Gender gaps in IT

April 18, 2007 at 8:12 pm | Posted in education, gender, healthcare, informatics, job, pharmacy, technology, women | 3 Comments

Please read this very interesting blog post by colombianflowers. I have noticed the same trends in both my professional and academic work regarding women in the computer science field.

At the University, I found it “peculiar” when a fellow female classmate told me she was a Computer Science major. If my initial reaction is any indication of the gender differences in the area of computer science/information technology, then we’ve definitely got a long way to go.

You may recall from my previous posts that I mentioned my promotion/lateral move into a new position at my organization. Instead of working so closely with the infrastructure and hardware teams, I now work much more closely with the talented people in clinical informatics.

Let me tell you, it is a completely different story. At most meetings, I am the only guy in the room! I personally don’t have a problem with it and am quite happy working with people regardless of their gender, but the contrast to other areas of computer science and information technology kind of slaps you in the face.

This speaks to an overall trend that I have noticed over my short career. Women, in my experience, seem to be most populous in the areas of computer science that are more end-user software focused rather than back-end hardware or even software infrastructure. Most of the sales representatives I talk to for software companies are women (although sales could be a whole other blog posting topic). I have also noticed that upper level leadership (and not just in my organization) is more equally proportioned with regards to gender than are the directs that report to them (clinical informatics aside).

So is healthcare different? Perhaps. I’d be interested in knowing what other healthcare organizations are like. I would also be interested in the gender trends in IT leadership across the industry – does it follow the same pattern?

There really shouldn’t be such a stark contrast, especially in such a relatively new and growing industry. I believe that every individual has great talents to share and therefore everyone should be given equal opportunities. It’s not as if there is some biological predisposition to computer science.

It’s good to know that those who can effect change are out there trying to correct the gender gap by looking at the academic structure of computer science programs at our universities. Exciting topic…I’m glad I came across colombianflower‘s interesting post.

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3 Comments »

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  1. Thanks for the message on my ipod. Sadly it died a couple of months ago and I brought a new one to replace it. Thanks for the advice though 🙂 Highly appreciated.

  2. Justin, I am also amazed, and glad, to hear that so many women are now going into the IT/Comp Sci field. Certainly makes it more interesting.

  3. I have found that there is a noticeably small number of women in the field service world. I have a hard time believing that it is the travel. Maybe it is the on call requirements, not sure. Any ideas?


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