Journal: News & Comment

Tuesday, February 10, 2004
# 10:44:00 PM:

Women in tech ≠ girls in tech

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Dori Smith is a respected writer and authority on JavaScript, based in California, where she lives with her author husband and very smart young son. She thinks that technology companies have not yet figured out how to keep women working for them, especially as programmers. Her latest post on the subject identifies some key reasons:

If you're hiring, here's a tip: if your group is part white, part black, part asian, part indian, 1/2 female, and entirely 22 years old, your group is not diverse.


There aren't enough women in the tech biz to be role models for the youngsters now. The solution isn't to throw girls into the pit hoping that the pit will someday fill up; the solution is to work on increasing the numbers of older women (i.e., over 35) in the field, and then the role model problem solves itself.

The young company I'm currently working for is unusual in that more than half the software developers are women, but they're not yet in Dori's role-model age bracket. And those of us in the company who have kids aren't the programmers. Give it a few years, and we'll be providing some good mentors for young female coders.

Disclaimer (added May 2004): While I now work for Navarik Corp., the "young company" I referred to here, this site is my own, and doesn't represent that company's position on anything.


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