Interesting article in Computer World on Why Women Leave Technology Careers that fits some of what I’ve experienced. And it’s not “to have kids” if that’s what you’re thinking…
The most important antigen is the machismo that continues to permeate these work environments. We found that 63% of women in science, engineering and technology have experienced sexual harassment. That’s a really high figure.
They talk about demeaning and condescending attitudes, lots of off-color jokes, sexual innuendo, arrogance; colleagues, particularly in the tech culture, who genuinely think women don’t have what it takes — who see them as genetically inferior. It’s hard to take as a steady stream. It’s predatory and demeaning. It’s distressing to find this kind of data in 2008.
Is this data global or national? We studied private-sector employers in the U.S., and then we looked at three large, global companies with women working across the world. We also did a bunch of focus groups in Australia, Shanghai and Moscow. The data were pretty consistent. Actually, India is a little better than the U.S. But there’s not much variation across geography.