Lack of Women in Technology

I’ve been thinking this post over for a week now, and I don’t have any helpful answers, but I do think these are questions that need to be discussed and researched. If I were looking into it, I’d want to start by looking at information about gender differences in math and science education at the middle and high school levels, because I think some of this starts there. I don’t buy the “women don’t want it” argument, because I know too many women who love technology, but I do agree that society defines certain occupational areas as more appropriate for one gender or the other.

Comparative Geeks

Comic from xkcd Girls Suck at Math Girls Suck at Math comic from xkcd at http://xkcd.com

I recently had an interesting conversation discussing women in the tech fields. This led from the person I was talking to having previously had a conversation where people were lamenting the (limited) number of women in the tech field and trying to figure out what to do. Out of that conversation came an intriguing comment: Is the reason we do not have more women in tech fields because there is a lack of interest in the type of work it would entail? There are layers of assumptions found in this comment. The biggest one is that there is a natural difference in what men and women want to pursue in life. The other more subtle one is that there are a different set of skills that men and women have. Part of what I want to discuss today is why jumping…

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3 thoughts on “Lack of Women in Technology

  1. I have just left Denver from the American Physical Society’s annual March Meeting. My husband is an experimental condensed matter physicist and scientific journal editor. This is a discussion that we have frequently. There is one study I think from Harvard that demonstrate that women entering graduate studies in the natural sciences are at an automatic disadvantage just by possessing feminine names, based on the false applications to grad schools in which the only significant difference between two were gender based. Women have recently been hired in leadership roles within the APS, which makes me happy that my husband is in a company that recognizes the role that science leaders must undertake in order to bring women into the sciences. This most certainly is my opinion and not fact, but I think that these are the women who are going to force a crack in the glass ceiling that has so many women and girls turned away from math because it’s “hard.” As the mom of two daughters, the wife of a scientist, and a practitioner of the medical arts who also identifies strongly as a feminist, it’s important for me to understand the challenges and the trailblazing ongoing.

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