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Getting Young Women Interested In Open Source

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the stop-making-them-uninterested dept.

Open Source 545

New submitter Jason Baker writes "It seems like a perennial question: 'How do we get more women involved in tech?' The open source community, like any other part of the technology industry, is grappling with finding solutions that are more than just talking the talk of diversity, but actually make some demonstrable difference in the numbers. While there have been numerous success stories, the gender gap is still rampant. The answer, at least to one freelance entrepreneur, is providing strong role models of women using open source to have fun and make money. But is that enough to make a difference?"

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I'm male but... (3, Funny)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 7 months ago | (#46156321)

I too would like a strong role model for someone using it to make money. Anybody? Anybody?

Re:I'm male but... (3, Interesting)

duckintheface (710137) | about 7 months ago | (#46156387)

The OP talked about women. The title moves that to "young" women. So as you seek to remove gender bias you add age bias? How about getting everyone interested in open source. And if there are obstacles that apply only to young women, then you can focus just on them.

Re:I'm male but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156481)

Why not try to get more young women into open source? There are very few women at all in open source.

Re:I'm male but... (4, Insightful)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | about 7 months ago | (#46156659)

Or we could, you know, let people who find open source find it interesting and leave those who don't alone. It beats trying to brainwash children into your own personal vision of how society should be.

Re:I'm male but... (3, Insightful)

hhw (683423) | about 7 months ago | (#46156863)

This. Instead of pushing young people towards a certain path, and converting highschools and earlier into trade schools, why not just give them the best, all-rounded education possible and allow them to decide for themselves what they want to do? That's not to say we shouldn't teach them the value of more practical, stable professions vs less marketable ones, but they should ultimately still make that decisions for themselves rather than be goaded into a particular direction.

Re:I'm male but... (-1, Troll)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#46156729)

Well, we don't want a bunch of old ladies to hit on at work. They need to change it to "Young hot women" or something.

Re:I'm male but... (1, Insightful)

Niac (2101) | about 7 months ago | (#46156845)

This is the problem. Right here. The sexism and harassment that is so common in tech is what turns women off to working in this field. I hate this attitude so much. The point of view that they're there at work for you to hit on is inappropriate and unacceptable. You are part of the problem.

If you'd like to stop being part of the problem, consider not hitting on your coworkers. Treat them as people, unique and interesting, and engage with them without soliciting a sexual relationship.

Re:I'm male but... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156909)

Humourless cunts and their white knight defenders are the entire problem.
Go choke on a dick and learn how to parse a joke, bitch.

Re:I'm male but... (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about 7 months ago | (#46156939)

I see this statement made all the time, about getting girls in grade school interested in science and technology. Oh, but they aren't interested, because of all that theoretically sexual harassment and sexism they're going to face twenty years into their future!

Right. Riiiiiight. The same age group that believes being a farmer-astronaut-rockstar-veterinarian is disinterested in science and technology careers, because of an issue they're not even familiar with yet and won't be relevant to them for a decade or two.

Re:I'm male but... (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 7 months ago | (#46156771)

I'm sorry but he lost me at 'getting young women.' I didn't really register anything after that.

Re:I'm male but... (4, Insightful)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about 7 months ago | (#46156787)

It always amazes me how we attempts to entice a gender to gain interest into something they generally aren't interested in. Women's brains are wired differently than mens.

I'm sure the car industry attempted to entice more women into working tech jobs but it just didn't work out. Most women I know end up in social service positions such as teaching, nursing, health and retail. I'm not saying women can't, I'm just saying there's a minority of women that like the industry and it's not lack of trying.

Re:I'm male but... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156899)

Most women I know end up in social service positions such as teaching, nursing, health and retail.

Jesus, is your memory really that short? before the 40's, when women primarily were homemakers, all of those positions were held primarily by men.

Women end up in these jobs because social norms condition them to be in the "caring, nurturing" roles - nursing, teaching, working with children - these are gender norms that have existed in our societies for hundreds of years. It doesn't mean they're bad, but it does mean that men (who might prefer the nurturing roles, if left to their own devices), and women (who might prefer less nurturing roles, left to their own devices) tend to get slotted into specific roles because they happen to have tits, or balls.

Women's brains are NOT "wired" differently when it comes to math and science - studies have shown that women perform at comparable levels to men when they are given the same levels of instruction. I know it's fun to have your own little boys' club, but if you grow up, you'll get over that.

Re:I'm male but... (2)

Jakeula (1427201) | about 7 months ago | (#46156919)

I agree, we cannot force women into any work force. What I want to understand from this article is why are we looking at such a specific road of tech? We all know that tech is lacking women, so duh Open Source is no better. Lets focus on figuring out why women arent in tech, then if they don't end up in Open Source with some ratio, then we can look at it. I see no way that Open Source specifically will help this situation. I mean I know we all like to think Open Source is the end all, but this is just ridiculous.

Re:I'm male but... (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#46156503)

Grace Hopper, USN Admiral - Creator of COBOL. If she wasn't a geek, nobody is. And she was coding before Open Source, Closed Source were a twinkle in RMS eye.

Re:I'm male but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156619)

Grace Hopper, USN Admiral - Creator of COBOL. If she wasn't a geek, nobody is. And she was coding before Open Source, Closed Source were a twinkle in RMS eye.

you mean free software fggt.

Re:I'm male but... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 7 months ago | (#46156869)

It's an app, app, app, app world now. There aren't many creative types programming in Assembly any more, even among males.

The key to getting the females interested is killer apps.

Should be a Reverse-Betteridge (1)

srussia (884021) | about 7 months ago | (#46156323)

1. Add a question mark.

2. Hell yes.

3. ...

4. Profit!

Re:Should be a Reverse-Betteridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156875)

I thought you were going to say, "And the answer is no." as in We tried, they're not interested except for that one crazy chick on the xyz mailing list. Next.

Hire them at companies without experience (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 months ago | (#46156329)

To be quite frank, a lot of the reason why you don't get many young women in STEM - and Open Source projects - is you insist they have lots of experience.

Open Source used to be mostly rolled out by students and people between jobs, but nowadays a lot of Open Source coders have full time jobs at various tech firms.

Those tech firms tend not to hire women with non-tech degrees and without extensive experience.

There's your problem.

Originally, you only needed some form of 2 year or 4 year degree, of any type, not tech, to get hired. And experience came on the job.

Fix that.

Then you'll get young women doing Open Source coding.

Re:Hire them at companies without experience (2, Insightful)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 7 months ago | (#46156417)

I think that a lot of them, mainly by happenstance, just aren't interested in that kind of job. It's like asking why most men aren't interested in interior design.

Men and women have differently wired brains, more news at 11.

Anyways why is it such a "social problem" that they aren't interested? And I don't think that forcing them to be interested is a good idea either. That is like introducing programs to make more white people interested in hip-hop.

Re:Hire them at companies without experience (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 months ago | (#46156527)

Not true. I happen to know at least one young women who has been trying to get into programming, and what I said are the most common complaints she has about the whole process.

(yes, she has a Bachelor of Science, just not in STEM, and she has work experience but not in programming, and she is a native English speaker born in America)

Re:Hire them at companies without experience (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 months ago | (#46156543)

( /s/women/woman/g ) oops

Re:Hire them at companies without experience (3, Insightful)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 7 months ago | (#46156711)

yes, she has a Bachelor of Science, just not in STEM, and she has work experience but not in programming.

So that would be quite a risk for anyone to hire her to do any coding - gender and age has nothing to do with it. You have to start either with internships or be able to show some successes in open source projects. And you still have to be willing to start out making less than you do working in whatever field you currently have experience in.

Re:Hire them at companies without experience (3, Interesting)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 7 months ago | (#46156801)

So she's not very qualified relative to the other applicants. She's no worse off than a man with the same qualifications. When the labor supply is so much larger than demand, employers just keep raising the bar. If we were struggling to find programmers, things would be different. This push to make more and more people into programmers is only going to worsen the situation for people seeking their first job, and will depress wages for the people who do get hired. ...it's almost like that's the point.

Re:Hire them at companies without experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156603)

Yes, but if OSS projects could leverage the consensus building skills of women, who talk things out before they start and follow up intermittently, before the train has gone off the tracks, plenty of great leadership candidates might come out of such an effort to recruit women into development.

The 'news' won't follow until the effort culminates in substantial promotion of a more inclusive culture.

  --Geeks Bane--

Re:Hire them at companies without experience (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#46156695)

"Men and women have differently wired brains, more news at 11."
That. Is. False. Stop propagating that myth. Young girls get told that lie, then believe it and don't go into STEM becasue "they aren't wired for it"

"Anyways why is it such a "social problem" that they aren't interested? "
That's not the problem, the problem is there are directed away from it, usually by idiots saying things like "Men and women have differently wired brains"

Re:Hire them at companies without experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156935)

I think that a lot of them, mainly by happenstance, just aren't interested in that kind of job. It's like asking why most men aren't interested in interior design.

And yet the women who DO profess interest in it will, almost universally, describe a stand-offish "Bro" culture where women are most decidedly not welcome.

What's more valid - your hand-waving assertions that girls just naturally want to cry and shop? Or first-hand data from the women themselves who have tried to get into an incredibly un-welcoming career path for women?

Re:Hire them at companies without experience (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 7 months ago | (#46156663)

To be quite frank, a lot of the reason why you don't get many young women in STEM - and Open Source projects - is you insist they have lots of experience.

Who insists they have lots of experience? If you submit a patch to an open source project you don't attach your resume to it.

Re:Hire them at companies without experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156727)

This should be a problem for anybody new to the tech industry, not just women. Newly graduated males with near-to-no real experience would also have a hard time getting a job when extensive experience is required. How does this male land a job?

I can't judge the relative difficulty of landing a job between equally experienced male and female candidates but the number of females in my CompSci courses in college was very, very low. There is certainly less interest before landing a job becomes a problem.

Most females I know treat "tech" simply as appliances. They might have large interests in them but no desire to understand how they work, how to build them, etc. An interest in "tech" doesn't mean they'll have an interest in programming, software engineering, computer science whether we are talking about open source or not. I often wonder if this perceived lack of interest is more nurture rather than nature.

Re:Hire them at companies without experience (1)

kick6 (1081615) | about 7 months ago | (#46156751)

To be quite frank, a lot of the reason why you don't get many young women in STEM - and Open Source projects - is you insist they have lots of experience.

Open Source used to be mostly rolled out by students and people between jobs, but nowadays a lot of Open Source coders have full time jobs at various tech firms.

Those tech firms tend not to hire women with non-tech degrees and without extensive experience.

There's your problem.

Originally, you only needed some form of 2 year or 4 year degree, of any type, not tech, to get hired. And experience came on the job.

Fix that.

Then you'll get young women doing Open Source coding.

So your solution to get women to do something they aren't doing is to dangle the carrot of salary in front of women SO uninterested in something they didn't even attempt to pursue it as a course of education, and then hope they bite? And this will produce QUALITY coders? Or just meet some kinda of assinine affirmative action quota?

If there's one role model I want for my daughter, (2)

rwa2 (4391) | about 7 months ago | (#46156331)

It's Nixie Pixel:
http://www.nixiepixel.com/ [nixiepixel.com]

She's very articulate, and the technical depth is there, if you can keep yourself from getting distracted.

Re:If there's one role model I want for my daughte (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156547)

So you want your daughter to flirt with "nerds" by teasing them with her tits?

Re: If there's one role model I want for my daught (3, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 7 months ago | (#46156607)

I think you're inadvertently making another important point. Attractive women aren't just distracting. They can completely disrupt many men's brains for long periods.

I recognize Nixie as smart and insightful. I also can help spending 80% of the time I see her daydreaming about sleeping with her.

If I had to work with her, this would be a serious problem for me. I'm not saying that's grounds to not hire attractive women, but it might be why I'd have to look for another job myself.

Re: If there's one role model I want for my daught (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156713)

If I had to work with her, this would be a serious problem for me. I'm not saying that's grounds to not hire attractive women, but it might be why I'd have to look for another job myself.

What the hell is wrong with you? If you are over the age of 18, you have serious self-control issues.

(captcha: handsome)

As opposed to old women? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156333)

What kind of lechers are these people??

Re:As opposed to old women? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156369)

Exactly this.

Or... (4, Insightful)

E++99 (880734) | about 7 months ago | (#46156341)

...we could just let people do whatever the fuck they want to do.

Why it won't happen (-1, Flamebait)

benjfowler (239527) | about 7 months ago | (#46156347)

Drooling, creepy neckbeards

Re:Why it won't happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156725)

Hey! I resemble that remark.

Wow. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156357)

I don't even know what to think of this quote from the article:

"For years, I've been wishing somebody like Wired Magazine or Opensource.com would do an annual "Sexiest Geek Alive" issue, like People magazine does."

Okay but only after you get my beer, dinner (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156385)

and get those shoes off, woman!

Girls misuse tech talks to get into relationship (0, Troll)

short (66530) | about 7 months ago | (#46156423)

After several such cases one gets a prejudice during any further communication with a girl about software that the technical subject is only a cover and that she in fact has a different goal. So I do not want to lose my time talking about software with girls anymore. It's theirs fault. Women push people into being sexist.

Re:Girls misuse tech talks to get into relationshi (1)

slimdave (710334) | about 7 months ago | (#46156467)

You're weird.

Re:Girls misuse tech talks to get into relationshi (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#46156625)

the word you are looking for is 'misogynist'.

Re:Girls misuse tech talks to get into relationshi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156491)

Wow, misogynistic much? I'd say that's your problem.

Re:Girls misuse tech talks to get into relationshi (2)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about 7 months ago | (#46156509)

Are you like, retarded or something? Considering all the built in sexism and misdirected unevolved sexuality of so many computer geeks, and that being an *operant norm* for women nearly everywhere, and your experience has women coming onto you, therefore they don't get your time?

I think you're daft.

Re:Girls misuse tech talks to get into relationshi (1)

short (66530) | about 7 months ago | (#46156581)

I am just old enough not to be interested in sex anymore so why should I care about relationships? If you call me retarded because I do not want to waste the limited time of my life on something so stupid like sex...

Re:Girls misuse tech talks to get into relationshi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156779)

So you're saying that icky girls are only into tech to get into your pants?

Re: Girls misuse tech talks to get into relationsh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156795)

You are an idiot and I hereby withdraw your man card

Re: Girls misuse tech talks to get into relationsh (5, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 7 months ago | (#46156635)

I think everyone on Slashdot has a story about women just feigning interest in coding because they want a one night stand.

Re: Girls misuse tech talks to get into relationsh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156737)

I think everyone on Slashdot has a story about women just feigning interest in coding because they want a one night stand.

I certainly do not. I work with many women who are programmers, and none of them act like that at all.

I don't know whether to ask where you work to avoid it like the plague or to go there for "spring break".

Whoosh... (1)

rsborg (111459) | about 7 months ago | (#46156769)

I think everyone on Slashdot has a story about women just feigning interest in coding because they want a one night stand.

I certainly do not.

Avoiding ascii graphics to avoid lameness filter, but you get the point (i.e., it's way above parent commenter's head).

Re: Girls misuse tech talks to get into relationsh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156803)

I think every woman on slashdot has a story about almost every man she's been nice to feigning interest to get a one-night-stand.

Re:Girls misuse tech talks to get into relationshi (2)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | about 7 months ago | (#46156689)

No you're probably right. A book called "The Manipulated Man", written by a woman, even suggested that women only go to university to meet eligible men, and not necessarily study. Additionally women perform better than boys in junior school, but this academic excellence enters entropy later in her life when she hits puberty and discovers that by being stupid and cute, boys will buy her things that she would otherwise work for.

So yeah, you could say that they show up to technical conferences for other reasons.

Re:Girls misuse tech talks to get into relationshi (2)

QuasiEvil (74356) | about 7 months ago | (#46156839)

If only young women would use my technical presentations for such purposes. Unfortunately the few I've met are generally interested in the subject matter and not the old guy talking about it.

I was married to a fellow engineer for ten years. Hands down best relationship of my life, even if we had divergent goals at the end. I've spent the last eight looking for someone understands what I'm thinking about most of the time and haven't even come close, but no engineers in the last eight years either. Unfortunately, embedded software and electrical engineering have a very low percentage of women overall, and a minute (almost undetectable) number of single ones.

Re:Girls misuse tech talks to get into relationshi (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 7 months ago | (#46156843)

lol I've had that problem too. Thought the girl was really interested in learning to program. But she wasn't.

Sexism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156427)

Why is it that males feel the need to rope in females to do what they want them to? Just respect us for who we are instead of acting like you know what's best for us.

from a woman dev (yeah I'm posting anon) (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156439)

As an actual woman programmer, I gotta tell you, most of the guys I encounter react really weird to me at first. There's the assumption that I must be an idiot (I'm not) or I can't POSSIBLY know how do this (I do) and of course all the off-color jokes (which I happen to find funny). Basically the environment isn't always friendly to young women. I've worked plenty of places as the only woman. One of my first jobs, the sales guy came up behind me, stared, and said it was "SO COOL to see a chic crank out code!" Um, creepy.

I do it because I like it, and I have learned to just laugh off most of this stuff as harmless cluelessness. But it does create this barrier to entry.

not that shit again... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156441)

You can easily get more women, blacks, homosexuals, Muslims, special needs people, and any other left-wing "diversity" loved group by simply making harder the lifes of the people that can do the actual work - the question is why you should do that...

'How do we get more women involved in tech?' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156443)

Have pink ponies and Justin Beiber editors.

And make sure there are plenty of cute guys!

And the ability for them to make sandwiches! There's nothing more appealing to us women than great cookware!

And yes, we'll all fuck you at the drop of the hat if you tell us you love us!

Porn movies are documentaries. It's the truth. Six inches? Sorry, it's gotta be 10 at least because size matters.Ron Jeremy is our dream!!

How do we get more women involved in tech? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | about 7 months ago | (#46156455)

Why must you have more women involved in tech?

Seriously, "not this shit again."

Re:How do we get more women involved in tech? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156523)

Probably because it's unhealthy for tech to exclude 52% of the population based on gender. And before you say it's women's choices that keep them out of tech, remember that when everyone around you tells you that you can't do something, typically you choose not to do it.

There are massive numbers of women who are geniuses, and who could revolutionize tech, but because the industry, and society as a whole thinks that STEM is a man's job, we don't get to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

We want more women in tech because it's good for tech.

Re:How do we get more women involved in tech? (4, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | about 7 months ago | (#46156579)

Probably because it's unhealthy for tech to exclude 52% of the population based on gender.

But that wasn't the proposition. The proposition was how to "get more women interested in open source." If you're talking about excluding women, then fine, if that's actually happening then that's something worth talking about. We shouldn't be excluding people. But why is it necessary to "get people interested"? If they're not interested, then fine, let 'em pursue other interests. It's a big world with lots of options.

They aren't being excluded (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156637)

How are they being excluded?

The STEM industry is bending over backwards to get them into the business, organizations in college and professional organizations and they aren't biting.

Maybe they aren't biting because the majority of them don't want to be nerds!

Treat them like humans, and if they're interested in being nerds fine and if they're not they're not.

As for the whole sexism in engineering, have you seen the pigs in sales? The nerds have nothing on them, and yet that doesn't seem to be a problem.

Re:They aren't being excluded (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156951)

The STEM industry is

Stop. Sorry, STEM is not an industry. If it was, it would be easy to change things. It is just some random amalgamation of things... like "arts and sciences" colleges at university. It kind of makes sense, but ultimately it includes far to disparate things to really do things uniformly.

Re:How do we get more women involved in tech? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 7 months ago | (#46156887)

Unfortunately, there are so some real bigots in the FOSS community.

Node.js had one such thing pop up. [joyent.com] .

It was a relatively minor thing - a pull request was rejected because the documentation was updated to be more gender neutral. Unfortunately, the reasons given for said rejection were less than... honorable, and when it happened again, it devolved into a giant show of bigotry by the maintainer.

Perhaps that's why women don't want to go into tech - us geeks despite wanting to show we're more "educated" and learned, still have some real bigots among us who justify their positions in dubious ways. Hell, perhaps tech is no more evolved than construction labourers gawking and cat-calling.

Re:How do we get more women involved in tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156889)

And before you say it's women's choices that keep them out of tech, remember that when everyone around you tells you that you can't do something, typically you choose not to do it.

Who is saying this? I have literally never once heard this except as a strawman argument.

Re:How do we get more women involved in tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156915)

Why must you have more women involved in tech? Seriously, "not this shit again."

Yep, here we go again.

Here's my take. Because the nanny mentality of certain people just won't grant other people "liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Certainly young women are pursuing their happiness, yet that's not good enough for the nanny-istas. Those young women should be funneled into an activity that provides for a nice 50-50 balanced outcome.

Why should we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156457)

Why do we want more young women in open source? I can't think of any answer that isn't sexist. To say that they bring something to the table that a man does not is as sexist as saying that a man brings something to the table that a woman doesn't. I'm all for removing obstacles which chase them away, such as lower wages, glass ceilings, objectifying them, and all other forms of bias, regardless of the context or field. However, adding something to attract them is inherently sexist.

in other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156513)

We must close the gender gap in sanitation engineering, housekeeping, nursing, coal mining, and nannies. While we're at it, can we address the fact that there are no single women at any of the concerts I go to? Also, I didn't see any persons of color at the last Phish concert I saw.

Why do we care one way or another? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156533)

Why do we care one way or another?

Dunno... (1)

dannys42 (61725) | about 7 months ago | (#46156539)

Same way we get young men interested interested in the cosmetics industry?

Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156541)

Women don't need special treatment. They are just as capable and as strong as men.

The idea that women aren't involved in open source because it is "hostile to women" is nonsense. I can hear your objections.

"But the sexualized environment!"
Humans are sexual creatures. Deal.
If you are a human, you are a sexual object. Sorry to break it to you.

"The condescending comments"
A lot of nerds/geeks lack social graces. No need for butthurt if you are on the receiving end of someone's social ineptitude.

The Life We live (5, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 7 months ago | (#46156553)

Spending 8+ hours a day isolated at a computer, forgoing human contact to spend most of your free time researching and learning, interacting with machines and electronics at the lowest and least intuitive levels, willing to be on call almost 24/7--takes a certain constellation of personality traits. For whatever reason, these traits skew male; not entirely, but heavily. You can debate about whether this is cultural, environmental, genetic, or some combination. Open for discussion is even the question if we should be concerned at all. You don't hear the same kind of panic about the lack of men in early education or nursing.

There are probably as many women in tech as want to be there. What's really stopping them other than themselves and their own preferences?

Re:The Life We live (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#46156597)

It's a fight for girls to get into IT. I have had to go to the mat many times with morons trying to direct my daughter away from science and engineering. They don't even know they are doing it. Oh she doesn't like math, clearly it's hormones. WTF! Maybe it's your crappy ass teaching.

Re:The Life We live (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 7 months ago | (#46156679)

Were you able to find a teacher or educational paradigm that fostered her success in mathematics? What does your daughter say she's interested in?

Re:The Life We live (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156827)

Spending 8+ hours a day isolated at a computer, forgoing human contact to spend most of your free time researching and learning, interacting with machines and electronics at the lowest and least intuitive levels, willing to be on call almost 24/7--takes a certain constellation of personality traits.

8 hours a day at a computer? Gosh, that sounds like most white collar jobs of the last few decades.

For whatever reason, these traits skew male; not entirely, but heavily.

I don't know why you think this. This has not been my experience.

You don't hear the same kind of panic about the lack of men in early education or nursing.

You do, actually. That's been pointed out on Slashdot before [slashdot.org] , many times [slashdot.org] , and this isn't even the sort of place you'd see it discussed.

Re:The Life We live (3, Interesting)

scamper_22 (1073470) | about 7 months ago | (#46156855)

I think preference is a big part of it.

However, this does not mean systemic issues cannot be a factor. There are a lot of things about STEM that are not inherent to STEM or anyone being interested in STEM.

1. Be willing to be on call 24/7... why should this be the case? Maybe this should change.
2. Spend free time researching and learning? Really... I need this for my job? No I don't and companies can train people.
3. Forgoing human contact? There is no reason for this again. Many tech jobs heavily involve communication be it for product planning, support, design meetings... ...

I would dare say these are issues for many men as well.
Many more woman have become doctors as well for example. It has been documented they don't work as hard or as crazy as their male counterparts.
http://www.schoolofpublicpolic... [schoolofpu...licy.sk.ca]

But is that a problem? Sure, they can and probably are paid less. Yet, they still serve patients very well.
I'm sure there are many young men as well who would want to be a less overworked doctor as well.

There is nothing intrinsic about being a doctor that involves working crazy hours or 24 hour shifts in the ER.

The same is true for software/engineering.

We can and we should be legislating and addressing these lifestyle issues in regards to careers. If after that is all done people still choose gender like jobs... well that is all fine and dandy.

Re:The Life We live (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 7 months ago | (#46156891)

1. Be willing to be on call 24/7... why should this be the case? Maybe this should change.
2. Spend free time researching and learning? Really... I need this for my job? No I don't and companies can train people.
3. Forgoing human contact? There is no reason for this again. Many tech jobs heavily involve communication be it for product planning, support, design meetings... ...

You're competing against people (mostly men) who ARE willing to do these things.

How do we get more women involved in tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156559)

You don't. The problem is not the lack of role model, the problem is that girls don't like tech. Stop trying to shoohorn people into your twisted vision of how they should behave.

I always tell my daughter to avoid (4, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#46156565)

open sores.

Hookers and blow! (1)

dave562 (969951) | about 7 months ago | (#46156573)

Oh, wait... wrong gender.

Why would you want to do such thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156583)

Did you ever worked with women?, they are more volatile than RAM.

Irrelevant (1)

Espectr0 (577637) | about 7 months ago | (#46156591)

Why should we try to pursue women to work in tech? We have to accept they are different and the majority doesn't like working in tech.

I cringe every time i see something being specially tailored for them. In Venezuela, they even have their own bank. It's stupid, what happened to equality?

Re:Irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156715)

You might want to ask yourself: what exactly is that difference that keeps women out of tech? Is it some funky quirk of nature that keeps them from getting into the most profitable working-class industry around? Or maybe it could be that society pressures women out of STEM jobs because they're supposed to be a man's job.

Maybe women don't want to get into tech because all the people in tech keep saying things like "They just aren't cut out for it; they are different than all us techy people". Would you want to get into an industry that thought you were unfit for the job entirely based on some arbitrary features of your body? I doubt it.

Make it pink. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156621)

It couldn't hurt.

As a young woman... (1)

Chibichinks (3525857) | about 7 months ago | (#46156629)

All it took was somebody to reach out to me, present me with the ideal, and tell me I could learn how to contribute. Numerous Ted talks and a vision of a better world :) Right now I just don't think enough people like me have heard about it and even if they have, why should they care? Get us interested by showing us its interesting, in a personal way.

Here we go again. (1)

csumpi (2258986) | about 7 months ago | (#46156633)

How to get women interested in some geek shit. We must have a quota on slashdot for crap like this.

First, who cares about gender. We are all equal.

Second, most women are just not interested in geek shit. And that's ok. They like long walks in the park, they like dudes that listen to them and leave love notes in their purses. So go try that approach.

.

Maybe most women don't want to go into tech (1)

SensitiveMale (155605) | about 7 months ago | (#46156647)

Stop forcing shit and let the person choose what he or she wants.

Re:Maybe most women don't want to go into tech (1)

Zaelath (2588189) | about 7 months ago | (#46156707)

As if, not only should we death-march women into tech, we need to get young men into child care.

In what? (2, Informative)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 7 months ago | (#46156669)

It's not "open source" that I'm looking to get them interested in...

Women want to be involved FOSS (3, Insightful)

nevermindme (912672) | about 7 months ago | (#46156739)

There is no glass door, ceiling or anything, anyplace or anywhere. You don't even have to give your real name to be involved in a project. If you cant stand working in a boys club open an account on one of a open project 100 sites, write a doc, compile and make a installer and you can be the top of the FOSS world if you its useful to 20 million people. Write the next app everyone needs, wants and uses daily and then give it away for no reward but complaints from everywhere, then perhaps be the one of hundreds of free products that make a jump to commercial success.

Gender gap is unsurprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156791)

People get started in OSS because it's fun. A lot of them get started at about the time they get out of school, as a way to stay entertained and build up a profile while job hunting, and then the interest sticks around.

Women programmers rarely have that concern, from what I can see. They are heavily under represented in the field, which makes it a hell of a lot easier to get an interview when applying for a job.

End result: Women programmers have an easier time finding full time employment quickly after finishing school, so they have both less free time and less reason to get involved in OSS.

At least, that's what the situation looks like from where I'm sitting.

is there money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156805)

Women are sexually attracted to money.

Gender Balance (5, Interesting)

inhuman_4 (1294516) | about 7 months ago | (#46156819)

According to the BLS 95% [bls.gov] of workplace deaths are men, even though men make up only slightly more than half of the workforce. So how come there is no push to get women in high risk jobs, like oil wells, private security companies, mining, etc?

It's got nothing to do with gender balance. It's about feminists finding things to rail against.

Fastest Bingo Ever (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156851)

Came to win bingo. Was not disappointed. (Which makes me very disappointed.)

-A Sexist "Joke"
-"Women don't WANT to be in tech."
-Free Space
-"We're all equal!" (stated from a privileged position)
-"Isn't that REVERSE sexism?"

People keep screaming for equality... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156861)

...but when they're treated equally it suddenly becomes a situation where they actually want equality+. Nothing is stopping women from perusing tech jobs, but if most women aren't interested in tech jobs is that actually a problem? I mean, should we complain that there aren't enough male hair stylists? No. Most men have no interest in that so there are fewer of them.

Stop trying to convince women they need to do X, Y, or Z - those with an interest will gravitate to it like anyone else does.

open source people have shitty social skills... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156893)

That's why I lost interest in open source and I'm a dude. If you go on IRC to talk about Linux or GCC or whatever as soon as you say anything you'll get at least two pedantic morons trying to attack you for some little thing. Open Source people try act all friendly and "community oriented" but underneath they seem really angry and bitter. Kind of reminds me of those overly religious people who always talk about Jesus and love but want gays and liberals to burn in hell or whatever.

If you're a regular on IRC you might not realize this but just use a shell account and a new nick and go ask a basic question and see if your buddies don't jump on you and call you a noob.

Go to where the women are (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46156929)

Maybe putting a computer in the kitchen would help.

Men into nursing (2)

smoot123 (1027084) | about 7 months ago | (#46156933)

Sure, just as soon as this bright spark also puts some money into getting more men into nursing, human resources, and primary education, all fields as dominated by women as IT is by men. Maybe more so. I don't think my kids' elementary school had a single man on the staff other than the janitor.
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