ruby Con 2009, or even "ElevatorGate" in 2011.

(Btw, here in $European_Country, the percentage is still something like 10% female/90% male.)

Female posters (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 3 years ago | (#36913740)

All I'm seeing is a bunch of sexist virgin nerd posts :)

No female comments or point of view in almost 100 comments.

Goes to show... the only women in IT and on the internet are 40 year single old men with issues.

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