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Coping Strategies for Women in IT

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the grow-a-pair-oh-wait dept.

Education 648

Ian Lamont writes "Female workers are losing ground in the IT profession, reports Computerworld, citing statistics which show a sharp drop in the number of female CS grads since the 1980s, and a decline in the percentage of women in the IT profession since 2001. According to the article, causes include pervasive stereotypes and the locker-room atmosphere found in some IT shops — attitudes which some readers may recognize from the comments in a Slashdot thread last week. The IT professionals interviewed in the Computerworld article discuss a variety of strategies for coping. They range from trying to 'out-boy the boys' to watching what you say, as one Sun Microsystems executive describes:'It's not unusual to be the only woman at a meeting, she says, and because of that, there's often a tendency to remain silent unless you think you have something really remarkable to say. "As one member of a small group, you feel you have no right to be mediocre ... You're not just representing yourself; you're representing [females] with a capital F.'"

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Been there, seen that... (4, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 7 years ago | (#20131937)


I say we just give any and all female hires shiny new Sig sidearms with a license to shoot anyone (especially upper management) that harasses them. Seriously though, as one who has had to instigate actions against individuals senior to myself for sexual harassment of colleagues, the issue of unwelcome environments is well known. Fortunately, things are getting progressively better as I have been seeing an uptick in the number of seriously qualified individuals who happen to be women among the alpha users of the IT community (PhD candidates in Computer Science). But in the interim, I would discourage women from feeling that they have to "out-boy the boys" as that behavior simply compounds the problem and makes legal issues more complex leading to the likelihood that if problems do arise, everybody gets fired. Besides, the type of person that would engage in locker-room behavior may in fact be encouraged by a woman stooping to that level. I would also encourage women to be as vocal as necessary in meetings and not reserve comments for those times when you think that what you say is representative of genius. Just do your job, be professional, ask questions when necessary and remember that you do not have to tolerate any bullshit that your male colleagues do not have to endure.

Re:Been there, seen that... (5, Interesting)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132005)

FWIW I've seen exactly what you've seen as well and do my damnedest not to participate in making a bad environment.

Honestly though I don't really care if someone in the I/T field is male or female as long as they can do the job. The moment they prove to me to be an idiot, regardless of gender, I have to start looking at them with a more critical eye. And I have met women who treat that as if they were being singled out when they truly aren't.

Re:Been there, seen that... (4, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132091)

I say we just give any and all female hires shiny new Sig sidearms with a license to shoot anyone (especially upper management) that harasses them.
I've heard many men make that joke, and no women. So you unintentionally makes a nasty point: a lot of office politics is fueled by simple, instinctive aggression — and the fact that women aren't as aggressive as men (by and large) has a lot to do with sexual harassment and other gender issues. A woman who stands up for herself (even without resorting to lethal force) is going against her own lifelong conditioning. She's also going to be rated by different standards than a man who behaves the same way.

Re:Been there, seen that... (3, Interesting)

BWJones (18351) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132407)

Actually, that was the crux of my point. The common (read: unintelligent) approach that many people take to resolving conflict is simple aggression. So my point/joke/jab was simply that perhaps we should level the playing field by giving license to women to simply take care of business. It's like that scene in Indiana Jones where the good Dr. Jones has skillfully dispatched aggressor after aggressor with testosterone, fists and brains only to come across some guy wielding dual swords that wants to engage in a little testosterone fueled display himself. Indy just shoots him and gets it over with....

Re:Been there, seen that... (3, Informative)

pthor1231 (885423) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132557)

Dr. Jones had a raging case of diarrhea actually.

Re:Been there, seen that... (1, Troll)

pthor1231 (885423) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132485)

I'm not sure I follow exactly what point you are trying to make. Are you saying that men should should go against their lifelong conditioning to better allow women to work in the office environment? But wouldn't this create the same problem as the current situation, simply with the roles reversed?

Re:Been there, seen that... (5, Insightful)

Daishiman (698845) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132111)

Who told you that it's bullshit that male colleagues don't have to endure?

I recall reading somewhere that as workplace equalty increases, men have come to see women as peers, and what that implies is that they are placed in a level game where the sorts of abuse that men perform on other men are being experienced by women. Women have more at stake now than they ever did, and what that means is that your average office bastard sees them as potential threats to their activities.

At my workplace we have several women working in IT positions. They are all treated very well; the locker-room mentality only happens in male-only subgroups. The one reason why I think that there's not as many women as there could be is becase the job is simply not rewarding to most female personality types. I don't know how many want or can stand to be on-call, or handle high-stree meetings with enraged customers who want to see their servers working NOW. Not to say that women can't handle stress, just saying that the stress that emanates from an IT environment may not be the one they can handle best.

If your biggest employment issue with females is that other employees treat them like crap, then you've either have the problem of asshole male employees (happens, but then again I wonder how the hell you're managing to have a decent IT infrastructure with those people), or submissive females, who are not few, and who end up meeting the same fat as submissive males.

Re:Been there, seen that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132177)

What happened to old-fashioned sleeping your way to the top?

Re:Been there, seen that... (3, Interesting)

Cally (10873) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132183)

Anecdote: my aunt read Pure & Applied Mathematics with Computing at Imperial College, London [] -- (one of the most prestigious science & technology universities in the world, up there with MIT, Oxbridge, Caltech etc.) This was in the late 1960s and she was of course one of very few women on her course (or indeed at Imperial!)

She then emigrated to the remote end of Ireland, where for 30 years or so she taught IT and computing a the local RTC (Regional Tech College.) She was telling me fairly recently that the level of casual sexism, and the air of intimidation and of it being a male domain meant that whereas 10 or 15 years ago there were actually more women/girls on the courses than men, it was now overwhelmingly male dominated. Of course she's done what she can to push that back and keep it open to women but... she's just retired.


Re:Been there, seen that... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132203)

Shut up. Your blog has cheesecake [] and flowers [] on it. What do you know about being a man?

Re:Been there, seen that... (4, Funny)

BWJones (18351) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132347)

Shut up. Your blog has cheesecake [] and flowers [] on it. What do you know about being a man?

Ah, but I also have guns [] and ground support aircraft with even bigger guns [] and million dollar microscopes [] and cars [] and more cars [] and hot women [] on my blog.

I'm quite comfortable with who I am, but are those links man enough for you?

Does it go both ways? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132247)

In college I took a few archaeology courses. In all, men were in the minority; in one, I was the only man. How do women make it easier for men in female-dominated fields? What are women doing to increase the participation of men in, say, archaeology? I semi-seriously proposed (to another guy in the department) that we should start a "Society of Men Archaeologists". It would have been way smaller than SWE.

Maybe being the odd man out back then has made me more tolerant today. Or maybe not. Who am I to say?

Anyway, this does not make IT special; it's true in any field with an uneven sex ratio. They're just being sensationalist because they can. You don't see "Coping Strategies for Men in Archaeology" on archaeology websites.

Re:Been there, seen that... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132327)

Blow me.

Insecurity and incompetence (2, Insightful)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132499)

are the root of much sexism from IT men. Yes there are other causes, like general asshattery, but I'd say insecurity leads the pack. Of course, the other causes tend to focus the attentions of the incompetent/insecure on sexism as an outlet for their aggression. Be professional, seek support, and generally outshine your pale movenist shig cow-orker. Make sure that management knows things go better when you're involved, but don't be the source of that awareness. Be nonchalant and modest about your abilities and let the jackasses hang themselves. That being said, don't stay in an intolerable situation that has no remedy.

More than just The Chubb Corp. (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#20131955)

McKeon eventually found a welcoming culture at The Chubb Corp., where she is now an application manager, but other women in IT simply leave the industry.
Other female friendly IT companies include: There are tons of women friendly companies out there!

Re:More than just The Chubb Corp. (4, Insightful)

EtoilePB (1087031) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132099)

And this is EXACTLY the kind of attitude that female IT workers encounter on the job. Sure, it's funny on Slashdot, but after months or years of putting up with it... well, let's just say it was old before it started, and thick-skinned barely begins to describe how a woman needs to be to succeed in the techie world.

Re:More than just The Chubb Corp. (1)

jguthrie (57467) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132371)

You have male colleagues who don't send not-funny jokes to other males? Where do you work, and are they hiring? I've got one coworker who keeps insisting that Richard Cheese is funny.

Look, thriving in any competitive environment requires a combination of thick skin, political skills, and the occasional set of gonads. It doesn't matter if the parties in question are male or female.

Re:More than just The Chubb Corp. (3, Insightful)

Duffy13 (1135411) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132553)

While someone may truly be offended at such humor or ridicule depending on the circumstances, what is commonly ignored is that men do this to each other constantly. You are not getting special treatment because you are female, we are in fact showing acceptance by treating you as "one of the guys". If you don't like it then we end up pampering, which ironically also gets us yelled at for not treating females as "one of the guys". Which honestly is just a small part of the whole men never understanding women and vice-versa problem which is as we know, one of those age old dilemmas.

Disclaimer: There is of course a percentage that is completely and utterly sexual harassment, and it is a very bad thing. However, I am addressing the portion that is mislabeled.

Re:More than just The Chubb Corp. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132215)

Another unintended web name:

Speed of Art -

Though I think they gave up on any legitimate purpose there.

Don't forget.. (5, Insightful)

turnipsatemybaby (648996) | more than 7 years ago | (#20131971)

Bear in mind also the expectations that most IT people work in. You are expected to put in ridiculous amounts of hours, sometimes be on call 24/7, all for pay that's in many cases only somewhat better than that of a janitor.

No... women are leaving IT in droves because they're taking one look at what kind of career path they can look forward to and saying, "Screw this".

Re:Don't forget.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132079)

I met a fellow a few years ago who worked construction. Worked 7-4 each day with an hour lunch break, made 54k a year in a place where clean, detached houses fit for a family of four are still going for 150k, and the company bought and paid for a brand new Ford F-250 Super Duty that he got as a sign-on bonus (and he gets to write off most of the expenses from driving it each year).

I often work longer hours, make less money (when you adjust for the cost of living), and I had to buy my own crappy car, but right now it's 91 degrees with a dew point of 73 and a heat advisory in effect, and they're calling for it to be even worse tomorrow.


Re:Don't forget.. (1)

kerohazel (913211) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132133)

Right. Women are becoming doctors and lawyers instead, because of the leisure time they'll get from those professions.

Re:Don't forget.. (5, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132159)

You are expected to put in ridiculous amounts of hours, sometimes be on call 24/7, all for pay that's in many cases only somewhat better than that of a janitor.

Can we please put this one to rest? If you have a job that expects you to put in ridiculous hours, you have a crap job. Period. Any job that demands that you sacrifice your life for the sake of some company in which you have no stake is not sustainable. You will burn out and quit -- or worse, you will burn out, start passive-aggressively acting out, and get fired. IT geeks need to stop listing their long hours as a point of pride. Willingly putting yourself on the burnout track does not make you a superhero. Rather, it makes your life hell, and it makes every one of your coworkers' lives hell because you set unrealistic expectations and fail to voice your genuine employment concerns to management.

Re:Don't forget.. (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132279)

I'm on call when I want to be and if the company doesn't like it, they can bite my shiny metal ass. Then again, how much of our days are spent on slashdot to have to work "24/7 on call"?

Re:Don't forget.. (0, Troll)

mungtor (306258) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132315)

It's not a point of pride, in most cases it's a point of fact. If you aren't willing to put in the hours there are plenty of others who are. Whether they are on the "burnout track" is completely immaterial to the company which is now getting 70 hours a week for the the same salary as 40 hours. Maybe you are so talented that you have never been out of work, but not everybody else is as lucky.

Women generally leave IT because they aren't really geared for it. No matter how politically incorrect it is to say, women are not as good at analytical tasks as men. However, women are much better at jobs which require interpersonal communications or anything with an element of empathy. The two sexes are pretty much hard wired for different tasks (testosterone levels in early development seem to contribute greatly), so just let people do what they are good at. Nobody bemoans the lack of male nurses or secretaries. People who study thing like this should stop trying to cram square pegs into round holes and worry about something important for a change.

Re:Don't forget.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132461)

If you think that Women aren't geared for IT because their better at interpersonal skills, then you're living in the IT past.

The job I have right now, I won over a guy who didn't want to interact with people, and didn't have good enough interpersonal skills. The days of working in a cube, coding and not having to interact with people are dying ... or at least, they're moving to India. If you don't have interpersonal skills, hell, I can hire somebody in another country who barely speaks English. I'll get someone with your same skills at interpersonal communication, and I'll get it for much cheaper.

If you really want to bring it down to inherent gender differences, we could bring up all the studies that have found men to be inherently more physically aggressive. Since we don't want that kind of thing at work, lets hire women instead.

Besides, there have been plenty of studies to show that boys and girls both perform equally well in math and science subjects through grade school. They do show a bit of a dip in High School, but that could be more attributed to lower expectations, media, and environment. It could also be attributed to guys like you constantly saying that "you can't be that good at it, since you're a girl. don't worry, it's not your fault, it's science".

Finally, I suppose then that you'll be okay with having all your managers be women. Since a huge part of management is personal skills, communication, and knowing how to better relate with people, then they should have all those jobs. Marketing, sales, middle management ... heck, even executive positions require a large amount of shmoozing ... so less men there too. In fact, men are good at analytical work and physical labor. So men should be physical grunts, scientists, accountants, etc. Women should organize them and tell them what to do. They are better at interpersonal skills then men afterall, so we shouldn't try to make men do that kind of thing.

Re:Don't forget.. (1)

keeboo (724305) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132377)

If you have a job that expects you to put in ridiculous hours, you have a crap job.

Good for you if you can choose jobs from a menu.
Some people are not so lucky and, still, they have to eat.

Re:Don't forget.. (1)

Steinfiend (700505) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132437)

I can only talk from my own experience as an IT Manager for a medium sized company, and obviously don't have the same situation as everyone else. However, it's not that we're expected to work long hours, or be on call 24/7, it's that we're expected to do all facets of the job. That includes fixing the CEOs Outlook when he breaks something again, as well as install the latest hotfix to the business critical CRM application server. Number 1 happens at 8am eastern, number 2 cannot be done until after close of business, 9pm central. The long hours basically create themselves!

Differen trend locally, for what it's worth (1, Interesting)

ArcadeX (866171) | more than 7 years ago | (#20131973)

Local college is seeing the number of female MIS graduates steadily grow, can't say anything about CS. Course that doesn't mean they actually use the degrees for IT work either... I just feel sorry for any woman that is stuck in a stereo-typical IT shop. Lots of the guys I've worked with weren't exactly graced with social skills...

So few Females in IT (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20131987)

There is a reason why there are so few females in IT. Most realize it's a dead-end profession, filled with nothing but CS dropouts doing nothing more complex than cable-pulling, router rebooting, and windows reinstallations.

It's a good profession for those who obviously drank too much in College, but don't expect to get anywhere.

If they can't take the heat... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20131993)

...they can go home and raise the children.

I Call BS! (1)

drewsup (990717) | more than 7 years ago | (#20131999)

Hmm, TFA failed to mention the shake ups in the IT industry as a whole over the last 10 years, ( ie. consolidation, longer hours, outsourcing) and how that might be seen a negative to woman, especially ones with family. Never mind the "locker room" mentality, how about the entire corporate IT situation as a whole.

Sometimes it is not worth it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132001)

I've watched a girl get run out our IT dept by a manager with zero social skills. Sometimes, instead of coping strategies, looking at other jobs is probably the better way to go.

Different (5, Insightful)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132011)

Well, I've also noticed that there isn't a good representation of women in garbage collection force either. Oh no, they're also under-represented in the mines!

Won't somebody think of the childr...err...women!

Maybe, just maybe, the different genders gravitate to the fields that they like. Or, gasp, are suited for.

That's not to say that women aren't suited for the IT field. Men and women are different, even if the politically correct people don't want you to believe it. So it makes sense that they just might be predisposed to liking different things...including professions.

But forget that, let's just force the different genders into the professions that politically correct-driven math says that they should be, and not what they want to be in.

Re:Different (0, Offtopic)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132061)

A little off topic, but you'd think that, since the politically correct group sees no difference between men and women, that they'd be a little less negative about gays.

Re:Different (1)

SaDan (81097) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132135)

A little off topic, but you'd think that, since the politically correct group sees no difference between men and women, that they'd be a little less negative about gays.

No shit!

Re:Different (3, Funny)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132147)

Well, I've also noticed that there isn't a good representation of women in garbage collection force either. Oh no, they're also under-represented in the mines!

absolutely! And I want mention the under representation of men among mothers. Why is there this prejudice against men having babies? I would love to give birth, but I can't. I'm not allowed to. I want to sue, but noooooooooo! I'm a man and men have it made and therefore my case won't go to court. And is it allowed for my wife to impregnate me? Noooooooo, again another prejudice! I wish we'd put aside these prejudices and just allow folks to be who they are!

Re:Different (4, Funny)

D-Cypell (446534) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132355)

absolutely! And I want mention the under representation of men among mothers. Why is there this prejudice against men having babies? I would love to give birth, but I can't.

Where's the Fetus going to gestate? In a box?

Re:Different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132463)

There was research done in the 1970s on getting male baboons pregnant. Basically, artificial implantation, ectopic pregnancy, hormones treatments and some surgery (probably on an ongoing maintenance basis through the pregnancy), close monitoring, and you can make a male primate pregnant, probably get it to carry a fetus to near-term. With 1970s technology. I would expect the same techniques would work on humans, we're not all that different from baboons at that level.

The reason guys don't get pregnant now is ethics and the fact that being pregnant largely sucks and most guys aren't dumb enough to want to, especially not the guys who would have enough intelligence and resources to do it IF they wanted to.

Re:Different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132169)

Well, I've also noticed that there isn't a good representation of women in garbage collection force either. Oh no, they're also under-represented in the mines!

Women are welcome to jobs in IT - equivalent jobs in other fields are now paying double or more. You can use the extra cash to set up a data center at home, and the best bit is that your boss won't tell you to install IIS!

(Incidentally harassment isn't just an IT problem. I was blissfully unaware that harassment actually existed until I went to work with a bunch of ex-mil apprentices at a defense contractor. At least even if geeks are thinking bad thoughts they don't have the confidence to actually say anything. Ex-mil types seem to have no such constraints. Mind you, they are happy to promote competent women - they would just do it by shouting "hey, you with the balance problem, you just got bumped a grade".)

Re:Different (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132263)

Why wouldn't women be suited for IT?

Nice arguement, but there are some hidden assumptions backing it up.

Re:Different (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132301)

Men and women are different, even if the politically correct people don't want you to believe it

Now don't mod him down just because you don't agree with him. He's right, at least partially. Men and women are not only built differently, they think differently. He's absolutely, positively right. Studies show that men are more linear thinkers while women tend to think in circular patterns. Men are more big-picture thinkers, women pay more attention to detail.

This is not wrong. This is 100% right.

Now, are women less interested in IT? I doubt it. I personally know many women in the IT field, including many that are in it because they have always had a sincere interest in IT. I've also known several women who said they'd be interested in IT, if only they knew more about computers.

The fact is that girls and young women are not encouraged to pursue IT or computer science, so they don't. Career women are pointed towards administrative, HR, or other areas where women dominate. This isn't just due to interest, it's due to societal pressure on them to not learn tech skills because appearing too geeky would make them unattractive or get them to be socially shunned.

Re:Different (5, Informative)

EtoilePB (1087031) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132385)

Except the field really is hostile to women who WANT to be in it. I've come in to a room because someone asked for support with their PC, and been told to leave because they're expecting "the tech guy." I can't possibly know what I'm doing, you see, because I have X chromosomes and sometimes wear skirts.

A minority? Sure, I can live with being a minority. I'm pretty used to it. And I know full well my interests and talents skew differently than those of most women I know. But that doesn't mean I should be treated with hostility simply for existing.

Re:Different (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132443)

That seems to be less about being in IT, and more about cognitive dissonance.

Stereotypes (4, Insightful)

kaiwai (765866) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132013)

I've worked in IT and a number of other 'male dominated jobs' and its interesting to see how those females who are successful actually knuckle down and get on with work - those who sit around and whine about the injustices of the world simply come off as complainers with the "I should get promoted because I'm a....". I've seen it before, females being over looked for a job, then blaming the 'old boys club' when in reality they ignore the fact that 100s of men were looked over for the job as well - are they going to jump up and lay claim because of their hair colour, skin colour, eye colour, car colour or something else stopped them from moving up? Simply expecting to get the job because you happened to get the 'highest qualified' happens to ignore the reality of how people are selected for promotion.

Just as a side note; for females who are reading - want to know how to get on with your male collegues - take the piss, have fun, take the piss out of yourself, go out to the pub and drink with the boys - and maybe realise that if you present yourself as an equal rather than a 'weak and frail women' you might actually get included as 'one of the boys'. Socialising is the key.

I mean, I've worked in female dominated jobs, and believe me - females do not make it easy for males to merge themselves into the company culture. Heck, they're not even nice to their own sex! my sister was in a very similar situation - her rule, never work with females. This is a female who can't stand working with females. I think that speaks volumes.

When there are millions of females 'getting on' in male dominated situations, I think those who do complain have no legs to stand on. Like I've said, I've worked in male dominated jobs, and those females who do knuckle down and work - socialise and act like 'one of the boys' actually enjoy themselves.

Don't try to 'feminise' the work place - realise that its rome, and its up to you 'to do as the romans do'

Re:Stereotypes (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132253)

It doesn't matter where you work or what the demographics are, someone will always try to make themselves a victim: wanting a hand-out. And what's sad is that some companies actually give-in to this kind of behavior out of fear of legal action.

I applaud women and other diversity in I.T. The diversity brings a different perspective to the table that can benefit everyone. It's just those who abuse the HR laws in this country (victims) that I have a beef with.

Re:Stereotypes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132287)

I have to agree.

I can tell when my wife has a bad day at work when she comes home and grumbles, "I hate women."

Re:Stereotypes (5, Insightful)

nitekite (947984) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132419)

I am a woman, and I love slashdot. But threads like this and especially comments like this really disappoint me. Every day women in tech fields experience little degrading things: people talking to our boobs, assuming that we are secretaries, shouting us down, and paying us less. We do not present ourselves as 'weak and frail' women. We simply present ourselves as the women that we are. It is not our responsibility to act like one of the boys. It is the responsibility of men to realize that we are not one of the boys, but we are fellow humans, and as such have every right to do the jobs we love and be respected while we do it.

Re:Stereotypes (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132483)

Not all of us of are ignorant as the GP is (see my post) but I do empathize for what women in IT have to go through. For what it's worth I apologize for the part of my gender that thinks the way the GP does.

Re:Stereotypes (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132427)

Don't try to 'feminise' the work place - realize that its Rome, and its up to you 'to do as the romans do'

Of course some people will never get it...
Just because your getting rid of the male locker room humor doesn't mean your 'feminise' the workplace. You can find a happy medium between the two or at least try.

Re:Stereotypes (0, Troll)

DDLKermit007 (911046) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132429)

Amen brother! At least women have the option in the Western world! I'm in Japan atm, and you either spend most of our life after work hanging out with the boss, and colleagues, or never go anywhere. Now while I have a job that doesn't require that, women would be dicked if the world was even close to how it is here. Hell I dunno how the men that do it make it happen. If I had a kid i couldn't bring myself to devote that much time to work. Even if it did involve going to a strip club or getting wasted!

Re:Stereotypes (2, Interesting)

ggKimmieGal (982958) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132435)

I think you should have actually read that article instead of just assuming you understand the problem with women in IT. If you had read it, you would have discovered you were wrong. We have no problem fitting in. We feel awkward at times for sure, but fitting in socially isn't a problem. Almost all of the women directly said that it was the hours that made the job unappealing. And who can blame them!!! Honestly, the IT world asks the impossible of women! We want to be mothers. That's a 24/7 job. We also want to be in the IT field, which is a 24/7 job. Ummm... Do the math. That's too many hours in one week. If the hours were more flexible, then it wouldn't matter. Growing up, my mother was a visiting nurse. She was able to pick her own hours. I could always count on her to pick me up at the bus stop, and for dinner to be on the table when I got home from school. There's no reason why a woman can't do most of her IT work from home, especially if she's in programming like I am. We should be required to come in for a few hours a day (maybe four or so), and to make a point to make it to every single scheduled meeting. My own team at work right now relies heavily on email to communicate anyway, so it's not like we'd be out of the loop. But if I could work from home, I could do things like vacuum or dust when I take a break instead of wasting my time reading articles on slashdot. As long as we're getting our work done, I don't see the problem.

Slashdotters could learn a thing or two (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132019)

there's often a tendency to remain silent unless you think you have something really remarkable to say

also... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132041)

"Men are losing ground in the bearing of children, reports Maternity, citing statistics which show a sharp drop in the number of men giving birth since the 1980s, and a decline in the percentage of men in pregnant since 2001. According to the article, causes include pervasive stereotypes and the locker-room atmosphere found in maternity wards -- attitudes which some readers may recognize from the comments in a motherhood today thread last week. The mothers interviewed in the article discuss a variety of strategies for coping. They range from trying to 'out-girl the girls' to watching what you say, as one executive describes:'It's not unusual to be the only man at a meeting, he says, and because of that, there's often a tendency to remain silent unless you think you have something really remarkable to say. "As one member of a small group, you feel you have no right to be mediocre ... You're not just representing yourself; you're representing [males] with a capital M.'"

I work with a great IT woman (1)

CreamOfWheat (593775) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132047)

Ms Terry I Hillson (her sexy pantyhosed legs are a plus too) She can run circles around the males coding, but does have a real nasty habit of plucking her nostril hairs and eating them at meeting---YUCK. But all in all a great programmer!

Women IT in workforce (1)

obergfellja (947995) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132055)

I have worked in IT for a short time, and have came across only 2 Female that I worked along side. One has obviously put her time in (not to pull any bad strings there) and the other was fairly new. I valued both of their knowledge base when we discussed the projects on-hand. Actually they had their fingers on the pulse (up to date, and keep your minds out of the gutter here) more than the guy co-workers that I have worked with. At this time that I have learned from them, I was able to learn more from these projects.

Need Good Looks (2, Funny)

JeremyGNJ (1102465) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132063)

Here's how to cope in IT as a woman: Be Pretty!

Its kinda sad, but true. I've worked in IT for 10 years. Of the dozen or so women I've worked with the successful ones are attractive (or sometimes slutty instead). The ones that are less than attractive seem to have a more difficult time.

Dont get me wrong I've seen a couple non-attractive women who REALLY know their stuff do very well. And I've never seen an attractive bimbo get far in IT. However for the middle-of-the-line types, the attractive ones seem to do better. Though I suppose this isnt specific to IT.

Re:Need Good Looks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132245)

Uh, it's not just IT where decent-to-good looks helps.

The majority of guys are far from attractive and seem to make efforts to stay that way. If I'm paying an average of $100 per hour, I'd rather talk to someone who at least doesn't smell bad.

With respect to the "quiet in meetings" comment, if you are intimidated by being the miniority, I suggest either that you do the industry a favor and to work in a department store, or do yourself a favor and live in a foreign country for a while. The latter will knock it right out of you.

Re:Need Good Looks (4, Informative)

Ahnteis (746045) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132289)

Tall men make more then short men. Fat men make less then fit men.

Looking good as a career booster is not limited to womenses.

Re:Need Good Looks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132453)

I have two words: put out!

Dumb Bitch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132065)

"I'm afraid to speak at's totally NOT my own fault that I'm so scared to open my mouth that I can't do my job properly. It's those oppressive bastards that control the world."

Errr, no... (5, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132075)

...citing statistics which show a sharp drop in the number of female CS grads since the 1980s...

Actually, they show a sharp drop in the percentage of female CS grads. I'd bet that the number is way up since 1985.

Slashdot, as always, does its part to demonstrate that men aren't so great at math either...

The problem isn't being female (1)

clubhi (1086577) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132083)

IT is different from a lot of other fields because it takes a life long commitment to learning the new. As soon as you step out of college you realize you are already behind. I think the issue here is that a lot more men truly have a passion for this geeky stuff, where as most women may look at it as more of a career choice. If my job was to write gossip columns in a magazine I think I would have to kill myself, even if I had a degree in journalism. But a lot of women would love it and succeed in the field, but only a few men would be able to.

"out boy the boys": bad idea (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132087)

I'm a man, so I don't have first hand experience, but when women try to "out boy the boys", it does not work. It can be disastrous. Ignoring it is also bad, because it seems like approval. It seems like the best way is to address it directly and calmly: "I realize I'm the only woman here, so I need to remind you. Let's keep this environment professional and productive. Save the other stuff for after work with your friends." Women should also go to management as needed. Sexual harassment torts are very very expensive and management will want to head those off.

Re:"out boy the boys": bad idea (1)

RockoTDF (1042780) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132323)

True it can be disastrous, but there is nothing that pisses me off more than a new boss/employee who immediately tries to lay down the law based on assumptions about a group that may be untrue.

Where's the problem? (1)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132097)

I don't see a problem. Quite obviously, IT doesn't appeal to women? We have one female member in the development team where I work. She's a very competent Oracle DBA/Developer, and it doesn't seem to me that she may feel isolated (she gets on well with everyone). In fact, there are more Women in the Testing department that Men. What does that tell us? (absolutely nothing).

Whilst it'd be great to have more Women to work with, why is everyone throwing a sh*t-fit over it?

The outlook may be part of the problem (5, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132103)

If the woman interviewed really believes that
"you're representing [females] with a capital F"

Then I'd say she has an issue. My personal experience of working with a lot of women (and yes, even more men) is that if people of either gender behave in a straightforward way, they'll be treated by the vast majority of their co-workers in an appropriate manner.

If someone starts to think they're representing more than themselves, maybe they need to look at their own self-image.

Re:The outlook may be part of the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132167)

In my experience, thinking that they represent "Females with a capital F" is itself a common trait of females. Women stick together much more than men, and not in a good way - they'll take any criticism of a particular female as criticism of females. If a man hears that I'm lazy and smelly, he doesn't here "Men are lazy and smelly" because I'm a man, he hears "That guy is lazy and smelly". If a woman hears that Jane Doe is lazy and smelly, she seems to hear "Women are lazy and smelly". It's as if women have a less robust theory of mind than men, automatically sympathizing even when sympathizing is utterly inappropriate.

Re:The outlook may be part of the problem (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132549)

Actually... I have heard comments along the lines of "We had a woman here before, but she didn't work out..." when I've gone into interview at all-male shops. Some people do, in fact, assume that all people who share a particular trait (skin color, gender, religion, whatever) will be similar in other respects, foolish as that sounds. That kind of stupidity - and it *IS* stupidity since the trait in question has absolutely nothing to do with the ability to do a job - does exist and is much more common than most people think.

When I heard things like that I simply made the decision that the place was not for me, but then, I also had the luxury of being able to be a bit choosy about where I worked since I was never desperate for a job. Anyway, yes, it's a bit of a martyr idea, but the genesis of it is not entirely in a person's head - there is a real (albeit incredibly stupid) basis for it.

This may be unique.. (1)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132115)

.. but a good few of my female colleagues who do technical stuff regularly mass-email amusing porn and are the first to point out and make up innunendo. It works just fine.

It could stem from the fact that... (1)

ttapper04 (955370) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132139)

"causes include pervasive stereotypes and the locker-room atmosphere found in some IT shops" I'm not wearing any pants as I type this.

Re:It could stem from the fact that... (1)

deets (1072072) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132455)

It is more like the "Star Trek Convention" atmosphere.

Slashdot... (1, Informative)

Xeth (614132) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132145)

...has never produced a useful or even tolerable story about women. These replies practically write themselves, and the impact of the paltry few who have any actual experience ia quickly overwhelmed by the torrent of horrifically juvenile +5 funny comments.

Sex harrassment lawsuits, quotas, and worse ! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132149)

Sex harassment lawsuits, quotas, and more "empowerment" issues also cause coworker resentment in larger companies.

The women are sometimes blatant tokens. In many cases they are very inept and despite their juicier-than-normal starting wages usually either are let go, or tolerated for a long while.

The reason is that in all leading IQ tests ever devised in history, the chance of a person having an IQ of 125 is eight times more likely for males than females. Software engineering happens to be a high IQ field. The average IQ is 100 for both genders (8 times as many retards are male, 8 times as many classic autistics are male).

Additionally, it is observed that children of apes and humans both have hardwired differences regarding toy selection. A chimpanzee female child will go after dolls, and a male chimp avoids dolls and seeks mechanical toys such as trucks. This has been shown in many studies. Its a fact. The brains are different and masculinized in the womb and then forward. One university president brought this fact up and was FIRED. FIRED for merely pointing out the chimp-toy study! A simple experiment that is readily verified, again and again.

There are reasons why usa born Phds in physics, math, biology, chemistry are mostly men. Its not sexism. Its raw IQ.

In NASA, managers are FORCED to only promote females and hire females and DISREGARD relative competence, the punishment is no promotion for non-compliant managers. The failed mars missions were headed by no less than three top leads, all female ones, that boasted that they "engineered differently" than men to New York Times reporters. Ka-booom!

Many california corporations above a certain size try the same female-empowerment in male dominated high IQ roles.

Canada passed, and for a while UPHELD a federal law to start paying female stewardesses the same wage as the male jet engine repair mechanics in the repair hangers ! A fight went all the way to the supreme court of canada over it. Look it up. Its true. Canada wants to declare that even UNSKILLED females should get the same pay as high IQ specially trained males.

Everyone can accept that athletes have special genes (fast twitch muscle ratio) or height or blood-oxygen capacity, but nobody likes to admit that intelligence is either inheritable nor associated with gender.

I never met a biological female at any major hacker gathering, nor professional seminars for experts that was skilled, though once I knew of three transgenderred males that attended a WWDC in the late 1990s. Its pretty pathetic when there are more non-biological females than genetically females in the upper strata of the most talented software engineering fields.

- Angry at the political correctness

Re:Sex harrassment lawsuits, quotas, and worse ! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132271)

Would you mind PROVIDING any REFERENCES supporting your OUTLANDISH claims?

We need put the IT back in (0, Troll)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132151)


Re:We need put the IT back in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132527)

I have a strange feeling Cloris [] doesn't find your joke very funny mister.

Advice for EITHER gender: (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132153)

Why is this advice so very, very generic? Does it indicate that there really isn't a definition of the issue, or that there's just no good advice for it. Observe:

Advice: You can balance an IT career with your home life, but it means making choices that are true to your priorities and understanding the trade-offs. "Having it all" is a fantasy.
True for all humans everywhere.

Advice: Join a networking group specifically geared for [your peers], to meet people in similar circumstances who can support one another.
Um, duh.

Advice: [People] in senior IT positions have grappled with issues similar to yours. Find a [person] in a leadership IT role who can be your role model or mentor.
Again, totally obvious.

Advice: Be very clear with your employer on your priorities and the schedule that works best for you. The same goes for your family. Ask them for help in making changes that will work better for you. For many [professionals], it takes courage, personally and professionally, to tell people you need help.
Completely simple, straightforward statement.

Am I missing something?

kids (3, Insightful)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132187)

I'm a man, have worked in the IT industry as a programmer/analyst and taught courses around the technologies I've used. In my experience women tend to cope better than men in the field. Women are often more level-headed, more organized, methodical and devoted to the cause.
I prefer to have women bosses and administrators.
The largest problem I've seen for women is having families because they are stuck with bearing the kids -- that's when women get taken out of the loop. There are always exceptions but often the women -- having born the kids -- often become comparatively more family-oriented than the man who will keep pushing through the industry and stay on top of things. The IT business moves fast. Having a kid can cause you to effectively be taken out of the race. No matter how much it sucks I've seen it happen a lot.
The biological clock factor doesn't help either because you have a limited time, often which could be peak career time, to have kids.

*yawn* (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132189)

The IT professionals interviewed in the Computerworld article discuss a variety of strategies for coping.

Typical female stuff.. get together and share tips for "coping". Are we (successful men AND women) supposed to feel sorry for them? Wanna know my strategy for "coping"? I double down, dominate the problem, improve myself, and come out kicking ass. It never occurred to me that I should complain or change the system. I can only change myself, right?

They range from trying to 'out-boy the boys' to watching what you say, as one Sun Microsystems executive describes:'It's not unusual to be the only woman at a meeting, she says, and because of that, there's often a tendency to remain silent unless you think you have something really remarkable to say. "As one member of a small group, you feel you have no right to be mediocre ... You're not just representing yourself; you're representing [females] with a capital F.'

People like this piss me off. (Some men do it too.) You're NOT representing all females, don't PUT YOURSELF in that role. Maybe other people think that, but WHY DO YOU CARE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK? Do your job!

If you have something to say in a meeting, SAY IT.

Another thing that pisses me off: if you want a raise ASK FOR ONE. Don't just assume that you'll get one, and then complain that you didn't.

And hey guess what. Half the guys in the meeting are ALSO WATCHING WHAT THEY SAY. Guess why!

I guess what it comes down to is this: do you think the workplace is like a "locker room" because work is COMPETITIVE, or because of the MEN? What is the correlation? Hmmmmmmmmmm...

I know plenty of successful women (in business, as mothers, and as people in general). They don't whine about this stuff. My philosophy: if at least one person can achieve the goal you want achieve, YOU CAN TOO.

The best coping strategy I found... (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132195)

... was to treat people as allies right from the get-go. No need to be confrontational just to stake your claim, no need to be ingratiating, no need to be anything but yourself. In every environment I've been in, this strategy has worked wonders for me. The few hostile people who are to be found in any environment will generally be vastly outnumbered by people who are either actively friendly or just want to avoid drama, and making allies out of the majority of people will tend to make it very, very difficult for people who will try to make your life hell just because you're a minority. Making nice (not doormat - just nice) has the other benefit of not alienating people the way that trying too hard does.

Another, often missed vantage. (0, Redundant)

juuri (7678) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132229)

Perhaps there aren't many woman in large groupings of IT positions because those positions suck?

There aren't really very many people in the world for whom the concept of being on call and only being visible to the organization when the shit hits the fan who would find such work appealing. IT is a very mixed bag. Most of the time it is a very low key position with not too many hard deadlines. Then someone breaks and the stress level rises significantly. Then something else breaks in the same window and you quickly outrun your human resources, because few companies actually plan for worst case IT failures. During those windows, everyone is screaming at the IT department, every mistake is logged and magnified, basically you are a whipping boy until you "save the day".

Learn to deal with Nerds (3, Insightful)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132235)

If you want to increase the number of Women in IT I suggest changing your focus. Rather than looking to colleges, try recruiting grade school teachers. They're used to dealing with people who have underdeveloped social skills. At a previous job we had 2 former school teachers they were both able to deal.

Losing ground? Or bailing to easier MD profession? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132243)

Let me see, become MD like most of my colleagues, get second Ph.D., work same amount of time, get more respect and earnings, or stick in IT and have people doubt you all the time?

I'm thinking they wised up that IT is a deadend while our companies outsource like mad, and many jumped ship to "easier" professions like bioengineering and molecular biology, instead of "IT".

But that's what I see here at the UW in Seattle.

You want women to get into IT? Make it a stable well-paying profession where people treat you with respect.

IT != CS (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20132249)

When will people get it through their head that CS and IT are NOT the same thing.

Departments (2, Informative)

NeoTerra (986979) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132295)

In our IT department, the females hold a majority, 4 to 3. Our Helpdesk (which is counted separate...don't know why) is all female, with 5 of them. The makeup of this department is a lot different than any I have worked in before. The telecom and electronics is all male, still, but the total comes out to be 8 to 7 in the favor of females between the three areas.

The article does make some good points. I've seen this in the college level, where the female students just didn't seem to fit in with the rest of the bunch on the higher level. Sometimes because they had a hard time with the learning curve (programming classes dropped by about 40% after mid terms), or they just didn't feel comfortable with the students around them. Those who did make it were very good at what they did.

In short, I do believe it can be harder for them to reach the bar, due to others around them, and I think that can be helped. However I don't think the bar should be lowered to help more get in.

The reasons women go into IT (2, Insightful)

Etherwalk (681268) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132341)

Can be very different--if I remember the studies at my alma mater, they found that more women were in tech before the bubble burst, and the burst had a disproportionate effect, because a larger percentage of the women in tech were interested in it because it was a good thing to do from a career-planning standpoint, while the guys tended to be in it because they loved (or liked) doing it. What stayed fairly stable, I think, was the number of interdisciplinary female students--women in other fields (usually hard sciences) who wanted to have the comp sci background that would be useful for them in their disciplines.

Shouldn't meeting be like this? (4, Insightful)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132397)

...remain silent unless you think you have something really remarkable to say

Shouldn't meeting be like this? Otherwise they go on for hours and hours without much being accomplished. Also, if you think your corp hired someone mediocre when they hired you, you really got more to worry about...

My dream was crushed (2, Funny)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132403)

I've always dreamed about being a bikini and bra model. But because I'm a man, the industry is treating my unfairly, and I could never work in my field, and any attempt was met with cruel ridicule and attacks.

Where are the articles for coping with that, huh :( ?

Let me start it with a joke (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132421)

So we get this out of the way: Erhm...

"The last time I checked, the majority of pages on the web were actually concerned with women. Or, rather, displaying them."

So. While I dodge now the slings and arrows of the feminists out there, let's try to find out what's going wrong here. I mean, we "geeks" pride ourselves that we don't fall for stereotypes, that we don't care about what a person looks like, or how he dresses, but suddenly, when facing a female of the species, everything's forgotten and we actually get hostile should she dare to be better. It's odd. I've actually seen it quite a few times. Race, sexual orientation, even mental disorders? No problem. Female? EEK!

Odd. Maybe we've seen everything else on the net and ... noooo, can't be that. But what the heck is it?

Most women I know... (1)

McNihil (612243) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132441)

are very social types and being "social" with hardware is not a trait usually bestowed upon them in the slightest. And reading up on "Women are from venus..." it is quite evident that IT is more of a cave dweller occupation than anything else.

I don't think this is bad because ultimately it is good to have balance in nature.

Has anyone conversed with a woman that has EVER been "one with the machine" ? I am sure they can be counted quite easy.

I hate to sound sexist... (0, Flamebait)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132445)

but I will.

Women in IT, generally suck at it. They suck as programmers. They suck even more as sysadmins. There is a girl I work with who is the 100% opposite to what I'm saying, so there are definite silver linings, and even I have eaten my words since I had given up on the idea that women would be good at IT.

In the 10 years I've been in IT, this is the first female whom I have met who is willing to learn, do the job, work hard, and has a sense of logic and systematic approach to working in IT. The other women I've met felt a sense of entitlement because they were women, felt a sense they were being put down because they were a woman, and not because they couldn't handle the work. Women I've met (as a sysadmin) wouldn't meet the requirements of moving servers because "I'm a girl!", but then expected to set them up from top to bottom after I'd racked and stacked it for them.

Programming is a similar story. Women I've encountered took a long time to come up with the logic to create a flow, create a procedure. Lots of questions to ask colleagues, lots of back and forth, and little actual code -- too much talking about the code. What they do code is usually well commented and indented (before .NET did it all for you).

I am sorry to say, but if a woman feels that IT is her calling -- she better be good at it. They have a lot more to prove and as a manager myself, I would be wary of hiring a woman because the skills I look for are competence and the ability to 'figure it out' without interference. It's not to say that it cannot be done, but the burden of proof is on the woman in the job. It's unfortunate for sure, but there are similar circumstances where men would not be as aptly suited for a job as a woman would. Would you for example, hire a male decorator over a woman? The answer is MAYBE -- that person would have to prove their work.

Women are no different. It's just that there are so few of them that are able to prove their worth (just as there are so few male decorators), that it seems like a difficult task. Honestly, after meeting the girl in my current job, my respect for her is two times what it would be if she was a guy -- and she gets that from everybody whom she works with because she is competent to do her job. Usually the people who are bitching about fairness and being treated with respect, given the work of their position, trusted with it to be done quickly and efficiently... well they usually suck at their jobs and it's nothing to do with the fact they are women.

No women boss ever again (1)

bigdady92 (635263) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132469)

I've had to work for several women as my 'manager' and I've found them to be the worst managers out of all of them. The are extremely picky, critical, and impatient as they come and never understand that IT tends to require you to have more freedom and originality in thought than other career paths.

1 came from military background
1 came from teaching herself IT
1 came from MBA school

All could not manage their way out of a paper bag while I got male bosses who will bust your butt for doing stupid stuff, which we all do, and understand it's part of the job.

Yes I've had weak male managers but then again I could 'relate' in that way that men can relate to men and work through an issue, but women being overly critcal and motherly just isn't something I want. I can take a male boss calling me a slack jawed lazy bastard in one sentence while asking if that IT relocation is complete while surfing slashdot and telling him via IM nextel style it is and him grunting his acknowledgement.

I'm sure I'll here some psyche major try to analyze this or reason it down to me being "scared, intimidated, brought up by she devils and wolves" or some other nonsense. I find its easier to work for men that it is for women and hence I CHOOSE (gotta love that) that any new place I go find out if my boss is a female I immediately decline the offer and go find something else.

i'm not sexist but... (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132471)

Women never had much ground in IT. At least in my country. Not because they are dumb, or were handicapped by employers. Women are simply disinterested in computers. Yeah, there are exceptions, but exceptions make up a very small percentage. Back in school, we had 1/3 girls of the class, some said they will show the boys how good are they in CS. None of them remained in the field. Not all of the men either, but roughly half of us are still programmers. 95% of the women are simply bored with programming, if they ever do it, it is only to support something else.

My wife's experience (5, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132493)

My wife is a software engineer, and a very good one. She hates working with most women, and this is why she's told me as such:

1) They're catty.
2) They often use the power of the pussy to get out of doing real work.
3) Many of them are there just because someone pushed them into working in IT.
4) Did I mention that many of them are extremely insecure and often viciously attack other women far worse than the men would ever even conceive of doing?

All of the women around me are the "intelligent, strong, independent women" that feminists talk about. Growing up around them, and then being exposed to almost nothing but "normal women" at a liberal arts college made me realize that the personality difference is hard-wired. They're not what women generally are, and that's ok. However, that realization made me have to face the fact that most women should be nowhere near anything technical, anymore than most men should be around a daycare job.

Call me a misogynist if you want, but clearly I am not afraid to simultaneously hold "retrograde views" on women, while being happily married to a woman who has several years on me professionally and makes more than I do at this point. The truth is, if you need to cope with your job, you have no business being there. Either it's the wrong environment or the wrong profession, and for most women, it's the latter.

out-boy the boys (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132517)

That's easy. Just leave wet towels on the floor and fart a lot.

My Right to be Mediocre!! (1)

happy_place (632005) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132523)

As a middle-aged white male, I sure am glad that I still have the right to 'be mediocre'. Sheesh. Talk about the arrogance, "Joe over there, is mediocre, and i want to be just like him!" Since when has the feeling that you can slack off, ever gotten anyone ahead in the world!? We're all trying to do our jobs... despite the fact that it's often boring, soul-sucking, unfeeling, unrewarding drudgery. --Ray

I'm famous... I guess. (3, Interesting)

NJVil (154697) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132559)

Never did I think I would somehow get around to submitting a story that would be accepted by the editors. Never in a thousand years did I think any comment of mine would be cited in a story... especially by CmdrTaco himself. I am truly honored.

Seriously, the irony (or technosocial fiasco if you prefer to look at it that way) of electronic talking Barbie back in 1994 was one of those memorable moments for me because I had just started teaching. Between "Math is hard" and "Let's go shopping" my students and I shared many classroom discussions over related topics (stereotyping, bias, patronizing comments, etc.).

Best coping strategy = get out and do other stuff? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132561)

Why should women be encouraged to work in a field where jobs keep getting outsourced to Elbonia or whichever random country the bosses think of next?

Because women are more willing to settle for lower salaries? While that's a _fact_ (go google for it), lower salaries, strange hours, higher chances of being outsourced are not helpful to women (or men anyway).

So to the women out there, only go into IT if you are really interested (or you get a great offer) - it's not the worst career path but it's not that great a career path for people who aren't that interested.

Go into Law, Management or something else if you're not.

After all look how well Carly Fiorina did - she got a golden handshake for screwing up HP. No IT degree needed- BA in philosophy and medieval history,
MBA in marketing, SM in management.

I think she did very well (for herself) for either being incompetent or not interested in the long term success of HP. Whatever it was I don't think she was really interested in IT.

I would be happy if more women were in IT, but is it really in their interests?

Sometimes, the problem is with the women... (1, Redundant)

that IT girl (864406) | more than 7 years ago | (#20132585)

The problem is with a lot of the women, if you ask me. I'm a woman in the IT field and I like hanging with the guys I work with, we can tell off-color jokes and go out to bars together, and we do that sometimes. The problem is when women demand to be treated the same and then are oversensitive to the way men are just being themselves around her. In order to be treated the same as men, you'd have to understand them and think like them. Women are made differently--equally, but differently. And most women should not only be treated as such, but should REALIZE that. Most women do not really want to be treated the way men treat their peers of the same gender, they just don't seem to realize that men have a different 'code of honor'. Women seem to think that men are always respectful to one another and have this very idealized and very wrong idea of what male/male relationships are like, and I'm guessing it's because men act differently around them. As a result, they get offended by the things men say and do when they're just doing what she requested. Yes, wordy, I'm sorry--I'm a woman! ;) but the point is, most women need to be treated a bit differently in order for them to feel comfortable, they just don't realize it. I feel fortunate that, for the most part, I am better friends with men than women, and I understand the way they think and act. I can enjoy being around 'the guys'. (My boyfriend feels fortunate too, LOL.) But I am an exception, not the rule.
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