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Female Software Engineers May Be Even Scarcer Than We Thought

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the somewhere-between-too-few-and-not-enough dept.

Businesses 445

itwbennett writes "According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012 about 22% of computer programmers, software and web developers in the United States were female. That number comes from the Current Population Survey, which is based on interviews with 60,000 households. But Tracy Chou, an engineer at Pinterest, thinks the number is actually much lower than that. And last month she created a GitHub project to collect data on how many females are employed full-time writing or architecting software. Even at this early point, the data is striking: Based on data reported for 107 companies, 438 of 3,594 engineers (12%) are female. Here's how some well-known companies stack up."

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Ob (-1, Offtopic)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 10 months ago | (#45531967)

Secnod frist psot toady! READ EM AND WEEP.

Re:Ob (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532035)

You must be a male first poster! Is it not about a time we tackle the under representation of female first posters on /.?

Re:Ob (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532067)

pointless article, pointless comment

Re:Ob (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532325)

What went ye into the wilderness to see? A man clad in fine raiment?

And? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45531975)

Male elementary school teachers may be scarcer than we thought.

Who gives a shit?

Re:And? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532021)

People who realize that the reasons for that are social inequality, and such inequalities ought to be addressed.

Re:And? (5, Insightful)

phoenix03 (3348193) | about 10 months ago | (#45532091)

If by 'social inequality' you mean the increasing attacks on male rights in our culture, I agree.

Re:And? (5, Insightful)

thesupraman (179040) | about 10 months ago | (#45532151)

In this particular case (male teachers) it is far more about the painting of all males as child molesters and rapists who cannot be trusted around children.

But yes, the huge feminisation of many aspects of society, including schooling, is a major factor. Most male teachers end up seeing their views ignored,
themselves patronised, and their care values bought in to question on a continual basis, basically to marginalize their position as a teacher.

After all, 'think of the children!'

Re:And? (2)

phoenix03 (3348193) | about 10 months ago | (#45532169)

George Carlin has a great quote that addresses your final sentence.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532333)

George Carlin has a great quote that addresses your final sentence.

Michael Vick has said something just as pertinent.

Male nannies. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532675)

I was one for about seven years. It was the fun I ever had and certainly the most meaningful work, although the comparison is a bit unfair as I only have bookkeeping at a software company in my early twenties and retail work in my teens to compare it to. The great problem is those in your care grow up. Preschool or kindergarten steals them. As for new families, eventually even the most progressive today will reject you. Hiring a male nanny in his twenties is adventurous and forward thinking. Hiring a man in his thirties is another story. It doesn't matter how good your references are. Mine couldn't be better. 31, back in school, pursuing a degree in biochemistry. Pediatrician perhaps?

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532681)

In this particular case (male teachers) it is far more about the painting of all males as child molesters and rapists who cannot be trusted around children.

But yes, the huge feminisation of many aspects of society, including schooling, is a major factor. Most male teachers end up seeing their views ignored,
themselves patronised, and their care values bought in to question on a continual basis, basically to marginalize their position as a teacher.

After all, 'think of the children!'

Which is a shame as when I think back at the best teachers I've ever had every one of them was male.

Re:And? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532409)

Last I heard the requirements for engineering school were exactly the same across the board.

Re:And? (5, Insightful)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 10 months ago | (#45532501)

But... Are there any social inequalities when it comes to female software engineers? Is the man somehow keeping chicks out of coding classes? Is the ol' boys club not allowing cooties to spoil their source?

You're looking at the end result and and claiming that there must be social inequality that lead to it. I understand this line of reasoning when it comes to the military, corporate CEO positions, and professional sports. They have a history of barring or diminishing women.

But engineering? Software engineering? Dude, during my time in academia I saw them bend over BACKWARDS to get girls into their program. Between the scholarships, special clubs, awareness programs, and general reports like this that stated more women needed to go be geeks. Even culturally, we geeks LOVE geek girls. It's a thing.

Now, it might be some sort of culturally imbued sexism. The sort that diverts men from being grade-school teachers and women from being truckers. There are plenty of counter-examples, but they're a minority. But it's not so much social inequality, so much as latent social norms and expectations. Breaking them doesn't get you burnt at the stake, but it might raise some eyebrows.

If you want to stop the NFL from being assholes to women, or to break that glass ceiling when it comes to corporate CEO positions, I'm all for that and you have my full support. But if you want to shape culture so that there's no stigma with being a male nurse or a female software engineer, that's getting a little close to the sort of fascism that demands we think a certain way. Your way. Sorry, but you just can't steer culture like that.

But hey, we need more female software engineers, because we need more software engineers. So I'm down with this sort of effort. But the lack of chicks around here has very little to do with social inequality. So don't get your panties in a twist.

Re:And? (5, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 10 months ago | (#45532053)

More importantly, this entire "study" is garbage. It is a self-selecting poll. So it doesn't "prove" there are fewer women, it just shows that men are more willing to fritter their time away on some stupid web poll.

Re:And? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532273)

Looks to me like it shows that silicon valley hipster companies attract silicon valley hipsters, who are apparently mostly male.
I suspect that in the real world, we're too busy actually getting shit done to care about someone's attempt to justify their personal persecution complex.

Re:And? (1, Troll)

Hadlock (143607) | about 10 months ago | (#45532309)

Says you. I didn't read anything about a cowboy neal option in this poll you speak of.

Re:And? (4, Interesting)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 10 months ago | (#45532423)

I'm more interested in the number of engineers than the percent that are female.

Apparently Reddit gets by with only 14 engineers, Khan Academy needs 24, SnapChat only 13, Flickr needs 42, but then Pinterest needs 105, Etsy needs 149, Dropbox needs 143, and Mozilla requires 500 engineers. Some of those companies are much more lean and efficient than I thought. And others are way more bloated.

14 people at Reddit can manage their entire infrastructure of servers and networking gear hosting all of their forums, in addition to the mobile version, browser extensions, buttons and widgets and whatever else, but Dropbox needs 143 people to manage file uploading, storage, and access. Not to downplay what Dropbox does, but I don't think they offer 10 times the product that Reddit does.

Re:And? (2)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 10 months ago | (#45532499)

Uh no, those 14 people are who Reddit has "writing or architecting software, and are in full-time roles". Presumably there's an entire different pool of people managing their infrastructure of servers and networking gear, etc. IT people are not software engineers any more than your car mechanic is a mechanical engineer.

"Scarce" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532123)

For that matter, since when was "1 out of 4" or "1 out of 8" depending on which set of numbers you believe, "scarce".

you want "scarce"? how many bisexual transgender autistic bi-racial native american / tongese dwarf insomniac coders do we have? not too damn many I bet. we need more. let's make that a goal.

Re:"Scarce" (2)

phoenix03 (3348193) | about 10 months ago | (#45532207)

how many bisexual transgender autistic bi-racial native american / tongese dwarf insomniac coders do we have? not too damn many I bet. we need more. let's make that a goal.

I would so work with one of those.

Re:"Scarce" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532261)

You're more like likely to find a bisexual transgender autistic insomniac as a coder than in the general population. Finding one who is also "bi-racial native american/tongese dwarf" is the hard part.

Re:And? (5, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 10 months ago | (#45532181)

Male elementary school teachers may be scarcer than we thought.

After all, everyone knows there are only two kinds of people who love small children: female elementary school teachers and male pedophiles.

Re:And? (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 10 months ago | (#45532463)

"After all, everyone knows there are only two kinds of people who love small children: female elementary school teachers and male pedophiles."

I certainly hope you were being sarcastic. Because if we wanted to take your comment literally, then all fathers would be pedophiles.

On the other hand, it has certainly seemed as though society has been willing to look askance at any male who pays any attention to children. This is a problem in our society that I noticed over 20 years ago.

Hint, folks: treating an entire gender as though they are likely perverts is far worse than discrimination in employment. In fact, I would call that a perversion in itself.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532255)

Male elementary school teachers may be scarcer than we thought.

Who gives a shit?

You'e never gotten a blow job in the server closet during an overnight upgrade, have you?

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532581)

Nope. All the female software engineers were in pre-release overdrive in their cubes, pounding out code, rather than doing a server upgrade in the lab, which was handled by an IT intern and a sysadmin.

Re:And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532301)

Really it's just more evidence that men are, generally speaking (with exceptions on both sides) more suited to this kind of work.

Though even then it is a small subset of men (and, apparently, an even smaller subset of women) who have both the skill and the interest to do this work. To ordinary people, writing software is about as much fun as doing algebra homework.

Re:And? (2)

westlake (615356) | about 10 months ago | (#45532563)

Male elementary school teachers may be scarcer than we thought.
Who gives a shit?

As a man, Wiederspan is a rarity in U.S. elementary-school education. And experts say that as boys continue to lag behind girls academically, schools could use more male teachers.

"Having male teachers, boys have a model that it's OK to be male and be in the classroom, he said. "School isn't just a female enterprise. That's what the presence of a man says to kids."

Why Men Don't Teach Elementary School [go.com]

So what? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 10 months ago | (#45531995)

Why is there an imperative to increase the number? For sure there shouldn't be sexual discrimination if women want to be software engineers. But if it's simply a case that a fewer proportion on them want to be, so what?

Men and women are different. One or more of those differences may account for the disparity in software engineers. For example women tend to be more social creatures. Maybe they tend to choose jobs that are more sociable than coding?

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532057)

Why is there an imperative to increase the number?

There probably is some reason as the issue comes up every now and then.

Re:So what? (-1, Flamebait)

pspahn (1175617) | about 10 months ago | (#45532295)

I work at home, and last night my gf gets home and is bugging me while I'm in the middle of migrating a development site to a staging server...

"I'm making chocolate turkeys to bring to work, want to come downstairs and help me decorate them?"

WTF?!?!?!?! Of fucking course I don't!

Do the results of the poll surprise me? Not the least, and maybe it's this way for a good reason, since source code that has been decorated has been found to be about 22% less efficient.

Re:So what? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532523)

You know, telling a story about your mom and pretending that you have a girlfriend really doesn't make you cool. Because with that attitude, I really doubt you have an actual gf (or at least that you will have one for very long).

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532489)

Because there is the potential that a large number of women who would have been excellent software engineers opt to not pursue that profession. It is in the interest of the software industry to have as large and highly skilled pool of potential employees to recruit from as possible.

The study doesn't attempt to answer WHY there are so few women, but since we're talking about a profession where gender-specific traits are of no real importance (contrast to "why are there so few women working as Alaska king crab fishermen"), the disparate gender distribution indicates that the software industry may be missing out on some great talent.

If you're threatened by that, maybe you have reason to be (time to bone up on those crabbing skills).

Re:So what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532589)

Coding requires brains -- lots of them.
Women who have those brains figure out quickly that there are enough boorish misogynist geeks that they leave at a higher rate than men. And quietly snicker at the complaints of skills shortages.

computer work requires accountability (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45531997)

and taking responsibility, and dealing with reality

something that very few women are capable of doing

I bet if she took out FOBs and only counted western born 2nd generation+ women the number would be closer to 0%

And the pun (0)

michaelmalak (91262) | about 10 months ago | (#45532001)

And the pun in the last sentence of the Slashdot summary is why there are not more.

Re:And the pun (1)

Havokmon (89874) | about 10 months ago | (#45532037)

And the pun in the last sentence of the Slashdot summary is why there are not more.

Why do you say that? She's kinda hot.

Re:And the pun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532413)

And the pun in the last sentence of the Slashdot summary is why there are not more.

They see bias and threats were there is none? I don't think that's an accurate assessment of the problem.

Women (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532039)

Are made for having babies, keeping house, and rolling in ze hay. Barefoot in all cases. It is written in the Bible. So it has been, is now, and will be forever.

Is that a... (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about 10 months ago | (#45532043)

...good thing or bad?

You know why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532061)

Rape Culture!

Study up your Feminism 101! Be an ally!

Women in general aren't introverted enough (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532071)

Women in general aren't introverted enough. Most women refuse to live in a dark room with a slot in the door that someone stuffs food through. Without that you can't be a successful programmer.

This is a problem because....? (2, Insightful)

phoenix03 (3348193) | about 10 months ago | (#45532073)

Don't get it. So women don't want to program. That's fine. Why do we feel the need to inflate the numbers? Feminism is an outdated concept by this point - and frankly, it doesn't apply to software engineering.

Re:This is a problem because....? (1, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about 10 months ago | (#45532483)

Don't get it. So women don't want to program. That's fine.

Do we know that? I sure don't know that.

Maybe its because computer studies, and software engineering is hostile to women. Do I know that? No, I don't know that either.

But if its true its something I'd want to know and correct.

Once upon a time there were no female politicians. Is that because "women weren't interested in politics?" Turns out, no, that was not the reason at all.

Maybe the sciences are the same. Maybe its got nothing to do with science.

Feminism is an outdated concept by this point

The idea that women need to be treated as equals is outdated?

Affirmative action, quotas, and other ugly blunt tools to try to force equality are outdated.. and were never good tools in the first place. But to say feminism is outdated is just ignorant.

and frankly, it doesn't apply to software engineering.

And that's no less ignorant. Many guys said the same thing about women and politics.

It's both arrogant and stupid to think somehow its different this time. Maybe women are genetically predisposed to dislike software/engineering... but that's going to take some more evidence than "because you said so".

Re:This is a problem because....? (1)

Uloi (1996356) | about 10 months ago | (#45532485)

Its rare we get female candidates. White female candidates, never.

Re:This is a problem because....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532509)

Two answers:

1. To feminists, it's a problem because clearly if women aren't doing it it's because of men being sexist pigs, not because women just aren't interested in computers (or video games, or construction jobs, or whatever).

2. To a certain subset of men, it's because they're too anti-social to act socially outside of their work environment, so their only hope of meeting an actual living woman is through work. (Remember this when you see a white knight show up to explain why we should be encouraging women to do something they clearly don't enjoy - they don't care about the woman, they just want to try and find a reason to force women to interact with them.)

Re:This is a problem because....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532565)

The study doesn't come to the conclusion that women don't want to program, you did. What is does show is that there is a potentially very large pool of talent out there, opting not to pursue a career in software development. As to why they opt out, well some of the comments on this thread illustrate rather well why a woman may not feel that a job in software engineering would be a very positive and stimulating environment...

"feminists" only complain about desk jobs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532077)

when they complain about lack of female loggers and roofers, and farmers and fishermen (fisherfolk?), and taxi drivers and construction workers and miners and linesmen(linespersons?) and welders

then "feminists" might have a point, right now the only men who pretend give a crap are the white knights and those who have women within earshot

Non Traditional Employment For Women (1)

westlake (615356) | about 10 months ago | (#45532449)

when they complain about lack of female loggers and roofers, and farmers and fishermen and taxi drivers and construction workers and miners and linesmen and welders then "feminists" might have a point,

Women working in the skilled trades make two to three times more than women in traditional careers.

Non Traditional Employment For Women [new-nyc.org]

Scary (4, Funny)

lazarus (2879) | about 10 months ago | (#45532079)

I read this as "Female Software Engineers may be even Scarier Than we Thought" and I couldn't wait to find out how in the world that was going to be quantified and/or justified.

I love geeks, scary or not.

Why there are no females at 37 signals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532081)

In order to work there, you have to be a fanboi which means that females are automatically disqualified.

Why is anyone surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532085)

As a female geek,I remember working for a large tech company that was so sure they didn't discriminate, they had their HR team pull together the stats. Even after accounting for age, education, experience and anything else they could think of, they discovered they were underpromoting women. The whole initiative immediately got hushed up, so it wouldn't become lawsuit material.

Self-selection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532281)

they discovered they were under promoting women

That was just a side effect of women not seeking promotion actively.

I know because I tended not to get promoted either (well without changing companies) until I started to try to get promoted.

But the whole system is so annoying I decided I wanted to work at smaller companies where "promotion" is kind of meaningless.

You can't blame the system for not selecting women when all it is is generally selecting people who strive to be selected.

But let's train immigrants instead.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532087)

Seriously... Zuckerberg and other big wigs from tech companies are pushing to increase H1B1 visas, instead of investing in our own citizens. And now he's sponsoring training sessions for illegals. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/21/zuckerberg-immigration-ha_n_4138638.html

Fed up with these companies that keep trying to extort cheap overseas labor, instead of investing in their own country.

Re:But let's train immigrants instead.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532165)

His own country? What makes you think ZUCKERBERG'S "own country" is America?

Re:But let's train immigrants instead.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532517)

I can't even think what his country might be. Could jew er I mean you enlighten us?

Re:But let's train immigrants instead.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532303)

Ask Zuckerberg if he supports open immigration to Israel too....America has to accept anyone that shows up on it's doorstep hat in hand, Israel only has to accept those chosen by God.

Re:But let's train immigrants instead.. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 10 months ago | (#45532633)

"Fed up with these companies that keep trying to extort cheap overseas labor, instead of investing in their own country."

I've said it before (wait for it; it makes sense): the mistake many German people made which allowed Hitler to come to power, was to think treason meant "disloyalty to government", when what it actually means is "betraying your people or country". A government can commit treason.

If you take treason in its more reasonable and only ethical sense, i.e. to betray your people or country, then companies who push for more offshoring, or more H1B1 visas, are committing treason.

Misread that (3, Funny)

Atrox666 (957601) | about 10 months ago | (#45532089)

I thought it said Female Software Engineers May Be Even Scarier Than We Thought.

Re:Misread that (4, Funny)

X10 (186866) | about 10 months ago | (#45532147)

I thought it said Female Software Engineers May Be Even Scarier Than We Thought.

We are.

Re:Misread that (1)

InsightfulPlusTwo (3416699) | about 10 months ago | (#45532341)

I thought it said Female Software Engineers May Be Even Scarier Than We Thought.

We are.

Did anyone else think of the Rudyard Kipling poem [potw.org] ?

So it comes that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer
With his fellow-braves in council, dare not leave a place for her
Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands
To some God of Abstract Justice—which no woman understands.

And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him
Must command but may not govern—shall enthral but not enslave him.
And She knows, because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail,
That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male.

Re:Misread that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532363)

I thought it said Female Software Engineers May Be Even Scarier Than We Thought.

We are.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

You scared me right out of my screen name!

Re:Misread that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532529)

I'm sure a good part of /. finds females scary enough already.

Females (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532095)

I draw from this that most females prefer other careers. There is NO problem. NO crisis. They just want to do other things.

Preference? (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about 10 months ago | (#45532209)

No, it's not just "preference". There is usually a reason why nearly half of the whole population stays away from some completely normal activity, but not any of (supposedly similar) others.

Re:Preference? (1)

phoenix03 (3348193) | about 10 months ago | (#45532235)

Maybe we should appreciate the fact that software engineering is one of the last bastions of masculinity.

Re:Preference? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 10 months ago | (#45532289)

No, it's not just "preference".

How do you know?

There is usually a reason why nearly half of the whole population stays away from some completely normal activity, but not any of (supposedly similar) others.

So what's the reason males tend to stay away from elementary teaching but not high school teaching. It's not because they are discouraged by the school system. Elementary schools tend to want to get some (or more) male teachers.

oops I read that wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532125)

LOL, I thought the title read: Female Software Engineers May Be Even Scarier Than We Thought

haha!! I was thinkin that would piss a lot of people off but WHAT female would visit this site anyway :)

Fair pay (1)

X10 (186866) | about 10 months ago | (#45532131)

Female and male sofware engineers should receive equal payment. Female engineers should get half the total payment, males get the other half. That's only fair, isn't it?

Does BLS get its data from IRS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532163)

If the Bureau of Labor and Statistics gets its data from the Internal Revenue Service tax returns, then

(a) there are an enormous number of women lying to the IRS and claiming to be software engineers to cover illicit sources of income (e.g. escorts or cam girls pretending to be software engineers)

(b) half of the women working as software engineers suddenly became unemployed since January, or

(c) this survey somehow failed to sample about half of the women who are claiming their income comes from software development positions.

I'm sure there are a few of (a) and (b), but (c) is most likely, so I claim that this survey is worthless.

Why should we believe this new data? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532167)

Why should we believe semi-anonymous data collected by an engineer through github is more reliable than the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a well funded government agency that's purpose is collect accurate an anonymous employment data with a much larger base to sample from. Just the fact that she's requesting volunteers on a tech website already puts a severe bias in the data.

Why should we care? (1)

scottbomb (1290580) | about 10 months ago | (#45532187)

Most hairstylists are women. Should we wring our hands about that too?

Proof that the dinosaurs still live. (1)

westlake (615356) | about 10 months ago | (#45532189)

I

Male elementary school teachers may be scarcer than we thought.
Who gives a shit?

Men and women are different. One or more of those differences may account for the disparity in software engineers. For example women tend to be more social creatures. Maybe they tend to choose jobs that are more sociable than coding?

Computer work requires accountability and taking responsibility, and dealing with reality something that very few women are capable of doing.

Re:Proof that the dinosaurs still live. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532227)

You know how many times women try to suck up to me to get me to do their work? Being the autistic man that I am I tell them "save it for your boyfriend, ho" but in more office appropriate language. I guess I'm sexist for expecting people to actually do the work they are paid to do.

Re:Proof that the dinosaurs still live. (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 10 months ago | (#45532241)

Proof? Where's your proof?

Do you actually have a point to make?

Then again... (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 10 months ago | (#45532219)

Female Software Engineers May Be Even Scarcer Than We Thought

In these admittedly "androgynous time" we live in... how can we really be sure who's who?? :p

Re:Then again... (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 10 months ago | (#45532659)

Androgynous? When I was a small boy I began reading all sorts of magazines and finding out things about the sexes. Imagine a 7 year old trying to talk about complex issues like gender or gravitational lensing with moronic adults. Despite everyone telling me what was "normal" for a boy I had different urges -- I wanted to do things that boys aren't supposed to do. In my teens I finally realized that my brain was trapped in the wrong kind of body -- One that could survive the harshness of space. I should have been born a cyborg. You pathetic humans are disgusting.

The logical conclusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532233)

Women are smarter than men?

Data drawn from relatively young Web-facing orgs (1)

gbooch (323588) | about 10 months ago | (#45532243)

Interesting raw data, but be very careful about drawing broad conclusions from this fascinating but highly-self-selected set of companies: the spreadsheet lists mostly companies that are relatively young and almost entirely Web-facing.

The world of software development extends far, far beyond work that is clustered at the edges of the Internet.

Maybe for "web-based" companies... (1)

tekrat (242117) | about 10 months ago | (#45532245)

So 10% of software engineers are female, but, the entire list of firms listed are "within the decade", web-based firms that program mostly in Javascript.

Get into the insurance or banking businesses, or anyone that's been computing since the 1960's and you'll find those numbers are different. If we're programming Cobol, I'd have to say that almost 50% of our developers are women.

Women are too smart for that (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532265)

They think ahead a bit more than men, because of kids. They take one look at the dysfunctional, never-ending treadmill that is software and they say "no thanks". Guys are more like kids, they have fun now so they think "this is it".

In networking is even worst (1)

corisco (1038076) | about 10 months ago | (#45532291)

Over the past five years I have prepared over 200 students that became Cisco CCNA Certified, over 50 that became Cisco CCNA Security certified and 6 that went on to get their CCNP. Total females: 11. However, most of these 11 were brilliant and yes, they were all very beautiful.

Let's see... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532299)

1) Have a society where women are expected to be primary caregivers of children.
2) Ensure that daycare for three or more children makes working uneconomical.
3) Demand that all applicants have recent (in the past two years) experience.
4) Act surprised that few women meet that bar after staying home.

Or...

a) Have social activities focused around shoot-em-up games, sports events, or meals at establishments with scantily clad female servers.
b) Either get in a huff at any female who suggests that this isn't fun for them, or just stay silent (or snicker) while a different co-worker supplies the rant, guaranteeing that the women feel like everyone is ganging up on them.
c) Single them out to be on some special panel on how to increase the percentage of females in whatever, rather than giving them the same career enhancing training and experience male workers get.
d) Act surprised when they quit, and change careers.

Just looking in my rear-view mirror...

Why women aren't in STEM jobs has been studied to death. Bottom line: enough men don't want them, and women are smart enough to know where they're not wanted.

nothing to do with it? (1)

emagery (914122) | about 10 months ago | (#45532313)

https://medium.com/about-work/9b14f05a9832 [medium.com] ... even IF its partially assumed on her/their part, the fact remains that as long as women feel this way in the tech world, they will remains scarce.

Re:nothing to do with it? (1)

phoenix03 (3348193) | about 10 months ago | (#45532427)

Obvious neo-feminist. Not even worth addressing.

I'm still not aware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532315)

I'm still not aware of any coding female. Yes they are "in IT" but no they don't poop lengthy masses of algorithmic wonder.

It may be an unfixable problem. (1)

man_ls (248470) | about 10 months ago | (#45532375)

I'm a male, but frankly I quit pursuing academic and professional computer science years ago largely on account of the same factors that alienate women. "Computer people" are, by and large, just not people I want to spend time around. Exceptions to the rule at an individual level, of course, but everyone more or less knows what I'm talking about. The dark triad with a sprinkling of misogyny.

It turns out that many people, especially women, probably don't want to "bro down and crush code" - and yet, that's where the culture of the industry lies. Especially at the level a recent graduate is going to get involved in.

I know many people who dev web software (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45532407)

I for one know many degreed people who spend their time developing, architecting and writing software. Most of them are women.

A lot of them are Biostatisticians, Web developers, and others who are not "software engineers".

You're mixing different population samples.

Maybe it helps if you know what it is you're trying to say, before you leap to conclusions?

Where does the discrepancy come from? (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 10 months ago | (#45532459)

Interpretation-wise, both numbers are way too low, and the industry needs to put in an active, collective effort at increasing them.

Statistically, that's a weird margin. Both surveys seem to have fairly sample sizes. How do they manage to differ by 10 percentage points - nearly as much as the smaller number?

Re:Where does the discrepancy come from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532677)

and the industry needs to put in an active, collective effort at increasing them

Why?

Is there an actual problem here? If so, is this problem of such merit that we should create yet another avenue of legal jeopardy for co-workers and employers, which is what language like yours always boils down to, at the end of the day?

Should be the same rate as college degrees (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532465)

If only 10% of CS majors are women, then 10% of software engineers should be women.

Fix the education system first.

I'm wondering why this is news? (1)

King_TJ (85913) | about 10 months ago | (#45532477)

Scarcer than "we" thought? Who is the "we"? In close to 30 years of working with computers, I can count on one hand the number of females I've run into who actually code for a living.

I think more wind up in some sort of project management position over a group of developers ... but even that's not quite commonplace.

I don't think this has much of anything to do with equality of pay between men and women, nor is it the fault of sexist hiring practices. It's simply fact that very few women get too excited about the prospects of working in a job where you have to sit in front of a computer screen all day, entering lines of code and trying to figure out small syntax or logic errors causing your code not to work properly.

By and large, I find the women I've known to be more interested in creative pursuits (like photography, art or music), or there's an interest in being a little more people oriented (everything from Human Resources jobs to middle management to marketing or sales). Those who really embrace the idea of having a quiet desk job in a comfortable office and would rather solve problems than shake hands and talk to people tend to lean towards accounting/payroll positions.

In fact, I'd say you find a few more women interested in software coding when the task is more creative (Roberta Williams, for example, who co-founded Sierra Entertainment and wrote the King's Quest adventure game series). But the kind of development most companies are hiring for is far from creative, except at a very micro level where few people even appreciate a novel, efficient line or two of code to accomplish some small portion of the overall task.

rock_climbing_guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532505)

Ya know, I think I know when I'll be worried about not enough women software developers. When the same people who decry that men are unfairly overrepresented as executives, developers, and other professionals loudly decry that men are overrepresented in prison populations, then I'll start worrying about it. Sound fair?

Jewish nation-wreckers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532511)

LOL at the Slashdot crowd trying to get all indignant about this, when they won't NAME THE JEW, the people responsible for these endless attacks on white males.

The poor Jew... he wants to rule the world and make everybody else into his slave ('goyim'), but those damn white people are too intelligent and must be genocided out of existence via mass immigration.

Anybody want to talk about mass immigration and how it will genocide white people out of existence, since it's ONLY white countries that have open borders?

Thought not. Just pretend it isn't happening. I'm sure your children will thank you.

Just remember those words:
I'M SURE YOUR CHILDREN WILL THANK YOU.

When they are a white minority in a third world shithole, surrounded by hate filled third world parasites, with no hope whatsoever of a future, I'm sure your children will thank you.

Anybody care to tell me that I'm wrong? Go on, shout 'Racist'. Really loudly. That should do it.

Why just gender? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532531)

What about race? What percentage are Black? Hispanic? Or class? What percentage come from financially challenged households? What about education level of parents?

There is a big, popular push going on to address just one of the underrepresented groups in software development. And interestingly enough, that's the group that appears to be better represented in engineering undergraduate classes than any of the others we might consider.

If we're going to put extra effort into "balancing" the pool of engineers, let's at least start with identifying the most egregiously missing groups. And that's not women at the moment.

Yes, I'm aware that some ethnic "minority" groups are currently over represented. That's a result of decades of intensive effort to get them there.

pffft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532569)

I'll take an interview of 60,000 households over a self-selecting, unheard of poll that requires participants to dick around on Twitter and Github.

By the way, I'd love to see more women in software engineering. It's turning into a ridiculous, alpha-geek, manchild fest, and I'm sick of it. I've always enjoyed my jobs on teams with women much more. They often bring a different view to the table, and they're much more likely to get shit done instead of pointlessly bicker over bike-shedding pseudo-problems.

Even Scarer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532579)

99% of female players on World of Warcraft are actually dudes.

My two cents (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 10 months ago | (#45532619)

All but a few of the companies providing data had miniscule teams. Not exactly likely to be a fantastic representation of the averages.

I was surprised to see that flickr supposedly has 40 developers. They must all be on dilbert style cofee breaks because from a customer's perspective they can't get the site working for beans. Having personally reported significant bugs to them months ago (every one of which is still present), it's extra disappointing. Maybe they're too busy writing encryption to protect datacenter communications in the name of protecting my publicly available information.

Threatened, much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532645)

It's funny to see the many (obviously male) comments here along the "So what. If women don't want to program, why panic about it"-lines. Clearly there are some male software engineers out there who are quite nervous at the thought of more competition on the job market...

It takes one jerk to ruin a workplace (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45532649)

I'm female and studied Software Engineering, and decided not to pursue it as a career. I still remember when I made that decision: going for a job interview as a programmer and being told that all the guys like making sexist jokes, and that I'd have to be OK with that.

Well, no thanks. I still program from time to time within my chosen alternative field, but screw having to fight for it throughout my career.

Some of the comments here show that the culture still isn't women-friendly in a lot of places. It only takes one jerk allowed to speak their mind to make a workplace unbearable.

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