Due to the fact that I’ve recently gotten some truly nasty anonymous “Asks”… I’ve decided to disable them for now.
It’s quite sad that a few male followers must resort to anonymously sending me insults when I have tried to make my blog a positive place to encourage women AND MEN to learn how to program.
Without posting the expletives and rather colorful language, I’ll just answer all of your anonymous questions right now with this post.
I am sorry that my section on Women in Tech is so offensive to you as a man. I hope to clear up any questions you might have about my interest in women in tech and my passion for encouraging awareness and diversity in the field.
Gender inequality and discrimination in tech exist.
You can sit there and anonymously type your uninformed opinions to me about how I’m making mountains out of molehills or whatever, and women and men are treated exactly the same in the field, but you’re like a Holocaust denier if you truly believe that’s the case.
You just have to be aware of what discrimination looks and feels like, and clearly, as a privileged (presumably) white male, you have no idea. So to you, there is no problem because you can’t see the problem.
Sidenote: Privilege is a really easy concept, and it is ENDLESSLY frustrating that some people refuse to grasp it. When I call you a privileged male, I’m not saying you grew up in a mansion with millions of dollars and a silver spoon in your mouth and a benz for your 16th birthday.
Calling you privileged is not some kind of jargon-y way of saying “bad person”…. it’s not about you AS A PERSON at all.
When I call you privileged, I am talking about HOW SOCIETY TREATS YOU. And in the case of tech, men are indeed very privileged.
The latest numbers we’ve seen show that less than 25% of programmers and web developers are women, and ironically, fewer women are majoring in computer science now than they did in 1985 (37% in 1985 vs. 22% in 2005).
My goal is to help chip away at these numbers until they’re consistently even. I, and others like me, do this by creating spaces with information for women. It’s a lot about visibility and presence, creating spaces and role models. Entering a field where your classmates and coworkers will be mostly (if not all) male is pretty darn intimidating.
I want women to know that they’re not alone, that “yes” the tech sector is pretty darn screwed right now, but don’t worry! Cause it’ll get better.
So what changed? Why did a lot of women stop choosing CS? Nobody knows for sure, but a lot of it has to do with a culture that portrays nerds as male, markets nerdy toys to boys and Barbie dolls to girls, and enables professors and hiring managers to favor men. We’ve all heard the reasons. Try being one of the few women working at Github.
It’s not “radical” (to use your word) to want more women in computing. It’s not “radical” to want women to feel comfortable at their jobs. It makes business sense.
Women are missing out on interesting and lucrative careers, often going into lower-paying jobs, which results in economic injustice. But not only that, the fields are missing out on women’s contributions, and the public in general is missing out on products and technologies developed by women.
There’s a huge shortage of engineers and computing professionals right now. Organizations are having a hard time finding employees, partly because the tech industry is frightening off more than half of the population, i.e. women. The gender imbalance is threatening economic growth. It hurts EVERYONE.
I could go on and on about discrimination in tech, income disparity, workplace harassment, male privilege, shady hiring and promotion practices, and so on, but other people explain these topics much more eloquently…
So here are some links:
This is Why There Aren’t Enough Women in Tech
5 Studies on The Business Case for Diversity
Let’s talk about ‘women in tech’: Silicon Valley still has a gender problem
Discrimination in the tech industry does still exist — and we have a long road ahead
The Gender Pay Gap: It Affects us All
Advancing Women in Science and Technology is Critical for Innovation
We need a moon shot to propel women into computer science careers
Why There is More Than One Women in Tech Group
Continuing Sexism in the Tech Industry
Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is
Silent Technical Privilege: As a novice computer programmer, I always got the benefit of the doubt—because I looked the part.
Stack Exchange is proposing a Q&A subsite for Women in Tech issues and questions.
Fake Geek Guys: A Message to Men About Sexual Harassment
I hope that my response and these articles helps to clear up any questions you might have about my concerns re: women in technology. If not, feel free to send me more feedback while logged into your Tumblr account.