Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 28th May 2012 19:25 UTC
In the News This topic comes up quite a lot on technology websites, but I generally try to steer clear from it as much as possible, since I'm not the one to talk about it (you know, with me being a man and all that), however, I feel it might be a good idea to just get my opinion out there and be done with it. The topic of women in IT is a hot-button issue, so let me just go out guns blazing: assuming women need special treatment, help, protection, and affirmative action is just as insulting and degrading as outright claiming women have no place in IT - maybe even more so.
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Indeed
by tylerdurden on Mon 28th May 2012 19:52 UTC
tylerdurden
Member since:
2009-03-17

as a male non-IT worker you're clearly qualified to voice your opinion, purely based on your perception as a 3rd party, on what female IT workers need, feel, and how they should be treated like.

I mean, sure journalistic integrity would dictate that you should have taken at least 5 minutes to talk to women who work on IT and gather their opinion on the matter, since they are the ones affected. But who wants to do that when there is a false equivalence handy, right?

Edited 2012-05-28 19:53 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Indeed
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 28th May 2012 20:28 in reply to "Indeed"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

as a male non-IT worker you're clearly qualified to voice your opinion, purely based on your perception as a 3rd party, on what female IT workers need, feel, and how they should be treated like.

I mean, sure journalistic integrity would dictate that you should have taken at least 5 minutes to talk to women who work on IT and gather their opinion on the matter, since they are the ones affected. But who wants to do that when there is a false equivalence handy, right?


Such anecdotal stories will only serve to detract from the point being made. I'm not saying that it's easy for women in a men-dominated field (or vice versa, for that matter) - I'm arguing that the proposed solutions are not grounded in reality.

The fact that I'm a man has no bearing on whether or not my points are valid. If you think it does, then I think you just unknowingly illustrated my point better than I did.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Indeed
by Moredhas on Mon 28th May 2012 20:37 in reply to "RE: Indeed"
Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

To reinforce Thom's point, what if this were about race or religion? "I got this contract because I'm black", or "I got this contract because I'm Christian". Discrimination, no matter how well intentioned, is still discrimination.

Reply Parent Score: 11

RE[2]: Indeed
by mjg59 on Tue 29th May 2012 02:52 in reply to "RE: Indeed"
mjg59 Member since:
2005-10-17

I'm arguing that the proposed solutions are not grounded in reality.


Citation needed.

The fact that I'm a man has no bearing on whether or not my points are valid. If you think it does, then I think you just unknowingly illustrated my point better than I did.


You wouldn't ask a farmer for a description of the effects of microgravity on human physiology, because in all probability they have neither the training nor the experience to give you a useful answer. Most men in the computing industry don't have direct experience of discrimination, whereas most women do. So, in the absence of independent research, women are going to provide more insight into the matter than men. You could compensate for that by actually doing some research, but you show absolutely no signs of having done so. Do your reading and then come back with a summary of the other side and well-reasoned counterarguments and there'd be a reason to take you seriously, but right now there really isn't.

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE: Indeed
by earksiinni on Mon 28th May 2012 21:01 in reply to "Indeed"
earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Ah, yes. The "Hey, you're an X! Can I call on you as a representative of X?" card. Its close cousin: "I don't hate X's! I even have an X friend!"

It wouldn't have been bad if he did include such interviews, but then it would've been a different kind of piece: namely, an interview. Not having done so hardly makes him a sexist or discredits his "journalistic integrity" (P.S.: isn't this a blog?)

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Indeed
by JAlexoid on Tue 29th May 2012 02:32 in reply to "Indeed"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

As a male IT worker and having worked a lot with women in IT, I can say that they don't need our help.
Women in IT are perfectly capable of pursuing a great and a rewarding career without artificial interference. In fact, most of women in IT do have great careers.

Then there is the software development field, that has traditionally been seen as a bad place for women to work.
That space in not a boys club because boys decided for it to be so. It's a boys club, because a woman has to deny her socially acceptable role and, sometimes even, biological burdens.
Why? The biggest factor is that it tends to be very dynamic and takes a lot of time and energy outside of work.
Is aye-tee the exception? No way. Any field that requires 8h for work + X hours of educating yourself per day is less likely to have a lot of women. Not because women are less likely to learn, au contraire, but because it takes too much personal time. (ex medical research tends to have a similar problem)
Is it limited to women? Oh hell no. Many men move out to "less of a technical positions" because it takes too much time. But we only judge by the people that are left behind in "that" department.

Out of all women I know in IT, only 1 is still in a developer role. She's extraordinary, to say the least. The rest, have moved on to project management, business analysis, enterprise architecture and other less dynamic areas of IT. In their words - "I like working more with people" (in other words "A developer position was taking too much time away from personal interactions")

As for starting a company, women are sociologically more risk averse(for the better). So no wonder that there are both less women starting businesses and even less so in IT.

Reply Parent Score: 6