Are most programmers male?

Tim Churches tchur at optushome.com.au
Sun Aug 11 09:18:18 CEST 2002


David Mertz, Ph.D. wrote:

>ponderor at lycos.com (Dean Goodmanson) wrote previously:
>|And more seriously, why is it that most contributors here are male?
>|Are most programmers male, if so why?
>
>I've reflected on this a bit lately.  It's kinda sad about the
>overwhelming male bias of programming and related areas.  Programming,
>of course, is not the only important thing that people do--but in the
>world of work, we are a fairly highly-paid and highly-skilled group.  In
>a societal way, having women excluded from these areas is to the
>detriment of both the field and to overall gender equality and women's
>rights.  I think this is so even if the primary intermediate cause for
>the exclusion were/is the self-image of girls and women in relation to
>this field.
>
>My own experience feels like it is even more biased than the field as a
>whole.  I don't know why, but I wish it were otherwise.  As some list
>readers will know, I am a fairly well-known writer on Python matters,
>and have created a few moderately well-received free software packages
>for Python.  But unlike many people, I am a free-lancer, and write and
>program generally in isolation--from my home office, rather than in a
>company full of cubicles of people doing roughly the same thing as me.
>Therefore, my contacts with other programmers are predominantly with
>folks who write me with comments on either my book, my articles, or my
>software--often with suggestions and corrections for any of those.
>
>What I've found is that my ENTIRE contributor/acknowledgement lists are
>full of male names.  These are getting big enough that it seems like
>something is going on, even past the fact that programming is 95% male.
>My lists run 100% male instead.  I don't even show that 5% female names
>that one might expect, let alone the much larger percentage a perfect
>world might have.  Of course, I enormously value the advice and aid of
>the MEN, worldwide, who write me with comments.  But I sure wonder why I
>see so very few women's names in this collection.
>
Yes, yes, but what about Lulu (of the Lotus Eaters)? Do you mean to say 
she is not female?
I'd be heartbroken if she weren't even a bit on the distaff side.

Tim C






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