Archive for January 23, 2013
Interesting piece from Forbes, an interview with several female technical leaders about why there are too few women in technology.
In the past, technology jobs were viewed by women as populated by men in basements, working alone, as an organ of the computer. Harvey Mudd’s President, Maria Klawe compiled her own research and offered a more substantive explanation, “We’ve done lots of research on why young women don’t choose tech careers and number one is they think it’s not interesting. Number two, they think they wouldn’t be good at it. Number three, they think they will be working with a number of people that they just wouldn’t feel comfortable or happy working alongside.”
But, in today’s world, those views are officially over. Technology careers are interesting, women are great at it, and they get to work alongside extraordinary men and women. Being technology illiterate just doesn’t cut it anymore. It can’t when so many more job functions require so much more technical know-how.
That’s my point. It’s not just that we have to encourage more women into technology related jobs; it’s that we need to show all women as Intel’s CIO Kim Stevenson put it to me, “the impact a technical background can have on a woman’s career, and the economic potential that accompanies it.” Stevenson, agreeing with Bates adds, “Often women don’t understand what options are available in tech fields – and that stops them.”