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General Chat Thread, Women in Technology in General; Interesting article in yesterday's Guardian....
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    beeswax's Avatar
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    Women in Technology

    Interesting article in yesterday's Guardian.

  2. 3 Thanks to beeswax:

    elsiegee40 (25th May 2008), localzuk (25th May 2008), witch (24th May 2008)

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    witch's Avatar
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    Thanks for that - very interesting, and I shall follow up the link

    As for women in technology - you only have to look on this site - by my calculations there are less than 20 women on Edugeek.
    I come from a girls school where it was quite normal to be good at science, and went on to college to study engineering. There were 4 females on my course!
    I hope that being visible in a school, and talking about what I do as often as possible, encourages the girls to think of a career in technical things as possible, and even fun.

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    Wink

    One of our techies is a women, and to be honest she does her job ever-so-well. Male/Female combinations are the key. She thinks differently than I, and thus we always resolve issues.

    Good too see women breaking into every "typical" or "popular" male field.

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    In my CompSci course, of the 300 people taking the course, I would say 20 of them were women. And every one of them was far, far better at it than the rest of us.

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    Another thumbs up for the article from a lady edugeek.

    Have done my Computing degree in the mid 80s... (the first PCs came in to Lancaster in my final year!) I'm well aware of how few of us there are and some male attitudes towards women and technology!

    I did Maths, Further Maths & Physics A levels depite the headmaster at my Grammar school who didn't believe girls should do sciences - my 2 female partners in crime for Physics A Level (3 girls - 37 boys!) went on to be an Engineer for Rolls Royce and a Science Teacher.

    I can't remember many females on my computing degree course at Lancaster Uni in the early-mid 80s. A handful at most.

    I'm not sure how best to encourage women into technology - there are definitely more about now. I think attitudes are defiitely changing for the better though.

    I have reservations about Girl Geek Dinners. I can see the reasoning behind it, but tend to feel that these women-only groups are making out that we should be treated differently... what we really want is to be treated the same and the way to do that is to get on with it.

    My other problem is that these are women already in technology, but these dinners don't appear to be resulting in anything that girls will see and think "it's OK to work in technology". I feel that people like me and witch are doing our bit more by being seen by the kids at a Primary School running the IT network. The girls at my school are fascinated if I have the case off a PC or am crawling under desks doing wiring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    I come from a girls school where it was quite normal to be good at science, and went on to college to study engineering. There were 4 females on my course!
    Our girls' attitude to ICT/technology/science/etc annoys me at times. We're an all-girls school from Y7 right up to Y13, so you'd think that if anywhere was going to have a nice, free-of-pushy-boys environment it'd be us. Almost felt like screaming the other day - the sixth form wanted to edit some video footage together to show in assembly. They filmed the stuff okay, then I stuck all the footage on a memory stick for them to edit together (they all have a desktop machine in their study rooms, many also have laptops). Their "problem-solving" technique was to then take the footage to a boy they knew who lived nearby who could edit the footage for them. Gah!

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    Oh dearie me...might not be a bad idea to offer some bookelts/guides/courses for them there, I feel. When I worked at the council, I was accountable to the senior systems analyst..female, and very, very good at VAX/VMS and all the other myriad systems we had paralleled there. She taught me a hell of a lot.

    We did a lot of field tech work at client sites..it was her that set me on this career path, pretty much. I'm all for women in IT..my missus was a school tech not so long ago, but couldn't stand the attitude of the male NM that she worked under and couldn't wait to jump when she was offered a job as a web developer in "mainstream" business.

    The daft thing is, experience apart, I'd say Jem is not far off my level in a lot of areas. We both concentrate on our areas of specialty now though. In web terms, she is god..in hardware terms, I am god..and that works quite nicely.

    Some of our girls do the "I'm stupid, I'm female" line...and that's not me being nasty, it's a direct quote. I always ask why they think that.."I'm no good at this IT stuff..". Utter nonsense. They lack encouragement, that's all. We have no end of boys wanting to do work experience with us..if we ever get a girl enquiring, I'll be pleasantly surprised.

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    As the father of two girls (ok, 21 and 17 years old) I'm very aware of the 'social' pressures bearing down on them. The eldest is coming to the end of her third year studying medicine, and the youngest is in the lower sixth and wants to be a physicist, and like elsiegee40 she's doing Maths, Further Maths, Physics plus Chemistry. They're lucky in that they both have strong female role models in my wife and my two sisters. What I see this group doing is providing these role models for young women who aren't as lucky as my daughters, and I feel they can achieve this best by going down the route of forming a body of women and raising their profile.
    Now if you'll excuse me, I have some ironing to do.

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