mimulus_borogove: (Default)
[personal profile] mimulus_borogove
Computerworld posted a riveting look into why women leave technology careers. The main reason is not starting families, but getting fed up with being harassed or belittled at work. There are more reasons, too, some of which seem related.  Having worked in a tech-related industry, I would say that this looks accurate.

The mentoring idea is interesting, too. I have learned from both men and women on the job, but I am especially grateful to a senior woman who took the time to teach me little things I needed to know. I used to get annoyed at the "we must all band together" idea, but I did find that many of my biggest breaks came when I had someone going to bat for me, saying, "She can handle that." Often, it was another woman who was my champion. (And it seems I didn't disappoint anybody, since those projects often grew in scope or became regular assignments.) It's sad to me that a company should need a little subculture to help valuable workers survive, but  if the culture isn't very inclusive to start with, then it becomes a good idea. I think what Cisco's doing is smart.

I'm not trying to create a man-bashing situation here. Maleness is not a bad thing. What I find interesting here isn't that tech environments are man-filled or manly, but that they're macho. That speaks to me of young hires and of a failure to create a truly professional work environment. It gets me thinking, what are companies doing wrong? Are they so anxious to get the talent that they're letting too many people behave like spoiled rock stars? And when women come up with their own networks in a male-dominated department, do we end up with more problems based on that division?

Maleness is A-OK

Date: 2008-06-18 06:21 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Oh, thank you for deigning to declare that maleness is not a bad thing. I mean, we're so used to apologizing for being born male. But "macho" is a bad thing.

To whom? You?

Re: Maleness is A-OK

Date: 2008-06-18 07:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jaderabbit.livejournal.com
"Machismo" was the term used in the article. They seemed to be using it to describe behaviors.

I wasn't trying to be condescending. Men and women are just people, after all. I just wanted to make clear that I don't have a problem with men in general. I thought the article was correct in many places, but I disagree with the assumption that the problem is with men per se. I think the real problem is unprofessional behavior.

Do I know you? It's much easier to have conversations with people who identify themselves.

Re: Maleness is A-OK

Date: 2008-06-21 12:57 am (UTC)
auros: (Fizgig!)
From: [personal profile] auros
*facepalm*

Some days I am embarrassed on behalf of my gender. (The Kathy Sierra affair was a particular low point.)

No, scratch that, I'm embarrassed on behalf of the whole damn human race. Rude, supercilious people suck.

Re: Maleness is A-OK

Date: 2008-06-21 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jaderabbit.livejournal.com
Eh, don't be embarrassed. You didn't do it.

After giving the previous commenter about a day to follow up, I finally disabled anonymous commenting. I held off on that for a long time, thinking I'd get more interesting blog comments if folks could post anonymously, but the few anonymous comments I've gotten have been either a) spam, b) phishing, or c) rude. Oh well. Live and learn.

Re: Maleness is A-OK

Date: 2008-06-22 06:26 am (UTC)
auros: (Abelian Grape)
From: [personal profile] auros
I have anon and non-friend comments set to be screened until I unscreen or reply. That strongly discourages trolls. I get occasional spam comments (maybe one every two weeks to a month), which nobody but me sees; I delete and flag them.

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