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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From the other side of the fence ...
by MacTO on Mon 28th May 2012 20:04 UTC
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I feel qualified to comment on this because I am a male working in a female dominated industry. Even though there is an desire to recruit more men, men still actively suffer from discrimination.

The problem is that prejudice enters the hiring process in insidious ways. Employers actively pursue skill sets or attitudes that are dominant in one gender rather than the other. This has nothing to do with being able to do the job effectively, it simply reflects what the employer thinks that the employee needs in order to fit into the workplace.

Let's assume that you've acquired the skill set and attitudes that are desirable in that industry. You walk into that boardroom to negotiate a contract (may it be as a contractor or an employee), and you have to face the stereotypes again. It doesn't matter if those stereotypes are demonstrably untrue, people will still assume that you fit into that culturally dictated role to a lesser or greater degree.

Stuff like that is why incentives are required to hire women for IT jobs or (in my case) men for teaching jobs.

Yet that still doesn't negate some of the challenges that the contractor or employee may face when they have secured that contract. Swaths of IT seem to be like the police force: dominated by men who cannot keep their hormones under control. I'm not comfortable around men who behave in such a disgusting manner. I can hardly imagine what it would be like to be a woman who has to actively deal with it.

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