Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses IT

Women Dropping Out of IT 706

Posted by kdawson
from the both-blatent-and-subtle dept.
Women's eNews has an interesting look at women in tech, with numbers showing that women are bailing out of the IT field at a rapid pace. "Technology jobs are predicted to grow at a faster rate than all other jobs in the professional sector, up to 22% over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compensation is also good. In 2008, women in tech made an average salary of $70,370. ... But women's stake in that rosy outlook is questionable. For starters, men's pay during the same time period was $80,357. A study by the National Center for Women and Information Technology ... also finds that women are leaving computer careers in staggering numbers. 'Fifty-six percent of women in technology companies leave their organizations at the mid-level point, 10-20 years in their careers,' said Catherine Ashcraft, the senior research scientist who authored the report. In 2008, women held only 25% of all professional IT-related jobs, down from 36% in 1991, according to the group's report, 'Women in IT: The Facts.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Women Dropping Out of IT

Comments Filter:
  • This just proves (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2010 @02:50PM (#32704154)

    They're smarter than the men.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2010 @02:58PM (#32704206)

      He's absolutely right. Women are too smart for careers in computers. Most intelligent women take a close look at the unrepentantly fucked-up culture that surrounds computing careers, and run like hell.

      It's men who are dumb enough to tolerate the aspy-programmer types, the sneering arrogant IT guys, the mailing lists full of flaming personal attacks leveled by closet bullies empowered by semi-anonymity, the phallic-compensating gadget consumerists, constantly "helpful" types who manage to insult while trying to rescue, and the sexually inept who use pinup wallpaper and leer at any woman in eyeshot. Membership in (or at least tolerance of) a repellant boys' club is an almost-mandatory feature of our industry.

      Men don't have to be passionate about computers and programming to do well in our field. It's possible to be a day-job geek who never plays video games, doesn't own an iphone, and doesn't read xkcd, yet still thrive in high-tech. They get flamed them for a few newbie questions and they'll just think you're an asshole. But brilliant women who are not passionate about the field are smart enough to tell us all to go fuck ourselves after the first serious flame, because they know nobody should have to put up with that shit.

      So yes. Women are in fact generally too smart for careers in computers. He nailed it.

      • by Hognoxious (631665) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @03:06PM (#32704276) Homepage Journal

        Most intelligent women take a close look at the unrepentantly fucked-up culture that surrounds computing careers, and run like hell.

        They try, but they can't, because they wear shoes precisely designed to prevent any form of rapid ambulation.

        • by bsDaemon (87307) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @03:10PM (#32704318)

          Yet, they still tend to stay far enough away from people who say things like "rapid ambulation" in casual conversation to make it irrelevant.

          • by KiloByte (825081) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @04:11PM (#32704706)

            If anti-intellectualism is what is required to blend well with the society, I say: fuck the society.

            • by lawpoop (604919) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @07:38PM (#32705930) Homepage Journal
              Using big words is not an act of intellect.
            • by metlin (258108) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @09:27PM (#32706408) Journal

              Seeking simplicity and ease of understanding is not anti-intellectualism.

              If you need to use convoluted phrases to assert your intellect, then you're probably not someone most people would want to be acquainted with.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by B3ryllium (571199)

            But it could make a great 80s synth pop song.

            ~/ Rapid ambulation / is sweeping through the nation /~

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2010 @03:29PM (#32704436)

        I just quit my 15 year IT career to be an artist. As a bonus, all the medical conditions I had while in IT disappeared within 2 months of leaving it. I probably just added years to my life expectancy. My salary went way down, of course. Then again, without all the stress I'll live to spend some of it now.

        IT isn't a place for women, but it's not a place for men either. It's a sinkhole that takes the best and brightest and turns them into bitter husks (if they don't run off screaming first).

        IT careers are fundamentally broken. IT is not treated like a science. IT workers don't have unions to protect them like mechanics and doctors. IT gets the worst of everything. Most people can only immerse themselves in code and gadgetry for so long before they notice that their peers appear to be leading more enjoyable lives.

        I still like computers and I follow the latest technologies that interest me, but I never intend to work IT again. It's just not worth it.

        • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @03:51PM (#32704580) Journal

          >>>all the medical conditions I had while in IT disappeared within 2 months of leaving it

          I refuse to let myself become stressed-out in my job. Even if my boss is breathing down my back and saying, "If you don't get this done I'll find someone else who can," I just ignore the mother fucker. I chose this career to ENJOY it not to be treated like a McDonalds employee, and if he does replace me with somebody else, so be it. At least I'll be happier than Mr. Heart Attack.

          • by aeoo (568706) on Sunday June 27, 2010 @12:01AM (#32707050) Journal

            I chose this career to ENJOY it not to be treated like a McDonalds employee

            Of course it's completely wrong to treat McDonalds or any other employees that way. The way our society just keeps referring to McDonalds in a way you have done is a sign of how sick our business culture is.

        • by JWSmythe (446288) <.jwsmythe. .at. .jwsmythe.com.> on Saturday June 26, 2010 @04:10PM (#32704694) Homepage Journal

              My IT career quit me. {sigh}

              I haven't found new work in it, and with a total income of a whopping $0 (not including unemployment and friends giving me food and places to sleep), I have to consider other options.

              I've been trying to find serious IT work. I'm either:

          1) Over qualified, where they don't want me because the senior folks are afraid I'll take their job, or I'll bail as soon as better money comes along.

          2) Not qualified, because I don't know some specific qualification required for the position. I may seem like I know everything, but it's still impossible to know everything.

          3) Not interested at the rate. $10/hr for a 3 month part time gig that requires moving across the country to a high cost of living area isn't exactly an acceptable offer.

              So women are leaving IT? Big deal. Lots of people are. I'm about ready to be a short order cook, or an auto mechanic, but lately I've just been a handyman, doing anything friends need in exchange for food, drinks, and places to sleep.

        • Re:This just proves (Score:5, Interesting)

          by dkleinsc (563838) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @04:55PM (#32704992) Homepage

          What you're reflecting here is a story that's very common: When men are faced with the choice of a lower-paying but more satisfying career versus a higher-paying but unpleasant career, they tend towards the higher pay. Women faced with the same choice tend towards the greater personal satisfaction.

          That's why you'll find more men doing jobs that are really unpleasant but well-paid (relative to their education level), such as mining, logging, or firefighting, and more women doing jobs that are often lower paid but very personally satisfying, such as nursing, cooking, and teaching.

          Now, what's interesting is that a career in IT ought to fall into the low-risk personally-rewarding camp (the physical risks are minimal, and there's a lot of joy in building things), but instead falls into the higher-pay less-reward camp due to the way IT employees are treated.

          • by quanticle (843097) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:31PM (#32706178) Homepage

            That's why you'll find more men doing jobs that are really unpleasant but well-paid (relative to their education level), such as mining, logging, or firefighting [snip]

            I agree with your sentiment, but I disagree with your examples. Mining, logging, firefighting are all very satisfying careers. Sure, the work is hard, but the amount of political bullshit involved is fairly low. You know what your job is, you come in, work your shift, and then you leave. And with firefighting, you know that you're performing a vital service. I mean, that's one of the few professions that will have a non-trivial number of people calling you a hero.

            For a much more comparable example, try finance or law. Same high pressure and pay. Same low level of satisfaction. And, unlike with mining, logging, firefighting, or even IT, a significant fraction of society considers you to be a net negative - a leech that makes his living off the labors of others.

            Now, what's interesting is that a career in IT ought to fall into the low-risk personally-rewarding camp (the physical risks are minimal, and there's a lot of joy in building things), but instead falls into the higher-pay less-reward camp due to the way IT employees are treated.

            The reason IT employees are treated the way they are is because the vast majority of companies do not make computers or software. For them, IT is a cost - something that must be maintained at a certain level in order to prevent the company from falling behind. So what happens is that IT resources are cut to the bone - and employees are placed under ever increasing pressure to be productive. Moreover, because IT work doesn't generally involve life threatening environments or machinery, there is no government regulation forcing the employer to slow down and maintain a modicum of standards regarding deadlines and work environments. IT work has the same standards as mining and logging and manufacturing did at the turn of the century, and consequently IT workers are as unhappy as miners, loggers, and assembly line workers of that era. However, the lack of physical danger in IT work (your fingers can't get sliced off from typing, for example) means that the chances of IT work being regulated anytime in the foreseeable future are slim to none.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by dkleinsc (563838)

              The unpleasant side of mining and firefighting are the very high risks of respiratory problems as a result of doing those jobs. For logging, the risk is much more that of severe injuries. That's why they're considered unpleasant.

              As far as why IT employees are treated poorly, while your answer is one explanation it doesn't explain the poor treatment of IT employees at technology companies such as Electronic Arts. I for one think that there's a real opportunity for unionization to help out (with union contrac

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by quanticle (843097)

                I for one think that there's a real opportunity for unionization to help out (with union contracts being not so much about pay as working conditions), but I don't see it happening anytime soon.

                The problem is, there isn't any way to divorce pay from working conditions. In essence, the way the software industry works right now is that developers are paid for only about 75%-80% of the time worked. Their pay assumes an eight hour day, while their deadlines assume ten or twelve hour days. So any push towards having more reasonable deadlines would probably end up with management reducing pay in response.

                The other issue is the sheer diversity of the field. With other professions (especially the "blu

        • . IT workers don't have unions to protect them like mechanics and doctors.

          And thank the stars for that one. I've seen what modern unions have done in other industries, and am happy to not be a part of one. Other than that, I agree with you completely.

        • by pogson (856666) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @06:03PM (#32705454) Homepage Journal
          One of the differences between working in a GNU/Linux shop and that other OS is stress. Last year, I worked in a shop using that other OS. It was always frightening on zero-day-malware-day because I always had to work late making sure updates were done in spite of having automatic updates enabled. With GNU/Linux, I type a few commands and it gets done for the whole system in a few minutes and I can go home to sleep. Last year I had trouble sleeping more than four hours. This year, I sleep as long as I want knowing things are safe. Next year, we will be 95% M$-free. I look forward to that.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by X0563511 (793323)

            Buying Microsoft is like receiving a burn.

            It's fine at first, but give it a few moments and it will start to hurt. And it WILL hurt, and do so for a good long while. Even if you react appropriately, you're still likely to have a scar.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Joe Tie. (567096)
          Well said. It's just shit. I love computers, I love writing code, I love the hardware, the software, almost everything. Except the culture around it. It's so bad that it outweighs every one of those good points. I wouldn't go so far as to say the state of the industry destoryed my life up to about this point, but it's come close. Almost everything bad in it I can trace back to some aspect of it. Whether it's the expected forced overtime or the crappy to non-existent medical.
      • by ya really (1257084) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @03:40PM (#32704500)

        Men don't have to be passionate about computers and programming to do well in our field. It's possible to be a day-job geek who never plays video games, doesn't own an iphone, and doesn't read xkcd, yet still thrive in high-tech.

        Since when does owning a phone every non-geek has make you a geek?

      • by Requiem18th (742389) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @03:44PM (#32704532)

        Fucking Gods! The is the most sexists post I've seen in slashdot in ages! But its aimed at men so it ok right?

        Women are not more intelligent than men, statistics prove it. Women simply have different options and opportunities.

        It's men who are dumb enough to tolerate the aspy-programmer types, the sneering arrogant IT guys,

        These are mostly myth, sure they exists but I've been in several IT firms and people are generally nice.

        the mailing lists full of flaming personal attacks leveled by closet bullies empowered by semi-anonymity,

        That's human interaction for you, guess what? Women are prone to as much if not much more drama when it comes to discussions.

        the phallic-compensating gadget consumerists,

        Yes! The only reason people consume is because they have small dicks! That explains why women love to go shopping! No wait, consuming is only bad when you are a guy right?

        constantly "helpful" types who manage to insult while trying to rescue,

        Again myth, and you'd be surprised how women manage to be dickheads nonetheless. My mother worked in an all female environment and I've heard several stories about abusive bosses and cheating employees.

        and the sexually inept who use pinup wallpaper and leer at any woman in eyeshot.

        Teehee, you said "sexually inept", you should've said "sexually repressed" but of course you wanted to be as offensive as possible.

        Even so this is about your only stab that almost hits something, but women aren't excepmt from this because they are smarter, they have the privilege of having a lower sex drive meaning not only they have less urges but also that there's a ton of guys ready to calm any urge that might arise.

        Men don't have to be passionate about computers and programming to do well in our field.

        That's questionable, Show me a good programmer that isn't passionate about programming.

        But even so, what shall we do with men who ARE passionate about programming? Shot them?

        But brilliant women who are not passionate about the field are smart enough to tell us all to go fuck ourselves after the first serious flame, because they know nobody should have to put up with that shit.

        Well if they are not passionate about the field by definition they don't have the drive to remain in the field you dumb ass. What about brilliant women who ARE passionate about computers? Or does passion about a carrier equal stupidity? Or is it maybe just for IT?

        Your post is dripping with sexism, hate and intentional stupidity. A modern society should not have any acceptance for such a despicable attitude.

        • by digitig (1056110) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @05:59PM (#32705436)

          Fucking Gods! The is the most sexists post I've seen in slashdot in ages! But its aimed at men so it ok right?

          Women are not more intelligent than men, statistics prove it. Women simply have different options and opportunities.

          And neurosceince also shows that on average they have different skills and different motivations. But people get upset when that's pointed out becuase they don't understand the "on average" bit.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by IICV (652597)

          That's human interaction for you, guess what? Women are prone to as much if not much more drama when it comes to discussions.

          Indeed! My wife joined WeightWatchers recently, and got access to their forums. Even these forums that are populated mostly by women are full of flamewars and hate (and all the other good stuff that shows up in a forum). The only difference is that they're heavily regulated, due to the fact that you basically have to pay to get in.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by kheldan (1460303)
        Hell must be freezing over, because I'm agreeing with the ACs.
      • by HungryHobo (1314109) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @04:17PM (#32704752)

        Where my girlfriend works there's no shortage of insults and bullshit.
        And almost everyone who works there is female.
        And she already wants to run a mile because the only thing that any of them ever seem to talk about is their children or impending children.

        Bullshit's the same everywhere.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Grishnakh (216268)

          My wife hates working with most other women, because of all their bullshit.

          Of course, she's former military, and has no trouble being around rude men. She says she likes being around men more because they're more honest and straightforward, and aren't always doing sneaky deceptive stuff like women.

      • by assertation (1255714) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @04:17PM (#32704764)

        It's possible to be a day-job geek who never plays video games, doesn't own an iphone, and doesn't read xkcd, yet still thrive in high-tech.

        Its also possible to be passionate about IT and not be into those things either. It is called being your own man.

        I do agree with you about the tendencies of the IT culture.

        I see it and get tired of it from time to time.

      • Dilbert? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jayveekay (735967) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @04:23PM (#32704796)

        It's men who are dumb enough to tolerate the aspy-programmer types, the sneering arrogant IT guys, the mailing lists full of flaming personal attacks leveled by closet bullies empowered by semi-anonymity, the phallic-compensating gadget consumerists, constantly "helpful" types who manage to insult while trying to rescue, and the sexually inept who use pinup wallpaper and leer at any woman in eyeshot. Membership in (or at least tolerance of) a repellant boys' club is an almost-mandatory feature of our industry.

        In a 20 year career as a software developer:
        1. I haven't met any programmers suffering from Asperger's Syndrom (I assume this is what "aspy" means, correct me if I'm wrong)
        2. I haven't known any "sneering arrogant IT guys". The IT guys I've met have been normal, helpful human beings.
        3. I have seen some harsh emails, but not often and nothing like the venom you describe
        4. I can't recall any "phallic compensation gadget consumerists", but perhaps I'm not looking hard enough...
        5. I haven't met any "constantly helpful types who insult while trying to rescue"
        6. I have seen some teenage male type usage of naked women pictures, but that's been quite rare. Do you think that teenage male types only exist in the tech industry?

        Do you think that "boys clubs" are more prevalent in the tech industry than other industries? The problems that you cite probably exist in most companies to one degree or another.

        • Re:Dilbert? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Arthur Grumbine (1086397) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @05:36PM (#32705302) Journal

          It's men who are dumb enough to tolerate the aspy-programmer types, the sneering arrogant IT guys, the mailing lists full of flaming personal attacks leveled by closet bullies empowered by semi-anonymity, the phallic-compensating gadget consumerists, constantly "helpful" types who manage to insult while trying to rescue, and the sexually inept who use pinup wallpaper and leer at any woman in eyeshot. Membership in (or at least tolerance of) a repellant boys' club is an almost-mandatory feature of our industry.

          In a 20 year career as a software developer:
          1. I haven't met any programmers suffering from Asperger's Syndrom (I assume this is what "aspy" means, correct me if I'm wrong)
          2. I haven't known any "sneering arrogant IT guys". The IT guys I've met have been normal, helpful human beings.
          3. I have seen some harsh emails, but not often and nothing like the venom you describe
          4. I can't recall any "phallic compensation gadget consumerists", but perhaps I'm not looking hard enough...
          5. I haven't met any "constantly helpful types who insult while trying to rescue"
          6. I have seen some teenage male type usage of naked women pictures, but that's been quite rare. Do you think that teenage male types only exist in the tech industry?

          Do you think that "boys clubs" are more prevalent in the tech industry than other industries? The problems that you cite probably exist in most companies to one degree or another.

          Your problem is that you don't work in the make-believe world of television shows and movies - which is pretty much the only place I can think of that has the characters/stereotypes the GP seems to be railing against.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bigsexyjoe (581721)

        So yes. Women are in fact generally too smart for careers in computers. He nailed it.

        Why do you assume the AC who wrote that comment is a man? Are you sexist?

      • More proof (Score:3, Insightful)

        by PietjeJantje (917584)
        Women are so brilliant they invented the wheel, electricity and space rockets. Moreover, in modern times, unleashed, they founded companies like Youtube and Twitter. Men are just dump and give up easily, and then blame it on the culture of the company they work for.
    • And that isn't a sexist comment. I've seen quite a few women work 5-10 years in IT, get to about age 30 and then start having kids, after which point they leave to become a stay at home mom or scale back to part time hours. And of the women that do stay full time after having a few kids, they tend to really relegate computers to something they do no more than eight hours a day, and then that's it. Based on my observations (and this may be a stereotype, but I think it's true), the cause of this is that their

  • Sexist (Score:5, Funny)

    by Das Auge (597142) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @02:55PM (#32704182)
    Since the women leaving the IT field are bringing down the percentage of women in the IT field, of which there have been many stories on about on Slashdot saying this must increase, they're working against the raising of women in the IT field. Therefore, they must be sexist.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2010 @02:56PM (#32704192)

    In 2008, women in tech made an average salary of $70,370...men's pay during the same time period was $80,357....
    Fifty-six percent of women in technology companies leave their organizations at the mid-level point, 10-20 years in their careers

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by djsmiley (752149)

      1. Start at 18
      2. Quit at 28
      3. Have kids
      4. Sue for discrimination in wages due to "experience".
      5. PROFIT!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2010 @03:26PM (#32704408)

      In 2008, women in tech made an average salary of $70,370...men's pay during the same time period was $80,357.... Fifty-six percent of women in technology companies leave their organizations at the mid-level point, 10-20 years in their careers

      It's cool and trendy these days to make women look good even while they are making themselves look bad. Speaking in purely financial terms, they are really screwing themselves over by leaving at the mid-level point. You need experience and maybe some seniority to earn the real money in this field, since at the lower level jobs you are easy enough to replace.

      Maybe women make less money because they are less serious about this career path. That's OK and not a bad thing. They are choosing what's important to them and they should be free to do that. All of that is fine, until some well-meaning but thoroughly misguided jackass writes a summary making it sound like these poor innocent women are being financially abused and taken advantage of by those big evil savage men. That whole "damsel in distress" thing is far too easy to play up and gets lots of attention every time, even when the damsel herself is not the one doing it. Just look at the approval of this sexist post [slashdot.org] because it portrays women as smarter and more sophisticated than men even though the same people would find reverse sexism repugnant like the hypocrites they are. If that's really their IT culture then they're working for some bad companies. Anyway, that's how powerful that "knight in shining armor" thing can be whenever the "damsel in distress" card is played.

      The other thing that needs to be accounted for is the options women have that men don't. Women see having a family or having a career as a choice. They can do one, the other, or both. Men don't get to view that as a choice. For men, they must have a career, period. If they want to also be a father, they do it after they come home from the office. Just leaving the working world mid-level through your career is not an option for men unless they win the lottery or want to go on welfare. Of course this is going to result in a pay discrepency. Really at around $10k for this industry, I'm amazed it's as low as it is.

      Bottom line, I have known women who were very serious about their careers. They were good at what they did and well respected. They did as well as the men and tended to do a little better. This might be because some of them had the perception that they had to outperform men to be respected, a notion that is really no longer the case because of political correctness. It might also be because management looks more "diverse" and "inclusive" and non-discriminatory when they preferentially promote women and give them raises. Either way they worked like men, they took their jobs seriously like men, and they put in overtime hours like men. Coincidentally they were paid like men and promoted like men.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Penguinisto (415985)

        Seriously, that was an awesome post.

        My main colleague today is considered no less important than anyone else in my shop - she's had no children, is highly passionate about IT, and is AFAIK not in any hurry to bail out of the field. I'd put her brain up against the majority of the lot in this site, and easily bet on her to win. She works like us, takes the job just as seriously as we do, works the same crazy hours, and is paid just like us. I joke about her being like a sister to me, but in my case I say it

    • by westlake (615356)

      Fifty-six percent of women in technology companies leave their organizations at the mid-level point, 10-20 years in their careers

      At Google, you're old and gray at 40. [gawker.com] [June 22]

      It is something the geek has been known to give a positive spin:

      3. Microsoft's senior leadership is middle-aging. Older folks with families and kids don't have the same priorities as younger employees -- and they're not as hungry workaholics.
      The average Microsoft employee is 38 years old, according to the company's self-published co

  • Children? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by leenks (906881) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @02:57PM (#32704198)

    Could it possibly be that women drop out of these jobs 10-20 years into their careers to have children? Could this also explain the difference in "average" salary if their careers have a break or work shorter weeks?

    • by Bieeanda (961632)
      Child-rearing really doesn't have very much to do with it at all, between school, day-care, a partner and parental leave. What probably does have a lot to do with it is that women are offered shittier salaries on average, as noted (and have been forever) and they get tired of banging their heads on the old glass ceiling.
      • Re:Children? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Pharmboy (216950) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @03:32PM (#32704454) Journal

        Actually, it does have something to do with it. When a woman takes parental leave, she goes on the bottom of the list to move up. And like it or not, women almost always get stuck with making sure the kids get to school, go to the doctor, etc. so she is usually the one who has to leave work early or miss an entire day on short notice, further putting her on bottom of the promotion list. When kids are sick, day care will NOT accept them (fever = no acceptance). Well shit, kids get sick all the time, and it is almost always mom that stays home with them, not dad. Who has to pick the kids up at school or day care? Mom usually gets that task.

        Don't get me wrong, there are some great dads out there, but facts are facts and mom still does most of the maintenance in the vast majority of families. Typically, dad's job pays more, so the lesser paid takes more risk by taking time off. This is a cultural issue.

        Even in a perfect situation where 1 man and 1 woman start the same job at the same pay and are equally capable, the woman will usually end up being slightly less reliable, punctual, and willing to work overtime. This is a trade off that she has made, and at the end of the day, the boss *IS* going to favor the guy who always shows up on time and will work overtime with no notice, no questions asked. That doesn't make him a bad boss, actually it is expected that you give the promotions and raises to the person showing the most initiative.

        And when a woman takes off for 2 to 3 months, PAID, it does hurt the perception of her in the workplace. I know, I've seen it. The guys bitch because of it, and since most of the employees are guys to begin with, it puts the woman on the outside looking in. And if a woman is 3 months pregnant, the boss doesn't want to put her in charge of a long term project because she will be gone for a few months and maybe not come back ever. I see that happen all the time, where the woman works until birth is close just to get the 3 months extra pay, knowing she is going to not come back. I can't blame her, even if it causes problems for work. Even when a boss is perfectly fair, he would be negligent if he didn't consider these facts.

        I'm certainly not trying to rag on women at all, but these are real world examples of why some women get paid less. Having 3 kids in 8 years will produce enough "paid while off" time that any boss HAS to consider it when promoting.

        • Re:Children? (Score:4, Insightful)

          The fundamental issue here is that the needs of private industry are fundamentally opposed to family life. People are left choosing one over the other time and again; women simply get the worst of it. The simple truth is that employers hate children, and would much prefer their employees to remain single their entire lives. Unfortunately, if the workaholic culture and demographic wilting of Japan is any indication, employers can and probably will get that wish, and entire nations will atrophy in the long term for the sake of supposed gains in efficiency.

          Right now, as things stand, working men and especially working women are being punished for having children, raising children and even being with their children. I wouldn't classify myself as a child person and especially not as a "family values" proponent, but I can still see why this system is wrong and why change is needed. And simply extending parental leave, paid or otherwise, is not the solution. Businesses need to be persuaded or forced to stop seeing employees with children as liabilities. The question is how this can be done.

        • Re:Children? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Dionysus (12737) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @05:05PM (#32705074) Homepage

          Actually, it does have something to do with it. When a woman takes parental leave, she goes on the bottom of the list to move up. And like it or not, women almost always get stuck with making sure the kids get to school, go to the doctor, etc. so she is usually the one who has to leave work early or miss an entire day on short notice, further putting her on bottom of the promotion list. When kids are sick, day care will NOT accept them (fever = no acceptance). Well shit, kids get sick all the time, and it is almost always mom that stays home with them, not dad. Who has to pick the kids up at school or day care? Mom usually gets that task.

          In the US. In Norway, the fathers in my company is home just as often as the mothers.

          And when a woman takes off for 2 to 3 months, PAID, it does hurt the perception of her in the workplace.

          In Norway, fathers get 10 weeks paternity leave. He also gets 2 weeks leave just after the birth to take care of the mother and child (not counted towards the paternity leave).

          There are still more men than women in IT in Norway.

        • Re:Children? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by merlinokos (892352) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @05:07PM (#32705084)

          And when a woman takes off for 2 to 3 months, PAID, it does hurt the perception of her in the workplace. I know, I've seen it. The guys bitch because of it, and since most of the employees are guys to begin with, it puts the woman on the outside looking in. And if a woman is 3 months pregnant, the boss doesn't want to put her in charge of a long term project because she will be gone for a few months and maybe not come back ever. I see that happen all the time, where the woman works until birth is close just to get the 3 months extra pay, knowing she is going to not come back. I can't blame her, even if it causes problems for work. Even when a boss is perfectly fair, he would be negligent if he didn't consider these facts.

          The fact that men react negatively to a woman taking time off to have children is, in itself, a sign that there's something wrong with the culture you work in.

          I work in the UK and have never seen that at any company I have worked for. No resentment, no difficulties, no problems. It has always been understood where I work that people grow up and sometimes want children. Women are biologically equipped to carry children, and so it benefits society to make allowances for women so they can have children.

          Any culture which doesn't respect simple biological functions and make allowances for it is simply broken.

      • Re:Children? (Score:4, Informative)

        by syousef (465911) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @03:53PM (#32704590) Journal

        Child-rearing really doesn't have very much to do with it at all, between school, day-care, a partner and parental leave. .

        Spoken like someone who does not have children. Until you do, you have no idea what it takes, especially if it's not smooth sailing.

        By the way I'm male, in IT and on parental leave. 2 weeks is all I get per child. I have a newborn daughter, and a boy under 2. My wife's had 4 hours sleep tonight. That's a good night for her. 2 days ago she got an hour and the only thing that got her through is she has me and her parents to take over so she can sleep during the day. I dread what it is going to be like with me back at work and her parents gone. It does get better as they get older but you'll still have shitty days. Like the day my daughter came home but I couldn't go pick her up because my older boy had a fever and had a very rough night (temperate baths etc). I see what my wife goes through and I'm very glad she doesn't have to add work to the mix right now. As they get older the challenges change but if you think a little bit of parental leave and a partner helping makes it all smooth sailing, you're in for a shock if you ever have kids.

      • Re:Children? (Score:4, Informative)

        by commodore64_love (1445365) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @04:01PM (#32704646) Journal

        >>>women are offered shittier salaries on average

        False. When you compared men and women of equal years, they make equal salaries. You make the same mistake as those who claim people only lived to 40 in the 1700s. That is the AVERAGE lifespan, and it's drawn downward because of early death, but if a person survived past age 20 his life expectancy was 70-80 years. Same as now.

        Likewise women tend to quit early, but when you compared a 60 year old man to a 60 year old woman in IT, you'll find they make the same salaries.

      • Karma Suicide!!! (Score:3, Informative)

        by ShadowBot (908773)

        Funnily enough, I'm just reading super-freakonimcs and the authors mentioned a few things about the general male-female wage gap, which confirmed things in my personal experience.

        All the research done shows women are are more likely to leave the workforce earlier than men or downshift in thier careers. Even the summary says that.
        Basically, most of the factors that affect the pay gap are things done by choice.

        On a personal level even a small amount observation will show that most women don't make as much mon

    • Re:Children? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jayveekay (735967) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @03:43PM (#32704516)

      "56% of women in technology companies leave their organizations at the mid-level point, 10-20 years in their careers," said Catherine Ashcraft, the senior research scientist who authored the report.

      Is 56% a large number relative to other careers? What percentage of women in retail sales change companies in their 30s? What percentage of men in tech companies change jobs in their 30s? Are we supposed be shocked by the number 56% in the absence of anything to compare it to?

      I'm a guy who has been working as a software developer for 20 years, and I changed organizations (companies) in my 30s. And it had nothing to do with children.

  • by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @02:59PM (#32704216)

    The terms are being used interchangeably here. The bloom is off the rose on IT careers, certainly (in the US, at least), and not just for women. And the number/type of pure IT careers is imploding, I'm sure (once upon a time there were "webmasters" who were counted as IT guys). But capital "T" Technology as a whole? The highly technical careers that use computers and software as tools? I'm not convinced.

    Fewer woman programmers and server room jockeys, OK. But fewer woman technology workers and technicians? Not so sure. Sounds like stats being massaged to prove a point for somebody...

  • why? because.. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dee Ann_1 (1731324) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @03:06PM (#32704280)
    because of the way we are treated in general.

    Men talk over us or around us.

    If I'm speaking most men will just interrupt and talk right over as if I'm not even in the room.

    And if I'm competent, which I am, I'm seen as a threat and treated as "the enemy"..

    The pay is lower and we have to put more nonsense than we should.

    Bottom line: we are treated with disrespect and disdain. In general. It's the old "Women should be seen but not heard" problem.

    I dropped out of the IT world a few years ago because of the afore mentioned reasons.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by magamiako1 (1026318)
      Sounds like what I deal with when it involves management. And I'm a guy. Welcome to IT.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Bieeanda (961632)
      That's nice, dear.
    • Re:why? because.. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by commodore64_love (1445365) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @04:09PM (#32704688) Journal

      >>>If I'm speaking most men will just interrupt and talk right over as if I'm not even in the ro

      So? Men do the same to me, and I am a man. That's how men communicate. Is it rude? Yes but that's how men are - constantly interrupting one another. It's not because you're a woman but because the men are treating you like any other man. You need to learn to interrupt them too, if you want to be heard.
      .

      >>>And if I'm competent, which I am, I'm seen as a threat and treated as "the enemy"..

      Again, no different than how men treat me, and I'm a man. It is the way of things. Maybe you need to read "Men Are From Mars" which has very useful insights into how men think and talk differently from women, because you seem to expect men to act like women (don't interrupt, don't be competitive), and they simply aren't hardwired that way
      .

      • Re:why? because.. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Justus (18814) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @05:05PM (#32705072)

        So? Men do the same to me, and I am a man. That's how men communicate. Is it rude? Yes but that's how men are - constantly interrupting one another. It's not because you're a woman but because the men are treating you like any other man. You need to learn to interrupt them too, if you want to be heard.

        That has nothing to do with sex. If you're constantly interrupting and talking over people, you're a rude asshole, and it's definitely not just “how men communicate.” It's perfectly possible for men to have good manners and follow appropriate turn-taking when having a conversation.

        However, I will say that there are many assholes out there who have not mastered this basic form of courtesy, so I can see how you might get the impression that it's the norm. I've also known some chauvinists who would be more likely to talk over a woman than a man, so I can empathize with the grandparent poster.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Sorry, if you were really good at your job you would have risen to the top. And by good at your job, I mean passionate about technology. Doing it on your own time, doing it at work, etc... That's what people don't get. You take your biggest nerds, and typically they're pretty one dimensional. They are nerdy, geeky dweebs but they're very good at technology because they live it. Most women don't live it, it's a job. If it's just a job you're not going to be as good at it as someone who is borderline o

  • Sexist field (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rlh100 (695725)

    A common theme with woman sysadmin that have left the field is that they are tired of the environment. Tired of the macho attitudes. Tired of the put-downs. Tired of having to prove that they are tough enough to be part of the group.

    Not quite sexual harassment, but alpha geek males who have something to prove and not enough social skills.

    And it is not that they can't compete in this environment. It is more that they get tired of same old sh*t over and over again. They move out of the field into a more

    • Re:Sexist field (Score:5, Interesting)

      by magamiako1 (1026318) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @03:19PM (#32704372)
      I have never met an IT person nor worked in a place of IT where I can honestly say we have ever put down a woman that works in the field. But keep in mind, there is a difference here. Something so many women seem to forget.

      IT nerds don't have to give you respect *because you're a woman*.

      IT nerds give respect *when you know what you're doing*.

      This is a key difference, because we (used to) have a ton of women in our company in IT that commanded a lot of respect. These smart, knowledgeable, and powerful women left the job not because of the men, but because of the pressures of the job (our DBA left because she was having to get up at 12AM to do database maintenance stuff because of a contracted developer we had).
      • Re:Sexist field (Score:5, Interesting)

        by IANAAC (692242) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @03:46PM (#32704544)

        I have never met an IT person nor worked in a place of IT where I can honestly say we have ever put down a woman that works in the field. But keep in mind,

        I have. From a male manager at one job - just out of the army - thought every single female manager didn't know what the hell they were doing.

        At another job as a sysadmin, pretty much the entire male help desk was against the lone, new-hire female because she assumed people calling for help actually knew what it was they were calling about, or at least treated them that way.

        And yet at another job, my mostly 20-something male co-workers thinking a new female sysadmin was hot and not much else.

        Maybe you just haven't worked in enough bay area places yet (Well, that last one was in Chicago).

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by novium (1680776)
      Gentler? Hah. What a load that is. I work for the Girl Scouts. The entire staff is women. 90% of our volunteers are women. There's nothing gentle; it's just more subtle. I'd rather work with guys, tbh- though the exception is misogynistic assholes. It's one thing to be catching shit from someone who is just an equal-opportunity jerk; it's another thing entirely to know that you're only catching shit because you're female, and that there's nothing you can ever do to stop that. Therein lies the difference, I
    • Re:Sexist field (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jjohnson (62583) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @03:24PM (#32704402) Homepage

      You're absolutely right, but take it a step further: Even without women, why do we put up with bullshit pseudo-macho alpha geek behaviour? It's not like it's any benefit to getting the job done, and it smacks of the same sort of delusions that young lawyers and young stock brokers fall prey to, the "go hard or go home" school of working yourself to death for your boss's sake.

      Well, actually, I don't. Nearing my 40th birthday, my consultancy is screaming along, and dealing with other IT guys in their late 30s, I find we're all quite mature and professional, and don't behave in ways that women would find offputting, usually because we have wives and often daughters that remind us that keyboard commandos aren't the only or best people in the world.

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @03:48PM (#32704558) Homepage Journal

    What are women?

  • by fluor2 (242824) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @04:31PM (#32704848)

    The main reason for this might be that a lot of IT seem to be specializing their people on narrow professions. There's less need for women, who are excellent multitaskers.

  • by ProteusQ (665382) <dontbother@[ ]here.com ['now' in gap]> on Saturday June 26, 2010 @05:02PM (#32705042) Journal

    1. I recently taught an upper-level undergraduate math course with an exceptionally bright female math major and an above-average male math major. For a while, they both did less work than they ought to have (and knew it -- they both had advanced Senioritis); but in the end, the male kicked in to a higher gear and earned a high B. The female did some triage just before the end and earned a low B. This, and similar situations, has made me wonder if females by-and-large react differently to work-related stress than males, i.e., the male will allow the pressure to motivate him, while the female will attempt to escape. If this is true (and I freely admit it may not be), the opposite may occur domestically. Personally, I'd rather spend a 12-hour day "at the office" than spend eight cooking, washing, cleaning, child wrangling, etc.

    2. My wife worked at a company that was, indeed, sexist. There were multiple instances of this, although it was mostly irritating rather than soul-destroying. At one point when we were discussing whether she should move on, I asked what she wanted. "To be treated as one guy treats another", she replied. I responded, "Machiavelli wrote a book on how guys should treat each other 'in the workplace'. Is that really what you want?" That turned the lightbulb on. In the end, she made the correct call and left, but she was no longer suffering from the effects of wearing rose-tinted glasses. I would not be surprised (although, again, I could be flat out wrong about this) if one reason for what's being reported in TFA is that women just don't enjoy working in a social setting where male rules of interaction dominate. I can't say that I blame them at times. But the male perspective has its advantages -- I've worked with female professors who are unable to distinguish between students who should go forward and students who should be encouraged to change their major. This is especially an issue when a bad student is an elementary education major.

    Has anyone else had similar experiences?

  • by XB-70 (812342) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @08:34PM (#32706198)
    Women are not just dropping out of IT, they are also changing the face of many other professions - in ways that were not imagined at the time of Women's Liberation. Take, for example, Veterenarians. What was once a male dominated field now has a vast majority of females entering it.

    But wait - Veterenarians are noticing something interesting: Males work very, very long hours - sometimes 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM and have a huge client base. Women, on the other hand, tend to work very short hours because they combine their careers with child-reasing. As a result, it can take 4-5 female to produce the same work as one male in the field. Also, inherently, salaries are much, much different.

    So, rather than screaming sexist or gender inequality, let's look at how women have been able to have a life balance that is, possibly, better than men's.

    The IT field is particularly nasty if you want to balance your home and work life. As so many of you know, tending a server farm or managing a transaction-intensive web site can mean hours and hours of work at any time of the day or night. It's not a wonder that women have seen the light about what amounts to a shit job (regardless of the pay).

  • Proof... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jwiegley (520444) on Monday June 28, 2010 @01:27AM (#32713850)

    Proof that women ARE actually smarter than men.

    IT jobs suck. I've been a systems and network administrator. It really, really sucks. The job is an endless list of problems that everybody expects you to solve instantly. Nobody realizes that the number of pieces of technology that you mastered outnumbers their marketing/managing/accounting skills 10:1 and are more complex. You're viewed as nothing but a cost; nobody attributes any profit to you. They always think their technology ideas are better than yours. You get labeled as anti-social and unfriendly because you wind up living isolated at night fixing trouble calls that woke you up. "Oh, you know about computers... Can you take a look at mine?" is acceptable but "Oh, you know accounting... can you do my taxes for me this year?" is not.

    So yeah. Women are proving they're smarter than men by avoiding all this anguish and lack of appreciation.

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.

Working...