[TUHS] Women in computing

Deborah Scherrer dscherrer at solar.stanford.edu
Fri Feb 15 08:37:40 AEST 2019

Actually, I suspect it's just the opposite.   For example, veterinarians 
used to be entirely male.   Why, cause they made Big Bucks.  Then, as 
salaries went down, more women got into the field. Why, because they 
cared about the animals.  Now vets make something like $25K when  they 
get out of their 7-8 years of school, and they are almost all female.

I never did anything cause of the money (but then, I married very young 
and had a quite capable husband who ended up a professor at Stanford).  
At any rate, I chose my major, my grad studies, and my 2 careers cause I 
loved the fields.   Took a 45% cut in salary when I went from high tech 
to Stanford/NASA.  Didn't even think about that....

On 2/14/19 2:22 PM, Toby Thain wrote:
> On 2019-02-14 3:37 PM, Jon Steinhart wrote:
>> Deborah Scherrer writes:
>>> There have been several studies.  As I remember, girls in school do
>>> indeed receive as much encouragement in computers as do males.  And
>>> girls do indeed have access to as many resources as males.  So the
>>> studies came to no conclusions.
>>> My personal thought is that, in high school, it's the "nerd" factor.  If
>>> I were back in high school and saw the kind of guys that are getting
>>> into computers now, I would stay a thousand miles away from them and
>>> that field.  But, alas, I don't think anyone has tried to research that
>>> idea...
>>> And/or: I have a friend who was a professor of CS in Amsterdam.  She had
>>> many grad students of both sexes.  She says she had to practically force
>>> the women to stay in the field.   They would see the guys getting overly
>>> focused on the computer details themselves, completely overlooking the
>>> goals of the project.  The women would get frustrated and complain to
>>> the professor.  She would have to convince them that the guys just did
>>> that, and that the women should stay on track.
>>> I do admit, I have a husband who does that.  Personally, I have ALWAYS
>>> looked at computers as a tool to accomplish something grander than just
>>> being a computer.  But I am usually out-shouted.  ;-)
>> I think that many of us old folk on this list started out in a time when
>> getting a computer to be a computer was an accomplishment.  But I agree
>> that enough of that has been done that using computers as tools subservient
>> to larger goals is where the bulk of the work exists today.
>> There's a theory that sounds superficially plausible to me, which is that
>> women leave the field because they're more responsible than men.  The theory
> I was REALLY hoping gender essentialism wouldn't be enlisted in this
> thread. Oh well.
>> is that women think more about whether a profession will provide them with
>> the security and stability necessary to support a family.  ...
>> Jon

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