from atlantic article by Jordan Weissmann from 2013

What engineering teams *still* look like

I found this image of Mr. E.M. soon after his take over, after all but a few engineers remained, after the mass exodus, mass layoff. The picture showed a team of engineers after pulling an all night code review. There were lots of smarmy comments about it but it wasn’t the comments that struck me, it was the image. Take a look at all the faces in this picture. What do you see?

I see mostly men. I see a few women in the middle and background, but mostly I see men. I can identify about 19 men and 5 women. Thats give or take 25% women. So I looked for more images of dev teams and founds ones that looked like this:

And this:

Since I was last doing a deep dive into this subject, it seemed like lots and lots of people were working on this problem, and yet, here we are. After looking around, I found articles that sounded exactly the same as the articles I’ve been reading for years.

This quote is from a article written December 2022:

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects computer science research jobs will grow 19% by 2026. Yet, women only earn 18% of computer science bachelor’s degrees in the United States.”

from ComputerScience.org

The following chart from the National Science Foundation shows a downward trend in women graduating from Computer Science Degrees. This graph only goes to 2014 but the data is about the same today. Women graduating from CS degrees in the US make up about 18% of the total graduating seniors. One good piece of news is that the percent of women getting masters and doctorates in CS are increasing, which I’m hoping means there will be more computer science professors going forward.

from computerscience.org

So my work returns. I’ll be catching up on what places like Harvey Mudd are doing to help the gender disparity. At quick glance looks like they’ve been studying what drives men and women to want to pursue CS degrees.

from the ucla newsroom website

I presented my opinions to my interactive media students. I believe it’s important to them because most of them will soon be designers working with developers on websites and apps. I personally think that there is a machismo issue with developers that needs to stop. I makes for unnecessarily hostile work environments for not only developer women, but anyone else who has to work with a “brogrammer.” I’m absolutely not saying that the world of computer science as a whole has a macho problem, but I’d like to hypothesize that if women were more welcomed, encouraged, and acknowledged in dev teams, the world of computer science would feel a whole lot more inclusive.

More later. For the time being, I leave you with this very depressing chart of world wide gender rates in software dev.

from Statista.com

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