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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A slice of ~IT history
by zima on Mon 28th May 2012 21:07 UTC
zima
Member since:
2005-07-06

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada_Lovelace
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_Computers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_computer "ENIAC [...] the world's first professional computer programmers were women"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Hopper "developed the first compiler for a computer programming language"

Yeah, women can do just fine.
(and you know, most men can't...)

Edited 2012-05-28 21:08 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: A slice of ~IT history
by MacTO on Mon 28th May 2012 21:52 in reply to "A slice of ~IT history"
MacTO Member since:
2006-09-21

You are missing something: in most cases, women were accepted for those programming roles because it was a mechanical task. In most cases, it would have been men who did the stuff that we think of as programming today: developing the algorithms that they women entered into the computer (or executed themselves, in the case of human computers). And the main reason why women were given those opportunity was the lack of able men to fill the role. The able men were already on the front or contributing to the war effort at home. Most of the remaining men weren't good fit for anything.

I don't mean to paint this as a negative thing. Grace Hopper was certainly a solid contributor to the field of computer science and the employment of women during the war opened up opportunities for women to enter and remain in the workforce after the war. But most of the women in early computing were doing the mundane stuff that men didn't want to.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: A slice of ~IT history
by zima on Mon 4th Jun 2012 23:59 in reply to "RE: A slice of ~IT history"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Well though it was happening also outside (before, after) the time of (the) war.
Not even necessarily a very universal factor - a lot of women fought on the eastern front. Plus only minority of men were shipped away to fight, and women were also "contributing to the war effort at home" in more general terms.

But yeah, largely a matter of acceptance - already in the works, coming also from earlier inroads into ~office (thanks to introduction of typewriter for example)

Edited 2012-06-05 00:19 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2