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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Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Tue 29th May 2012 14:10 UTC
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Just a few pointers:

1) Simon Baron-Cohen noted that babies exhibit gender specific behaviours very early within their development - before any socialisation could have taken place by the environment and parents. It isn't too far fetched to say that there is an element of a biological element that pushes males/females in particular directions. With that being said it isn't a hard rule that all will go one way or another but a general rule of thumb that takes into account that there will be those who fall outside of the 'bell curve' if one were to call such a spread that.

2) There is an element of the old boys club but it is naive to believe that an act of parliament is going to undo such institutions that have been built up organically over decades just as one can't expect radical change over night to occur in other industries that are over repented by either males or females. Until really there is an acceptance of such institutionalised 'closed shop' to outsiders it won't make a lick of difference. Lets assume that there was a law passed - it won't some how make the work environment change over night so simply opening a door won't change the dominant culture for said industry.

4) When there are quotas and allocations one has to ask the question how it impacts upon those individuals who earned their place based on hard work but happened to be from a targeted minority group. When it comes to such programmes I have to ask myself whether one is treating a symptom rather than going straight to the cause.

Edited 2012-05-29 14:12 UTC

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