Getting women into tech jobs needs more than marketing

How often have you read a story about the lack of women working in technology which goes on to suggest promoting tech careers to schoolgirls as a solution?

The idea is dumb and patronising.

Dumb because women face problems with technology careers that a simple marketing campaign won’t fix.

Patronising to think dishonest marketing fools women.

Look at the facts.

Of course many women working in technology love the industry. We could start by asking them about what they like and what frustrates them.

But the real problem is down to the people running technology companies – men and women. Clearly women don’t think they do enough to make women feel wanted and appreciated. They don’t feel they are fairly paid. They worry bosses do little more than pay lip service to ideas of equality and are not acting quickly to stamp out arsehole behaviour.

Fix it please.

2 thoughts on “Getting women into tech jobs needs more than marketing

  1. My computer science classes in the early 80′s (including graduate) were somewhere around 33% to 40% women. It’s a fraction that now.

    I think part of the decrease is due to derisory portrayal of technology jobs in TV and movies, ranging from Jurassic Park to The Big Bang Theory.

    A lot is probably due to the appearance of computers in schools (there were none when I was in high school, the first Apple ][ being bought at the end of my 7th form year) and being monopolized by immature boys who play games and think they know a lot about computers but in reality know almost nothing about the internals or programming.

    Also, it’s my experience that the treatment of programmers in general is appalling in companies in NZ. Financially and stress-wise most of us should go and do something else, but we love the work so we put up with it. Most women aren’t prepared to put up with the shit and, quite properly, leave or never start.

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    • That preempts a follow up post I was thinking of writing, namely women are less willing to put up with crap treatment. They feel they have other options, while me often feel, wrongly if you ask me, they have to grin and put up with it.

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