My take on American soldiers to Uganda
After the CRMUG Summit 2011 #CRMSummit

why there are so few women in technology fields?

This past week a few different folks have brought some awful things to my attention regarding the experiences of women in tech.  Some truly awful and stupid people are out there, but the tech field is not the only place where assholes hang out, I promise. 

I personally don’t know if I’ve been treated differently as a woman, ‘cause that’s all I know, I’ve personally never been a man to know any different.  Some things I’ve heard about this week include death threats (seriously, are you THAT stupid people?) and just general idiocy around assumptions of women’s roles at professional user groups.

We as a society are doing very well at raising our daughters to know that they are equal to our sons; and our sons to know they are equal to our daughters.  What we are not doing is properly arming them to go out into the mean world we live in now.  For example, we are not teaching our kids to respectfully challenge authority figures of the opposite sex.  How else will things change if we don’t educate the next group on how to take what we’ve given them and change the world?  Our world.

For my professional life I have encountered roadblocks like anyone else.  I just put these down to me, like anyone else, needing to prove myself as someone that has a brain.  I am annoyed by roadblocks, so I just plow right through them (maybe it’s arrogance, maybe it’s stupidity).  I have had people make crass comments (“wow, you are more than just a hat rack”); I have had men distracted by my breasts (no they do not talk gentlemen, move on already); and I have had my drink drugged at a large conference (Tech Ed Los Angeles, 2009).   I have not once thought to change my job based on these things, like I said in the beginning of this post, assholes are everywhere.  I have learned my lessons from things like this.

For example I let my guard down at the conference.  I totally know better than to let a drink leave my sight for even a second, but I got comfortable.  That won’t happen again.  Ever.  I count my blessings that all I got was memory loss and a splitting headache for a few days.

Dude that compared me to a hat rack…yea, three guesses as to how far his career has gone since that remark?  We could compare.

As far as the breasts (boobs, tatas, titts, the girls, juggs, cans, hooters, Thelma & Louise, Laverne & Shirley, melons, the twins, second base), I have learned that simple people are easily distracted by shiny objects.  Not sure I can change that.

Below is a link to the blog of a friend of mine, Rachel Appel.  She is one smart person and has earned her stripes for sure.  She has compiled some stats for us and has some great insight, read it. 

Stats, data, and answers, as to why there are so few women in technology fields.-Rachel's Blog


Sarah Dutkiewicz

Thanks for posting this. I've had my fair share of unhappy experiences, but in the end, I figure that it's part for the course no matter the industry, and if we let the unhappy experiences shatter our dreams of working and playing in technology, then those were shallow dreams to have in the first place.


Great post - i think there may be a much simpler explanation an all this: by just blocking roads with silly arguments, nearly one half of the competitors are away from the market (do not underestimate the forces which are set free by a common enemy...).
This also applies to groups with green hair, toyota drivers or people from the magic wonderland etc...
And nobody thinks of all the chances which are cut out by this attitude.

Rachel Appel


Whoa! I didn't know someone slipped something in your drink at TechEd 09. The outcome was a fortunate one considering it could have been very different.

I'll be posting on just that in a few weeks- the business goldmine that is diversity, and how you can tap into it by building a diverse organization. You're right, it's amazing to think of how much opportunity is wasted by that attitue.

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