back to article 'Geek' image scares women away from tech industry

Women don't consider IT careers because “the popular media’s ‘geek’ image of the technology field” along with other factors including a lack of female role models and support at home and work “tend to dissuade talented girls from pursuing a tech career.” “Misguided school-age career counselling” is another problem, as it often …

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LDS
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Re: Bollocks.

It doesn't matter if they are produced by men or women. Both knows that the "hot" actress sells the show better even in the "stooge" role (probably because we men are more stupid than women when selecting shows), while that's not true for men. Especially if the main role is performed by a man, the male "stooge" must be dumber and funny to make the main one look more brilliant, while the female one needs usually to be "hot", because a successful man always has "hot chicks" nearby.

Moreover, it is funny to see while IT has become pervasive in actual society, IT roles in shows are still very few and often as described above - or he is the "evil one" trying to create havoc with his knowledge.

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Mushroom

Re: Bollocks.

"But when they portray the "IT guy", he's usually a nerd, fat, graceless, coarse, and clumsy outside IT"

I always find this funny, mainly because quite a few of the IT Guy's/Geeks I know all tend to be big into Triathlon, squash and extreme sports.

Its maybe just an over run from school when they did study all the time and never spent all their time parting and pissing away a future life.

I can't wait for my school reunion in 10 years, where so many of the "cool" kids are now loser adults.

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No role models?

Felicia Day.

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Tut-tut. (was: Re: No role models?)

Admiral Hopper.

We are talking reality here, aren't we?

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IT Angle

Re: No role models?

Since when is Felicia Day an Engineer???

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Re: Felicia Day

Felicia Day doesn't play mere Engineers! She plays Boffins!

She's also a very nice person in real life. Got to meet her at DragonCon where there were lots and lots of female geeks and nerds.

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Re: Tut-tut. (was: No role models?)

Felicia Day double majored in Mathematics and Music Performance and the University of Texas. She is accomplished in quite a few fields of geekery of her own right before we start getting into her career as an actress.

Maybe you should not judge a book by your prejudices of what the cover might or might not say. You know, like the whole point of the article? The queen of the internets is indeed a role model for women nerds of all kinds. From music and maths to acting straight through the truly nerdy pursuits such as tabletop gaming and D&D.

The point of the article is that women feel discouraged from ICT because of the nerdy image. Geek isn’t “cool,” and/or is filled with misogynistic twats, and/or the pursuits of the nerdier members aren’t fun excepting to a small subset of humanity, etc.

I believe that the queen of the internets manages to prove handily – to both genders – not only that female nerds can be awesome, but that they can be fun, attractive, humorous and desirable.

Admiral Hopper is another good example, as is Marissa Meyer and many, many others. The point is that there are indeed role models. From straight-up engineers to more conventional examples. All throughout ICT and nerddom at large.

Now, the fact that some of you lot who remember vacuum tubes with fondness and consistently misplace your teeth so narrowly limit your vision of what a “real” nerd or a “real” practitioner of ICT is to an engineer with an iron ring may in fact mean that you are exactly the kind of douchenozzles that women don’t want to work with. Nerddom in general is larger than that, as is the field of ICT.

Well actually, I think may just be kind of douchnozzles that people in general don’t want to work with, but that’s an entirely separate debate...

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Re: Felicia Day

So you're saying that an actress who plays scientists on TV is a role model for female engineers and programmers? There are tonnes of highly skiled female engineers and programmers. These are role models. An actress is a role model for people who want to act! She may be a very nice person in real life (I've never met her) but your whole comment about female geeks and nerds just confused the Hell out of me. What has DragonCon got to do with programming? Why is the presence of women at DragonCon relevant to women being turned off programming? Please tell me you are not confusing an interest in dragons with studying computer science or similar!

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Pint

Re: Felicia Day

A) There's more to ICT than programming.

B) She is a programmer as well, which was my point; being an actress is one amongst her many talents, and not even the one she spends most of her time at or earns the majority of her revenue from. (I would in fact argue that would be project management.) The fact that most IT nerds can't look past the surface of things is a big reason for women not to want to have anything to do with ICT, and you are very sadly falling into that trap.

C) Working in ICT - for better or worse - means having some understanding of the culture that a significant chunk of ICT nerds wholeheartedly embrace. Felicia Day proves that you can not only understand this culture, but embrace it wholeheartedly without being “uncool,” or otherwise falling into some nerdy stereotype.

In other words, here is a woman with a Math degree, who does indeed program, is a writer, director, actress, musician, entrepreneur and more besides. She proves you can be a nerd and still engage in other hobbies. She proves that being a nerd can be a positive thing.

For all intents and purposes, she proves that being a mathematician, programmer and other such “nerdly” pursuits doesn’t mean not having a life. She demonstrates that there need not be a reason to fear being a nerd.

Though you are doing your damndest to give a damned good reason why perhaps people should be.

Beer, because live a little.

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Pint

Re: Felicia Day

Against my common sense, I eyeballed this person's website. She's an actor. And a wannabe singer. And a wannabe producer. She is NOT, by any stretch of the imagination an "IT goddess" who I would recommend to my nieces at as a roll model ...

Methinks Mr. Pott has a crush on her, and has lost his sense of reason.

Beer, because it's Friday evening & there is about to be a ballgame on telly :-)

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Re: Felicia Day

Who said anything about "goddess," oaf?

Yes, her day job is as an actress. She does some singing, a lot of producing, directing, writing and is a hell of a musician with a number of different instruments. That’s cool, and fine, but the point is that she is a geek.

One who knows how to fix her own computer, knows how to program in a few different languages and otherwise has geeky credentials in addition to the acting. You might disdain that she chose acting instead of STEM, (despite having the background to pursue any of a dozen STEM careers,) but frankly, who the hell are you to judge anyone?

Is she an all-star engineer or programmer? No. She’s a geek, and one that demonstrates that you can be a geek without being an introverted, socially inept buffoon. That’s important, because a reasonable number of women fear getting into anything STEM related because they fear becoming a socially inept dork. Bizarrely, to people without aspersers, things like the ability to socialise with other human beings matters. Our species is funny that way.

At the end of the day however, the number one reason people fear going into IT, jake, is working next to people like you.

Can’t say I blame them.

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Re: Felicia Day

My wife can do all that this woman does with computers. My wife's a horse trainer/breeder and my right-hand-person here at the Ranch (or maybe I'm her right-hand-person ... blurry line there). My wife is not a geek. She's a horse trainer.

Ability to use a computer & tehintrawebtubes doth not a geek make. It just makes you a tool user. Which is kinda what makes HomoSap HomoSap.

I'm not judging her, Mr. Pott, I'm commentarding on your opinion. It'd totally crack me up to have her weigh in here ... pardon while I drop her an email with a link ;-)

And might I add that the type of ad hominem commentardary that you have been displaying here *probably* keeps more people out of IT than my realistic view of the world.

As a side note, that's "Asperger syndrome" or "AS", not "aspersers". Unfortunately for my IT career, I do not have that particular issue. I have hired many folks who do, though.

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Re: Felicia Day

What a lot of personal attacks. You don't seem to understand people's issues. I've never met her. She may well be very gifted at mathematics. And that's a good thing. She may also be a wonderful person. (Though we'll just put down the "Queen of the Internets" thing to your crush, shall we?). The point is that you keep raving about how she is a "Geek" and the question that is being put to you is how on Earth does being a "geek" make one a role-model for people wanting to become programmers? You talk about her playing scientists on TV or computer games or appearing at "Dragoncon". I fail to see what any of these have to do with computer programming. There seems to be some incredible short in your brain whereby being a "geek" (which I interpret as some American High School export vaguely to do with being into comics and computer games) has to do with, e.g. being a programmer or an engineer. There's no intrinsic link - just this weird sub-culture that infects the profession in the USA. It doesn't match up with my actual professional experience in the business in over a decade as a programmer. There have been some people in places I've worked that were into comics. A few more that were into gaming (as that's a pretty mainstream hobby). And the occasional one that had a beard and smelled bad (one). But of the three biggest "geeks" in my professional and social circle, two of them are unemployed and couldn't write Hello World. A third is a nice guy but works in Sales (similarly knows nothing about IT) and a fourth who likes to talk about Star Trek is, quite frankly, a really lousy programmer (though slowly getting better).

There's no intrinsic link between IT work and "geek culture", barely a superficial one. And when looking for role-models for female IT professionals, you keep touting someone because they are a "geek". That's the issue. Felicia Day - having done a quick search - is stunningly attractive. From what you've said, she's also very smart. So by all means have your enormous Internet crush on her. I could practically have one myself if I were inclined. But please stop saying that a role-model for a young girl with an interest in programming, is an actress and celebrity gamer, rather than, you know, someone who is actually a female programmer by profession.

And if, by any chance, Felicia Day reads this - please accept my apologies and be assured I'm not denigrating anything about you. I'm just taking issue with Trevor_Pott's stereotyping and muddled thinking. Because the Geek image *does* put people off programming. Girls and boys, I'm sure of it. The sooner we can detach this "Geek" image from an otherwise fun but ordinary profession, the better for the field. No career should have a cultural stereotype attached to it which dissuades people from outside that culture from trying it.

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Re: Felicia Day

It's interesting to me to see your prejudices showing through in your comments.

Obviously if a male respects a female, he must "have an enormous crush on her," right? There's no other possible reason. Personally, I think she's cute; but frankly, not that cute. There's no reason to go ga-ga over Felicia Day because of sheer looks; Hollywood provides us dozens of tarted up this-or-that that are far more to my personal taste, even several who play geeks on TV.

Secondly, I didn't yammer on about her playing scientists on TV. That's a day job, as far as I am concerned, and something that you have chosen to focus on. It’s frankly the element of her professional and hobbiest life I find least interesting. (Honestly, I’m far more interested in her musicianship and writing.)

But whether or not you choose to admit it, people do avoid ICT and STEM jobs because of the “geek” stigma. They don’t want to be around geeks. They don’t want to BECOME geeks. Whether or not ICT and STEM fields are in fact populated by geeks (and to what actual percentage) is irrelevant. perceptions of such is huge.

So there are important classes of people in my mind that we need to get out in front of those who would be turned off by working next to raging geeks. The first are individuals like Felicia Day who is in fact a gigantic geek…but also pulls that off as “okay.” She’s not an introvert, she’s not shunned, she’s not the kind of person you chain to a desk and throw snickers bars at over the roof while yelling “keep working.”

She’s popular. She’s respected. She’s even fawned over by a reasonable chunk of 20-somethings. The concept that geeks aren’t scary – and can in fact be awesome – is important for the short term. Because in the short term, there is still a significant chunk of the population that cannot separate “raging geek” from ICT or STEM. So we need to make “being a geek” okay.

The next sort of person that is important to get out there are ICT/STEM workers who have nothing to do with geekdom at all. Gearheads, outdoors types, gardeners, writers, you-name it. Demonstrate a diversity within the field that shows a lack of cultural monoculture.

Unlike you however, I see that both are absolutely necessary. I understand the engineer’s approach of “picture only the best possible scenario and work towards that,” but we aren’t’ dealing with machines. We’re dealing with people. Group dynamics on a scale of hundreds of millions. That means planning for transitionary events, and spending more time planning on how to get from “extant to perfect” as it does trying to design the perfect solution itself.

It may well be that we will never separate ICT/STEM from the geek mystique, so we need people like Felicia Day to make geekiness seem “okay.” At the same time, we need to strongly encourage non-geeks so that all these related fields experience a diversity of experience, opinion and viewpoint.

So Felicia Day is a good role model in my mind. She is one of two necessary types. One that demonstrates that “geek can be cool.” Not just fake geeks “as seen on TV,” but she’s a real geek, in real life, with real geekly skills and qualifications. Even if you yourself don’t aspire to geekdom, it’s a wonderful thing to have this person out there showing geeks aren’t to be feared.

But this conversation has a much darker side. Certainly there are commenters in this thread who can’t help by try to define ICT/STEM according to their own beliefs. You yourself are guilty: constantly equating ICT with “programming,” to the apparent exclusion of all the other skillsets involved in ICT.

Others push engineering, some will push maths…but the point is that it is all absolutist thinking. Rigid, inflexible. “This is what it means to be X” is just one more way of saying those who want to enter the field must rigidly conform to something.

The correct approach is to take each and every individual on their own merits, and see what they bring to the table. There’s a hell of a lot more to ICT and STEM than programming, or engineering, than maths or any other one skill/belief/cultural element you can name.

So I do not proclaim Felicia Day as “the one true role model for aspiring ICT/STEM entrants.” I think she is one amongst many that are important, though for reasons you may not grasp. Similarly, I think Admiral Hopper is important, for completely different reasons. I’d also list Marie Curie, Maud Menten, Jane Goodall, Sally Ride and Marissa Meyer (off the top of my head) as relevant role models to ICT and/or STEM, each and every one for a different reason.

The absolutist binary thinking of people in this thread scares me. On/off. This or that. “Addresses all cases or none of them.”

“Why don’t more [people in general, with women as an important subset] go into ICT and/or STEM” is a hugely complex topic. All sorts of people are needed to help solve it. What isn’t needed is snark, condescension and constantly trying to put people in boxes.

Solving the recruitment problem requires both making geeks less scary and the long, slow slog of decoupling geekdom from ICT/STEM in the public eye.

AND.

Not OR.

Footnotes:

First; you are correct, I did lash out at jake. That’s because I personally dislike him. Intensely. He may be playing the roll of troll online, or he may in fact be a gigantic douchenozzle in real life. The effect as far as I am concerned is identical. He is a downer. He rarely has anything positive to say, constantly criticises everything and everyone, except when he is agreeing with someone else’s criticism.

Most of his criticism is in the form of unprovable statements of opinion, and/or statements that are – at best – controversial. (I.E. there is no preponderance of evidence to prove his hypothesis versus any of the competing ones.) Indeed, he will often make statements that go against the preponderance of evidence, but which he asserts to be true because of his vastly superior intellect having carefully considered his personal experiences and extrapolated the sum totality of the human condition and the optimal life choices for all human beings on the face of this earth.

So I fell entirely confident in saying that his personality would remain a blight on any field he chose to occupy, and that any field evidencing a statistically higher-than-average percentage of individuals like him is likely to become one avoided by any number of subgroups.

Secondly, to put the pointless speculation about my “internet crush” to bed, Felicia Day isn’t it. I respect her immensely, but she is in the same category to me as Wil Wheaton: someone I want to interview, talk about their successes and failures, pick their brains and maybe even play some DnD with. My interest is professional, with respect for their roles as ambassador for my subculture.

They serve a role to me similar to that of “politician.” They represent a group of people (geeks), and we have elected them by popular acclaim. I’d certainly prefer them representing my subculture than Stephen Fry!

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Pint

Mr. Pott.

You have talent as a writer. I'd personally like to see more of your output over the years. Unfortunately, you seem to have issues with criticism. Which is part & parcel of writing publicly. Lashing out at critics isn't a good career path. If you have a mentor, I strongly suggest you have them review this thread with you.

If you don't have a mentor, get one.

Beer, because ... well, just because.

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Facepalm

Re: Felicia Day

"It's interesting to me to see your prejudices showing through in your comments. Obviously if a male respects a female, he must "have an enormous crush on her," right?"

No, it was your multiple paragraphs talking about how lovely she was, that she was the "Queen of the Internets", how you'd got to meet her at Dragoncon, that you've now written 20+ paragraphs on this and the general squeeing. So don't state that I think the only reason a man might respect a woman is because he fancies her. I'm talking about you and your extended praise for her for things that have nothing to do with the subject at hand.

"But whether or not you choose to admit it, people do avoid ICT and STEM jobs because of the “geek” stigma. They don’t want to be around geeks. They don’t want to BECOME geeks"

I'm starting to think you're actually not very bright. I've been saying repeatedly that the geek stereotype puts people off a career in programming et al. You repeatedly respond by holding up Felicia Day as an example of a Geek who is popular / successful / whatever. When the point that I have stated so clearly that everyone but you seems to get it, is that the Geek stereotype should not have anything to do with programming at all in the first place. Everything else is irrelevant. Get rid of IT stereotypes and no-one has to give a shit whether geek is seen as cool, ostrasized or anything else. The more you get rid of cultural stereotypes associated with a career, the more *everyone* is free to pursue that career without worrying about social implications.

And yet you still have this incredible short-circuit in your brain, implicit in throughout your epic post where you talk about "making geeks less scary" or putting Felicia Day in the same role model category as Grace Hopper or Marie Curie! You think "Geek" is part of IT. It isn't. Most of the geek type people I know have nothing to do with IT. Most of the IT people I know have little to do with Geekiness.

We don't need or want to "make geekiness seem okay" as you put it. We want to get rid of the whole idea that "geekiness" has any intrinsic connection to IT. How, when I've explained that clear as day mutliple times, you can still keep coming back to the idea that Felicia Day is a role model for female programmers and IT workers, is at this point just mystifying. I think the problem with recruiting women to IT is someone like you. I picture you waiting at the door of a University saying to girls "hey - I'm glad you're okay with being a geek. Don't worry, it's really cool to be a geek. Look at Felicia Day. She's popular". It makes no more sense to me than if you greeted architecture students the same way, or music students, or History students.

You're like a medieval theologian who can't get their head around the concept of atheism, who keeps failing to understand that your Geek subculture is utterly irrelevant to most of us who work in IT. It's a weird US export that's not really wanted by the rest of us who just want to work in IT because we find it a satisfying career.

And as you seem provoked into writing multiple refutations of any notion that you fancy Felicia Day, methinks the lady doth protest too much. Having looked her up, she's stunningly beautiful and I can't imagine many straight men not wanting to be with her. She looks like most of us could only dream of looking. But unless she's actually a programmer, she's hardly a role-model for girls who want to be programmers. Just try to get that into your head.

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Gawd/ess.

The tech world has always been about ability. Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach[1].

My daughter can code circles around me in the C-based languages. She's drawing about 65% more total annual compensation in her job than I ever did in my 9-5 career. I think she's awesome!

[1]I teach. I taught her :-)

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Women in IT

In my 20 years in college and the working world, I have only met one female sysadmin (self-taught, as one tends to be), a few female programmers (and they didn't remain as programmers) and a few female DBAs (almost all of whom are Indian, Chinese or from the former Communist Bloc).

Those women I know who studied Computer Science in the 90's have gone on to work in the Civil Service (but not at the codeface, so to speak) or become technical analysts, writing documentation, user stories and generally being responsible for the translation of business logic in technical documents. None of them, that I know of, have stopped what they were doing on account of motherhood.

I suppose, if I had to summarise in general terms, all of these women seem to chosen fields where there is much more human contact than there is at the codeface.

One last point: when I was stuying science in the 1990s, roughly half of the students overall were female in both first year and fourth year. The proportion of women to men was much higher in the biological sciences and conversely lower in the physical and chemical sciences. Computer Science was about one third women. The Engineering faculty was even worse. they had about 10% women, if what I was told was correct. Excluding the students of Computer Science, the dept of Mathemathics, however, had more women than men.

To what extent is this nurture / social influence and to what extent is nature? Is the whole engineering aspect so unappealing to women?

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Re: Women in IT

Isn't the basic deal that any subjects that might be imagined to have a significant component of maths or have definite exam (shock!) answers that aren''t a matter of debate, and also can't easily be learned by rote or submitted slowly in low volume as part of term-based-modules, are avoided? Have to say a lot of guys have headed down this route too, generally because they were slackers at heart - History of Art and Royals anyone? ;)

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We have loads

We have quite a few women in our office, around 60%. In our first and second line teams there are more women than men. Oddly there are no women in the 3rd line team, simply we've never had one apply for the role when ones been available. We also have a few female programmers too.

I struggle to see the image problem these days. Back when computers were new then the engineers were no doubt 'nerds', these days though everyone understands and uses technology. In my opinion everyone who owns a smartphone, the internet, streams movies, posts on social networks is a geek, which I define to be someone who embraces and uses technology, not just supports it.

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Holmes

FTFY

Everyone USES technology.

Few people UNDERSTAND it.

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Re: Oddly there are no women in the 3rd line team

Same here. Third line is 100% male, and that's only because the women in our IT team don't /want/ to be in third line.

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Anonymous Coward

So what?

There seems to be a huge amount of effort trying to get women into IT. How come there is no effort in trying to have more male nurses or school teachers? Anyone ever hear of international conferences trying to get more men into nursing or teaching? Thought not.

Why is women not liking or wanting to do IT a problem anyway?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So what?

because if there's an industry with too few men its because men aren't interested in the role. If there's an industry with too few women its because men are keeping them out of the roles one way or another. Events like this are bught on by feminazis pulling unrelated figures out of their collective asshole and claiming its the fault of men, when its simply a case of women aren't interested in the career.

And yet its these same people who advocate sexist measures like women only jobs / classes / lessons and clubs, even though the male only counterparts are no longer allowed, lest they be shot down as sexist.

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WTF?

Re: So what?

Actaully there has been a huge push to get male teachers into schools. Still no need to use a search engine, as I have provided some lnks for you.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-14748273

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2102759/Why-boys-failing-grade-classroom-Lack-male-teachers-reason-according-new-study.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/primaryeducation/8734967/No-male-teachers-at-4500-primary-schools-figures-show.html

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Re: So what?

I, personally, would be scared to become a teacher. All it takes is one student to complain about inappropriate behaviour and your career is ruined. Such accusations never go away.

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Re: So what?

Having worked in primary schools, i couldnt teach the kids without wanting to give half of them a good clip round the ear, thinks that why theres so few of them any more.

(And yes i got a few clips myself from teachers growing up, hurt at the time but dont hold it against them now im older and wiser)

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@deadlockvictim

... and that's cited as the number one reason why men don't get involved in primary-school teaching anymore.

On women in IT - The "nerd" image is possibly due to the larger portion of people with mild Autism-spectrum disorders who work in IT compared to other industries (compare with the disproportionate number of building architects who have dyslexia, or the number of social workers who are innumerate), but most of the people I work with are male, but also communicative, empathic, understanding and friendly. However, as such, they don't stick out from the general population. Stereotypes are always exaggerated, but they come to define industries.

This isn't a female thing, either: I (a male) feel the same way about the image of IT. Despite being a programmer for nearly 30 years, I have never identified with the "nerd", "geek" or "hacker" stereotypes. In fact, I think they're ultimately bad for the industry, because they are self-fulfilling, and will eventually leave us with a population of obsessive monomaniacs who will struggle to meet the needs of customers who are drawn from a much more diverse population.

If only "nerds" are valued in programming roles (and I'm looking at Google, here, as one of the worst examples of this hiring policy), eventually that's all you'll get in the industry.

You don't need to be super-brainy to be a programmer: imagination, a grasp of logical reasoning and an ability to write clearly will get you very far. The thing is, at the age where kids make their university (and thus career) choices, girls and boys have very different values. Girls of this age value community and friendship much more highly - often excessively so - than boys do, and any career that has such strong connotations with being an outsider will never appeal to them, regardless of their ability to do well in it.

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JC_

@AC 07.47

5 upvotes for a post blaming "feminazis"? Isn't this exactly the mysogynistic attitude that discourages females from working in the tech-industry? It's certainly a strange attitude to have.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So what?

Of course, it could be that people compare figures from different countries and when they see significant disparities identify it as a cultural problem rather than something related to gender biology. For example, in Portugal college mathematics is female-dominated, while male students gravitate to prestige subject of engineering. Naturally Portuguese would find the idea, sometimes heard in the UK, that girls can't do maths rather silly.

Similarly academics may study performance metrics from single-sex and co-educational education and find that girls perform better in single-sex education while boys do better in a mixed environment. Also, academics may also find that boys and girls have different learning styles. So, while teaching style has historically been changed to suit girls better (having identified a performance deficit in secondary education) there's some advocacy for mixed schools with single-sex classes to help improve average performance.

Not being concerned about men in nursing is easily explained: women can be paid less to do the same job. Which, if you think about it, provides economic imperative to get more women in all industries.

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Interestingly, when I visit my company's Bangalore office, I'd say there was easily an equal number of female and male software engineers.

Any thoughts/opinions on why that might be when compared with the situation here in the UK?

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Anonymous Coward

@ChrisCabbage

Because some of the ones in the UK are actually competent in IT (regardless of gender)?

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Flame

I'll take this one ;)

While it's technically possible your company may have sited its office there on a mission to specifically hunt down all the Admiral Grace Hoppers of the subcontinent, I feel they may actually be interested in other criteria, hence the population distribution of the office oddly more resembling the non-IT part of the population :P

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I'd be happy about this

Women are a nightmare in the workplace. They'll stab all backs necessary to get the poxy extra 5k promotion. All too frequently amoral, conniving and treat the workplace like their own personal playground for bitching. No interest in company profit - total interest in appearances and their position as alpha female.

Not universal, but yes, all too common.

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WTF?

Re: I'd be happy about this

That's odd - bar one particular manager many years ago, it's always been MEN who have screwed me over in the office (in the metaphorical sense of course!). Often not even for promotion, but just so they are seen in a better light than me or to transfer the blame for their screw ups

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Yag

"No interest in company profit - total interest in appearances and their position"

This is the basic definition of most managers I ever met...

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Re: I'd be happy about this

So basically the same as men, then?

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Look at the title: Manager of Global Public Policy for Facebook. the lady is just not an IT person. The next best thing would be getting the marketing dept and ask them why no gurl is coding your servers.

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What A Load Of Bull$hit

The politcally incorrect truth is that girls are turned off by dealing with machines for weeks and months without end.

Evolution made female Homo Sapiens the Child-Care-Giver and it is quite hardwired into their brains. Equally, men don't have breasts and have been traditionally been responsible for doing stuff outside the nest; which includes building thinhs, houses, bridges and of course war. War is very much related to technology and has ever been. Those with a better longbow can kill both animals and competing clans better than others. So men have technology hardwired into their brains. Little kids feel much more comfortable with women than men. Probably also hardwired.

So what ? It is incompatible with Feminist Dogma ? Yeah, then better suppress it and pretend some crap ideology is the truth. Forget the scientifc principle if it concerns any sort of idealist matron.

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Re: What A Load Of Bull$hit

V. funny. Oh wait, you're serious? Okay then, I presume as a rational male, you like the scientific method, i.e. you are willing to put your hypothesis (it's not worth calling a theory) to an actual test.

If it's biological in basis, how come you see vastly different gender ratios along cutural lines? How come in India there is a massively massive bigger proportion of women as programmers than in the USA? How come the farther East you drift from the USA, across Europe and into Asia, you see less and less gender division in IT?

I await your unsupported, unresearched assertions that somehow positive cultural influences outside the USA (which of course should be considered the Natural state), overwhelm the underlying biological tendencies that you have faith *ahem* sorry, that you know to be there.

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Flame

Re: What A Load Of Bull$hit

Some points:

A) Kids do indeed feel more comfortable with women, especially when they are small, sleepy or sick. Open your eyes or ask your friends who have kids. Even if daddy tries his very best.

B) Girls are indeed much more fascinated by dogs, horses and all sorts of other mammals than boys. Just visit the local horse farmer and you will see. I count that on the mammal care-for-cute-mammal instinct.

C) Girls are much more likely to enter certain educational routes such as Nurse, Midwife, Childcare, Teacher, Coiffeur - professionals related to dealing with human beings.

D) Technologies invented by women suck. Just have a look at COBOL and compare it with FORTRAN.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What A Load Of Bull$hit

@Wilbut - You are John McCririck ICMFP

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What A Load Of Bull$hit

@ Wilbur

You're wasting your breath mate. Libtards won't listen to you because you have the audacity to hold a viewpoint that differs from their own.

It doesn't matter that you're right, any ability to reason that they might possess will be utterly consumed in a tidal wave of self-righteous fury which manifests itself as a massive hissy-fit.

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Facepalm

Re: What A Load Of Bull$hit

So basically, run, run, run away from actual empirical evidence and fall back on argument by assertion that "girls are indeed more fascinated by dogs and horses". :D :D :D

I only asked a very simple logical question. And you scarpered away from even pretending to answer it and hid behind logic that would make a Creationist blush. Too funny. As to programming languages created by men and women, first and foremost, they are programming languages created by *people*.

Anyway, I would like to thank you for helping undermine the idea that men are inherently more logical than women. By existing.

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WTF?

Re: What A Load Of Bull$hit

"Forget the scientifc principle if it concerns any sort of idealist matron."

Right.

"Equally, men don't have breasts" - apply scientific thought to that one, and get back to us on the result, please.

"... and have been traditionally been responsible for doing stuff outside the nest" - tradition is not, much to the sadness of many, evolution.

"So men have technology hardwired into their brains"

Eliza Murfey, 1870, patented 16 devices for improving bearings for rairoad-car axles.

Mary Walton, 1879, created a method for reducing emissions from smoke stacks.

Mary Anderson, 1903, invented the windshield wiper.

Randice-Lisa Altschul, 1999, a number of patents for a disposable cell phone.

Erna Schneider Hoover, 1954, created the computerized telephone switching system

Patsy Sherman, 1973, patent for Scotchguard.

Let's not even talk of Marie Curie, Grace Hopper or even Lady Ada.

Some men can't assemble IKEA shelves. Some can't change tires. To claim they have technology hardwired into their brains is to say some men are braindamaged.

Scientific principle my arse.

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Anonymous Coward

It's because there's no fit blokes innit?

Perhaps the females who are dissuaded from taking up a certain career path because of the image portrayed by the media, would be better suited to something like, oh , i dunno...Beauty Therapy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's because there's no fit blokes innit?

If that keeps them away from engineering I am all for it. Can't they do research on that subject ??

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Anonymous Coward

'Oh no, not again' - David Bowie, 'Ashes To Ashes' (1980)

Or, to paraphrase Shaw, 'Must we have a 'Get More Women Into IT' drive in every generation / For the benefit of those who have no imagination?'

Clue :- What IT needs is not more women. It needs fewer of a certain type of men. Then the women will arrive naturally. Same reason, in fact, that there are virtually no men in Weight Watchers.

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WTF?

Re: 'Oh no, not again' - David Bowie, 'Ashes To Ashes' (1980)

"What IT needs is not more women. It needs fewer of a certain type of men."

What, you meqan the nerdy types who are bloody good with computers? Yeah , great idea, swap them for some touchy feely metrosexuals instead. They might not know one end of a usb stick from the other but they'll be a great shoulder to cry on when Sharon has another bust up with her boyfriend.

Meanwhile, how shall we persuade all those women who like being around small children to leave primary school teaching so we can persuade tough guys to do it?

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