Discussions

News: Still No Answers to Address Gender Inequity in Programming and Development

  1. Is there really no solution to the gender inequality gap in the IT industry?

    And of course, it's not really the IT industry in general, because there are women in the IT industry. There are plenty of women in IT recruiting. There are plenty of women in middle-management jobs where there is no need to compile code or edit a while loop. And there are plenty of women doing documentation or even gathering user requirements. But there's a complete and total dearth of female programmers.

    And what's frustrating about the issue is that there are very few theories as to why the discrepancy exists, and even fewer ideas on how to address it.

    Christin Gormon asserts in her article The Token Woman that perhaps the glut of female programmers could be blamed to a certain extent on a self-fulfilling prophesy, where less is expected from women in the field, and as a result, female programmers tend to be put under the microscope to a greater degree than their male counterparts. The resulting unpleasantness then pushes women out of development and into other peripheral fields.

    In a reply to a Mitchell Pronschinske's DZone article on the topic, Andrew McVeigh makes the point that the love of video games at a young age gives males an early interest in technology, and that perhaps the interest young women now have in smartphone and tablet like devices will push more women into taking an interest in application development in years to come.

    Regardless of reasons, the gender discrepancy is a problem, and it's obvious to anyone that has attended a Java conference or worked on an open source project that there are very few women in the high paying field of development and computer programming. And what's sad is that there really doesn't seem to be anything the industry can do about it.

     

     

     

    Threaded Messages (14)

  2. Ideally gender/race discrimination should not exist.

    Women say - they are exploited. Men say- women don't work. Who is correct?

     

  3. Men say- women don't work. Who is correct?

    Men who say that are just idiots, it's better to ignore their meaning altogether.

  4. Men say- women don't work. Who is correct?

    Men who say that are just idiots, it's better to ignore their meaning altogether.

    what about a superior race? shouldn't whites be superior race than Asians?

  5. it's a self selecting process[ Go to top ]

    You could ask the same question about why there are so few women trash truck drivers, plumbers, painters, gardeners, auto mechanics, airline pilots, etc.  There are many jobs that women simply aren't interested in doing.

    IT seems like one they ought to be interested in since it's an office job and you don't get dirty and have to do heavy lifting but it's a geeky job, and in my experience, women aren't interested in geeky technical stuff.

    I worked at a university where we had lots of women in the IT departments, but they all looked at their job as a 9-5 wage earning job; none of the women programmers found it interesting, enjoyable, or fulfilling.

    Here's another example; considering how many women programmers there are, why are there practically zero women involved in open source?  I think it's because the guys find programming fun and interesting while women do not.  I think it's inherent in their makeup, not anything due to their environment while growing up.

  6. Women indeed lacks of interest for it[ Go to top ]

    From my own experience, all the woman programmer I've met said they didn't feel anything like a difference a treatment in the programming industry between men or women... or a positive difference, as being so rare, they quickly become more helped and loved by the staff they are working with. (honestly, when you have twenty guys around you every day, you surely want the only girl being here to stay and bring a feminine touch, so you tend to treat her well, that's true)

     

     

    The problem doesn't come from the industry: it comes from the candidates.

    Women being candidates to learn how to put together thousand of lines of codes are just very rare. Ask any programming school: they just don't ask to enter in this field. It's even surprising to actualy find one female candidate asking to become a IT student among fifty candidates.

    The IT work is just looking repelling to most women. That is the simple truth.

     

    "Why do they find it repeling?" is another question. But you could as well ask why there is so few men in accounting or human ressources, that, from my observations have often a 80/20 ratio in favor of women.

    Are men being descriminated in those kind of jobs?

    No, they just are just few to want to pick them, that's all. And "Why?" is still the same unanswered question for them.

  7. http://www.cypress.com/?rID=34986

  8. glut?[ Go to top ]

    English is not my primary language... I read that glut is "a situation in which there is more of sth than is needed or can be used" (opp: shortage). Is my dictionary wrong or...?

    About she-programmers... I'd love to see more of them, but then I don't see this as a problem that should be solved from the outside. My wife is a programmer, never felt anything strange about being woman in her company. But others may be treated differently or feel it that way. But can this be mended by any pushing of this agenda? I doubt it.

  9. Glut[ Go to top ]

    English is not my primary language... I read that glut is "a situation in which there is more of sth than is needed or can be used" (opp: shortage). Is my dictionary wrong or...?

     

    Dearth or a similar word. Glut of males not females.

  10. Well, who cares?[ Go to top ]

    Many people would say that the cause lie in genetic predisposition, or perhaps they would just think it. Of course, one could also argue that women are simply a lot smarter than men and simply aren't really interested in sitting 12 hour a day behind a computer screen to finish something a marketing guy came up with that you know should be done differently but that you are forced to do anyway. Or perhaps it is in fact that we give boys toy cars and girls pink dolls. In any case, the only people who tend to be really interested in resolving this issue are the men who are doing the actual programming, because let's face it, it's just more fun to have some women around at the friday afternoon social.

  11. It wasn't always like this[ Go to top ]

    Before electronic computers the word computer meant someone who performed calculations for a living. This was considered 'women's work'. The code breakers in WWII were women. Ada Lovelace wrote the first program for the Babage machine. 

  12. A cultural issue[ Go to top ]

    A child often refers to its parent to select an education and then a job. How many parents say to their daughter "that's not a women' job" when refering to scientifics domains and jobs ?

    My company does off-shoring with Vietnam and the staff there is almost 50/50 - yes as programmers (mostly Java and .Net) ! There is no such gap between genders in vietnamese's culture (to sum up my opinion in really/too short sentence: a mix between boudism and some reminders of communism) : anyone should work, whatever the job is.

     

  13. "where less is expected from women in the field, and as a result, female programmers tend to be put under the microscope to a greater degree than their male counterparts."

    That people are put more under the microscope when less is expected of them seems to defy logic.  Maybe if I think a developer needs more hand-holding, I might pay more attention to his/her work until I find that it's not an issue.  In general, the more visible you are the more is expected of you and your performance is judged with a higher degree of detail as expectations rise.

    Where I am employed, we have a relatively high number of female developers and quite frankly, I think the idea that sexism and/or bias in the IT industry is the primary cause of the lack of females in development is hogwash.  It takes quite a bit of dedication to gain the skills required to excel in this field and we can't force people to want to do it.

    If we want to know why this is the case, perhaps someone should do a study and ask women why they aren't going into computers.  Someone could do surveys at colleges and ask why they didn't choose computer science.  A lack of women in computer careers is not proof of bias or sexism.  You have to look at the number of applicants versus how many are hired to even begin to make this kind of argument.

  14. This is silly[ Go to top ]

    What's the problem? Not enough women at Java conferences? Order in.

  15. yes, silly[ Go to top ]

    Although discrimination is a problem we can all contribute to, finding its root is a job for the social disciplines, not the technical.  Truly silly, asking nerds how to get girls.