Fewer Women in IT

I don’t work in IT, so my opinion on this is based on anecdotes and hearsay, not empirical data or my own experience. But I find this interesting — from Silicon.com — excerpt:

Are women ‘too smart’ for IT?
Best of Reader Comments: Or is it too macho…

By Gemma Simpson

Published: Tuesday 23 January 2007

Women are abandoning techie careers, with many put off by the long-hours culture and lack of flexible working. Currently only 16 per cent of tech workers are women, of which few are in management roles, according to IT industry trade group Intellect.

The female flight from IT may not be a question of sex discrimination but more about poor working conditions, say silicon.com readers, as the IT workers suffer from a lack of flexible working schemes and the threat of losing their jobs dues to offshoring.

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Charles Smith, a consultant from London, pointed out IT workers worry their jobs will be exported and are expected to work long hours of unpaid overtime by myopic management.

Women, readers argue, are simply being more choosy about life-work balance than men – and thus they are leaving the industry.

One reader pointed out that women were “maybe just smarter” for shunning IT careers in favour of “much easier jobs” such as being a doctor, lawyer or accountant.

Others said it was a lack of interest in the subject matter. An anonymous reader said he had tried to encourage women to learn more technical things but “only men seem to want to be technical”.

Some female readers said IT has become unattractive due to the ‘macho culture’ and offensive behaviour of their male colleagues.

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