Women in Tech

Editor’s Comment: The article below is from the Kernel Magazine – one that I read on my daily tech reads thanks to the day job, I thought to share this with you our dear readers. Do you agree that there should be no preferential treatment given to women in the tech sector?After all is 2012…

“Women in tech.” Can you think of a more boring subject? Maybe men in tech. And why is that? Because no one cares! Or at least, for crying out loud, no one should.

I’m new to the tech scene and I’ve been bowled over by the attention lavished on women. I’m struggling to work out why. According to the gushing praise “women in tech” seem to get on a weekly basis, should we be concerned about the lack of females in the industry?

Whenever a woman founds a start-up or lands a high-paying job in the technology industry, apparently there is a need to celebrate. Facebook has female engineers! Quick, alert the media! A woman wants to start her own tech company? Good grief, this is major news.

Well let me tell you something, as a woman, I find all this attention incredibly patronising.

Focusing attention on the gender of a person rather than their efforts is demeaning. So, what, a bunch women get all this recognition because they have a vagina? Last time I checked, when a man’s business is being put forward, there is little mention of his sex.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that there are women who work in technology, and I am very pleased to see they have good ideas and have talent in what they do, but that’s the only thing I am interested in.

Google “women in tech” and you will see what I mean. Page after page of bland, snooze-inducing websites targeted at women who work in the industry. Clubs, societies, you name it. These brainy babes aren’t just part of the tech industry, no: they’re part of a select club of “women in tech”, who apparently warrant celebration merely for showing up to work.

Search for “men in tech” and… well, I think you can guess.

So why are we so obsessed with women in tech? Is it because we like the idea of a woman who has broken societal norms – shoes, lipstick, making babies – and slung themselves in front of a laptop? Since when was turning women into men the purpose of feminism? Oh, it’s a woman who’s forgotten she’s a woman… how empowering! Err… not.

It’s all well and good to bring attention to the fact that women are a minority in this industry, but by going on and on (and on) about it, and celebrating women simply for being women, we are only reinforcing the idea that ladies are playing in a field they don’t belong in.

Recently, I was asked whether or not I liked fashion. The person I was talking to was looking for fashion writers for a new project. I was not particularly insulted to be asked, although fashion is definitely not something I would be comfortable writing about, but the fact that he asked me, a woman, and none of the men around me highlights my point.

We want to believe women are only interested in certain areas – possibly because most of them are. When it turns out we like other things, men are surprised.

The best thing the technology industry can do for women in tech is to shut the hell up about them, because the only way to prove we have achieved equality – which, by the way, we have – is to treat women the way we treat men; to create a level playing field dependent solely on merit.  Complete Article here

Source: Kernel Mag


2 thoughts on “Women in Tech

  1. The author of this article must be fresh out of uni or doing an intern – young, naive and trying to come off as one of the guys. She needs more time in the ‘tech’ industry to understand the dynamics of it all. She needs to shut up!

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