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Lets hear it for the girls! Your help required.

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by Elishiva, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. Elishiva

    Elishiva New Member

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    Just a quick question for you all, as we are all involved in IT somewhere may I ask you all how many of you work with ladies? I have my own business and my fiance teaches IT too, but still it would seem it is a male dominated industry. So many businesses are missing out on skilled workers it would seem too. Is it that there are so few female role models in this industry? Dont tell me the girls are intimidated either as I dont believe that for one mo! If you have any ideas please let me know as I am currently designing the school ICT site at the moment and would like to include a careers section within it for both the girls and the boys and any input you could make would be most gratefully received :)
     
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  2. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    I think one of the primary problems is when you try and segregate it like that (IT careers section for boys and girls) there is no difference, people are primarily employed on skills and experiance, I have worked with woman in most of my roles, my ex boss was young japanese lady who happened to also be a CCIE, we have a lady working on our Helpdesk here, and our only technical person in the glasgow office is also a female
    the last place I worked at had 3 females in a team of 8, 1 Support, 1 Technical Procurement, 1 Technical Sales/Management

    No, there are not many female role models in IT, but I think that goes without question, until recently when computers became mainstream, and every one on the planet knew what they were, and how to use them, they were the realm of geeks and nurds, labels not many ladies carried/wanted to carry, back then the majority of female 'nerd' types went into scientific fields, as is evident from the large number of female scientific role models, as computers have become more accepted as the norm, and some technologies even 'trendy' (SMS, IM, Chat rooms) more and more women have taken up the reigns of IT, as the years progress these women will find themselves getting more and more influentual roles, and eventually, becoming role models for the new generation of IT workers, male and female

    The industry needs to get down from this 'women in IT' deal, as all that does is pass off the impression that a) women are being perticularly targetted for a role, b) there is some kind of differentiation between males and females in tech jobs and c) alienate those already in IT to feeling like second class workers

    none of this is the case, IT workers are highly skilled professionals, no different to nurses, lawyers, and other professional roles, however it was also a stigma until recently for a male to become a nurse, go figure!

    The industry is clearly changing, and more and more women are getting into IT, but to look upon that in some kind of seggregated fasion is wrong, and I believe does more harm than good, IT staff should, and often are hired for thier skills, thier experiance, and thier abilities, women often have some traits that are well suited to the industry, perhaps it's just that not many are interested in it?
     
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  3. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I work as a tech writer for a small software firm. The support desk and engineering staff are all males. One of the marketing people is a woman and the only other woman in the office is the admin asst. Yes, it's terribly lopsided but IT tends to be that way. Our company has recently come out of the "start up" phase but when it was brand new, hires were made largely on having friends or acquaintances who you knew possessed a particular skill set needed to develop the product. I was probably one of the first employees who was hired through a standard interview process.

    On the other hand, a little over a year ago, I had a temporary job as a support tech for a small city IT department. I was taking over for the regular tech while she was out for three months on maternity leave. There was some overlap where she trained me and I must say she was one of the most skilled technicians I'd ever met. What really impressed me was her range of skills. She seemed equally capable at Group Policy, maintaining hardware and troubleshooting application problems. I was quite humbled to take over for her for those three months, realizing that I didn't know a fraction of what she did.

    I have to agree with Ryan that while certain occupations seem to be male-driven (IT, Engineering, Law Enforcement, Fire Fighting) what it boils down to is hiring the right person to do the job.

    My daughter's high school holds an event once a year to encourage girls to take technical classes and consider a career in IT. I know that there are some backwards thinkers that still believe that a woman can't understand anything technical and won't encourage girls and young women to consider such a career. Often very talented girls won't look at IT because they believe it's a "men's only" club and they either would not be allowed in or they would constantly be fighting with the males to establish their competency.

    I could go on but I'll cap this off by saying that I am engaged in a small partnership with a person who is amazingly accomplished as a technician and technical trainer. She travels all over the United States and Canada training specialized classes in various Novell products. Very often, the set up this trainer has requested for the class has been somehow misconfigured by the on-site tech and the trainer must correct it. Of course my partner is a woman and she often has to go behind the male on site-techs to correct mistakes (some of which even I would know better than to make) that were made in the set up.

    From my point of view, it doesn't matter if you are a man or a woman...it only matters if you can do the job and be part of the team.
     
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  4. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Interesting point you make there Trip, when my missis was a freshman in high school she was in an A+ class sort of thing, and they also had this work experiance sort of thing, where she spent time after school with a few of the other 'geeks' helping the people who ran the IT for the nampa school district, the guy in charge was a total jackass (morman guy, who thinks women belong in the kitchen sort of deal) he ended up finding reason after reason to get rid of her, and eventually she just gave in and left, and was quite upset as she really enjoys technology, and is probably more proficient with ghost than I am, LOL (ok so maybe not) she knows AD, she knows GPOs, she can ghost machines, rebuilt them from scratch, and shes still in high school, but I think that experiance really turned her off of IT, and now she wants to be an engineer (and almost equally male dominated career path, lol)

    Thats the other side of the problem i guess, the 'old boys' who think they are something special, and that women cant do 'thier' job, no worries, they will hopfully all die out eventually :D
     
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  5. Elishiva

    Elishiva New Member

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    Thank you Phoenix and Tripwire for your comments. Ref the segregation you described Phoenix I can assure you there will be no such thing I was just trying to stress the fact that the career advice will be for all and not just aimed at the boys, but I am sure you can probably see that.
    As Tripwire said it can be seen somewhat as a "Mens Only" club at times, but hey I am here and I was in the Army too in the past and all this "cant do that ur a girl" stuff just encourages me to do it anyway. I am 160cm tall, weigh 55kg and have very long blond hair and blue eyes, but once guys get over that most respect my knowledge (that is the knowledge I can cram into my brain cell LOL). I am also Jewish but hey we have a female Rabbi in our synagogue too now.
    Over time attitudes have and are changing, its good to see that people are genuinely open to the right person for the job at the end of the day. The dinosaurs are dying and its quite true the guys have the same problem in other walks of life - we all have to open our minds.
    I am lucky enough to be able to hopefully do something to help IT get more girls in the future - watch this space.
     
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  6. Sandy

    Sandy Ex-Member

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    Hi All

    I work in a national (UK wide) team of about 70 people the gender split is about 50/50. There is a marked split when it comes to "Systems" work my speciality where it is 0/100 for some reason the geeks rule in that area. It might be to do with the out of hour’s work or the time you spend in a freezing server room?

    A few months back I was speaking to a female HP field engineer but this is the first I have met and she says she is the only one.
     
  7. Rosy
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    Rosy Megabyte Poster

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    Another female on the boards - yippee!! :biggrin

    From the experience that I have had and the people that I talk to in the IT industry it appears that there are women out there but that they prefer the roles that involve a little more interaction with others - so for example my background is in teaching further education and looking at this area now it is definately female dominated around where I live. However, the traditional teckhie style jobs which involve more problem solving and lone working etc seem to be very male dominated.

    There does still seem to be a difference, very generally speaking, in the types of jobs that males/females prefer and so maybe it would be useful to think of the different types of roles there are in the world of IT in order to promote the industry to all.

    Just my thoughts anyway. :biggrin
     
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  8. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Well said Rosy, thats the point I tried to raise a little towards the end of my post, people look at the tech industry primarily as 'oo look at me i'm a windows 2000 admin' but there are a much wider variety of roles out there, some of which may appeal alot more to women than sitting in a cold room on your own on a friday night restoring a mission critical server :)

    some examples that come to mind are

    Technical Project Management
    Technical Sales (or even Pre Sales, which is less technical, so may fall under a sales job not a technical job)
    Network Consultancy (Very techy, but very customer facing)
    Communications (Web Design, Flash animation, et all)
    Telephony Systems / Consultancy
    Operations
    Helpdesk work (constant interaction with others (often frustrated others))

    these are all roles that I have personally seen women working in, and enjoying thier work at first glance (we know that can always be deceptive hehe)
     
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  9. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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