I think they're out there (as evidenced by this thread so far), but they aren't going out of their way to publicize it. Sure, there aren't nearly as many women as men, and maybe that has to do with physiology, maybe stigma, and throw society & nature in for good measure.
I believe it's the same reason that more women aren't in the military. It's not due to inferiority to men so much; it's due to a general lack of interest in it combined with the fact that it's a total "boys' club". On deployment it's especially bad; more often than not women are considered second-class citizens by men here. I'm very big on equal rights and respect women immensely, but I even get caught up in it at times. It's simply difficult not to.
Okay, computer science isn't as insane about it as the military, but it's the best I could come up with right now. And maybe subconsciously women just don't see computer science as an ideal career field to find a suitable mate
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I (a female) took a small amount of programming in college and it was as much fun as going to the dentist. I've always loved computers but programming for any long period of time would drive me nuts.
I've always enjoyed different kinds of programming but it was never anything I really thought about. In middle school I would be writing my own gw basic programs in my room while the other kids were out having their fun :-P
In 9th grade my father tried to put me in a CS high school program but as soon as I found out that I would be the ONLY girl I didn't accept. But that was just because I was 13.
I didn't do CS in college either and I mostly do front end web stuff at my current job. But I do more and more with ASP.NET and some PHP everyday. I really enjoy it!
My classes were the other way round!
When I got my chemistry degrees , women were a rarity - we had two in my first degree class! A few more in the post grad classes though.
During my computing degree classes (taken about 30 years later) about one third were women, although the programming options had less. Admittedly, there were less majoring in computing.
"Back in the day" ... I believe there were less than 5 female computer science graduates in my class. In most of my classes I was one of 2 (maybe) females in the class.
Perhaps this is due to socialization or it could be environmental. As a child I was always interested in math & science ... and computers (later in high school), so majoring in Computer Science was a natural fit for me.
I'd love to see more women in the field. I rarely see more than 2 female developers on a team. One is rare. Also, I'm tired of "Oh. You're a girl!" People assume that you're a male, especially if you don't have a traditional female name.
There are a few organizations like Women in Information Technology that have created great programs such as Girls in Technology to expose young girls to more female IT/CS professionals. I would encourage all female developers to get involved in programs such as these (if you have time ).
Also, I believe that young girls don't see many females in this profession which could influence their interest level. I can think of a few different reasons. For women interested in having children ... in terms of retention in the profession, technology changes so often that you can barely take a moment to have children without your skillset becoming stale.
I had a visual basic class in 8th grade and LOVED it, but looked around and saw that it was all boys. Not cool to be the only girl. Plus I was more into matching my socks to my belt and how my hair looked at that point.
I've been on my own 10 years now and that works out extremely well. I've been able to take challenging projects while working from home, juggling programming and caring for small children. I gladly missout on routine office BS but it would be nice to be a part of a team once in a while for the adult contact LOL.
I also wonder why more women don't see the beauty in this line of work. I plan to show my kids national parks and work from an RV on summer breaks. How much better does it get than that?
The idea of getting involved in an organization is interesting. Perhaps mentoring a young woman would be an enriching experience. I'll check into that.
As a "real old timer" (I remember drills in school where we learned to crawl under the desks 'in case of attack' and, later, watching Neil Armstrong step on the moon), I was going through school long before the proliferation of computers.
As a geek (in a time when it was NOT AT ALL fashionable) I took a typing class, where I was the only male in a class of about 30.
Today, I am so very thankful to have learned to type (we were way ahead of the curve and had the latest, greatest IBM Selectric) 38 years ago.
My point is that I can easily sympathize with the women who feel like a minority in a classroom.
Don't discount the fact, though, that the US may have a Female President soon!
He's my thoughts as a woman.
I went to school for graphic design, and had no interest in web design, let alone coding.... but kept finding myself solving all the technical issues that popped up in the firm i worked for (IE rendering bugs, server/database issues etc), it's to the point where now very little of what i do on a daily basis is design, it is mostly coding html/css and making flash applications (no timelines to speak of, it's all code).
Thinking back on my high school education, i was very good at math, but it didn't interest me, and made me a little nervous (like i could get over my head very quickly.) Now, i wish i had pursued any scientific/mathematical degree, because now i know i have the brains for it.
I absolutely believe that it is the passiveness of our society and educational system that fails to shape young minds to take an interest in the math and sciences. I was just coasting along in high school, if the curriculum required me to take more math classes i would have, and probably would have discovered much sooner that i could do it successfully.
By the way, i don't think there is any active discrimination against women when it comes to persuing a specific career, i think our society is passively letting both boys and girls in their formative years pass on solid math and science foundations.
how does a designer get roped into writing code?
My mom's a computer programmer and if it wasn't for her I wouldn't be in this industry.
But my computer science classes I attended were 90:10 (male:female) probably. And those were low level classes that the girls I talked to were not intending to continue.
It's a combination of social conditioning and the fact that computing has always been a male-dominated industry for the most part. As a result, female involvement is minimal, as they feel out of place. In fact, having studied feminism a bit, the only real occupation where women don't have a glass ceiling is public relations and marketing. Enroll in a PR/Marketing class, and watch the 5:1 ratio flip right over to the female advantage. I was an IT/Communications double-major, so got to experience both worlds--the differences are pretty huge.
You'll also notice in tech. companies that most female managers that you speak of are lower-end management, departmental. That, unfortunately, is about as high as it gets by and large. It's pretty much male-dominated above that.
We must be Autistic Entrepreneurs
hehe, my feelings exactly although as a female myself I've seen a lot more of us in the digital art and computer sciences. *hugs photoshop* i'll doodle the guys can code it! =)I (a female) took a small amount of programming in college and it was as much fun as going to the dentist. I've always loved computers but programming for any long period of time would drive me nuts.
In our country we're no exception to what have been mentioned here regarding the CS vs. Math women controversy. During college, there was once a girl who was the only one to take pure mathematics as her major in the whole faculty. And there are few females doing their math-related doctorals while there's not a single female who did a CS-related master!
Also, I've noticed that most females who studied CS tend to change careers quite easily, & would prefer to fit into management/marketing/customer support jobs than sticking to their original field of study.
I found this interesting resources page on the subject, for whom it may concern.
There are plenty out there.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. - Einstein
Hey, the way I look at it is, if you have the characteristics to make you an intelligent, persevering individual what does it matter what it's called?
In the UK, the situation is very different. Women really are getting into every kind of university course and usually making up more than the males. Except physics perhaps. (this is linked into the general trend of females doing hugely better than males on their pre-entry exams) But good for them. There are now more women studying medicine in the UK than men.
I'm a girl!!
I did one of the first computer studies degrees in the UK - prior to that they were always mixed with maths. To get people onto it they dropped the requirement to have maths A level (which was fortunate for me!) and actively touted round for languages students. As a result, the year was around 50/50 male/female - and the women were just as good as the men.
In later years they resinstated the maths requirement and the number of women applicants went down.
After uni I went to a software house, where they reckoned that the best programmers were women with a degree in history or languages.
So - I reckon you'd get more takers if it was actively targetted at languages/humanities rather than science.
(and yes, I am very very old, and yes, I am still programming, learning new stuff and loving it!)
I agree with you JMouse. I'm also a girl and my background was architecture (buildings - not software). I learned the theory of design and got into webdesign by default. I started coding because I don't like not having full control and it grew from there. I would never have chosen 'computer science' as a degree, but it is certainly a good fit for me.
seriously, what is our society coming to when women pass on an entire career because the requirements are too hard?
"i'm just a girl, math is too hard. let's have a dance party instead." sorry now i'm just getting ranty.
how does a designer get roped into writing code?
Who said anything about lowering standard to ALLOW women to get into these fields? Certainly doesn't happen here in the UK. If they get in they do so by their own merit, and in the UK as per my last point women are out-achieveing men thus we are finding more of them across a broad field of studies.
I love programming but I find it difficult to slot it in between painting my nails and playing with my kitten.