Women in IT Face Down Stereotypes and Bias

Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg are among the latest to join the elite group of high profile technology executives who are women. They joined such notable CEOs as HP’s Meg Whitman, Xerox’s Ursula Burns and IBM’s Ginni Rometty. But their achievements don’t come close to telling the full story.

For nearly a decade, the pool of women in IT has remained roughly a quarter of the technology workforce, demonstrating little advance despite their comprising approximately half of the overall civilian workforce in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the challenges and frustrations women in IT confront at each juncture of their career paths remain unique when compared to the experiences of their male counterparts.

Percentage of women in tech jobs

During their job search, for example, new graduates rarely encounter other women who would be their senior managers. That’s not surprising, given that only 4 percent of technical or R&D leaders at Silicon Valley startups are women, according to a report from National Center for Women & Information and Technology (NCWIT), Women in IT: The Facts. Several attendees at a recent Women Who Code meetup in San Francisco noted that they encountered no women during the interview process for jobs they sought right out of college.

For recent graduate and software engineer Amanda Canyon, the situation presented a little “weirdness” in one of her initial job interviews, before eventually landing a job at the San Francisco-based apartment search engine Apartment List.

New Gal on the Block

Software engineer Katlyn Daniluk, who’s been in the business for two years and works at the San Francisco cloud-based collaboration and project management company Mavenlink, says she’s not surprised that there were no women engineers at companies she interviewed with early on. She encountered so few women in her engineering classes, she was prepared for the dynamic.  For her – and for many women — working in a predominately male environment presents challenges that men don’t face. For example, she often has to work harder in order to make her voice heard during the work day.

Dropping Out

Daniluk and Georgia Andrews, who’s been in the business for about two years as a software engineer at insurance-industry software provider Guidewire Software in Foster City, Calif., are reaching a relatively critical stage in their careers. In 2003 only 33 percent of the women who earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science were still working in an engineering, science or technical job two years later, according to NCWIT. For men, the retention rate was much higher: 50 percent were still in the industry during the same timeframe.

The Special Report:

The issues that lead to so many departures include a sense of isolation and a need to push harder than men to make a point. Plus, many women lack the support of role models or mentors at this critical stage. Andrews notes while she has a great working relationship with her co-workers – both male and female — she appreciates working with women in lead IT roles. For example, her female team lead has convinced her that she, too, has the potential to move into a leadership position at their company. And while she hasn’t yet actively sought out a mentor, Andrews has found a number of other women who serve as role models.

Mid-Career Crater

The toughest period for women in technology seems to come 10 to 20 years into their career. It’s at that point that attrition spikes sharply, according to the NCWIT. After a decade, 41 percent of women leave technology, compared to just 17 percent of men. And as the range stretches out to 20 years, the percentage of women who leave climbs to 56 percent.

Quit Rates Chart

One reason many women leave is to start their own business, says Telle Whitney, CEO of the Anita Borg Institute, an organization that advocates for women in computer science and engineering roles. “The growth in women-owned businesses is staggering,” she says. “You take a traditional job and trade it in for one where there is flexibility.”

Women Leaving SET Chart

Another reason women depart is a lack of advancement, according to NCWIT CEO Lucy Sanders. “When women have kids and the bulk of the household work, they get busier. And if they think they’ve reached a career plateau, they’re likely to go somewhere else,” she observes. “Often, women complain about job satisfaction when they hold low-status IT jobs. So, when you get to be mid-career but still hold a low-status job, that may be when you leave.”

Sanders notes there are not enough female chief technology officers or R&D vice. NCWIT’s Women in IT: The Facts notes that only 9 percent of IT management positions such as CTO, CIO, vice president and director are held by women. That figure is far below the 25 percent that women represent in IT.

That 9 percent figure makes it difficult to demonstrate a promising career path for women considering technical careers. “There’s a cultural, unconscious bias,” Sanders says when asked about why women may be excluded from roles like technical fellow, R&D vice president and CTO.

For example, say a company names some employees distinguished engineers and fellows. If all of these are men, and the committee to select next year’s fellows relies on its past recipients, women may have a more difficult time understanding what it takes to join the elite group.

“Society has a bias when it comes to women and men in tech. This has been documented in a number of ways. If you take the same resume and put a woman’s name on it, the woman is judged more harshly than the man,” says Sanders. “In many technical organizations, women start out under-represented in creative technology jobs, where they are the visionary and making choices of what will go into a product or service.” As a result, they’re put on a career track that may eventually lead to a CIO position, which is more about buying and using technology than creating new services for the company’s customers to use.

Future Fixes

The Anita Borg Institute’s Whitney sees the solution as coming from inside companies themselves. Ideally, she says, technology organizations would search for the best and brightest women within their ranks and provide mentorship opportunities and other support early in their careers. “It’s critical for women to understand a career path,” she explains. “Young women come into a company to contribute in a technical way, but they’re steered toward management or project management, rather than a technical path. And when there are zero women fellows, companies wonder what happened.”

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37 Responses to “Women in IT Face Down Stereotypes and Bias”

  1. I’m not buying that the reason why so few women enter IT is due to gender discrimination. My gender had *nothing to do* with me being unable to obtain work with my Math/CIS degree. There simply aren’t any entry-level STEM jobs for inexperienced graduates, period. If I stuck a man’s name on my resume, I’d get the same result: no valid replies. (I’m not counting the morons who regularly call my Google Voice number to pitch me jobs I’m nowhere near qualified for–i.e., jobs that require 5-7 years of experience, complete fluency in at least 12 different programming languages, and a portfolio–and usually located hundreds or thousands of miles away. At least they no longer use up my cell minutes.)

    Further, there’s no “mentorship” in the IT industry, period. The work environment is more Darwinistic and cutthroat than a trading floor on Wall Street.

    Maybe women just don’t *want* to work in that kind of an environment. It’s certainly not conducive to a happy, healthy, long life; the stress alone might stop your heart before you’re 50.

    • Catherine M.

      All due respect…I have worked in IT for MANY MANY YEARS….some of us DO want to work in the industry. The reality of the situation is a lot of what this article is saying is ABSOLUTELY true. You have to develop thick skin…that takes time and yes you do have to work 5 times harder in order to “prove yourself.” And yes…sorry you may have to start somewhere entry level and prove yourself. You may have to start a help desk job despite having your bachelor’s degree. Such is life…

      You learn which “battles” to pick and leave the rest alone. You will waste time battling egos. So don’t even bother. That is how you survive. You also make sure you aren’t just relying on looks or anything other than that and keep your skill set comparable to your male counterparts. Expect your confidence to go on a roller coaster ride…but sometimes the rewards(not just monetarily) are well worth it. There is nothing like completing a personal challenge.

      • I didn’t say that no women want to work in IT; I said that, just perhaps, most women are voluntarily choosing not do to so.

        You are a female who wants to work in IT and, by your own admission, has spent many years in the field. This to me is evidence *against* the accusations of gender discrimination and a vast Patriarchy.

        ——And yes…sorry you may have to start somewhere entry level and prove yourself. You may have to start a help desk job despite having your bachelor’s degree. Such is life…———–

        Lady, you’re talking to someone who, despite my fancy-sounding bachelor’s degree (and the fact that I’m an MBA candidate), has done the following:

        * Walked dogs for a crazy, unpredictable, screaming drug addict and attempted (with no luck) to start my own petsitting business
        * Performed a low-level data entry temp job for $10.00/hour
        * Performed low-level clerical work on oDesk for $5.00 – $7.00/hour
        * Written fake shill reviews on Fiverr for $4.00 (minus Paypal fees)
        * Attempted (with no luck) to make an MLM business work

        Believe me, I was never opposed to the notion of starting at the bottom; that’s why I gave the MLM a chance. I knew that it was likely a scam, but I also felt that a beggar couldn’t be a chooser; I had to try it before dismissing it.

        I would have been willing to take a tech job at minimum wage; heck, I’ve taken jobs that paid BELOW minimum wage on oDesk. My only caveats were that (1) I wasn’t going to move for a minimum wage job and (2) the job would have had to be close enough to my home that my gas costs would not >= to my take-home pay. I felt those restrictions were completely reasonable. I’m better off doing oDesk work from home for $5.00/hour than commuting somewhere and having my entire paycheck or darned near it poured into my gas tank.

        My inability to find tech work had absolutely nothing to do with my gender, and it certainly didn’t have anything to do with me thinking I’m too “good” for bottom-rung jobs. It had to do with the fact that there simply are no entry-level jobs in tech, unless you count unpaid temp work, which I couldn’t afford to do; I’m a Gen X’er with a husband and a mortgage, not a kid living at home with parents. Heck, even the unpaid temp work I’ve seen requires 2-3 years of experience and a portfolio; I don’t even qualify to work in tech for free.

        I may end up ultimately having to do janitorial or other grunt labor work. If those are the only types of gigs I can get, I’ll take them. I’m not too “good” for them, anymore than I was too “good” to scoop dog poop and clean cat boxes. But as you said, “such is life.” What I want to do or what I “like” to do doesn’t matter; earning enough money to survive for another month, week or day is the only thing that matters. This isn’t the fault of the “Patriarchy.” It’s the fault of the government that destroyed our economy, for everyone, men and women.

        • Mountains

          TR, I simply have to respond, since you posted:
          1) your horrifying ordeal of finding entry level tech work
          2) untrue, FALSE statements about patriarchy not being responsible for women’s problem’s in tech and discrimination being on-existent.

          First, I absolutely agree with your statement about US government destroying tech and engineering jobs here. I have a few choice words about this, which can not be published.

          I have, like you Bachelor’s degree–mine is in Computer Science. I went to a couple engineering schools during my studies, including top US school, with top grades. My family had been engineering (software) professionals in Silicone Valley and on the East Coast, for US defense industry (previously professors in hard sciences/engineering in top world’s school), for as long as 20 years, after we immigrated here.

          Discrimination against women, patriarchal oppression IN THE US IS HORRIBLE, DISGUSTING AND PREVALENT. I’m sorry for anyone who deludes themselves these are non-existent–what a sad, naive illusion. I truly hope this male-dominated hateful, misogynist environment burns in Hell. It’s my personal goal to destroy this evil. This is one reason why I will never give up on working in software industry–if I can deliver a stabbing into one more discriminatory practice, destroy another abuser and hater of women report one to the Feds, expose them via internet, scare them with lawsuit (I recommend all women engineers do this whenever possible) my time had been well-spent.

          They think women are non-technical and bad engineers? Well, see the methodical, persistent, creative, mathematical, educated mind (required for CS) and photographic memory unleashed on you, combined with technology you worship (RECORDING DEVICES), if you try your misogyny– in the work place–the slightest hint of it– and things WILL GET LEGAL and nasty. Things WILL get very ugly for them.

          TR, you didn’t mention your area of expertise/preference/education (programming–which subset of it? QA? IT? Operations/release engineer? Tech support?) You certainly don’t need to end up doing janitorial or dog walking jobs. I think your approach is wrong (since it didn’t work). People with very low skills find entry level work in tech industry now. (here, by the way, is another aspect of misogyny in tech industry: “boys” network between each other and help each other a lot, many if not most tech jobs are landed through “buddy system”)

          Here’re some ideas for you. Hint: (I will not spell it out) most tech job postings provide completely unrealistic requirements/expectation. Do you really think the resumes they get are in any way, shape or form realistic and truthful? (source: I know people who do/did a lot of job tech interviwing)
          Also, perhaps you can move to the area where there’re a lot more tech jobs than in your local area, this makes a big difference (and now, no one is hiring over distance in the US, unless you’re living in India)
          Another thing is that now everyone likes certifications, test results, etc. Perhaps you can add those, in your field/specialization.
          Make a website/blog of technical nature, perhaps with your little projects added to it, here and there. Show how great and passionate you are about your area of expertise.
          Consider changing direction within tech and see what’s most marketable, if yours is not on the top of the list and where there’re more chances of junior level jobs. Remember: you can not be Entry level now, as you correctly noted…so, you have to apply as Junior (1-2 years of experience, at least).

          As to discrimination, I will not argue or futher read your posts, as you don’t have enough knowledge of this industry to begin with, I’m sorry this is as plain as I can be here. I really wish you to land a job and start a successful career in tech. It’s a tough market in the US and if you’re a citizen, sometimes you’re worth than a dog for these employers….you have to compete with million of H1 slaves…but don’t give up and beat them at their own game. Remember it’s a game, and US employers are playing a dirty one.

  2. Catherine M.

    Ummm, yes…this article IS absolutely true. The above poster obviously has NO idea because she hasn’t actually WORKED in the industry. I have for over 10 years. And frankly…I have experienced most of what this article is saying. I have to work 5 times harder to get the same recognition…then there is a tendency to be slowly pushed into more of a “technical writer” position.(or something more “appropriate” for a woman.) It wears you out to your core and your confidence also takes a ride on a roller coaster.

    Don’t accidentally let it out that you are more knowledgeable than some of your male counterparts…that is really where “the games begin.”


    • I’d LOVE it if I were “pushed” into a technical writer position…instead of being pushed into walking dogs, doing $5.00/hour clerical jobs on oDesk, and being willing to perform janitorial work if I cannot find anything else.

      Women–and men–who are technical writers should be on their knees, thanking god, every day for their good fortune, not complaining because they don’t “like” the job or feel it isn’t “good” enough for them.

      You appear to have no idea what’s going on with the economy or the job market right now. Anyone who has any sort of job at all is BLESSED.

  3. Having worked in IT for 20 years, I have seen my male counterparts obtain senior positions that I was more qualified for on multiple occasions. Also, it’s still true that males are paid better for the same positions.

    I agree with the above statements that I have worked harder and longer, with less recognition or advancement then my male counterparts. I love what I do, but as I’m getting into the “older” category, I find also this is causing problems as I work as a consultant/contractor, and companies appear to either want younger or less well paid people, and also seem to think they will find the magic know-all person who already knows everything their company is working in and on.


  4. I’ve held various positions within Software Engineering since 1987. In that time I have had to try to balance work, volunteer work, children & family. It wasn’t easy… still isn’t! I’ve worked at great places and horrible places. I think egos are big in this field; that is true of men & women perhaps it seems men are more negative because there are so many of them. But some women can be just as cruel and many men have been wonderfully supportive. The key to a long career? Same as with anything. Believe in yourself, always be willing to learn new things, learn when to stand up for yourself, and build a professional support system.
    I still find it disappointing there are so few women mentors in this field. The few times I had a chance to learn from them has been wonderful. While some missed job opportunities or promotions are due to discrimination, not all are. It’s as much about selling yourself as having the ability. If you don’t promote yourself, who else will? Volunteer for projects and suggest ways to improve things whenever you have the chance.
    There are different factors that make up a good work experience. Job duties, coworkers and bosses, and location is important, but also consider the company personality and maturity. Different stages of company development require different skillsets from you. Know what size company best fits your skills and style.

    • Regarding mentors, do they exist even for the guys? There doesn’t seem to be any mentoring going on at all in tech…or in any other field these days, for that matter.

      I felt I really could have benefitted from a mentor when I graduated from university, and preferably while I was still attending university. I would not have cared if the mentor was male or female; I’d spent most of my life in male-dominated workplaces, and had long since gotten over being in the minority. Actually, I’d grown to prefer working with men. I’ve found them to be more straightforward about what they want.

      Unfortunately, I was never able to find a mentor. The attitude in this country seems to be, “I’ve got mine, I don’t care what happens to you; if you’re not smart enough to figure it out on your own, to heck with you. Plus, if I help you, you might end up getting ahead of me and taking what I have.”

      • This comment is correct. Lip service is paid to the concept of mentoring even though it is the most effective way to bring people up to speed. Corporations do not view mentoring as a productive use of resources.

      • Mountains

        Most duded in engineering have their cliques/buddy groups as “Mentors”, they got their safety net of buddy system, helping each other out, with employment, spreading the word, pushing a resume, discussing newest technologies.

        Be happy, TR, you did not have a male mentor. This, most likely, would result in misogynist practice of sexual harassment on their part. These tend to have agendas, frequently.

        As to mentorship in general… I did not have a mentor through my computer science studies. I had to solve every problem on my own, alone. As a result I became better at programming than my classmates and they ended up lining up to ask me help to understand things and problems with their code.

        However, I found that “career mentor” (versus academic mentor)–a person who works in industry–being very beneficial, at the end (in this case my family members). Not everyone has family who can help them, unfortunately, and yes this is true about people mostly only caring for themselves and not wanting to help. If you’re not “one of them” (male, and look and talk like them, hopefully of their ethnic group/race as well) they’ll walk over you, like car drives over old road kill. So, yes, this is all cutthroat industry. Seeking women’s engineering organizations membership, meetups, seminars for women engineers may be helpful.

  5. ——–Gender is the reason why there aren’t more women in IT, it’s true. Most women want to have a balance and quality of life. When I’m working on some program at 11:00 at night, I sometimes think they must be the sensible ones.———-

    That’s what I’m tempted to think, too. I chose to never have children, but most women do want them, and–reasonably so–they want to actually be able to spend time with them as they grow up, instead of having the kid know their nanny better than they know their own birthmother.

    Notice that this article says that a lot of women leave to start their own businesses. Likely this is because they want, among other things, the flexibility that no traditional job can provide. Further, I see entrepreneurship as a POSITIVE, not a negative. These women should be lauded for escaping from the shackles of Corporate America and forging their own paths.

    • hwertz

      This. I don’t blame people (women or men) for wanting a better work/home balance. The fact of the matter is a lot of IT and computer-related jobs do not respect a 40-hour work week, either “expecting” extra hours or to be on-call at random times. This keeps a lot of people — including women — from taking these jobs to begin with, and others find a job but wanting to maintain some kind of home life keeps them from advancing.

      As for mentorship, this just doesn’t exist in IT. It should, but there’s simply no tradition of a mentorship system — among men or women.

      • When I was at university, mentorship was non-existent. The guys didn’t get any more help than I did. Whenever anyone asked what sorts of jobs we could apply for, we were told that we could do “anything.” That’s absurd.

        However, I wonder if mentorship exists anymore in any field. The job market has become downright Darwinistic. The person you mentor today could be the one who takes your job tomorrow. Everyone knows it, so everyone is, understandably so, out for themselves.

        • Catherine M.

          Yes…it is Darwinistic in a way…but I’m also sure you’ve noticed…that same person who stepped on people’s heads to get to the top is the same one that retires and has three strokes when they “retire.” This is another HUGE reason I tend to ride the fence on whether it’s worth it or not. If you have to lose yourself in order to “get to the top”…is it really worth it?

        • Recent Graduate

          I wanted to ask how long ago it was that you graduated from university. How long did you look for IT/STEM work before you gave up? (Maybe I wasn’t paying attention and you didn’t give up, but are you doing work that makes use of your education directly?)

          I’ve been out of school for 6 months now and have nothing. I even tried to get unpaid IT “internships” but couldn’t land them.

          • I graduated in May 2011. I looked for IT positions for about 18 months–beginning about a year before I graduated and ending about six months post-graduation–before giving up.

            Since graduating, I’ve done low-level work such as:

            * Walking dogs
            * A temp data entry job @ $10.00/hour
            * Writing fake shill reviews on Fiverr for $4.00 (minus Paypal fees)
            * Clerical work on oDesk for $5 – $7/hour
            * An MLM scheme (which I failed miserably at – I never made a dime)

            I did have a clerical job on oDesk that paid nearly $20.00/hour for awhile, but the company went bankrupt and abruptly yanked all of the work from all of us freelancers. My income plunged to ZERO overnight. I’m not eligible for unemployment insurance, and I do not believe in welfare. I’m living off of student loans and borrowed time.

            Yesterday, I posted an ad on my local Craigslist offering to do pretty much any type of white-collar work, even things like setting up WordPress sites, for $5.00/hour. The crux of the ad is along the lines of, “Why pay minimum wage when you can get a college graduate and an MBA student with a 3.96 GPA for only $5.00/hour?”

            Meanwhile, I’m trying my hand at affiliate marketing, and offering copywriting or marketing services (for more than $5.00/hour), but that could take six months, a year or longer to come to fruition.

            So no, I’m not making any use of my education, unless you count my entrepreneurial efforts, but even then, I’m making use of the MBA education, not the STEM garbage.

            Like you, I was not “qualified” for the unpaid temp jobs masquerading as internships. Even if I had been willing to go on welfare and take them, as I was advised to do, I couldn’t have.

            The MLM was an even lower point than the “hire me for only $5.00/hour” Craigslist ad. I knew that MLM’s were scams. I saw all of the red flags. But I desperately wanted to believe that I could make it work. If I’d had a decent job, if I’d had even a steady job that paid $12.00/hour, I would have never gotten sucked into it. Thankfully, I only lost $500-$600 before pulling out…but I sure wish I had that money right now.

            This is why I got so upset when another poster implied that I couldn’t get a job because I wasn’t willing to “start at the bottom.” I’m willing to work for less than minimum wage; my only caveat on the $5.00/hour thing is that it must be at-home work, because $5.00/hour wouldn’t cover my gas costs. I think that’s reasonable, and it’s far below what most people would consider the “bottom.”

        • Mountains

          Haven’t you noticed how guys gang up in groups, hanging together, doing homework/projects together, and, sometime, cracking misogynist, sexist jokes together (I’m speaking about engineering school)? You’re LUCKY if you never overheard them. I did. This is actual “mentorship”–by the group, this support system. Most developers find work though “networking”, not through craigslist ads or recruiters. I’m glad I did no networking and had to go through hardest, coldest and roughest interview system–this only made me better and stronger and taught me how to beat them.

  6. Jenny C

    Gender bias when it comes to women in IT? Sure there is. I’ve been a female in IT for nearly 20 years. I actually had one male superior make the comment “You’re really good at this, and I don’t say that just because you’re a woman!” (I’m pretty sure he considered that a compliment.) I had another boss (male), while coaching me professionally state that I should strive to be more like “Mary X” or “Betty Y”. What? No males I should strive to be more like? Only females? I thought core professional qualities were gender neutral. But then again, that’s true of life in general. I once had a neighbor who was commenting on some landscaping I was doing state, “that’s the best job I’ve ever seen done by a woman.” Oh well.

    Despite that, I have also had some wonderfully supportive managers who treated me exactly as they did my male counterparts, and who consistently demonstrated a level playing field for all members of their staff, regardless of gender. It really seems to be the luck of the draw. There are both good and bad in every lot.

    As far as mentors go, my experience is that it doesn’t much matter what gender you are. You take the bull by the horns regardless of being male or female. Some coworkers or managers are willing to help you learn, and some aren’t. Sometimes it isn’t just a matter of willingness; it’s a matter of time in a hectic workplace. You adjust accordingly and find other ways to learn what you need to know.

    • All of these posts have content that are true and valid! I believe gender neutral is the best way to go. I also see men at times being discriminated against.

      I am a woman in Enterprise IT for Fortune 500 for many years.

      –“strive to be more like “Mary X” or “Betty Y”” — Have seen these references can refer to women of loose moral character at the company, who may or may not be in IT, available for outside work extra curricular activity, if you catch what I am saying. Not just from my experience, but from other women I see in the IT industry.

      — “work life balance” — There is none. To be successful regardless of gender, it takes working over 50+ hours to perform job adequately, and more for yourself outside of these hours to plan and navigate your own work projects and goals, and career, oftentimes on your own. Is best to find people and share information, and mentor each other. Emails, oncall pagers/cell phones are 24x7x365 and are expected to be read and responded to 24x7x365, and in some work environments are frequent *all of the time*. This goes for everyone including managers/directors/VPs. If you are awake 24x7x365, you are working. If you ever choose to sleep, you are not performing to expectations. 🙂 The dangling carrot!

      — “Women are not only discriminated against based on sex, but now on age as well.” — It seems age for a female in IT is under more scrutiny than a male. Sometimes it is perceived women have to take care of their kids/family, and are less available for the job. I have seen women IT managers bring in their child/children routinely to work the entire day at the office a few times a month, and this was allowed (there were some higher-ups that seemed to not be particularly fond of this), at the same time this manager denied a male who reported to her, time for him to take days off to work something out with his child/children (personal/family/illness etc.).

      Women IT managers can be successful, and have also seen where it appears they discriminate other women, and discriminate men as well. Darwinistic sums it up well, everyone is out for themselves. Best strategy is to do your job and to do it well. True, oftentimes I see the few IT women that persevere eventually get offered “technical writing” and “administrative” jobs, because it seems others are working to get ahead and do not have “time” to perform these functions, or they not wanting to reveal they are incapable of knowing how to do their job, or think they have job security by not documenting their own work. To get around this, everyone regardless of gender has to contribute, and an effective way is to get managers to put it on everyone’s reviews that it is required. Is effective!

      –“And, now women are discriminated against in their own country by foreigners! Lovely.”– Very true, this brings smile to my face. Hearing them say “absolutely, we will do the job, we have everything we need” turn into “nobody told me how or what the requirements are to do the job step-by-step”. I have seen a few IT shops downsize here in the United States due to cheaper labor rates/tax incentives elsewhere. It is made to sound good at first — “This will reduce oncall pager and after hours work”, then seeing time pass, then “everyone in department in the United States 40+ people are being let go, we are going to run 100% offshore”. The reality is the turnover offshore is high, when they learn how to do something, oftentimes quit to take a pay raise elsewhere. Half a year will go by and by then, most all of them have left, and they have hired new people, with little or no experience. Granted, oftentimes they will scramble to learn and then leave when they can to get pay raise elsewhere.

      — “companies appear to either want younger or less well paid people, and also seem to think they will find the magic know-all person who already knows everything their company is working in and on”.– Very true. Everything is needed instantly and now and should have been delivered by last week, and by the way, ALL critical unexpected surprise things need immediate attention. Also, every emergency thing needs to be addressed right now. And, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 are also needed now and should have been done yesterday. Everything at the same time, NOW! Tell me when all of these are done and issue status report every hour with every granular detail, timelines, diagrams, budgets, forecasts, projects, templates, references, implementations, charts, everything written up all detail in presentation format for me to present to my boss for me to get another star next to my name! Are you saying you do not have enough time, that’s the wrong answer, I could have done everything and a whole lot more two days ago. Oh, and I need ALL of it before by 5pm today, and prefer it all done by 2pm so that I can give status at X meeting.

      This was hilarious to see, please tell me I am not the only one to have seen this! Yes, this all was from woman leadership. And I, being a woman was astonished. Men in my department confided in me and their morale was completely, understandably — gone. Annual turnover in this team was 60% and there were more planning to leave.

      “The (IT corporate) work environment is more Darwinistic and cutthroat than a trading floor on Wall Street.” Bravo, well put, very true. Survival of the fittest. Stay positive and treat everyone equally and do your job well is my best advice.

      • The women leadership by the way who wanted everything at once, above, was their first IT job ever. They had never worked in the IT industry and came from a administrative assistant job background. Now even more curiously, what did they do or who did they influence to get their position. The world can guess. Now six months later, all of the employees left for better horizons, 90 percent turnover. They literally drove their people away. For all of these people who left, life is much better now.

    • Catherine M.

      Jolly…now that…I agree with. They often want to say it’s being “weak…” That women can’t “cut it in the field.” If you give someone a hill(men in some companies) to climb versus a mountain(women) for the other person… I would say that at some point the person with the mountain to climb would at times decide…what is the point…? 🙂

    • Mountains

      Unfortunately, some are glued to this industry, as this is the way their mind works, technical and mathematical mind, and there’re no where to go, literally, outside tech….I think a solution is to find a niche in tech that is not fruitless and thankless and one feels excited about.

  7. People need to factor in history:
    Women, traditionally, were the original IT workers. Men thought typing was an administrative task and wouldn’t perform the work (1960’s/70’s). Then, in the 80’s, a Computer Science ENGINEERING degree was morphed into existence and Medicine, traditionally male, started socializing. Men jumped from Medicine to IT and, universities, realizing they lost their target audience, decided it was a good idea to allow more women to enter Med school.
    Women need to remember, what I remember, that in the 1970’s women could not even buy a car, or even rent an apartment, without a husband because they were not allowed to obtain credit.

    There is STILL TONS of discrimination and I’ve seen it go from bad (1970’s) to marginally better, to worse.

    Still, I’ve dealt with male peers (grown men – with military backgrounds nonetheless) who think it’s funny to ‘pass gas’ and make jokes about flatulence, make sexist, inappropriate, insensitive remarks and behavior (ie. they can do what they want as long as the top brass allows it – it ALWAYS comes from the TOP DOWN).

    Women are not only discriminated against based on sex, but now on age as well.

    And, now women are discriminated against in their own country by foreigners! Lovely.

    • Mountains

      I had seen an article about how, while a huge percentage of computer/software/IT degrees is awarded to women in India–something near 50%–only a tiny percentage of women gets H1 visas for tech workers. This actually shows the vilest form of discrimination from US employers and their true colors with regards to being against hiring women. Not to mention that horrendous, destructive immigration bill not including any provisions for equal/non-discriminatory hiring for both genders (H1, L1) and Zuckerbers personally opposing such requirement in the bill he’s pushing. H1 visa system is one of the tools US employers use to discriminate against women in tech: the H1 workers can not complain for fear or losing their chance at green card.

  8. Mountains

    And speaking of the woman in the first video-she says she came to software interview in LEGGINS? Is this for real? They should have ended the interview right there, as this is disrespect towards company and profession. Absolutely disgusting. Women engineers who objectify themselves and wear tight clothes show disrespect to all engineers. (I’m a female engineer myself). Please do not wear leggings to the interviews. This is not a night club and not a place to seek male attention.

  9. Mountains

    As the second video, poor lady engineer had spelled more sexist stereotypes during her speech than any hardcore misogynist in tech ever did!–“You can’t be too girly” ‘you should fit in (in “maile culture”‘ Wow….these are the worst anti-women statements I heard in a while. Sad that poor brainwashed souls became self-hating and self-depreciating, due to overwhelmingly male culture.

  10. Am a woman in Enterprise IT for Fortune 500 for many years. Any of you women out there get discriminated by other women? I see it occasionally. Can best sum it up as them projecting their own bad feelings or their own shortfalls and inadequacies onto other women. When I have encountered this, I do what I can to bring humor into the equation and try to encourage her feel better about herself, spending minimal time on the effort. =)