Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gender Inequality in Programming / Software

Gender Inequality in Programming / Software

Martin Fowler dumped his unfinished thoughts on gender inequality and diversity in the software world. Hacker News has a follow up discussion.

The best quote from a hacker news reader says it all:
Why is there such a resistance to the idea that there might be differences in what groups of people are interested in at any given time? Not an issue of genetics or competence, but a complicated web of social influences that make people less likely to be interested in one path or the other?
If there are truly unjust and discriminatory barriers, then by all means let's remove them. But if we succeed, and it doesn't change the numbers much, does it matter?
If certain groups really think it's a problem then let them do the work of encouraging their group members (alert, this feels condescending - who says they'll even self-identify with that group) to get into tech.
It's certainly not my fault. I'm a cheerleader for tech careers. The more, the merrier. But if you're not into it, then you're not into it. There's a lot of things I'm not into, either. Whose fault is that? And why should it matter?
The "complicated web of social influences" is often victim to past prejudices, and those take time to correct. Be patient, Martin, and it will regress toward the norm, whatever the norm turns out to be.

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