There was a twitter conversation about a woman who mentioned that her 14 year old daughter– the only female member of the computer club, left the club because of the way she was treated. There was a comment that maybe that was a good thing, because unemployment for people with CS degrees is 9%. Not where I am– which is Nor Cal. Here, driving distance to SF and Silicon Valley, the tech sector is hot. I know because I get emails from recruiters every single day, and I get calls a lot. I said, “You KNOW they’re desperate when they’re calling the girl.”
I also said that most of the guys in tech are not assholes, but no one is doing anything about the ones who are, and the environment that creates for women in the field is really, really, not worth it.
And I realized, my son looks to be headed toward tech as a career. But tonight I asked myself, what if it was one of my nieces, or what if I had a daughter who was techie-inclined.
The answer depresses me. I would want to find a way to discourage her. I would want to sit her down and say, just don’t do it. Stay the hell away from a job in the tech sector because it’s still a field where some asshole can put a slide of dicks– erect male penises– in his presentation to a room full of geeks that includes women, and when the women say, dude, that is not right, they’re told, publicly, loudly, that they should STFU and why don’t you have a sense of humor?
It’s still a field where a presentation about how your software idea for an app to rate hot chicks actually gets approved for presentation to a room full of young tech-hopefuls. Including young women.
It’s a field where a woman at a tech conference is sexually assaulted by a male colleague and all the men she thought were her professional friends either say nothing in her support or actually tell her it was was her fault. That black-eye doesn’t mean anything.
So, no. If I’d known what kind of bullshit I would have to put up with from a minority of asshole men while the majority of non-assholes don’t do a goddamned thing to change that culture, while I’m just supposed to shut up and quit causing trouble? I wouldn’t do it.
And I wouldn’t want my daughter or my nieces to either.
Explain to me why that’s not a fucking tragedy and a drain on the economy, to be just fine with keeping talent out.