Parity for Some, But Tech Women’s Pay Lags Overall

Women and men in technology have pay parity so long as they have similar job titles, experience and education. Despite that, women’s pay still lags across the overall industry.

The reason, according to Dice’s salary survey, is occupation: The top five positions held by women carry salaries that are largely below the top five held by men.



For example, the top jobs held by women — project managers and business analysts — earn an average $106,130 and $88,887 respectively. Compare that to the top occupations for men: Software engineers earn an average of $97,742, while systems administrators make $72,904.

Four out of the top five occupations for men carry salaries that exceed $90,000. For women, it’s only one out of five.


Career Choices, or Not

It’s not clear whether women take these jobs because of their interests or because of an institutional bias that results in their assignment to these roles. But it is clear that the proportion of women entering the IT workforce is tiny compared to men. The National Research Council’s Committee on Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine offered these sobering statistics:

  • More than 50 percent of all students going into four-year colleges are women.
  • But only 3 percent of all first-year students are women majoring in engineering.
  • Only 1 percent of all graduates who receive a four-year degree are women engineering majors.

The statistics are largely driven by the early influence of the students’ mothers, who may not be pushing their middle-school daughters to take elective courses that will put them onto math tracks in high school and college, said Catherine Didiona, the committee’s director.

Given that the earning potential for software and security engineers is nearly in the six figures, that’s too bad. Especially since women have shown they can be just as influential as men in most every area of IT, right up to the executive suite, as IBM’s Ginni Rometty, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Hewlett-Packard’s Meg Whitman, and Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer will attest.



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25 Responses to “Parity for Some, But Tech Women’s Pay Lags Overall”

  1. Michael Stelly

    These stats invariably reflect cultural biases against women in ANY occupation, not just IT. If you study historical data, any occupation that has a gender shift sees a corresponding pay shift depending on whether the shift is male > female, or female > male. For example, accounting: a formerly male-dominated occupation which experienced a “feminization” and a correlated drop in average earnings. Conversely, the nursing industry is experiencing a “masculinization” and is seeing a corresponding increase in average earnings.

    We have a long way to go before we reach parity. The good news? We’ve come a long way, baby.

  2. It reminds me of something I saw recently about Cheerleading and them not being considered doing a sport. Gymnastics is considered a sport in the Olympics.

    I accept that some men will make me prove my skills over and over again and still not pay me as highly as my male counterparts. I got told outright once that the guy that did my job before me was a better programmer – this fool used 0 comments and copy/pasted things offline all the time. Then when I get unhappy about something they will say I’m on my period behind my back. What I don’t give them is any fuel to make my gender an issue when it comes to clothing. I’m buttoned up like a Quaker, they are lucky if they see my ankles.

    Maybe that’s why female business owners try to make a lot of noise about being female owned in an attempt to lure other women to do it, they know they can’t get even with the good old boys club around so they create what they can’t find. It sure does seem tempting to me to strike out on my own. I think of these as my earning years, what I do now will be what I live on in old age and I’d like to be able to afford that cane to raise at the children while saying get off my lawn. It makes it more impressive if there is a lions head on it, perhaps in bronze.

  3. Architype

    I’m a woman in a mostly male area of technology also – architecture. I am often the only woman in this group. I agree that more women should enter the technical area. I would suggest targeting the area of architecture. In this area, one is designing and are considered the more knowledgeable thinkers around providing technical solutions. In engineering, on the other hand, these are the higher doers. Women are very good at thinking creatively and may better understanding technology compatibility.

    My recommendation is for women to target architecture roles in technology management. These roles do pay better than most of the other roles. But, ladies, you do need some broad experience relating to technology in order to know how technology interacts for planning purposes. If general enterprise architecture is not as attractive (which often includes infrastructure), look to information and data architecture.

  4. Neither the article nor the discussion so far has even mentioned, much less considered, the factor that IMO probably explains the difference. Dare I say it? Males and females differ. What follows comes from a viewpoint that is politically incorrect to the point of being suppressed in this society. If you are closed minded, don’t read on!

    Males and females are thoroughly different. As one author put it, “men and women are wired differently”. We are the products of evolution, and humanity’s genetic response to evolutionary competitive forces was to develop a system of reproduction and genetic selection that exploits specialization. In the viewpoint that I am expressing, males are specialized to hunt, defend territory, and conquer. Females are specialized to care for the young and the elderly and to nurture everyone. Put another way, males dominate nature and females dominate males (while maintaining the ruse that the males are in control).

    I am 58 years old and have decades of experience within the software development industry and more decades in other occupations. The above viewpoint is how I make sense of what I have seen over and over. IMO, it is so obviously what is going on that I am always surprised when I encounter someone who has never considered the possibility.

    Reasonable, intelligent people who share the same core values (e.g. liberty and justice for all) can disagree. But it would be unreasonable for anyone reading this to dismiss the above viewpoint out of hand without giving it consideration.

  5. I see that no one has weighed in on this topic in response to my post. This is, I think, because each of you are thinking, “I don’t dare to speak my mind, because this is a job board and potential employers are looking.” Bold, respectful consideration of the opinions of others is the foundation of intelligent living and real community, and such boldness, combined with respect for others, is critically important in any organization charged with creative thinking or problem solving. If you do not have the boldness (and the respect) to speak your mind here, then you will bring only mediocrity and thought conformity to the organization that hires you.

    My purpose here, other than to state my opinion on the issue raised by the article, is to invite you to turn away from the path of mediocrity and conformity, and begin your journey on the path of boldness, truthfulness, and sincere wholesome connection with other people.

    Respect is important. Engage me intellectually. Assume that we share the same core values, and at worst disagree only about how best to achieve them.

    • CleverTitania

      So because no one has questioned your opinion, something you never really offered in the first place, that means people are afraid to speak their mind? Do stop patronizing the people on this page, it’s very disrespectful to speak for someone you know nothing about. No one responded to the comments before yours, which actually held some relevance to the topic and warranted legitimate discussion.

      The reason no one responded is because you didn’t say anything meaningful or worthy of response. “Males and females are thoroughly different,” call out the presses. You might as well have said Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.That’s not an opinion, it’s a vague statement that means nothing to the subject. And that generality offers zero insight into the topic at hand, or into any element of the pay-disparity subject.

      How about saying, “Biologically the majority of male brains are better at mathematics and the hard-sciences than the majority of female’s in the species, while in contrast the female brain is more likely to excel at communication. As a result, there are going to be more women in jobs like Project Management – a female dominated position – than in something more technically detailed like Software Engineering.”

      That’s an opinion that means something, and has a point, whether one agrees with it or not. There are, of course, counter points. One could argue that, historically, women who insisted on enriching their minds were less likely to have an opportunity to marry and have children, particularly in any time pre-1950. And in some parts of the world, women are still subject to punishment and even death for daring to challenge female stereotypes and demonstrate their independent intelligence. As such, it is conceivable that some degree of advanced intelligence was ‘selectively’ bred from women over centuries. It could also be argued that the job titles requiring people and management skills, the one’s more often dominated by women, are the ones companies see less tangible returns on and don’t pay according to the true benefit to the industry they are. It’s easy to see how the software guys made them money, it’s harder to figure out how their HR rep did.

      But regardless of why this disparity and lack of equality exists, if you want to voice an opinion on women’s place in the job market, please do the respect to the men and women of this forum, to not treat them like children for offering no counter-point to a statement that not only wasn’t controversial, it wasn’t even relevant.

      Dare to be educated, and state an informed opinion on the actual topic. There are roughly 7 billion people on the planet, and among both genders you will find brilliant engineers, architects, doctors, nurses, teachers and scientists. And also among both genders, you will find equally brilliant parents and primary care-givers of their children. THAT is a fact. Your vague simplification of BOTH genders is rude to all of us.

  6. Hah! It worked! I got a very intelligent response. Thank you, CLEVERTITANIA.

    I’m not here to argue. I want to have a conversation that all find pleasant and informative. Your post contains much for me to think about, which is good. It also contains many negative statements about me, which don’t take us anywhere. There’s no need to say anything negative about anyone.

    I am an economist. Decades ago, in 1976-77, when I was between undergrad work and grad school, I worked as a programmer for two economists at RAND Corporation who using U.S. Census data to study wage rate differentials across gender and race. At that time, “blacks” earned significantly less than “whites” and females earned significantly less than males. Both ratios were improving steadily and significantly. The conventional wisdom at the time was that the improvements were due to affirmative action and other interventions by government into the labor market. My bosses, who were both Chicago School economists, set out to investigate whether the rising relative wages for blacks and for females could be best explained by market forces alone. IOW, they wanted to see whether the market, not the government, was to be credited with the improvement.

    My post here is similar. My intent is to suggest that the pay and occupational differences that Dawn Kawamoto writes about might be best thought of as the result of a market that works rather than as the result of a market that fails due to discrimination. As you correctly inferred, I am suggesting that women earn less than men because women and men differ, which causes women and men to sort themselves into different occupations. The relative earnings of males versus females is simply a random artifact of supply and demand in each of those occupations.

    A more sinister version of this argument adds the assertion that males are better at bargaining, simply because they are males, with the result that males end up cutting better deals than females do even in the absence of any supply/demand effect on price.

    So we have (at least) three different paradigms with which we can view the statistical facts that women earn less than men but earn the same as men within a given job title. (1) Women are discriminated against. (2) Men enjoy a supply/demand advantage due to being relatively scarce in “male occupations”. (3) Men are more aggressive at managing their careers to chase the dollars and are more aggressive at the bargaining table.

    I think that all three factors are important. Personally, I would never report to a woman. I view that as a perversion, an unwholesome relationship that would be harmful to my development as a man. I state this to get out into the open what I think is the most important reason that there is a glass ceiling keeping women from senior management. Many men instinctively and possibly unconsciously revolt against the idea of reporting to a woman. It’s a hind-brain thing, something that is built into us. We should work for justice for women, but that work will fail if we do not have the courage to face the gender and sexuality facts which must be accommodated in any plan we might devise for progress. WDYT?

    • CleverTitania

      And I don’t suppose it occurs to you, that the post you wrote, which I replied to, said very negative things about every person who chose not to respond to your comment? In fact, I think you quite heavily implied that every person who didn’t respond was steeped in mediocrity and conformity. If you can’t take having your attitudes questioned – in addition to your ‘opinions’ – consider reframing your arguments.

      Your elaborated opinion is based on some genuine statistics, but again it ignores several important elements – not the least of which is that you never mention the lack of access to education between both blacks/women and Caucasian males at the time. The market is obviously a driving force of the job market, but the long term forces are almost never market based. And pretty much every long-term economic study shows that things like infrastructure and educational system play a much larger force on the job market – over decades or longer – than market forces which fluctuate constantly.

      In the modern economy, thanks to reforms in education, we have women who have every bit as much education and technical skills, who are NOT overly burdened by maternal/nurturing attitudes (if you think all women are nurturing I have to wonder if you’ve actually met any), and are still being paid less when they are in comparable jobs. That is nothing to do with market forces – it has to do with a mistaken perception that the 7 billion men and women in this world can all be so simplified based on their gender.

      You also fail to address my point, regarding when women do put themselves in different kinds of positions, that the perception that the girl in HR isn’t as financially useful to the company as the software guy in R&D. In reality they are both as integral to the long-term success of the company,

      You want a dynamic, consider John Deere. Most of their first-line IT security people are women, and they pay them (through a third-party contractor) peanuts. Many of those women have familial obligations which have prevented them from having advanced technical degrees, or taking jobs out of the area which would let them expand their technical skills. Yet whenever a woman would show the skills and expertise – and education as Deere requires at least 2 years of college to be hired for a non-floor position – the upper level IT guys would snatch her up, because there weren’t enough good managers in their IT departments, and they had the best luck with women.

      Men and women have differences, but they are far more varied and complicated than simply gender. Yet is the continued perception that their primary difference strictly is gender – and gender presumed traits, like alpha-male behavior (a dynamic which ALSO appears in female lead societal groups) and caring nurturing instincts which many men have acutely. Your perceptions about them are based on little but your own inaccurate simplifications of them.

      Regarding your paradigms – the article says in tech there is no pay disparity between titles. You’re suggesting that it’s not limited to tech, and actual facts do not remotely bear that out. There is still a significant pay disparity, between men and women in many fields, with similar job titles. Check out the CEO take-homes some time. Your point two makes no sense – men have a supply/demand advantage because of their lack of presence in male occupations? What? And your point 3 is arbitrary and NOT based on the inherit differences of men and women. In fact, if you look at the bartering history of mankind, and at the role women traditionally took, THEY would be more likely to develop bartering and management skills. In fact, it’s a generally understood that women are better at managing people, time and resources. So if you were really examining women based on the roles that evolution has led them to, you should seek to work for a company/department that is led by a woman.

      But then again, there is NOTHING reasonable, rational or sensible about treating women in positions of power as a “perversion.” And what about a woman’s development as a woman? Is that of no relevance. Or is it in your imagination that women’s development is based in nothing more than raising children and supporting her husbands work? Does a woman’s professional fulfillment come second to yours because you’re a man, or because you PERCEIVE she needs no such fulfillment as a woman?

      Either way, you’re just wrong. Why, because your attitudes take too many assumptions about people you know nothing about. My having a uterus doesn’t remotely tell you what kind of job I’m suited to, what kind of parent I’d be, or what I need to be happy and fulfilled in my life. Nor do I presume to know any of those things about, simply because you have a penis. Because to be so presumptuous is pretty much the definition of prejudice and bigotry.

  7. Hooey. The author completely fails to even consider that, oh golly, women are not hired for the positions that pay better — not because they are not qualified (and in some cases much more qualified than male applicants) — but because they are women and the hiring manager refuses to hire women in those positions.

    You want proof? Do an experiment:
    Create a resume for one of the higher-paying roles, making sure the qualifications are plausible. Put an obviously male name on it. And, on the same resume, put an obviously female name. See how many calls “he” gets. I’d bet a year’s salary that “he” gets several calls and even some offers while “she” gets nothing. Or perhaps, he gets calls for an even more responsible/technical role and she gets offers for a lesser position.

  8. I just used Google to search for “fake resumes to study discrimination”. I’m pressed for time so cannot spend a week exploring the tantalizing results as I would like to.

    I think that most people agree that the labor markets treat males and females differently, as distinct “products”. The important question is, “Why?” The two most important alternative viewpoints are

    (1) It is not due to failure of the market mechanism; it is due to fundamentals. IOW, males and females differ statistically in ways that matter to hiring managers, so can be expected to sell for different prices.

    (2) It is due to market failure. Males and females do NOT differ statistically in ways that could reasonably be viewed as relevant to the hiring decision.

    A few years ago, I encountered a female manager of a software development group while we were both studying in the San Francisco Public Library branch in the Stonestown district. We had a pleasant conversation in which she said, approximately, “It’s like managing two separate groups. The women all strive to work as a team. For the men, its every man for himself.”.

    Each and every career woman working today is headed for a crisis when, sooner or later, she comes to grips with the reality of these kinds of fundamental and important differences between men and women, and realizes that her whole world view is the product of brainwashing and that the major choices that she has consequently made in her life will prove to be disastrous.

    I could be wrong, but I am not. Heed my warning. Work for justice for women; women really are oppressed in the world today. But abandon the silly idea that females and males are substitutes for each other who do not differ statistically in ways that are important to hiring managers, to coworkers, to customers, etc. Lasting justice will come only on a path that acknowledges that males are females are designed to complement one another and are not interchangeable.

  9. I don’t think the fact that I’m female had a darned thing to do with me never being able to do anything with my Math/CIS degree–and having to give up on it and go in a wildly different direction. What sunk me was the lack of entry-level positions *period,* and the fact that I simply couldn’t afford to go work unpaid “internships” for *years,* in the hopes that someone would eventually throw me a bone and offer me a $12.00/hour job.

    I plain couldn’t afford to do this, nor was I willing–as someone on LinkedIn suggested–to go on welfare and force people who actually work for a living to support my lifestyle choice so that I could do this. And I don’t see a guy being any more able to do this than I was. In fact, I could see this being even LESS of an option for guys. Let’s be realistic: how many women are willing to date a guy with no income, who’s on welfare–or alternatively, living off his parents–with no income and no paid job in sight? Heck, these days, few men are willing to date indigent women. Nobody wants to be involved with someone who can’t support themselves. Nobody wants to have to work 2-3 jobs to support a partner/spouse who doesn’t even have ONE.

    Y’all want more women in tech? Then offer college graduates more attractive alternatives than working for free while collecting welfare and food stamps. Bring back the concept of an entry-level position, the concept of job training for recent graduates. Used to be, a college graduate could expect to obtain an entry-level job. It wouldn’t pay six figures, with a corner office and a private jet, but it would pay SOMETHING, and the pay would be superior to that of the janitor cleaning the office. It would pay enough to at least get by, and if the trainee worked hard and applied themselves, they could move up the ladder into better-paying positions.

    I’ve never collected welfare in my life: something I take great pride in. I’ve always worked for a living. There was no way I was going to go on welfare just so I could work in tech.

  10. Is TR’s description accurate? Have things really gotten that bad for newly graduated CS/Math people?

    Regarding Dawn’s article, I just noticed that the roles listed for males are all problem solving roles, and the roles listed for females are all administrative roles that do not involve technical problem solving. Are these data telling us that the importance of technical problem solving in a role will be a good predictor of whether the role is filled by a female or a male? Is that the essence of what is going on here?

  11. Came back to check, this convo is lively.

    I can confirm that I worked as an intern for no pay for 3 mos. before leaving school. This was as a highest honors graduate who beat out everyone else in the class at a final project where we could win the chance to build a not for profit’s website. I wasn’t a math major though. There was no question that I was one of the better people coming out of our class that year – female didn’t have anything to do with it. I was helping others in classes when the teacher was busy with people and blew the others out of the park on that presentation to the not for profit with my ideas.

    After hired, the pay rate was 10 an hr. That was only $1 more an hour than I was making in general office labor before attending school. I’ve since requested raises over the years and bumped up 13 an hour which barely covers my student loans at 23 an hour. When I was under 15 I had to stay in financial hardship deferment because they weren’t possible to pay at 300 a month. Because of that there is a tight line on me now, if I am out of work too long and don’t pay them – they will default because I have no more unused time to push them off due to pay. The loan guarantors simply don’t care any longer about “my” problems – I can understand their side in a way but I know when my hands feel tied too.

    Back when we had that huge economic slump and the company didn’t have much work for me, I tried to apply at Burger King or anything I could find just as general work thinking 200 a week is better than nothing. They wouldn’t talk to me once I put down that I had a degree, one lady said in an interview, “I’m going to be honest with you, I know you won’t stay here with a degree so while I’d like to give you work, I can’t justify training you because you will leave”. You had better lie if you have a degree and want general labor – it’s all a silly game.

    I could have played the intern game multiple times but got lucky and didn’t have to do it. Still, no one entry level is making bucks these days. It took me over 5 years to get this pay as it stands. I can imagine someone that went longer or did multiple internships could be locked into the work for free model unable to escape. The schools tell you to intern before you leave school just to get work on your resume and people like me did. Not all of those turn into jobs and from what I see, they aren’t great jobs at the onset.

  12. There is more bad news. People in IT are like ballerinas. Speaking generally, at 40 you are washed up. Out. Over the hill. The reasons for this are as solid and inescapable as they are in ballet. The only difference between ballet and IT is that young ballerinas know that they will not still be doing ballet when they are 50, but young IT “professionals” are kept clueless as they are driven into burnout chasing the carrot that they will never in fact taste.

    And still more… IT is particularly unwholesome for males. Young males need to be working in occupations that allow them and stimulate them to develop as men, and IT is one of the worst environments for this. Part of the problem is the nature of the work, but most of the problem is that IT crews are, and perhaps must be, managed in a way that intentionally keeps the “individual contributors” childlike and clueless. This harms the females, too, but is especially harmful to the males. Females in such environments can develop into good, strong women, but males in such environments cannot develop into good, strong men.

    People work to earn money. Don’t buy in to all of the BS to the contrary.

    • CleverTitania

      You’ve mixed your information there. The point of IT is that it is constantly changing. Sure, people who were born in 1963 had some options in IT degrees in school, but even in 1983 – when my mother went back to college after my father passed – they were learning programming languages no one has touched in 25 years.

      If people don’t keep up with the changing technology, they will get left behind by the new programmers. But there are plenty of older people who are keeping up, and still very important elements of the industry. The head of the largest branch of Deere’s IT is probably about 65.

      Plus, you have to remember that IT is a BIG term. Web Design, administrative security, software design, game design, software testing, launch management, server management, Tier 2 support, hardware refresh managers, ROM system creators… In some of those professions you only need to keep up with the basic changes in technology, as they occur, in the software your company uses. In others, if you don’t know the latest builds and tools, you’ll be in the dust.

      People who have money work – happens every day. Yes, then want to make a living and have a decent life, but there are repeated studies that show employees will stick by a company that treats them fairly over a higher paying position with a company that is known to treat their employees poorly. And that includes treating people equal to their skills, without it being remotely based on arbitrary things like gender, age, or attractiveness.

      Only really bad IT crews work that way. In fact, that kind of strategy is pretty much the mark of a crappy IT manager.

  13. How is a woman made strong in ways that don’t apply to men? There isn’t a man can do that I can’t. I took self-defense and can take people out with 4 fingers. I even cattle prod shocked a guy with one arm that tried to molest me after I took his sorry butt home from work.

    I don’t get where you are going ideafarm. You claim that we grow different ways but I don’t see any reasoning behind it. Are you just trying to be controversial.

    You aren’t going to be able to give a female perspective unless you have lived in a body that is nothing more than an object of desire to some people you meet. As a man you can be dog faced ugly with a neckbeard and 3 chins and just be called a man’s man. As a woman with the same features you are “failing at life”. There isn’t true equality and probably won’t be ever. At least we can all sing “I’m bad” whether anyone wants to listen or not or pay the same for it. My speakers are at 100, don’t know about yours but all the inadequacies you think I have because of my gender are your idea. I live in this body and know it better than you could.

  14. Whoa, Plinko! I’m just expressing the opinion that males and females are complements, not substitutes. Males and females differ statistically in ways that are important to hiring managers, coworkers, and customers. In my view, the world of work is made up of “man’s work”, “women’s work”, and corporate work.

    The last category exists only because of government meddling, which has produced a corporate work environment in which roles are unisexed. In the corporate world there is no tolerance for ideas such as “man’s work” and “women’s work”, so it is not surprising that people whose work experience is limited to those environments think that those concepts are not useful and that males and females are interchangeable, i.e. that gender is not relevant to hiring decisions.

    Outside of the corporate work environment, it is much easier to see what I am saying. For many occupations outside of the unisexed corporations, gender is not only relevant, it is often the most important, first consideration.

    The point isn’t that men are better; it’s that men are different. I expressed this view here because I think that it is the cause of the occupational and earnings pattern that Dawn wrote about. It’s not so much about whether a female CAN do what a male can do. In most occupations, it’s more about whether a female WOULD do what a male would do.

    When I look at Dawn’s table, what jumps out at me is gender self selection. Women self select into “women’s work” and men self select into “men’s work”. For me, your last post is like an orange telling an apple that she is just as good an apple as he is. It’s silly. You’re not an apple at all. You’re an orange.

    This is a sensitive subject because there is much gender injustice in the world. But truth is the only sure foundation for lasting progress. I am speaking the part of the truth that I think that I have.

  15. Well I don’t believe anything that you do. Imagine if I had typed this phrase – because I’m going to flip it on you so you can see how it reads.

    “Personally, I would never report to a man. I view that as a perversion, an unwholesome relationship that would be harmful to my development as a woman. I state this to get out into the open what I think is the most important reason that there is a glass ceiling keeping men from senior management. Many women instinctively and possibly unconsciously revolt against the idea of reporting to a man. It’s a hind-brain thing, something that is built into us.”

    You may as well have used the N word there. You flat out say that women can’t lead and that you don’t see them as capable. That’s not apples and oranges, that’s humans and garden slugs.

    I don’t think you are bringing anything to this conversation but misogyny so it’s time to find somewhere else to be, for me. Let me leave you with some information. Women ran empires just fine – Queen Elizabeth the first (research her reign) and if you don’t know about Ada Lovelace, SHE was the first programmer in history.

  16. Plinko, I think that you are too intelligent, and thus too curious about how I will respond, to have really left. I hope that you do continue to converse with me, because the most important thing we are doing here is listening to each other and stating our opinions respectfully.

    >> Well I don’t believe anything that you do.

    I stand for liberty and justice for all (including women). I suspect that you do, too.

    >> “Personally, I would never report to a man. I view that as a perversion, an unwholesome relationship that would be harmful to my development as a woman.

    I’ve never met a woman who really felt that way, and I’ve had several say that they prefer working for men. I would guess that over 9/10’ths of all men would prefer to work for a male and on a crew consisting only of men. Construction sites and other work places that are almost exclusively male have an entirely different character, one that many men really like. The executive suites in most corporations have that character.

    > You may as well have used the N word there.

    No. My viewpoint is based upon reasoning that would not transfer over to race. Coming to a comparable viewpoint involving race would involve completely different scientific issues.

    > You flat out say that women can’t lead

    No, I don’t. Even if that is true, my viewpoint says that the fault lies with the men for not being willing to accept a female leader. Anyway, we aren’t talking about leadership. We are talking about control. The management team of a corporation does not lead its “resources”. It CONTROLS them. If you distill away all of the sugar coating BS, that’s what will remain, staring you in the face. Management is about control, and a male naturally, I claim, revolts from the idea of being controlled by a female. Males are territorial. Males dominate. For males, everything is an object of possession and/or control, including females. That’s just the way we’re built, and there are good reasons for it that involve sperm competition and gains from specialization. If you don’t see it all around you, it’s due to heavy sugar coating.

    > you don’t see them as capable

    I haven’t and wouldn’t say anything negative about women. I’m just saying that males and females differ, not only in what they CAN do, but more importantly in what they WOULD do.

    > humans and garden slugs

    No. To prove this, I will tell you truthfully that if I was offered an opportunity to live a second life and that I would get to keep my memories of my first life and that I could choose whether to be male or female, I would choose to be female, mostly out of curiosity but also because I like challenges!

    > I don’t think you are bringing anything to this conversation but misogyny so it’s time to find somewhere else to be, for me

    You’re being closed minded. Dare I say it? You’re reacting like a woman.

    • CleverTitania

      To say you stand for liberty for all is the weakest argument one can make. Liberty is an intangible concept, of being able to choose one’s own life path. You are arguing against women being allowed to lead you – that is direct contradiction to the idea of liberty.

      I have met TONS of women who feel that way. If you don’t believe you have met women who feel that way, you haven’t bothered to ask, or they were in positions not to feel comfortable being honest with you. ANY woman who has been marginalized in the work place, which is at least 60% of women at bare minimum, have thought this way at one time or another.

      Applying Hunterer-Gatherer mentality to the modern job market is not remotely scientific – well beyond the most casual of influences. You are applying broad generalizations to an entire group of people, based on no more information than their gender. That is the bigotry, and people who tend to generalize races will make similar arguments about the differences between being raised in aboriginal tribes or agrarian communities. It’s the same crap – claiming that you can genuinely argue for an individuals potential based on something as arbitrary as race or gender.

      A good management team does LEAD it’s resources – in fact every time of IT group you describe is an example of a bad team/leader/environment. The worst IT managers in the world are those who seek to control – in fact the worst managers in any industry are the same. I’ve known crappy managers of all types, and both genders – you know who my best manager ever was? A gay man. And you know what, it had nothing to do with his being gay, or a man, it was because he was rational, reasonable and knew how to listen to what people actually say instead of imagining what they’re saying between the lines.

      There are men who are territorial. There are women who are territorial. There are men who aren’t territorial and prefer managing a healthy group-sharing relationship with their society, and there are women who enjoy the same. If you don’t know that, you’re not living on this planet. I’ve known many men who are not the least bit territorial or dominating, and I’ve known some women are insanely so. Once again – people are more than their gender.

      What you think a woman WOULD do is the problem. You think you can make that assumption based on her gender, and you’re wrong. Even an anthropologist would never make such an assumption, and they would have more data to do so. You don’t know what I, or any other woman would do. And so far, most of the things you’ve assumed we would do, show little resemblance to reality. Even your perception of what constitutes a functional IT team is faulty.

      They were wrong, and so are you. My ability to communicate exceptionally makes me a better manager than most of the manager’s I’ve known, men and women alike. I do have some nurturing tendencies, but very minimal compared to what considers “feminine,” but what I do have meant I was good at explaining what a person did wrong without making them feel like a piece of crap.

      As explained above, my feminine traits make me a better manager of people and time. They make me better at managing projects, because I excel at multi-tasking and using the skills of my team in the most efficient ways, and I’m good at noticing when people are burning out and need something else to invigorate their work.

      Your view of women doesn’t apply to me, my mother, my sister, most of my aunts or 95% of the women I’ve known in my life. So no, I don’t think anyone is being close-minded but you. Because you have created a perception of an entirely different group of people, who’s minds and intellects you literally know nothing about, based on nothing more than their gender identification and traditional roles in pre-industrial times.

      Dare I say, that it’s pretty much the definition of sexism, to tell a woman she’s better off in a specific role, and then say her reacting poorly to it is being “feminine.” I’ll tell you what. You spend most of your life, having men tell you what you should and shouldn’t be (which – by the way – has happened to me no less than 5 times this year alone) and then tell me how you’d react the next time someone said it?

      Being indignant at having a man suggest that MY job satisfaction is best served by acknowledging that some men can’t handle being led by a woman, is not remotely about hormones, excesses of emotion or having my period. It’s about you having no right to make so many assumptions about my ability to do ANY job, my interest and desire to pursue the job, my ability to excel at the job, and whether I should give a crap that one of my employees genuinely feels he can’t develop “as a man” with me in charge.

      That is as childish and insulting a sentiment as I’ve ever heard. And if a man is incapable of growing to his full potential, while his female counter-part is allowed to grow to what ever potential she chooses , he has no place in the work force.

      I’m with her, and completely done with this conversation – I’m even unsubscribing from the thread. I have no curiosity what you’ll say because clearly you have nothing but this hodge-podge of a theory to argue. You’re so convinced that you want to protect and defend women, that you have no concept of how patronizing, condescending and demeaning you are speaking about them. I’ve had men who think like you work for me, and inevitable they were fired by people above me – usually other men – because they refused to recognize how narrow-minded their views of people were.

      Being open-minded means knowing that you can’t judge anything about a person with so little information. And arguing for scientific reasoning requires going A LOT deeper than “women are nurturers and men are territorial.” There are thousands of different societies, with many different familial/gender structures, which have existed throughout the history of mankind. And not a one of them will tell you what the role of women in THIS society should be, could be or would be.

      • CLEVERTITANIA, your post is a wonderful, intelligent response to my expression of my viewpoint. We agree on some things and disagree on others. But that is not important. The important thing is that we are listening to each other, that we are really hearing each other rather than dismissing what the other says out of hand.

        I do hope that you and PLINKO will continue to dialog rather than just call me names, call my viewpoint names, and go storming off in a huff.

        Much of what you are angry about isn’t on topic. Let’s respect Dawn by staying on topic. It would be wonderful to debate sexuality and gender roles, but this is not the right place. (You can converse with me via email by clicking my name.)

        Regarding Dawn’s article, my opinion is that the earnings and occupation patterns that she presents would be explained by my hypothesis that females and males differ in important ways that would predict self selection into exactly the patterns that Dawn reports. I view this as weighing in favor of my hypothesis. If there aren’t systematic, statistical differences between males and females, then explaining the observed patterns becomes problematic. For example, the hypothesis that lower earnings is due to discrimination would leave unexplained the evidence that within a given job title there is parity.

        I am a social scientist. There is nothing unusual about postulating that gender is an important explanatory variable for understanding general observed patterns, and there is nothing unscientific or illogical about exploring a variety of models or stories for why this might be so. If anyone here has another explanation, I’d like to hear it.

        The most important thing is that we listen to each other and that we enjoy the stimulation of each other’s thoughts. Much that has been said in opposition to my ideas is true or partly true; thank you for posting it.

  17. ManYunSoo

    The only bias in STEM is in favor of women. Engineering companies and universities bend over backwards to get women into their ranks. But there’s nothing they can do if women aren’t interested. Also, no surprise that women in HR aren’t making loads of cash with their jobs that cause more problems than they solve for companies. No one wants them there, they’re just there to pad the woman quota.

    • Mark Feffer

      @ManYunSoo, I disagree. Some companies certainly bend over backwards to attract more women, but more often than not it’s a low priority or their heart’s not in it. And your remark about HR is way off-base: You say no one wants HR (I assume you’re talking about HR in general,not just women in HR), but the people making the hiring decisions sure do. Without HR people doing the first screening, filling a job would take even longer than it does now. I mean, with some companies getting hundreds of resumes for each opening, how would a manager get through them and do their job? HR people aren’t dumb, and I haven’t run into an HR department yet where the people doing the screening haven’t gotten briefed by the manager about the things they should be looking for.

      But to get back to your original notion about bias in favor of women, even though I disagree I’d sincerely be interested in why you say that.

  18. Wow, this thread really got derailed.

    Bottom line: there will be more female applicants in the IT field once there exist paying jobs in the IT field, and in particular, entry-level paying jobs. I say “in particular” because, since few women entered IT in the past, the ones applying now obviously don’t have years of experience and an extensive portfolio. They’re beginners. And there exists no opportunities for beginners to enter IT. That’s why I’m a Math/CIS graduate who works in the fitness industry. Mind you, I love fitness (I’m a lot more passionate about running than I ever was about any coding language), but if I’d been able to obtain a paying a job where I utilized my degree, I would have taken that path first.

    I maintain that my inability to enter the IT field had nothing to do with me being female, and everything to do with the fact that there simply aren’t any entry-level jobs in the field. A man who shared my background and experience level would not have fared any better, and as I pointed out in my first post, may have found the obstacles even more insurmountable. (Try getting a date if you’re living in your mom’s basement, collecting food stamps, with student loan collectors calling night and day and no paying job in sight. Just try.)

  19. Not sure why you think the conversation went off topic. I enjoyed it while it lasted, i.e. before Clevertitania and Plinko when off in a huff. No one ever responded to my ideas. Perhaps you will.

    We don’t have to debate anything. I just want to have a pleasant conversation in which I can become familiar with the intellectual path that takes people to an opinion that opposes mine.