Women Leaving I.T.
The article was very informative in identifying many of the challenges facing a woman working in the IT field, such as gender inequity in domestic duties. However, there are other factors which also contribute to the problem which the article did not address. For example:
Bulky Equipment: Computers, monitors, servers, mainframes, microwave antennas and the like can be very heavy and difficult to move around. This can present a challenge to the more delicate female anatomy. As such, it is encouraging to see companies such as Apple developing smaller computers and using flat panel monitors,etc. Let's see more progress in this area.
Physiology: The female body is quite different from the male. Females evolved with wider hips for birthing, and soft bosoms for holding babies against, attributes which can prove detrimental in the IT field. For example, breasts can get in the way of frequent mousing,and the weight of the breasts on the shoulders and back can make it uncomfortable to sit and type for long periods. Likewise the wider female hips can be uncomfortable on a chair designed for men. Solutions to these types of problems can be
addressed through erognomic science.
Brain Chemistry: Harvard Professor Lawrence Summers recently mentioned how women and men have different brain chemistry, as anyone who has spent some time with men and women can attest, they can be very different. Summers noted that the male brain is more attuned to mathematical reasoning and logic, both essential skills for IT types. Evidence for this can be seen for example in the fact that mathematicians have traditionally been men. Hopefully this problem can be addressed in the future through stem cell research and genetic therapy.
The dwindling number of women in IT jobs presents a problem to the workforce, but this problem is surmountable with a little ingenuity.