i've met some really good women programmers over several decades in the tech world —but precious few.
to make things fit our statistical ideal — we strive to glamourize writing code, the good pay, how easy it is to start, and the cool places you can work if you do. yet these things, have little to do with actually being interesting in numbers and algorithms.
if you have a real interest, the difficulty doesnt stop you, no more than salmon swimming upstream. the insatiable desire to grok code is its own reason. if we cant draw more people into computer science by showing how fascinating powers of 2 arithmetic, binary logic, and how neat pointer references are — then i'm afraid there's little hope — sometimes it seems they just dont like it. they have other less abstract, more practical concerns. so often, in perplexity, i have wondered — why are there so precious few women who are intrinsically interested in writing code? guys dig chicks with whom they can talk C++ —— but where are they!?!?
so i dont know if they are being shut out, or if they are simply averse. for the ones that arent — please, come code. the guys more than want more female programmers around. because of this, i've spent a lot of time trying to help women grok technology more deeply.
one thing i've noticed though, while machinery speaks in hexadecimal; the women are using the machinery more. instead of 'how it works', their quesion is 'how to use'? instead of making machines, they would rather use them. it reminds me of an old quote from Heinrich Heine's mom — 'the man thinks, and the women steers'.
in the end — it is for women to decide.
all we can do is encourage, and hold the door open.