How To Fix The Tech Industry's Gender Diversity Problem

Image: iStock

Women simply aren't as good as men at programming. It's just biological. Women just aren't interested in technology. Women are too emotional. Men are more logical, so they code better. Women aren't as technically minded. Women have smaller brains than men. Women don't get very far in their careers because they need to leave to have babies. You wouldn't like the culture. Your nails would hit the wrong keys too much.

No but really, it's biological, it's just science. Women are better suited to caring jobs, like a nurse, or a childcarer.

These are real statements, said by real people - many of whom are working in tech - to excuse the lack of gender diversity in the industry. And it's combating statements like these that drives Holly Tattersall, CEO of mentorship program Women in Digital.

Holly Tattersall

Tattersall studied business at uni, followed by a stint of backpacking in Colombia, which led to starting a tour company (and the digital marketing that goes along with it), then selling her part of the business - and finally, taking a gig in digital recruitment "as a temporary filler" while finding her "next big thing".

"Little did I know that digital recruitment was it," Tattersall says.

Along comes a mentor

During this leg of her career Tattersall met "countless" women - one of which was a senior executive at Deloitte, who took an interest in her career, becoming her mentor.

Tattersall looked up to her as someone who was confident, kind and spoke her mind. She admired the way she'd successfully balanced career and family through discipline, and prioritisation.

"This experience was pivotal," Tattersall explains, "and something that I wanted to give back to the other young women I met who had lower levels of confidence of self-promotion - often required when negotiating your career changes."

So she started the Women in Digital mentoring program.

"As I encountered various negative attitudes or environments I would simply expand the Women in Digital service offering to fill the void," Tattersall explains.

"They encouraged me to promote role models and successful women in the industry to overcome that persistent stigma," Tattersall says. "I'm always looking at creating solutions and that is how I found myself continually challenged and engaged by my career in tech."

According to Tattersall, there are three keys ways in which mentorships play a critical role to women in STEM industries.

1. It provides a support mechanism for women who may feel isolated within a male dominated industry, reducing the likelihood of exiting the industry.

2. Role models help to illustrate what's possible. If we can't see it, do we imagine it, and can we become it? By championing successful women in tech, we highlight what atypical success can look like.

3. Sponsoring is equally as important – this is where someone actively promotes you for opportunities in your company or the industry. Where women aren't as good at self-promotion, sponsorship helps to bridge that gap and champion high potential women in tech.

But Tattersall points out, it's not just up to women to make a difference.

In 2012, the ABS found that women remained underrepresented in the most senior corporate positions within the top 200 ASX companies. Six boards (3.0 per cent) had a woman as chair (one more than in 2010, and two more than in 2008), and seven (different) companies had a female Chief Executive Officer (CEO) (3.5 per cent, up from 1.3 per cent in 2002).

Whilst these numbers have improved since 2012, Tattersall tells me, leadership level is still highly male dominated.

"If we have more men in leadership positions then we need them, as decision makers of many companies, to support the push for diversity," Tattersall says.

"They have the power to change recruitment strategies, amending advertising strategies that often deter women from applying to roles. They have the power to facilitate flexible work, meaning women won't be compromised in their family vs career decisions. They have the power to champion and sponsor women as role models in the industry."

What's working?

Initiatives like Women in Digital offer educational events and mentoring for women in the industry, Girls who Code offer practical coding classes for girls, Diverse City Careers help women to find jobs with employers who are endorsed for offering equitable working conditions - and Tattersall says these initiatives are making real progress.

"I believe these initiatives are working! They help to amplify messages about diversity, to promote equal opportunity in the industry, and offer training ops to promote technical and soft skill development."

Tattersall says there is a "great desire" to hire more women in tech, "especially as more individuals and companies understand that our ability to design and create products/services for our diverse customer base is largely a sum of the diversity and empathy of our team."

What still needs to be done?

Even if you aren't a part of the tech industry, you can help.

"Outsiders to the industry are often reliant on technology teams so if possible, take a vested interest in the diversity of that technology team," Tattersall advises.

This means spending your hard earned cash on brands and companies that have diverse leadership teams. The diversity of companies is sometimes difficult to decipher - but organisations like Femeconomy, a platform that only promotes brands that have at least 30 per cent of women on the Board of Directors or are 50 per cent female owned, are a good guide.

But the one thing Tattersall would change, if she could?

"The ease at which women transition into tech careers at a later stage in their career."

Tattersall says if we're concerned about diversity in tech we need to shift the stereotype and welcome a more diverse range of experience into the industry.

"They often have highly transferable skills and a keen interest to learn, but there is a pervasive belief that technology is a young person's game, that you must be wearing a t-shirt, sneakers, be under 30 and addicted to Snapchat to be relevant in the industry."

But over to you, dear reader. What can you do? If you've got an idea to help create change and equality in STEM, let us know in the comments below.

Creating Opportunities For Women In Tech

"There are lots of women in technology," Karen Lawson, CEO of Slingshot tells me.

"So we need to shift our thinking from viewing male-dominated environments as a disadvantage. Especially if you harness not only the opportunities you have, but create your own!"

Read more

Diversity In Tech Is About More Than Gender

Jane Scowcroft believes that every career of the future will be a "tech job", in one way or another. So, in that respect she tells me, "the future looks brighter for everyone who touches tech."

As the Head of Product at CSIRO's Data61, Scowcroft is hopeful that we can work towards a more equitable workforce in the tech world - "but I think it will take thoughtfulness and the promise to address any unconscious bias that might exist".

Read more

Holly Tattersall recently spoke at the CSIRO Data61 'Women in Tech' event, which explored the barriers to gender diversity - with a particular focus on the technology industry.

WATCH MORE: Tech News


Comments

    I read the article.

    "Women simply aren't as good as men at programming." is wrong not because studies have shown it too be wrong but because you want it to be so. I'm not saying that programming ability is gender biased but you are saying it isn't without providing any evidence whatsoever.

    Generalised statements like "How can a homogenous team design products for a heterogeneous audience?" are stupid as you are basing a team's design capabilities on the team's represented race, religion, gender... For example, according to you, "white" Australians should not buy products/services from indigenous developers.

      Oops, I meant "I'm not saying that programming ability isn't gender biased but you're saying it is..."

      "How can a homogenous team design products for a heterogeneous audience?" is a quote from Holly Tattersall, and it is a common view among people I speak to at a CEO level in tech companies.

      I'm not taking your bait with the comment about supporting Indigenous businesses, though. I'm sure you're bright enough to realise that's not really a comparable example.

        It can only lead to the ridiculous: "Sorry I cannot hire you. To 'complete' our team we require a homeless, disabled, lesbian, Rastafarian, Asian-American with facial tattoos."

    So, when are we going to see the gender diversity gap closed in trades such as sewage treatment, road cleaning and construction?
    Or are we quietly ignoring that?

    It is not about your physiology but your mental process. Women who think logically do quite well in IT, nentorship programs notwithstanding.
    Oddly enough, the same applies to men,and those who don't think like that tend to be in sales or art, etc etc.
    Getting tried of reading about all the pampering we have to do to for our 'equals'

      This isn't a website about sewage treatment, road cleaning and construction, or I'd be talking to people about that as well?

      Sheesh dude! Subtle much?

      I'm not sure about those illustrious road cleaning careers, but construction industries have the same issues has Technology, comparing yourself to other poorly balanced industries is not good recipe for success. We should probably try and do better.

        So how do we ensure equal representation of men in the health and life sciences, where the gender mix is the inverse of the tech industry?

    Are there any studies that actually show that, on average, the woman in programming are as good as, or better than, the men in programming?

      There certainly isn't any evidence to show women aren't as good as men in programming.

      There is *plenty* of evidence to suggest that women are just as capable as men in STEM fields. There are just plenty of other barriers, this is why we need efforts to remove those barriers, as Rae has explained.

      Here is a recent study examining the gender disparity in STEM - https://case.edu/ideal-n/media/caseedu/idealn/documents/Cheriyan-et-al-Gender-&-Variability-in-STEM-Psych-Bulletin-2016.pdf.

      TL,DR - here are key findings:
      - There is no gender disparity in aptitude or ability across STEM.
      - Disparity is due to presence of masculine culture which excludes women, absence of effective role models in STEM, lack of early exposure to STEM, and gender gaps in self-efficacy.

      I think this is my favourite part:
      "One consideration is whether the goal should be for women’s self-views to reach the height of men’s self-views, or whether it is better to consider the benefits that go along with being modest (or accurate) about one’s own skills. Indeed, women’s views may be largely accurate while it is men who may be overestimating their abilities"

        Rae hasn't explained anything in this blog article. It's literally a collection of quotes from Tattersall, and a short bio on how Tattersall got to where she is today. There's no other content in here other than Tattersall thoughts, findings and direct quotes.

        Funny that you reach different conclusions to the article. The conclusion says that men are probably better prepared at STEM courses at college not because they are smarter but because they want to be.

        Women are just as able to write good or bad code as men. Gender is irrelevant.

        You can't inflate your own skill set in engineering. I can say I am the best programmer in the company. But this is only a valid statement if this is reflected in the code I produce. If my code is buggy, fails tests, is hard to read / maintain, lacks documentation and / or sanity, then it doesn't matter what my self perception is.

        That's half the issue with the "diversity" push because it's asking us to be less rational and logical in a profession which is highly rational and logical.

          It's already been shown that men generally do better in engineering (possibly because of encouragement at an early age).

          I have mentioned neither my sex nor have I reported my ability.

          The only push should be merit-based while you're asking me to discriminate.

    Congrats on becoming the new Editor of Gizmodo. Can you shed any light on Campbell and if he will still be contributing? Just haven't seen anything mentioned on here yet.

      Thank you! I'm pretty excited to take on the challenge. If there's anything you'd like to see more of, be sure to let me know :)

      Campbell is no longer at Allure Media.

        Cam we see more tech and less comics and movies about said comics. I'm not trying to not pick, but I though it was a tech/gadget site.

          Gizmodo is more of an all-round geek interest site than a pure tech one, but I will absolutely be increasing the tech/gadget content, particularly after our new reviews editor join the team in the new year.

          Until then, I hope you can bear with me, and I'll do my best to keep it as balanced as possible.

          Can it also get out of the non-technology politics scene?

            We'll still be covering science and technology related politics, but I've already made big changes to limit in particular the amount of US politics stories we post on Gizmodo Australia. I'm looking at more of a local focus in these areas, too. So while you might see political posts increasing, it will be about policy in regards to telecommunications, science funding and research, climate agreements, renewable energy policy etc. in Australia.

              ...it will be about policy in regards to telecommunications, science funding and research, climate agreements, renewable energy policy etc. in Australia.

              Much appreciated.

        Sad news about Campbell, I appreciated his honesty, perspective and detailed product knowledge.

        Hopefully, the community doesn't give you a hard time. haha.

        I would love more reviews, but I think that's on the cards from next year as you mentioned below.

        Also, more personal stuff from the authors. You did a piece about selfies, which I thought was a great insight into you as a person, and helped connect with your readership.

          I've been here for two years, I'm kinda used to the community - but I also hope I can make it a little kinder, too. Sometimes the more racist/sexually violent comments (you never see them, I delete them beforehand) can get to you, you know?

          Yep, more reviews is definitely on the cards - you'll really love James, he's a very talented and knowledgeable writer.

          Knowing you enjoy the more personal stuff is great feedback, thank you! Sometimes when you're covering news finding the time for those stories can be a little tricky, but it's good to know they are worth it. I'll pop it on the list :) 2018 is going to be a great year!

    I'm all for diversity, but not at the expense of talent or merit-based employment. The person who has the best skills/experience should get the job, no matter the gender or race of the person.

      Yeah no one is suggesting that someone unqualified should get the job. You did read the parts about what Women in Digital is for, right?

        Please teach me how you get your patience.
        That would actually make an article "how to deal with trolls that are to stupid to know they're trolls".

    Great article @raejohnston. Love to see more stuff like this. I think the tech industry can only benefit from becoming more diverse. You need all types of people in an industry so you can have a wide range of opinions and experiences.

    On a side note. Is there any progress on fixing the broken automoderation system when editing comments? Its quite frustrating.

      Thank you, I'm glad you enjoy it!

      Our team is working on it, but please do keep letting me know when it happens - the more examples I have, the easier and faster it will be fixed.

        In regards to the auto mod of comments. It happens when I try and edit a comment I posted only a few seconds earlier. I will edit this one just after I submit to test. EDIT. Now it works haha. EDIT. Not so fast. Got moderated on the 2nd edit.

        Last edited 12/12/17 1:38 pm

          Yep, this is the issue that we are having. When you edit your comment it goes back into moderation, but we don't see it on our end to approve. So it just sits there, invisible, unless I happen to scroll down and see it. We are working on it, though, and will hopefully have a fix soon.

    My employer is expending considerable energy to increase the percentage of females in the IT department, which is over 80% male currently.
    Some of the actions are to remove any unconscious bias in job applicant selection by removing gender and name from submitted applications, and rewriting job ads to be completely gender neutral to improve application rates, which all seems fair enough.

    Interestingly, our HR department is over 80% female.

      HR, admin, accounts, etc are normally female dominated industries so it's kind of normal to have 80% female staff. Like there are male dominated industries there are also female dominated industries.

      It's awesome that your company is working on the problem, but beware de-identified applications. Sometimes they actually end up making things worse (for example, a recent study in the public service found that blind hiring reduced the proportion of women getting jobs). Part of the reason for this is that privilege often shows up in resumes even more than names - the reason your 'anonymous' person might have less interaction with professional societies, or fewer leadership roles, or odd-looking career breaks, could be because they're not a good hire, but it could also be because gender/race biases have kept them out of those opportunities.

        @bondles this might be the case in higher management position but not so much on entry level jobs. I think de-identified applications is a great idea then you are only employing the person based on the application itself and there should be no inherent biases.

    The only barrier stopping woman in anything is themselves and their own interest and capabilities - there is no other barrier. If more woman wanted to do it and where good at it, there would be more woman in it. Social engineering diversity quoters around gender and not ability or merit is anti business, anti capilitism and socialism. Putting someone in a field they don’t stirive in and contribute to adequately (in either gender) just to equal ‘moral’ numbers is bizarre, self serving and insincere to the entire point of commercial industry and viability.

      Yes. All things exist in a vacuum. Social pressure is non-existent. There is no gender-based bias in any industry, whatsoever.

      You've solved all the problems!

        Vacuum? What are you talking about?! If a business has the best hardworking employees of either gender in any number, what’s the problem? They are making the most money with the most capable staff. The only problem is giving credence to feelings over facts, businesses need the best staff and abilities, not the best social engineering program. Should we start dismissing female nurses and hiring males to even up the numbers, even if some of them aren’t as good? Does that make any sense?

          Cultural vacuum. It must be difficult to be so right on a topic of study you don't even know the vocabulary for.

            'Vacuum' is a nonsense buzzword and and a pretend term, are IT classes refusing entrance to woman deliberately? Are they discriminated against at an education level? If not, where is the so called 'culture' problem? When you say culture what you really mean is 'ideology'. Its not my 'vocabulary' thats the problem, its my lack of indoctrination to socialist left wing victimisation and my ability to demonstrate actual objective thought that is the divide between us. I noticed you didn't comment on my male nurse example, your thought process is a dead end, when you get to the end of the rope, it makes no sense.

              Cultural vacuum is not a buzz word. It's not new. It was brought into popular culture by Warhol. In fact, Warhol's usage is pretty apt here. Any action or thought you take in life is not totally your own. You have a personal interpretation of anything based at least partially on a complex mix of every single thing you've ever experienced. So when you go to buy a toy for a kid and all the girl's toys are sickly pink fashion and baby toys, that influences them for life. When the boys toys are all space ships, robots, and guns, that influences them for life.

              I was actually taking you seriously until you said "indoctrination to socialist left wing victimisation." You are indoctrinated. That's the problem with indoctrination. You can't tell if you are. It's nothing to do with victimisation. I'm a white man who runs an IT business. I'm not one of the women who struggle to get into tech.

      Utter bollocks. Find out the paternity leave for the business you work at. Then tell me if it's equal to maternity. It's not. Because "men have no place caring for babies". Which is utterly wrong.

        That’s completely different to engineering gender quoters, I don’t get maternity leave and I don’t really care! I look after my little boy every Saturday on my own, and I am the one that drops him off to school and picks him afterwards every day during the week. I do it because I’m a good modern father no other reason, but I still think gender quoters are an invented problem that satisfy moral social justice as opposed to what business actually require to run well and exist, genuinely capable staff! If an IT department has 3 woman and 6 men, and each individual is at the top of their game, enjoying what they do and is making the most money in that position and their livelyhoods are secure, that’s 100% excellent and wonderful as far as I’m concerned. Where’s the problem?!

        Yeah because women can do anything men can do. But men can’t.........

    I actually don’t know what I can do - legitimately.

    It’s not a matter of education or opportunities, for there are and have been for several years countless women in code groups, charities, classes, etc as well as investment from tech giants.

    I don’t know the numbers for uptake since all that started, but if it’s not having the desired effect, I really don’t know what to do right now.

    The good news is that the future looks like it can be better - our kids start learning code at 7, and the girls are just as interested in it as the boys, actually maybe more so.

    It used to be that huge numbers of women were programmers, then the home computer came along and it became associated with nerdy white guys and women stopped applying. It seems we’re getting past that possibly... but we still need to look deeper into the social and cultural issues behind the numbers.

    We know big tech companies aren’t not hiring women, or paying them less for the same role. But less women are applying and when they get in the door, even companies that actively promote underrepresented groups, the numbers still don’t lie - on average women aren’t moving up at the same rate.

    To me that has to be a culture that discourages them. Something far more subtle and insidious than we’re currently looking at. For me the question really is how do we make the tech industry feel as home for women as it does for men? And I don’t know the answer.

    On the trigger quotes that opened this article:
    I used to teach seniors how to use computers. One thing I encountered again and again was my female students having the atttitude “I think you have to be a man to understand this”, and I realised they were probably right: all the systems they were using had been designed by men.

    Here we go again fix the gender equality written by a woman.
    Sorry but all this is just more rambing nonsense.

    We need more women in IT yes, I for one am tired of working in a male dominated world where boys clubs rule and it is all swept under the carpet.

    If women are not interested in the job then that is their problem. Stop moaning about it and encourage more women into the industry. Our company can't find any women to fill the roles even though we are looking and trying to increase the number of women in the company.

    Just like women in sewerage and road building IT is the same, they are just not as attracted to it as female dominated roles, fixing that goes back to how women are brought up and the family situation than anything else. Mothers should take a more active role in encouraging girls to be all they can rather than focusing on girly things. In the end moaning that the male dominated industry needs to fix things is wrong, it needs to start earlier, at home.

      Stop moaning about it and encourage more women into the industry.

      You should probably read the article before you comment :)

        An article that quotes a person who is a recruiter and has FA to do with IT doesn't really help you make your point.

          You....you seriously don't see how Holly is encouraging more women into the industry? And how this interview with her is all about that exact thing?

            To be fair Rae, the overwhelming majority of IT recruiters have zero clue about IT. And the level of clues had tends to be lower as level of specialisation tends to be higher. I base this on general industry consensus and decades of working with recruiters, either to find roles or candidates. It's almost a trope of the recruitment process for a recruiter to say, "I have a background in IT so I understand your business requirements". They don't.

            And I think this is the biggest issue with the "diversity" push though because the majority of people calling for change have little to no experience delivering specialised work within the industry. They're typically like Holly - working in HR or management of some kind.

            The women that I work with in tech (quite a few I might add) don't hold these views. Typically they want less women in tech because the diversity push has diluted the talent pool and has actually done more harm than good because they perpetuate the negative stereotypes surrounding women's ability to code.

    Hmmm... I find articles like these very troubling, as they require a belief in a fantasy world that doesn't exist. Regardless of your gender, starting work in tech is hard.

    Women encounter no more barriers to entry than non-women. This is reflected in the university intake statistsics which consistently show around 20% of applicants are women and around 20% of offers are made to women. If it were true that the odds were stacked against women, I woud expect a much lower proportion of university offers made to them.

    I work in a "diverse" team, in the sense that there are men and women in the team. If you assigned everyone in my team the same gender, it would still be just as diverse because we have engineers, marketers, artists, producers, managers etc.

    You know? Real diversity: people who are different from each other...

    In my role I mentor a lot of people. The big problem I and other seniors have noticed with some female juniors coming through today versus ten years ago is that they (incorrectly) believe that they're at a disadvantage because of their gender.

    Example: Juniors are more likely to have their code fail review. The main reasons for this are inexperience and because [insert technical reason here].

    But I've been told a few times by juniors recently, "It's because I'm a woman in tech."

    "No. Sorry, but it's because [insert technical reason here]. Make the requested changes and push the code."

    There is no disadvantage. The challenges a junior faces are typical to their level of experience.

    The other issue I have with these atttitudes is it ignores the fact that the work we do is extremely egalitarian and meritorious. Nobody cares who wrote the code, only that it reliably delivers its intended functionality. It's time we acknowledged that and instead of asking what tech can do differently, ask what people entering tech should do differently to have successful careers.

    And to any women who say there should be more women in tech, I'll say what I always say: There are countless entry pathways and I'm happy to talk with you about where you want to go in tech and help you find the right track.

    The stereotypical response is, "Oh I'm not talking about me. Just women in general."

      Ever wonder if there are social factors and normalised cultural behaviours that are drilled into people from the day they are born? If those things do exist, ever wonder how they would shape society-wide attitudes and create a self perpetuating system of normalised attitudes?

      Perhaps these things you speak of don't exist in a cultural vacuum.

        Your buzz word for this article is "vacuum".

        So which cultures are these traditional gender roles exclusive to? Where are all of these alternative cultures you speak of: where men and women are just as likely to be primary caregivers, risk takers and the like?

        Pro tip: if behaviours tend towards universality across cultures, culture is not a factor.

        No doubt social conditioning has some influence on people's behaviour. But, as you said, nothing exists in a vacuum. If humans have evolved a pattern of socialisation then this is a product of the environment they were evolved in.

        You can deny environment all you like, but it's highly irrational (and all too human) to believe that we have any control over the complex behaviours that we have naturally evolved as a species.

        And that's the issue because women who want to work in highly specialised, technical roles have equal opportunity to do so and zero barriers to entry. Many of my colleagues are women and they are great at their work. In fact, some of the most talented developers I've worked with are women. Nothing has prevented them from doing the work. The only requirements are skill and passion.

          people keep making stupid arguments based on cultural vacuum, so I'm going to have to keep saying "cultural vacuum."

          Attitudes toward aptitude and caregiving are not in any way universal. I'm not even going to engage with an argument that any reasonable amount of research could put to bed.

          Replace everything in your argument about barriers to entry with something completely optional, like shaving your legs and underarms. a woman can simply choose not to, or a man could simply choose to and there is technically nothing to stop them. There is only the deeply ingrained cultural bias toward performing the "correct" actions that a person of your gender should and anyone who moves outside of those is risking ridicule, social isolation, career damage, or in some cases even violence.

          There are literally millions of parameters for small and large actions, situations, and expectations that every single one of us is engineered to work within every moment of our lives. They are insidious. They are often invisible. some of them are helpful and some are not. We shouldn't deny the ones that hurt people simply because they hurt other people.

            Well some people keep making stupid arguments like yours which are so stupid they don’t even argue the points that were made.

            The only vacuum in this discussion is your argument: because it sucks.

            You seem to think the words “cultural vacuum” form a valid argument on their own. I’m simply asking, okay which culture(s) is this exclusive to? A simple question which you can’t answer.

            Again, if a specific culture is to blame, why are gender roles so universally implicit across cultures? Where are these mythical societies you speak of where men and women are physically and psychologically indistinguishable?

            If you had a point, you could answer these questions. Instead, you come back and say that it’s because women are, on average, more likely to shave their legs!

            You are living in a fantasy land! The rest of us live in real world, we don’t judge women on the length of their hemline anymore mate. Utter nonsense that says more about your narrow mindedness than reality...

            If you believe that the personal grooming habits of people who work in tech affect their career outcomes, you’re merely betraying your own lack of insight into tech workers!

            Pro tip: there is plenty of deviation from the traditional grooming habits of both men and women amongst tech workers (and don’t even get me started on issues of personal hygeine).

            Why is that? Because tech work isn’t about what you look like, it’s about what you can do. I don’t care if you have a vagina and shave your legs, I care that you can maintain a low level C codebase which powers our valve intake system and prevents people from being killed. If you can’t do that, good luck with your future endeavours... As you said, we shouldn’t deny the things which cause harm just because they don’t harm us therefore we shouldn’t assign quotas of superficial parameters to work which has a high potential to cause harm.

            In reality, men and women are accepted at equal rates to relevant university programs in proportion to their rates of application. If, as you say, there were implicit biases in the selection procceses why are 20% of offers made to women when 20% of applicants are women? If you were correct, the offers made would be much lower: like 10% or something.

            Perhaps instead of calling people who are clearly more experienced than you stupid because you can’t respond to their arguments, you should consider what they are saying and do some research. If you could be so open minded and rational as to objectively assess more qualified opinions than yours... well then you’d be half of the way to having a great career in tech.

              Christ, mate. Your reading comprehension can't possibly be this atrocious. The only thing I can think is that you are being obtuse in order to not have to engage in good faith.

              Seeing you are so very clearly more experienced than me, you should go back to being smug without evidence somewhere your views will never be challenged. I hear r/incels is down, but they've publicly advertised their new secret fanclub. Maybe they'll welcome your solipsism.

    One of the biggest gender gaps that I believe is a large source of inequality is not quite touched on here. That is equal paternity & maternity leave. In fact in a lot of businesses paternity does not exist outright. As a father I do not have the equal leave or entitlements as my wife has. Not even close. Let alone the stigma associated with being a stay at home dad. As such my wife is forced to be the primary carer for our children or we can't pay for the roof over our heads. This, of course, has a huge impact on her career. She has watched her male equals (hired at same level same pay, same job) supersede her at every progression opportunity because they have gained far more experience. If we want equality, true equality, businesses need to recognise that fathers are just as good at caring for our children as mothers are. It's a stigma that needs changing now. It's a scape goat that some fathers even abuse, that they aren't capable, is ridiculous. Christ. I have some male friends in tech industry who have had to near resign in huge fights with their managers. Because the old school managers believe men have no place in caring for a baby/s.

    It's frankly sad.

    Last edited 12/12/17 3:28 pm

      I completely agree, and will look into what's being done about this.

        I scares me how deeply this is ingrained into our society. If I enter the change rooms at our local mall with my young daughter, to change her nappy. I seem to have about a 1 in 4 chance of being either abused or glared at for being their. I get some mothers need privacy to breast feed, and the curtains exist for that reason. But the belief that the father is lesser for what ever reason, is truly saddening.

        On the upside a few friends have been hired by more progressive businesses. I believe NAB may be one such business.

        I just found the abs 2016-2017 multipurpose household survey backs my wife and my personal experience. More than 100,000 women wanted to rejoin thr workforce but couldn't because they were caring for our bundles of joy.

      @mark_d I agree things need to change, I think that men and women should both get the same amount of time off for maternity/paternity leave the women should be get the first 6 months off as that is the time in a babies life that is all about mum. Then at 6 months the man should get 6 months. This will give the kid a better start aswell.

        Babies just need a caring nurturing parent. First 6 months really depends on who is able to provide that. The breast milk is a huge component, however not all women can breast feed. So each situation is different. Some women get PND and in those situations healthy work schedule can drastically help recovery.

    How about we lay off Gizmodo and stop treating them like they are meant to be responsible journalists. Gizmodo is entertaining but not one of the writers is a journalist. Merely “Generation me” clueless thinking journalism is about pushing your uninformed beliefs.
    Mind you, that could also be used to describe SMH, The Guardian and the Saturday Paper though the later two have many older writers who should know better

      Hey Extremely Tired - You seem pretty worked up about an interview with the CEO of a mentorship program. Are you okay?

      This amount of outrage and sassiness over imagined issues would make me tired, too.

      Get some rest, man.

    Is it just me or did the blatant outrage-baiting headline have nothing at all to do with the article?

    Typical lazy strawman-erecting bait-and-switch nonsense. Lazy.

    Zero quantifiable claims made in the ledge or body copy. Speculative, malformed, sophomoric drivel, all of it.

    Let's talk about tech and science. But let's not actually consider any hard metrics or statistics. Cos that'd require actual research.

    Poor, poor work.

    FYI I too work in an industry dominated not by men, but by ideologically impaired do-gooders whose condescendingly simplistic view of diversity does more damage to our performance than a lack of women ever did.

    Unconscious bias. You have to be kidding me. What next, cupping? Dousing?

      Cheers for you feedback, anonymous guest!

      I'm wondering if you would feel better about this if I somehow made it even clearer this was an interview with someone who believes they have the answer to, as the headline suggests, fixing the gender diversity problem in the tech industry?

        Rae, anonymous or not this poster is correct, write what you want to write about but you will be challenged by non socialists, it’s so glaringly biased, and it’s not correct, it just makes no sense. In my job we have far more woman than men, and I don’t think evening the numbers up in any regard makes any sense at all. I would get zero extra out of my position and the organisation wouldn’t either. IT is a skill set anyone can learn and embrace, not a personality contest, gender has nothing to do with the service provided, that’s why it is so misguided and bizarre to say there’s a problem. People that study it and like the proffesion are doing it, nothing else. If you want an evidence based argument as opposed to moral based one Look at the latest NAPLAN results, boys are falling behind on everything compared to girls, wheres the moral outrage regarding the lack of equality on those numbers?

      By the tone of your comment, I'd say you rarely win.

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