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Re: Why the Widening Gender Gap in Computer Science?



2008/11/21 sjb <sjb@orcon.net.nz>:
> CS is a pretty damned broad definition (PDBD).
>
> Overall, there may be few women studying in the discipline, and it's natural
> to ask why, but nobody seems (unless there's an article I missed) to be
> asking about women's involvement in specific streams/ majors/ minors/
> concentrations.
>
> Is/are there a/-few field/s within CS where more women tend to
> study/teach/work? AI? Data structures? Languages/programming?  Project
> management? Networking?
>
> The next question: where is the money/status in the field? There are never
> as many generals as there are grunts. There are lots of programmers, but
> fewer database admins/managers.
>
> Neither the NYT article, nor the blog that Vid linked to, addressed more
> detailed questions.
> That says there are some really bad journos trying to cover IT.
>
> Steph

Well .... the gender gap in certain professions is alway newsworthy
but I don't think generic reporting can be that accurate.
It might be reasonable to expect more in a decent trade article but I
haven't seen a Computer Weekly for many years now and I wouldn't
regard PcPro as in the same league.

It would be interesting to know if there is a gender bias in the
different disciplines such as real time, DBA, UI design, web
front-end, web back-end etc.
I would suspect there is and that it is not necessarily due to female
inability but entrenched views within both society and the disciplines
themselves.
One problem facing most women wishing to be in male-dominated
professions generally is that of 'team fit'.
If the team perceives that a female wouldn't be appropriate within the
team then she has an uphill struggle to even find employment and that
entrenchment of opinion is still upheld by society.
I also suspect that one would find that there are a higher proportion
of females in the lower salary range work e.g. web design (Javascript,
HTML, CSS) compared to managing multiple-tier servers.
Society itself demands that men earn more than women and that women
shouldn't have high responsibility high earning positions in order to
uphold the status quo with respect to rearing families
i.e. with the mother at home or at least expected to assume most
child-based responsibility.

While it is entirely posible for a woman to delegate some of this
activity to nannies and other staff they have to have an expectation
of the relevant salary to be able to afford to employ staff to do such
work as well
as support from their partner and their employment if not their
immediate family and that package is, in my experience, very rare
indeed.

Regards

L.

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