How to get more women into IT – or not

I don’t know.

Seriously, I don’t. I’ve never encountered any big barriers which have stopped me wanting to be in IT, nor have I met with any problems being involved with JBehave. I hear rumours that the Open Source world is full of misogyny, but I’ve been fortunate to encounter only brilliant people who I respect greatly, and who respect my skills, however limited they might be, in return.

I see the occasional XYZ is for girls post, and some people are surprised that I’m capable of creating more than “Hello World”, but by and large such thoughtlessness is gentle, and often done in humour, intended to be funny rather than unkind (and I’d rather we laughed than tiptoed around blatant stereotypes).

I guess not everyone is that fortunate. Kathy Sierra recently received violent, sexual death threats, and is no longer attending the conference at which she was due to speak.

I’m genuinely shocked, and I feel incredibly naive and grateful at the same time. This is so far from my world.

Good luck, Kathy. Hope they catch them.

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2 Responses to How to get more women into IT – or not

  1. anonymous says:

    Hi Elizabeth,

    My post of ‘XYZ is for girls’ is intended for humour purpose anyway. I’m actually somewhat ashamed that any women read by blog, my wife strongly dissaproves of it, as it’s sort of a little boys club and so caters to that crowd, with the associated potty humour.

    So take it with a grain of salt, and ignore anything you find offcolour!

    Hani

  2. sirenian says:

    I’m a big fan of blatant stereotype jokes myself – blonde, Irish, Essex girl, Welsh / NZ (they end up with the same jokes), even English. So, I don’t take offence to a bit of gentle humour. That would be very hypocritical.

    I’ve seen a number of ‘XYZ is for girls’ posts, but yours was the one I remembered so you got linked! Hope that’s OK.

    As for the potty language in your blog, someone has to. 🙂

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