Survey explains one big reason there are so few women in technology

March 28, 2016 at 7:26 am 5 comments

Betsy DiSalvo and I did a study of women in computing who chose not to participate in our OMS CS program.  One of the reasons we heard was that these women were experienced with computing education. They all had undergraduate degrees in computing. Every one of them talked about the sexism rampant in their classes and in the industry.  They were unwilling to be in a mostly-male online program.

We used to talk about getting the word out to women about the great job available in the tech industry, and about how that would attract more women. I fear that women today who are choosing not to go into the tech industry are doing so because they do know what it’s like.

A new study finds that sexism is rampant in the tech industry, with almost two-thirds of women reporting sexual harassment and nearly 90 percent reporting demeaning comments from male colleagues.The study, called “Elephant in the Valley,” surveyed 200 women who work at tech companies, including large companies like Google and Apple as well as start-ups. The study focused on women who had 10 years of experience in the industry, and most worked in Silicon Valley.

Source: A new survey explains one big reason there are so few women in technology – Vox

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bonnie  |  March 28, 2016 at 8:03 am

    This recent study also illustrates the problem: evidently the jpb titel with the highest pay gap between men and women is “computer programmer”, followed closely by “chef”. Not good.
    https://www.glassdoor.com/press/glassdoor-research-confirms-significant-gender-pay-gap-uk-australia-germany-france/

    Reply
  • 2. alanone1  |  March 28, 2016 at 9:38 am

    I think the rampant “assholeism” of our “not really a field” expresses itself as sexism where women are concerned, but the problem is quite a bit wider I think.

    I think it is “rivalry” at all costs using anything as an excuse. Certain university departments in the 60s had this amongst the maies both within and without — slashdot before slashdot — and not particularly directed at females — and others — like CMU — were truly open, friendly, welcoming, and collegial to all, both men and women.

    Something desperately insecure and tragically immature is going on.

    Reply
    • 3. kirkpams  |  March 28, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      My graduate work was in computer security. A major reason why I have since abandoned security as a specialization is because of how commonplace unprofessional behavior is. I can recall multiple conferences I attended where an audience member and a speaker began shouting at each other because one of them called the other’s work into question.

      Based on my experience, I can certainly understand why people (both men and women) would want to leave the field. Toss in sexism and implicit bias, and it’s easy to imagine the disproportionate loss of women.

      Reply
  • 4. Devji Chhanga  |  March 28, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Computing and IT classes at universities here in India generally have more women than men! However, you will find few women in other engineering areas.

    Reply
  • 5. swo8  |  March 28, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Why am I not surprised?
    Leslie

    Reply

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