Sexism in Technology | Careers Done Write
This topic is about sexism in technology
This tweet made me cranky because I wonder why there's such an emphasis on speaking out about sexism in technology when the problem is so much worse and much more rampant in society at large. In other words, why is this kind of and sexism OK in every other facet of Western society (especially when it comes to advertising and entertainment), yet it's magically unacceptable in technology?
Sexism in the technology industry
So why am I tired of hearing about sexism in IT? Simply because I think sexism in IT is the wrong focus. To me, focusing on sexism in technology is a bit like trying to treat cancer with painkillers—it's too much like treating the symptom instead of the root cause of the problem. Case in point, Figure 1 shows a tweet that recently made the rounds in the Twittersphere, and which made me cranky.
Rene: It's a very special episode because we were asked over and over again to do something about sexism in technology. Guy and I talked about it, and I think it's safe to say, Guy, that we felt completely under equipped, under prepared, and just not qualified to talk about that ourselves.Rene: It's a very special episode because we were asked over and over again to do something about sexism in technology. Guy and I talked about it, and I think it's safe to say, Guy, that we felt completely under equipped, under prepared, and just not qualified to talk about that ourselves.Sexism in the technology industry has become such an accepted fact it’s now a punchline, an HBO show, hyperlinked poetry. Discrete incidents are quickly labeled — booth babes, CodeBabes, Titstare, Donglegate — for quick and easy reference and #hashtagging. The tweetstorms and damning blog posts are themselves now eye-rolling clichés: As startup bros are to investment bankers and Silicon Valley is to the NFL, gender trouble comes as no surprise. Yet each individual flare-up still sparks the same question: What, exactly, is with tech’s woman problem?In sum, even though there are places where there is not overt sexism, the fact that women tend to avoid this industry is a severe indictment. It's telling, and we ignore it at our peril, and while there may be debate about what is causing this disparity (is it overt sexism in technology? or is it classism that they pick up on? or is it that society conditions women not to study technical fields?) I still find it very clear that their vote of no confidence means something. We're losing a lot of talent, not just for no good reason, but most likely for reasons.