Apparently there were far more women in computing in "the old days". The dominance of the male geeks is a relatively recent phenomenon.
Death and Taxes...
I worked b2b IT cold-calling in the UK too (you aren't based just outside Reading by any chance?), it was the most soul-destroying job I've ever had! All that mattered was the number of calls you made that day, the number of potential opportunities you made and the number you closed. The bosses cared absolutely nothing about how you were doing outside those stats.
I spent all day manipulating people down the phone till I got to talk to the head of the IT department, then trying to manipulate him into buying whatever crap I was selling that day. Whilst some people are happy to do their job and take home their pay check, I prefer to have something for my mind to work on. I couldn't take the mind-numbing boredom of it all in the end and soon quit to go travelling. When I came back I got a proper IT job and it's been a dream! There's little direct repetition, I get to work on interesting projects a lot of the time and most of all I don't have any hard and fast targets foisted on me (like make X number of calls per day).
I have just one job requirement: Make the IT system run well. Do that and my work life goes perfectly.