Women in Tech
Would you advise your daughter to pick a career in tech?Dec 1, 2018
What would you do in your environment today to make it easier for them tomorrow?
2718 VOTESSELECT ONLY ONE ANSWER
- Intel MurthysLawWho the hell would say no? Sorry darling, you can be anything you want to be, so long as its not in tech. That's messed up.
- Microsoft gEFg84Parents should be supportive of their kids dreams (within reason), not try to mold them into what they think they should be. The way the question is phrased you guys answering “yes” might as well be boomers trying to “advise” you to be a doctor or a lawyer. Engineering is the hot new thing but it’s not for everyone.Dec 3, 20189
- Gender bias much? I would support my daughter in a career she was interested in. I’d suggest tech if she had both the aptitude and desire because I love tech. But not everyone does. Some people prefer sales or art or teaching or being a mother and homemaker. What if she told me, “hey I want to take care of my kids and paint?” Should I sit her down and tell her she’s wrong? What if she said sales, should I tell her no forget that do Engineering? I’d love my kids enough to not try to shove your unconscious bias down their throats.
- Microsoft / EngGoivenglavMarginally off topic, but.. This is the same way I feel about CS fundamentals in grade school. Make it available and nurture the desire that kids have, but this nonsense about making programming a requirement to encourage everyone is a bunch of malarkey. Don’t force anything on anyone. We still need doctors, lawyers, builders, customer partners, artists, etc. Make it all accessible and help kids figure out for themselves so that they’re very engaged in what they want not what we want.
- Amazon CmcbcxchvcAs a woman in tech, I voted unsure. Yes it’s great pay and a flexible schedule which is why I went into it but the longer I’m in this field the more the constant and unending sexism wears on you.
It’s incredibly sad to me because I love tech. But over the years I’ve watched so many brilliant women get chewed up and spit out. It feels like it’s gotten worse over the last 20 years and not better. In terms of life happiness I’m no longer sure it’s the best choice, except for those women who enjoy a fight and a crusade.
Most men are wonderful to work with, but they also are too passive and too slow to be supportive when you run into someone who refuses to work with you or questions whether women belong in tech or is just a slime ball.
Maybe it’s because I’m a senior woman now and mentoring others but I just hear so many stories and it feels like every other woman I meet is under enormous pressure and is getting warped feedback.
Since the majority of my peers have been pushed out of tech over the years there just aren’t enough woman managers.
In aggregate, yes I would love to see tons of new women in tech. But when young women I care deeply about ask me about a career in tech my answer to them now is much more nuanced.
- Amazon FetchAs a woman in tech, it’s hard. Most men don’t realize that their normal treatment skews to allow more men to succeed. I’m not even sure it’s their fault (culturally this is how we are socialized). It takes a really self aware and self confident male to realize this and to support a woman at work. Most men really have no bad intentions, they just don’t realize that’s not enough to change the culture.
I get what cmc is saying. After nearly 20 years in tech, I’m tired. I’ve had to fight for myself my whole career for things that men wouldn’t think twice about. And I have had to pay meticulous attention to my work. It’s impeccable, because it must be. Any mistake gets me looked at like I was only promoted because I’m female. Even with a steady, quality track record I have to be much more careful than my male counterparts.
The number of times I’ve been given a high profile project and told that it’s even more critical that I’m successful because I’m female is....depressing and disturbing. This makes it feel like there’s extra pressure, no mistakes are allowed....no matter how small. I doubt any man ever gets told that his performance means anything because of his gender.
- GitHub 7foldcmc, this is a great, nuanced answer. I largely agree with what you wrote.
I'm an out and fairly vocal trans woman (you can probably figure out who I am pretty easily), and I transitioned later in life. I spent about 10 years of my professional life presenting male, and the last few years presenting female. People definitely treat me differently. I've been lucky to work at companies that care about inclusion, and so haven't had to deal with it too much (especially at GitHub), but outside of the office, people are much less likely to assume I know what I'm talking about. It's pretty interesting to be on both sides of it.
- DocuSign 10charonly"Most men are wonderful to work with, but they also are too passive and too slow to be supportive when you run into someone who refuses to work with you or questions whether women belong in tech or is just a slime ball."
I fall in to the category of being slow to be supportive, because I think that if I jump in too soon I'd be "mansplaining" or interfering when not asked.
Any advice for males like me?
- @10charonly Bloomberg has an interesting piece out today:
- I’d suggest her to be a makeup artist or perhaps a fashion designer. My son is going into tech, I just got him a computer!
- Amazon BB!I would advise my daughter to fully explore her options and if she has any- interests. I would also emphasize balancing the difference between doing what you love and getting paid enough to enable you to do what you love.
- Intel / EngAdamusI am a women in tech with 25+ years of experience. I do not have a daughter, but have often thought about this question, especially after seeing my women colleagues actively dissuading their daughters to go into tech. I love science and technology; I pursued the highest degree; I crossed the ocean so that I can do this work at the highest level. However, knowing everything I know: the sexism, emotional abuse, isolation, .....I am crushed to say that I, too, would advise her not to do it. The cost is way too high. For those uninitiated, it might be informative to see some of the exchanges on Blind, how dismissive of women engineers they are, as well as of diversity initiative aimed to finally provide more fair and inclusive environment. So, no, I would advise her not to go into technology.
- You think isolation, emotional abuse are exclusive to women? The stress level could be so much that there are weeks that I just wanted to curl up and die. If people can't cope with that, I'm sorry it's just how it is.
Rant against diversity initiative is when they go beyond providing fair and inclusive environment. My school hardly had any female enrollment. Numbers in the workplace is just a reflection of that. Sorry you can't create qualified engineers out of thin air. I have interviewed 100s of candidates and their gender was never a factor in my decision making, please don't accuse me of misogyny if I don't see enough eligible/qualified candidates.
Maybe the reason for low enrollment numbers is because of people like you advising girls not to enter into tech.
- [Edit: Nextdoor person deleted his/her post, this comment was a reply to that]
I'm only addressing/countering points raised here. Did you even read what I wrote?
(1) being dismissive of diversity initiative.
I'm basically giving reasons why people could be dismissive of some diversity initiatives. Asking companies to have 25-50% women engineers is great if graduating class had similar ratios, but they are not. That's where "the creating out of thin air" part is coming from.
(2) Reacting strongly for personal experience? I'm just providing my personal experience and showing that those stressful experiences aren't exclusive to women.
Please tell me what I'm missing.
If you ask me, yes I really wish our industry had more women. I believe the root cause is somewhere else, it's much before college admissions, it's by people advising girls to stay away from tech.
If you are curious, I voted "Yes" on this poll. I don't have a daughter, but if I have one day, I would definitely encourage her to enter tech. I would definitely try to raise her to be a strong woman. That's the only way to solve gender imbalance and not with tweets or wishy-washy "I support X" online movements.
- [Edit: Nextdoor person deleted his/her post, this comment was a reply to that]
Why are you getting aggressive, I thought we were having a civil discussion here.
"25-50%" is an example of diversity initiative that I have seen and understand why people are dismissive of such things.
"Did OP say it's only women experience experience similar to hers" - that's the undertone if you read the entire post. Please read again. (Clue: I as a woman experienced X, hence I advise girls against going into my field).
You take Blind seriously? Jesus. It's a troll heaven. Even so, who cares. Try to change it by encouraging more women into industry.
I'm not doubting her personal experience here, I'm just saying almost everyone experience this. All I'm saying is it makes no sense when you say women are underrepresented on one hand and advise girls against entering said field.
- I am a women in tech and will definitely advise my daughter to do whatever she has aptitude for. I feel we are of “go-girl” generation and no other time could be better for woman to do anything they want. Crack top jobs in tech, do startups, etc. I feel I get more appreciation from society when I achieve as much men, so that’s definitely a plus. Not to say there is no struggle, but my daughter would not lack any opportunity from the start and should not have any reason to not be able to do what she wants and is capable of.
- As a female in engineering, it’s hard understand why other females would introduce non-tech women to tech. Its a good source of income but the Toxic misogynistic culture isn’t worth it. But I do support women in tech who are ALREADY in tech.
- +1 - My stupid man advice to women in tech is find a manger who’s not ahole and follow them around. It’s early yet but I think we have made small gains the last 20 years. The things I’ve heard from women over the years are just awful if I didn’t know them personally I would have thought it was made up.Dec 5, 20182
- Oath HairFarce1I voted no. Women are definitely needed in tech. A lot of them are empathetic and understand user needs more than any man could. No matter how good they are at their job and how high they go, they’ll always have to compete with some arrogant tech bro who wants to mansplain things to her that she may have even taught him and then take credit for what she does. I see it all the time. You have to be a glutton for punishment.
Flagged by the community.
- I'd advise her to identify her true calling. As a woman in tech myself, there's no future for you unless you are excellent. If your average you can forget about any kind of good TC trajectory or life. It gets especially harder at the higher levels.
I've been told by my managers all places I've worked that I'm among the best hires they have made. And I work most weekends and week days till after 8pm and take grad classes at UCB to keep my knowledge current. It's impossible to make it as a woman otherwise.
I'll tell her, the world is sexist. Whatever you do you need to excel. Also balance out passion with compensation. And depend on nobody.
- Capital One / MgmtdbNw78moreTHIS! The world is def sexist. It can be hard to be a woman in a “man’s” industry. I also had to do grad school while working just so I could be “equal” to male counterparts with only bachelors degrees. But still - it could be worse like working alongside a bunch of gossiping women in HR.
- Booking.com Obadob@Bose "there's a culture of promoting women in tech", find some data to corraborate that before spreading sexist BS. The reason there are initiatives attempting to call the attention and try to correct the balance is because of exactly the opposite. Women in Tech are not promoted in same proportions as men.
- Yeah I would. Sexism is an issue. But unlike most people in the Bay I worked outside of tech before this. Trust me, the rest of the working world is much much worse. There are whisper networks to help women land in the right place, but even if you’re not tapped in, if you’re going to work in a sexist world, might as well get fuck you money while doing it.
- LinkedIn whatwhatwhI am a woman who never saw tech as a possibility growing up, and was encouraged to do something that lent itself to raising a family, and ideally being a stay-at-home mom. I had to find tech by myself after a several-year career in healthcare, and I sincerely wish I could have been in tech all along.
I always did better in math/stats/other technical fields yet for whatever reason, I was led to believe that CS was a man’s degree.
I’ve not experienced sexism in the workplace in tech. I’ve found my team, which was originally all men, to be welcoming and collaborative, and to value my opinion (or at least appear to value my opinion lol). Like another post mentioned, I actually found sexism to be much *much* worse in healthcare, and have found tech coworkers to be more respectful and professional. I am happier with my work now, and I’m so extremely grateful to have made the career leap.
TL;DR: as someone who discovered tech later in life, and wishes I was in tech all along, I’d never discourage a daughter from entering the tech field.
- That's because females are risk averse, don't shop around for offers or threaten to quit unless countered. They don't even bother negotiating so as to maintain harmonious relationship. There's no sexism. Women are on average higher on the neuroticism and agreeableness scale than men - it's inherently biological, and it hurts them in pay and promotions.
- I would advise my daughter to do anything she is interested in and also good at, but knowing our genes she won’t have talent for anything creative.
- Geez people. First of all I'm in my early 40s, not tech despite working at Amazon, don't live in the bay area and can probably live anywhere I want. Second, since when is starting pay for a Dr $400k?? Also, I get wanting to help people as opposed to just making money but my sister is a Dr and never got that satisfaction...just long hours away from her family and complaints about insurance companies. Lastly, if we're going pick on someone's comment maybe pick on the person who chose their child's profession for them and not the one who was just stating their opinion.
- She's either going to a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. That includes software engineering.
- I wouldn't, but it has nothing to do with the environment (that in the current climate is very favorable to women)
Tech is not going to be tomorrow the golden goose it has been in the past, and unless you really like it badly and independently of the money, it will be a huge disappointment.
I feel that pimping up tech to women and minorities is a plot to create the next generation of low wage workers
- SUSE / ProductFakeProfilI don’t have a daughter, but if I did, I would. Already told my son he should go into tech or become a plumber.
- Tesla / OtherqfczDfcI’d suggest her to pick anything she likes and date a billionaire 😆
- Not as a software engineer. And not because she is female. I wouldn’t let
my children base their future on a profession that will be replaced by millions of Chinese and Indians (in China and India) in the next few decades. I will instead encourage her to learn how to learn, and be ready for whatever is hot when she starts working.
- This thread is quite revealing. Lots of people saying they would advise girls to stay out of tech. You are the very people who are to blame for the scarcity of women in tech. It's disgusting that you see people as this or that gender rather than this or that kind of professional.
- My current workplace is by far better than anything I can imagine. I feel guilty in even considering it "work" (compared to say, working in a coalmine, construction, law enforcement, or any other real job). I (and my colleagues) make heaps of cash just to press plastic buttons. You need to keep perspectiveDec 5, 20184
- Microsoft cVgW85I joined the tech industry directly from a faculty position (non-CS STEM dept). I chose my former career path with full buy-in of the “follow your dreams” mentality: I was interested in the subject and willing to put in long hours at very little pay and essentially nonexistent benefits...until I realized I couldn’t provide a good life for my own children, the only thing that really mattered to me. What I’d tell my own daughter is that I wish I’d seriously considered the importance of compensation/benefits early on, and balanced that against what I found intellectually stimulating. The tech industry is the best of both worlds for me right now but maybe the employment landscape will change in her lifetime.
- Google / EngprodaccessmoreAs long as you don't force you children to learn to code before they start kindergarten, as a lot of parents in the Bay area do, you should be fine.
I want my children to be happy and I try to help them make decisions that, in my view, would increase their chances of being happy without forcing them one way or the other.
- Google / EnggilWhich field is better for women? Seriously which field? Medical, no. Finance, hell no. Business, no. Retail, no. Marketing, no. Real estate, no. Science, no. Academia, no. Tech has some rotten spots here and there but overall it's much better than so many other fields, for women. I think engineers tend to be nicer than most (as a rational choice not natural empathy), not as likely to be frat boy types, more likely to be inclined towards fairness, more likely to be able to value the principle over the messenger.
- It’s surprising. Over 2000 responses - some questioning even the grammar of the question - some saying other fields are worse - but not one response on how you’ll change your environment to make it more conducive for your kids.
- I don't know of a single talented woman who had issues. The problems seems to be with the mediocre ones, and guess what, mediocre male engineers have a hard time gaining respect as well. Disclaimer: my manager is a woman and I have been managed by talented women before.Dec 5, 20183
- Google / EngUUKg61No.. not even for my son. I want him to do anything else but IT or Finance. Most pretentious set of people.
- Google eDJS71I would encourage my daughter to pursue whatever she has an interest in. I’d also tell her to avoid being crippled by toxic victimhood and people that tell her it’s hard for 50% of a population to “exist” in an industry this size.
- eBay DXHD74The reasons for which people don’t want their daughters to work in tech are far more severe in other industries. Tech has one of the better working cultures.
- I’m a woman and both myself and husband are in tech. It’s enough tech here. My daughter should be a doctor.
- It isnt anywhere close to tech pay as you get more senior, I make 3x her TC. You also have to add in the extra years of schooling and the loans associated with that schooling. It puts you in a deep hole that you spend your whole life digging out of. You need to be present and on call. There is not a concept of work from home or work remote, because you need to see patients live and in person. This has a big downside when you think about having kids and is always a big hurdle for vacations and weekend trips. It is also emotionally draining, you deal with people many times in the worst situation of their lives and the majority of people are assholes. So you get to be the punching bag no matter what, even when you do everything right, it is only a matter of time before you get sued. Finally, if you make a mistake, even a small mistake we live in a world where that can cost you dearly. I once thought medicine would be a career I would like and after living through it with my girl, I am soo thankful I stayed away.
- New 0hedgeMedicine pays off in your 40s when tech bros are all age discriminated. Medicine has above market wages with AMA building full of lawyers assuring limited labor market. Schooling actually helps in your career.
Tech labor competes globally so they get below market wages....and schooling doesnt help at all when founder/Ceo is a drop out.
- Let me be clear she is still in the top 5% of us earners, but at 32 I probably have about $1.2m higher networth. I will be retired at 40 and she will just be catching up. That to me isnt all that great for being the type of person who was always working the hardest since high school. Medicine is a ‘long game’ and tech is a much shorter game if you play it right.
- If she asks I’ll tell her that it’s boring as hell. Lots of entitled whiners as well.
- Fitbit b2bwIt depends on whether she has an interest or aptitude for something in tech. These days just about anything you could pursue a career in, somehow intersects with tech. So really, depends on what she wants to do! Hard to answer your question without knowing anything about her!
- I'd encourage my daughter by not my son. Not brown enough to be minority male but not white enough to be part of the boys club is the worst part to be in tech these days.
- NASA alfeastAlready did. BTW, she is looking for an internship at NASA. Can anyone help?
- There’s a lot more to life and being a father than what this question and topic eludes to.
If as a father if you have been a good one, it won’t matter what your child decides to do with their life, they will be successful at it.
Start with values, manners, respect, and teach them to never give up. Period. Who gives a shit if it’s tech or sanitation. That’s my plan for my kids. Good luck!
- Yelp DobermanShe can do whatever she is interested in pursuing, but I wouldn’t lead her into tech- there are other more interesting problems to solve.
- CDW VQqN03Medicine, financial, engineering... Anything that won’t get her into a role that can be replaced via overseas outsourcing.
- New goodgulfMy wife is near retirement and has never earned LESS than she earns today! Also who knows if software will be important in 15 or 20 years? I already worked at a sexist tech company (we hired literally ZERO caucasian women) where the guys sitting next to me keeled over from a heart attack.
Tech for Women = Going into Military for Men. So, No.