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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

See That One Girl?


This is the company photo for WordPress.com. See that one woman among all the men? This is 2007 and we talk a lot about all the opportunities available to women, but this is a current photo not a flashback to the 1970s.

What do we say to our daughters about that one girl? Do we encourage our daughters to emulate her, join her, be like her? Or do we criticize her fashion sense and hair?

Do we tell our daughters that math and science pay a lot more than traditionally female occupations like teaching and social work?

When we're encouraging a hobby it might be better to forgo the tap class and encourage chess club. Parents of girls should get extra-excited about math ability and foster a curiosity about computers.

8 comments:

Two Knives said...

Thank you! A great reminder of what's happening in "the real world." There's still work to do.

Stacks said...

I know lots of female geeks, so I guess I wonder what is wrong at WordPress that they hire so few women.

Anonymous said...

Tell me she's not the secretary!

So Sioux Me said...

I don't know if she's the secretary or a programmer.

My original thought was that they didn't get a lot of applications from women. Or as a start-up they hired their friends and they don't know any female geeks.

I don't know many female geeks. The tech industry isn't very big here though.

Either way, I don't think this photograph is a rarity in the techonology and science industry.
I think girls are still answering the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" with answers like "A Mommy, teacher, or nurse."

None of those things are bad thing to grow up to be.

But, I would like to have higher paying positions open to my daughter. I guess I want girls to think growing up to be a "geek" is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

How about tap dancing AND chess?

So Sioux Me said...

That would be a good balance, I think.

Jonna said...

I am an electrical engineer by education and a patent attorney by profession, and I'll comment that the photo looks like every firm I've worked in and every team I've worked on. I'm always the only woman. Except for secretaries or paralegals.

Keep reminding her that she can do whatever she wants and she should just like what she likes. If she wants to build robots with the boys, by all means let her. Frankly, she might be better at it than they are (I was. My robot made the final four in the college contest).

Things have come a long way, but they still have a LONG way to go. My company is crappling with the problem of RETAINING women, particularly during the transitional years of around 28-35. And note that my company only hires engineers with advanced degrees . . .

So Sioux Me said...

I think lots of industries find women in those childbearing years, 28-35, hard to retain. Mothers aren't willing to put in the same hours as fathers are. We bear the responsibility of parenthood to such a degree that we find it, at least I find it, "not worth it" to put the job before the raising of actual humans. When you're kidless it does seem more "worth it" to play the game by thier rules.

In my dream world, jobs become more "mother-friendly." I think we are still very much playing the game by thier rules. Maybe it's their rules that need changing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

See That One Girl?


This is the company photo for WordPress.com. See that one woman among all the men? This is 2007 and we talk a lot about all the opportunities available to women, but this is a current photo not a flashback to the 1970s.

What do we say to our daughters about that one girl? Do we encourage our daughters to emulate her, join her, be like her? Or do we criticize her fashion sense and hair?

Do we tell our daughters that math and science pay a lot more than traditionally female occupations like teaching and social work?

When we're encouraging a hobby it might be better to forgo the tap class and encourage chess club. Parents of girls should get extra-excited about math ability and foster a curiosity about computers.

8 comments:

Two Knives said...

Thank you! A great reminder of what's happening in "the real world." There's still work to do.

Stacks said...

I know lots of female geeks, so I guess I wonder what is wrong at WordPress that they hire so few women.

Anonymous said...

Tell me she's not the secretary!

So Sioux Me said...

I don't know if she's the secretary or a programmer.

My original thought was that they didn't get a lot of applications from women. Or as a start-up they hired their friends and they don't know any female geeks.

I don't know many female geeks. The tech industry isn't very big here though.

Either way, I don't think this photograph is a rarity in the techonology and science industry.
I think girls are still answering the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" with answers like "A Mommy, teacher, or nurse."

None of those things are bad thing to grow up to be.

But, I would like to have higher paying positions open to my daughter. I guess I want girls to think growing up to be a "geek" is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

How about tap dancing AND chess?

So Sioux Me said...

That would be a good balance, I think.

Jonna said...

I am an electrical engineer by education and a patent attorney by profession, and I'll comment that the photo looks like every firm I've worked in and every team I've worked on. I'm always the only woman. Except for secretaries or paralegals.

Keep reminding her that she can do whatever she wants and she should just like what she likes. If she wants to build robots with the boys, by all means let her. Frankly, she might be better at it than they are (I was. My robot made the final four in the college contest).

Things have come a long way, but they still have a LONG way to go. My company is crappling with the problem of RETAINING women, particularly during the transitional years of around 28-35. And note that my company only hires engineers with advanced degrees . . .

So Sioux Me said...

I think lots of industries find women in those childbearing years, 28-35, hard to retain. Mothers aren't willing to put in the same hours as fathers are. We bear the responsibility of parenthood to such a degree that we find it, at least I find it, "not worth it" to put the job before the raising of actual humans. When you're kidless it does seem more "worth it" to play the game by thier rules.

In my dream world, jobs become more "mother-friendly." I think we are still very much playing the game by thier rules. Maybe it's their rules that need changing.