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.