Are most programmers male?

Matt Traction2000 at
Sat Aug 17 13:21:40 EDT 2002

First person to write software for a programmable machine with a separate
store was Ada Lovelace (yes, she's the one that the programming language is
named after).  During WWII when programming meant "plug these 100s of wires
into these 100s of holes", most of that work was done by women too. Though I
suppose the design was someone elses - that would make these women more like
Ellen Spertus did a great analysis of women in computing back when I was in
school - still worth a read even though its not being updated.


"Ian Parker" <parker at> wrote in message
news:UhbsIfc7QJX9EwkU at
> In article <7hnelukv2p1ivbdn08qjk74boplcotq1ce at>, Kristian Ovaska
> <kristian.ovaska at> writes
> >mertz at (David Mertz, Ph.D.):
> >>I've reflected on this a bit lately.  It's kinda sad about the
> >>overwhelming male bias of programming and related areas.
> >
> >I have read that in the early years of computers, in the 50's and
> >possibly 60's, a considerable proportion of programmers were female.
> >In fact, if I remember correctly what I've read, there was a time when
> >over 50% were female! That's a huge contrast to today.
> >
> In the early '80s at several companies at which I worked, approximately
> half the programmers were female.  I've been surprised to see that women
> have become less interested in joining the industry.
> Perhaps it's because the public image of programmer has changed from
> that of cool computer whiz to teenager hunched all night over a PC
> swapping graphics cards.
> Regards
> --
> Ian Parker

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