Women in Technology: Pain and Potential

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.

This month, we present a special report on Women in Technology – the challenges they face, the efforts to increase their presence in the workforce, and their points of view. We begin with Associate Editor Dawn Kawamoto’s detailed look at where women stand today, and how they view the tech job landscape.

Throughout the week, we’ll be posting additional stories, including interviews with female professionals who’ll share their perspective on both the challenges and rewards of tech careers, and thoughts of how women can succeed in a male-dominated industry.

Women in Tech Special Report Icon

6 Responses to “Women in Technology: Pain and Potential”

  1. jelabarre

    Did you consider that perhaps a lot of the potential candidates for women in IT have dads *already* in IT, and that those dads advised their daughters to go avoid IT? Not because we don’t think our daughters can do it, but rather because the IT field sucks?

    • Torrie

      Interesting theory, Jelabarre. Personally, I had the opposite experience. I went into IT because my dad was in IT, he recognized a natural talent in me, and he encouraged it. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know multiple men who are in IT currently and see comp sci talent in their daughters and are excited to nurture it. Honestly, I can’t think of a better avenue for father-daughter bonding.

    • El Vee

      I am a woman engineer with a teenage daughter that I am pushing into considering other than engineering/IT jobs because of the still rampant discrimination/harassment that just wears you down. She likes her gal pals, so I am helping her look at good paying careers that are more inclusive of women.

  2. Thanks for writing and linking to these articles. As a female working in the IT field, and looking for jobs, I definitely can attest to the fact that some of these articles address, in that I am not only often the ONLY female in my teams, but during job interviews, I have to work three times, four times as hard to prove my “techy-ness” than my male peers. Here’s to hoping that there will come a day, when women in IT will not seem like an anomaly in the US but rather the the norm and if not most, then at least half of the IT workforce will be female.

  3. Melissa

    Thank you for writing these articles. I can’t tell you how often I’ve attended a forum, seminar, or educational series in the IT field and the lack of females in the room astounds me. I’ve been in IT for 16 years and on average, there are maybe 15 females in the room out of 100 attendees. I struggle with the same issues in the workforce including less pay for more work, more struggle to “prove my chops” than my male counterpart, and the ever-elusive ‘boys club’ in some establishments. You will find it in any profession, but in my eyes, IT is still far behind.