Why is software development still so male dominated ?

BlackRock / Eng saywat
Jul 15 90 Comments

I’ve been working in FinTech in NYC for more than a decade now and almost all the time I’m the only female developer in the team however big or small the team is whatever the business unit or firm is .... I see women as BAs and QAs ( sometimes in majority ) and even as PMs but barely have I had a female software developer colleague 🤷🏻‍♀️ ....
I’m assuming it’s the same in Bay Area but correct me if I’m wrong ...

I wanna know from both men and women why is it so ? Its 2019 for God’s sake 🤦🏻‍♀️

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TOP 90 Comments
  • New / Mgmt
    Microsoft.

    New Mgmt

    PRE
    IBM
    Microsoft.more
    Male = logical
    Jul 15 6
    • BlackRock / Eng saywat
      OP
      I’m pretty sure next thing he’ll say is ... Women = Kitchen 🤷🏻‍♀️
      Jul 15
    • Facebook / Eng mturtle
      You're in management Microsoft? This is really sad for any women on your team. You should not be in a management role.
      Jul 15
    • Cisco meoww
      This is so not true. Men are very emotional. Have you ever seen a woman Punch a hole through a wall?
      Jul 15
    • Bloomberg / IT MagikMike
      Can a woman punch a hole through a wall? 🙄
      Jul 15
    • Wayfair tldrxx
      What is the point in discussing all this? There are so many genders and zillions of individual characteristics that determines who you are and what you do. And even if biology plays a role and we ended up fewer women at work what is the consequence? Do we hire less women, more women? Do we stop giving them equal chances or treat individuals differently? Are we looking for some facts and data that proves our personal believes and judgements? Who wants to be reduced to her/his gender, race or social group? Don’t we all want to be seen, respected and valued for who we are and what we deliver? Can’t we agree on that?
      Jul 16
  • Amazon jtGV66
    Watch jordan peterson. Tech careers tend to attract people with traits that are much more common in men. That is not sexism that is simply biology.
    Jul 15 11
    • New / R&D
      wizzzz 🧠

      New R&D

      PRE
      Microsoft
      BIO
      0k / 18 YOE
      wizzzz 🧠more
      @berlinbee Not relevant what happened in Germany. Saying "oh you are wrong" is not an argument either. Present data or GTFO.
      Jul 15
    • Oracle ldppem
      Wayfair thinks biology is sexist. I guess it is, when only women can give birth. Such is biology.
      Jul 15
    • Facebook PureWin
      Yes, biology absolutely does play a role in these matters, Peterson is not wrong. But it’s only a small piece in a much larger puzzle.

      These “conclusions” are meaningless if considered without the broader historical and socioeconomic context surrounding it.

      Peterson himself is aware of this fact, but the people who frequently misuse his research always fail to mention this.
      Jul 15
    • Oracle ldppem
      Guy who studies this full time is deemed "not wrong" by random internet poster who isn't in his field. Such is the nature of random internet posters.
      Jul 15
    • New / R&D
      wizzzz 🧠

      New R&D

      PRE
      Microsoft
      BIO
      0k / 18 YOE
      wizzzz 🧠more
      Of course there are many factors. We are refuting "It is sexism. And not biology." by Wayfair.
      Jul 15
  • Amazon / Eng
    am.a

    Amazon Eng

    PRE
    Amazon
    am.amore
    I’ve been dealing with school teachers, nurses, and ob/gyns for more than a decade now and almost all the time they are all female.

    I wanna know from both men and women why is it so ? Its 2019 for God’s sake 🤦🏻‍♀️
    Jul 15 4
    • BlackRock / Eng saywat
      OP
      I don’t know what world you’re living in ... I have had multiple men as teachers , nurses and OBGYN 🤷🏻‍♀️
      Jul 15
    • Facebook / Eng mturtle
      There are male OB/ GYNs. The rise in female OB/GYNs is only happened in the past decades with the rise of female doctors. After women starting becoming doctors, many patients started preferring female OB/GYN, so fewer male doctors entered that field.
      Jul 15
    • Amazon / Eng
      am.a

      Amazon Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      am.amore
      I don’t know what world you’re living in ... I have worked with multiple female software developers. 🤷🏻‍♀️

      In fact, 60% of my software development team is female (3/5).
      Jul 15
    • BlackRock / Eng saywat
      OP
      @am.a ... great .... and I really hope a douche like you is the manager there 🤷🏻‍♀️
      Jul 15
  • Uber / Eng mH7bSe
    Because women don't like it.
    Consider yourself special.
    Jul 15 8
    • Wayfair berlinbee
      Why do we have such low black people ratios in many r&d departments? It has nothing to do with their skin color. In the same way here: The reason is not the gender, it has so many dimensions, historical and sociological reasons. I was brought up by 2 brilliant parents who gave me a wonderful environment to grow, I grew up loving science and maths, I chose CS when i went to the university. It was around my mid 20s when I figured that CS was seen as a male discipline in US. It was news to me. There seems to be something fundamentally wrong the way we raise and educate girls on some places on earth.

      What do you do with this information? Embrace and overcome your unconscious bias and get some things right where you work. I have seen with my own eyes that people rate code from female devs better if they don’t know their gender.
      Jul 15
    • Uber / Eng mH7bSe
      All I said was "they don't like it". A simple fact.
      You happened to like it because you have rich and highly educated parents but that doesn't mean other girls need to like it too, nor other people need rich and highly educated parents to like it.
      Jul 15
    • Wayfair berlinbee
      My parents weren’t rich. They kept me away from stereotypes. And when you say “they”, I am one of “them”. Your statement is already somehow falsified. Unless you are referring to your own perception of a certain ratio in your own environment. Then in a way, let’s do not generalize things if they won’t help us.
      Jul 15
    • Uber / Eng mH7bSe
      You are one of them but just special.
      Don't expect everyone to be like you.
      Jul 15
    • Amazon dhiekshxe
      When opportunities are more equal then even less women choose tech. Thats what the research shows based on developed countries in Northern Europe
      Jul 17
  • Facebook PureWin
    There is no simple explanation. It’s a broad combination of social, economic, and historical reasons.

    But basically for the same reason fields such as nursing, social work and education (primary and secondary) are female dominated: social perception.

    Many women grew up in households told that “computers are for boys” or that being a geek or nerd was exclusively a male thing. That makes sitting in a classroom filled with boys even tougher.

    But there’s also other research showing that unlike boys who tend to be good at math/science but poor at reading skills, girls tend to be good at both.

    So, women tend to seek careers that leverage all of their skills rather than a specific area. Out of most explanations, this is the most optimistic one.

    Finally, there’s of course the issues that come with working in a male dominated workplace. I’ve met women who had PTSD from their experiences.

    While this doesn’t mean this happens to all women or that all men in Tech are somehow evil, it does understandably cause many candidates to walk away for good.
    Jul 15 3
    • Uber GakN20
      Lmao
      Jul 15
    • Google LGTM
      Best answer here.
      Jul 15
    • Facebook / Eng mturtle
      Well written and accurate; good job.
      Jul 15
  • Google əๅɓoo⅁
    Women like to work with people and value WLB more than men...
    My wife says she would never consider working as an SWE because all you do is stare at a monitor 10 hours a day...
    Jul 15 3
    • Wayfair berlinbee
      It is a personality matter not gender. I definitely love creating impact by writing code or working with teams that produce outcomes with digital products
      Jul 15
    • Bloomberg / IT MagikMike
      Gender is part of it. Women do prefer working with people and men like working with machines
      Jul 15
    • Mapbox / Eng zZisUrp
      I think that’s a stereotype that needs to be broken. It’s hurting all genders. I rarely sit at my desk programming 10 hours a day. I think that’s a product of your specific company. My day is filled with programming, but also meetings with PMs and customer visits and teaching others too.
      Aug 16
  • Microsoft / Eng JimmyRstlr
    Women as a whole just arent interested in software development. Nothing wrong with that.
    Jul 15 3
    • Verizon / Eng iLick
      Nah, we have to make a big deal about it and say it’s probably something to do with fairness. I bet it’s the 👮‍♀️
      Jul 15
    • Wayfair berlinbee
      It is so not true. You just wish it were.
      Jul 15
    • Verizon / Eng iLick
      Got any deals on blinds?
      Jul 15
  • Cie Digital / Eng Apollon
    Even lots of my girl friends who specialized in math or physics in earlier education did not end up going in comp science or tech simply because it wasn’t hot back then. They definitely have the brains but didn’t choose to go into it.
    Jul 15 3
    • Wayfair berlinbee
      Poland, Ukraine, Russia and some other European countries have women in tech ratios beyond 30%.
      Jul 15
    • Bloomberg / IT MagikMike
      Not women in programming though. Those 30% women in science numbers are from biology and chemistry. Programming and physics is still majority male.
      Jul 15
    • Walk into any software company in these countries and you'll see the same sausage fest as in the US. Ask me how I know.
      Jul 17
  • Bloomberg / Eng aoNai637
    Every time I ask my female friends why don't they learn to code I always get the same answer "I couldn't do that, I'm not good at that kind of stuff"...
    Jul 15 3
    • Uber / Eng mH7bSe
      "let's go shopping"
      Jul 15
    • Google gourgle
      ^ uber 1.0
      Jul 15
    • Uber / Eng mH7bSe
      Isn't that "memegen"? The best Google internal app?
      Jul 15
  • Zulily god11
    For the same reason truck driving is so male dominated.
    Jul 15 4
    • BlackRock / Eng saywat
      OP
      And what those “same” reasons ?
      Jul 15
    • Amazon jtGV66
      The personality traits required to find the job appealing
      Jul 15
    • Uber / Eng mH7bSe
      But these sexists aren't interested in trucking jobs. Weird.
      Jul 15
    • Amazon jtGV66
      Or working in mines or on oil rigs.
      Jul 15
  • SAP fsGz86
    Read Damore's paper on this. Women tend towards interest in people, men tend towards interest in things + systems
    Jul 16 1
    • Amazon jtGV66
      Read it, but if you work at google you better do it at home 😂
      Jul 16
  • Oracle ldppem
    Uh, did u go to school in the US? The female students despised engineering students. They wanted to study more fun things and hang out with frats.
    Jul 15 0
  • Amazon
    avamarie

    Amazon

    PRE
    Microsoft
    avamariemore
    Where I am from females gets as much graduation from CS and job opportunities, so there's equality without anyone trying to force people to hire more females, funny enough I am from Egypt a country that westerners view as bad place to have a utrius.
    Jul 15 1
    • Amazon
      avamarie

      Amazon

      PRE
      Microsoft
      avamariemore
      So to sum it up, it's the culture, how people raise their daughters and sons in the west is usually going to end up with arts degree not an engineering degree.
      While in Egypt girls or boys, you better do better than your cousins you lil kid, it's very competitive.
      Jul 15
  • Microsoft / Eng Rydia
    Who cares
    Jul 15 1
    • BlackRock / Eng saywat
      OP
      I do
      Jul 15
  • Oracle xkkdnjd
    Yea women are sexist.
    In school, they think engineering is nerdy, not for women, and despised the whole area.
    Aug 16 2
    • Cisco meoww
      Wow
      Aug 16
    • Oracle qmnzs
      This the plain obvious truth if anyone went to school for eng.

      So wtf now? They see the pay increasing and want to dig shortcuts for underqualified candidates based on gender? Already happens heavily before all this crap.

      Get fvcked in school and then at work, not where I can help it. I will do my part to rectify the situation and reject qualified candidates to even out the advantages they get.
      Aug 17
  • Roku
    walnut$

    Roku

    PRE
    Yahoo
    walnut$more
    Why is fashion or recruitment industry female dominant?
    Jul 15 0
  • Apple YzGN63
    india has lots of female developers. just saying.
    Jul 15 0
  • Rackspace / Eng VIWB03
    It's not male dominated, your premise is faulty.
    Jul 15 1
    • SAP fsGz86
      and teaching isn't female dominated. Just saying words doesn't make them true.
      Jul 16
  • Twitter applet
    it’s genetic
    Aug 16 2
    • Cisco meoww
      Then why were most programmers women 50 years ago?
      Aug 16
    • Twitter applet
      Pics or it didn’t happen
      Aug 16
  • Mapbox / Eng zZisUrp
    1) Deep rooted sexism continues to this day. The history of women in computing has always been like this - computers and programming was traditionally marketed to boys etc.

    2) Tech environments are not ideal for women who want to start families. Long hours make it hard for women, who are usually the caretaker because of (again) deep rooted sexism, to stay in the workforce.

    3) The pipeline from school -> sustained career leads to a sewage pond. Recent efforts to get girls interested in computers and math are good, and early signs show that CS enrollments are going up in college, but once women get here we do a shitty job retaining them. This is in part because of the above and systemic issues with promoting safe working environments, unwillingness to put women in leadership positions and you guessed it - deep rooted sexism that continues to this day.
    Aug 16 2
    • Google əๅɓoo⅁
      The same points could be made about the doctor profession. Even longer hours, even harder to have kids, historically 100% male. Yet we have 50% female doctors.
      Aug 16
    • Mapbox / Eng zZisUrp
      Would like so see where you’re getting that 50% number from, but the medical industry still has its challenges too: https://academic.oup.com/jid/article/216/suppl_5/S606/4160395

      I think your point is valid, but I would also like to mention that the modern tech industry has been around a lot less longer than medicine overall, and that they’ve had time to combat a lack diversity longer than we have in tech. And, a lot of the lack of representation in tech can directly be traced to direct marketing of computer/programming toys and materials to specifically boys in childhood from an early age.
      Aug 16