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Red Or Blue, I'm Usually The Only Woman On The Team
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User Rank: Apprentice
5/28/2014 | 12:45:36 AM
Women are just not interested
You wrote in your article:

"I've heard the argument that women just aren't interested in the field, but in my experience, that's patently false."

But I have found, in my experience, that women are not really interested in technical or engineering fields for the most part. When I went to college for electrical enginneering, I had only about 4 or 5 girls in my class. The calss size wass close to 60 or 70.


User Rank: Ninja
2/13/2014 | 8:55:44 PM
re: Red Or Blue, I'm Usually The Only Woman On The Team
Some things we have to deal with. I was the only male cellist in my community orchestra for a couple of years and women have always been a small minority of brass players (thought there do appear to be more female trumpeters than male flautists). It doesn't at all surprise me that female techies feel a bit lonely with all those male colleagues, but maybe it would help if you thought of yourself as an only daughter with lots of brothers (and there are usually other women in the office with whom one might socialize).

We actually want more she-techies because they tend to look at problems differently than the men do and the differences are valuable. But culture is hard to change, and there's a price for going against the grain that can be lowered, but not eliminated. Regardless, it's one that those wanting to pursue careers they actually enjoy should be willing to pay.

The other thing to remember is that men have just as much of a right to pursue the careers they love (and a lot of us like to tinker) as women do.

It's also the case that most computer professionals need to spend less time socializing with each other and more time hanging out with end users. It seems to me that with women being a small minority, they're more likely to do that than are their male colleagues.
User Rank: Apprentice
1/30/2014 | 8:30:47 PM
re: Red Or Blue, I'm Usually The Only Woman On The Team
>> but there is something to be said for finally seeing someone you can relate to, who looks like you, doing the things you love.

... So you clearly do believe there are innate gender-based differences in peoples interests. Why can't you then accept:

>> I've heard the argument that women just aren't interested in the field, but in my experience, it's patently false.

Actually in my experience as a professional software developer for 35 years its patently true.

>> I can't remember many female role models of my own, except that I was a goth/punk in high school, so Abby from NCIS was a frequent comparison when I told people what I wanted to do with my life.

When I was getting into software I dont remember having or needing any male or female role models. I just discovered I liked programming on my own so I made my own way. actually both my parents were ignorant of computers so were both against it. It seems in order to do something, females more often expect a whole pre-existing support network of encouragement from society/other people, whereas men mostly just get stuck in, dont expect help, suck it up and make it happen on their own, even under adversity.

>> Throughout college, I was secretly fighting tooth and nail to understand concepts, references, and information that my classmates knew from young ages. From what I can tell,this is not uncommon.

So are you saying all men get born with innate STEM abilities that women don't have? ..or that it just came easier for them for some other reason than they had to work hard to learn it too? (both are ridiculous, they all had to put in the same effort as you).

In EVERY company I've worked at as a software developer in 35 years, It seems clear to me that there's actually more than a level playing field. Professional companies are always VERY careful about not being even possibly perceived as being predjudiced on gender/race/religion etc. in fact its usually so PeeCee they tend to overly compensate and actually give women and racial minorities better opportunities than white men of the same ability. This was very noticeably true on my CS degree course but there were still only 4 women and about 30 guys. Women still chose not to do the course even though they had several distinct advantages just because of their gender such as academically lower entrance criteria, and also several female-only programs through the uni for extra financial help for a CS degree. The girls hardly ever did their own coursework either as they were of the mindset that the better approach was to hit on the male CS students to get them do their coursework for them. Needless to say that came unstuck at every exam time when they actually needed to know the subject, so consequently those that didn't flunk just got really low-graded degrees, which was the actual reason the female grads couldn't as easily get jobs in Software Dev companies.

I'm sorry but after 35 years in the biz I just don't believe its any harder for women to be Software Developers than guys at all. You may think its automatically easy for anyone with a penis but it just isn't. It is obvious however that when asked/expected to individually perform the same level of hard work as the guys, many women often expect pity, extra support than a guy, or to get exceptions made just because of their gender.

Being a good software developer takes long-term dedication, it is harder than many jobs and there's nowhere to hide if you aren't actually good. In my opinion thats the only reason why there aren't more women involved. Many women apparently just want an easy life. Easier than what it takes to be a good software dev. And just by being born female, many societies already give them way more options for an easy life than guys ever get (marry a rich guy, be a stay-at-home mom etc etc).
User Rank: Apprentice
1/30/2014 | 8:26:34 PM
re: Red Or Blue, I'm Usually The Only Woman On The Team
Wonderful article. Have been following the Goldieblox concept since it's debut on Kickstarter. Already a top 5 present contender for daughter's upcoming birthday. Continue to push past the humble demeanor that enshrouds peoples perceptions of female STEM. Be fierce!

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