Monday, August 27, 2007
Do Women Hate IT? Should We Care?
My first opinion is that just because you work in an IT organization, doesn't make you an IT professional. IT professionals are those who have deep technology skills and includes architects, developers, desktop support, network engineers and other technical roles. Roles such as project managers and business analysts exist outside of IT and therefore are only within an IT organization for convenience purposes.
If you apply a stricter definition of what it means to be an IT professional, the number of women in IT appears even more dismal. Now, if you pile on the cultural aspects such as India outsourcing then the numbers drop even further. While many Indian outsourcing firms claim diversity, I suspect none of them will make the ratio of women to men public.
Consider the fact that within India, diversity has a totally different meaning than what is practiced here in the US. In India, there is little racial diversity, very little religious diversity (major religions, not minor sects), no national origin diversity and more importantly no public call to do anything about it.
You can find perspectives about Brahmin's complaining about quotas yet you can't find these same Brahmin's doing anything to encourage diversity unless it benefits them. Since outsourcing is also changing the state of the number of women in IT, do you think that enterprises that hire these firms should require diversity using a more americanized definition?
The US EEOC definition is the best definition and getting access to the best and brightest is a step that all within the blogosphere should take. This should occur regardless of race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin or gender.
I can honestly say that some of the best developers I have worked with have been women. I would especially love to see women in India take up an interest in enterprise security as this IT sub-culture is bankrupt. If there are women in India that have this interest, I will do my part and share my experiences. Hopefully mentorship is the first step...
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