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GNOME Reaches Out to Women 672

Dominic Hargreaves writes "This year GNOME received 181 applications to Google's Summer of Code program, yet none were from women. As a result, they've decided to address this imbalance by launching an outreach program to sponsor three female students to work on GNOME-related projects this summer." Most any science department will tell you that the amount of interest and involvement of women pales next to men of similar age and background. Is this sponsorship a creative way to get women interested in GNOME, or is it merely sexist?
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GNOME Reaches Out to Women

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  • by O'Laochdha ( 962474 ) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @10:13PM (#15545841) Journal
    "Any disparity of gender, of any kind, that works against women, is enough evidence of sexism to get sued onto the street." So, in short, neither. They're just covering their asses.
  • by Jane_Dozey ( 759010 ) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @10:33PM (#15545942)
    Unfortunatly a lot of women arn't interested in programming (although, in this specific case I think it's more to do with women not being interested enough in programming for any Gnome stuff than just not being there).

    In my entire CS degree course I appear to be the only female student who will happily do a coding project on her own time. It feels like a real shame. The girls just don't seem to realise that it can be fun to sit down and scratch an itch once in a while.

    Rather than offering plain old money to get more girls interested, maybe Gnome should be thinking of more interesting problems for us to get going on and saying "hey look! This isn't all that mundane or time consuming AND you earn money for it!". Once they get a few girls working on various bits of Gnome it'll be easier to keep them doing jobs.
  • by 246o1 ( 914193 ) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @10:40PM (#15545984)
    You have to remember that they are hiring women-only because everyone else is male. If there were 180 (or however many) women here and they tried to bring in some men, I think almost everyone would find it acceptable.

    I think it's generally better to maintain some sort of gender balance than not to do so, just like I think it's better to support some sort of income/economic equality rather than having landed gentry with inherited fortunes and serfs. Of course, taking away some priveleges from the lords in my theoretical situation would be "classist," in a sense, but it would also be "good."
  • Unique (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AndresCP ( 979913 ) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @10:44PM (#15546013)
    Is GNOME Unique in its lack of female...popularity, for lack of a better word? I was under the impression that it was mainly because few girls major in computer science and the like; in that case, sponsorships don't make sense because it's part of a larger trend. Maybe, on the other hand, that's completely wrong, and the comp sci classes are FULL of girls, and they all hate GNOME. I doubt it, though. I would have seen these girls in class, probably.
  • Is it sexist? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Vellmont ( 569020 ) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @10:45PM (#15546017) Homepage
    Why does everything have to be balanced? Obviously there shouldn't be extra barriers for one sex over the other, but I have a problem with the attitude that all professions need an equal amount of each sex. Do men that go into nursing get a preference because there's more women than men? (An honest question). There seems to be this hypothesis that bias can be eliminated by giving the group that's not equally represented a preference. But we seem to ignore the idea that the hypothesis has never really been shown to be true. I guess I believe in equal opportunities and equal treatment, but I don't believe in more than equal.

    I've never been a big believer that bias can be cured by more bias. Affirmative action only leads to people thinking that a miss-represented group of people were only hired because of affirmative action. That kind of defeats the whole purpose. The article brings up issues like women not having same-sex role models. What I think the problem is that we feel the need to have to have a same sex role model. Why can't a Finnish woman look at Linus Torvalds as a role model? A woman from Finland probbably has more in common with him than me, a man born and raised in the US. If you ask me, that's the root of sexism. Trying to fix it with some patchwork of giving a few extra slots to women really won't do much of anything except maybe make some people at Gnome feel a bit better about themselves. If they want to do it, great, but don't try to tell me they're helping solve the problem, because they ain't.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 15, 2006 @10:49PM (#15546041)
    Preferential treatment (i.e., discriminating against those not in the preferred group) should be avoided in all forms since there is always a way to find an imbalance or perceived defficiency between job cagegory X and the general population.

    Equal treatment and fairness are good things to which to aspire.
  • by Das Modell ( 969371 ) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @10:50PM (#15546044)
    All religions and cultures are the same, and men and women are the same. It would be politically incorrect to suggest that differences might exist, unless those differences are overwhelmingly positive and harmless.

    That's what it feels like these days, anyway.
  • Plain stupid (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pembo13 ( 770295 ) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @10:59PM (#15546094) Homepage
    Why do people (maybe just Americans) find it so hard to believe that there are things that women in general don't like. Men in general don't like getting hit in the groin: but if you do some Googling you'll see that there are a few guys who like it. Maybe women in general just don't like that sort of things. I see absolutely nothing wrong in that. Women are _not_ equal to men. If you believe in religion I believe no maintream religion shows women to be equal. If you believe purely in evolution, then you can most certainly see that men and women ae not equal. BUT I do believe that men and women are equivalent, and so have equal right, etc. They genders can be unequal but still's one will die.
  • by Toresica ( 788403 ) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @11:17PM (#15546169)
    Who says the ladies will be less qualified. For all you know it'll attract 3 superior candidates.

    Indeed, the article says that everybody who *applied* was male. If the ~10:1 male:female ratio in CS holds true, then they could hire 18 women and still have them be equally qualified.
  • by plate of felt ( 705944 ) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @11:23PM (#15546201)
    as a woman... i really hope this is satire.

    i know i'm kind of weird, but to me, linux is far, far more intuitive than windows or osx.

    though... the clippy bit definitely indicated satire. thank jeebus.
  • by Neoncow ( 802085 ) on Friday June 16, 2006 @12:17AM (#15546428) Journal
    Oh wow, I'm slow. Just took a look at the photo that comes before the linked one... same girls, NSFW []
  • by celotil ( 972236 ) on Friday June 16, 2006 @12:22AM (#15546449) Homepage

    And I've read through a few of the comments posted here, and I think that many of you are misunderstanding programming as much as you're misunderstanding the ability of women in IT.

    When I first started working professionally in IT I was an arse to men and women alike who didn't agree with me about matters of IT. In other fields I generally kept my mouth shut, but when it came to IT I was always right, even when I was demonstratedly wrong.

    Over the years I've seen many people in IT who underestimated their own skills, who didn't think they could do tasks set out for them until they actually tried, and who realised later that maybe what they were afraid to do before wasn't so hard and gave them experience they could use in other areas.

    When it comes to IT no assumptions should be made because IT is sexless, emotionless, and lacking in illogical thought. It is us, the people who use our computers, who project human characteristics onto our computers, and often show a glimmer of our own attitudes towards the opposite sex.

    The best developers I've met and seen their work don't do this projection. Their computer is never a he or a she, it is a computer, simply a tool. They're not fazed by someone asking for a "feminine" colour to be put into a project if the colour scheme matches. They're not unwilling to take advice or constructive criticism from men or women if it is valid or helpful.

    I used to be an arse to everyone who had a differing opinion, unsexist arrogance and obstinance were part and parcel of my ethos. I've grown up quite a bit, and I no longer automatically assume someone is a know-nothing jack-hole when they say they like Windows, or suggest an idea that seems questionable on the surface.

    Women and men are different in a number of ways - women tend towards softness of aesthetics, comfortable styles, warm colours, quiet words and small clean messes, while men tend to be big and brash, hard lines, stark colours, loud words and louder anger, and dirty tidiness - and at the same time men and women are also alike - we all want to be respected for the knowledge we have, we don't like to be excluded just because we're short or tall or black or white or male or female, and we don't like to be stereo-typed and fitted into a box that supposedly tells the world what we are because those boxes are never quite the right size and shape.

    If there is a lack of women in IT, so be it. There's a comparitive lack of men in nursing too.

    I think it would be nice if we could just stop anthropomorphing our PC's into extensions of ourselves and realise that they're just a tool. Having a pink background or a picture of a blue skyline on the desktop doesn't automatically mean the owner is male or female.

    If there are sexual characteristics in IT, programming is probably one of the most androgynous areas. It can be squiggly messes of bad code that puts out a rigid, stark interface, or it can be neat, tidy code that outputs a clean and tidy interface of warm colours and legibility, or it can be a blend of both.

    We don't need more women in IT, or less men, what we need is more people with a sense of style and a willingness to ask other people "does this look good or not?"

    Gay, lesbian, straight, bi, man, woman, or three-armed alien from Alpha Centauri doesn't matter. Style matters, willingness to learn matters, an ability to realise your mistakes and fix them matters.

    It's nice that the people running the Gnome project are trying to encourage women to join in on the project, but I think it's a misplaced, though well-intentioned, effort on their part. The Gnome project, KDE, XFCE, Windows, and Mac OS X too, don't need more women, they need more people with style and the `nads stand up and say when something sucks.

    As for the commenter who mentioned seeing the little diapered girl with the doll baby, I think you should have at least given the parent or parents a hard stare. No small child should be thinking about being a parent, they sho

  • Re:Is it sexist? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by r00t ( 33219 ) on Friday June 16, 2006 @12:47AM (#15546555) Journal
    grandparent: Affirmative action only leads to people thinking that a miss-represented group of people were only hired because of affirmative action.

    parent: Who gives a shit? Those are the same people who didn't think women and minorities belonged in their workplace in the first place.

    Uh, NO.

    I find it really sad that I find myself doubting the competence of women and people who are neither white nor Asian. I'd love to believe that all people in a given profession are subject to the same selection criteria, but I know this isn't true. Because of affirmative action, I make ugly assumptions about people's qualifications.

    It hurts to do this. Oh well. When I choose a doctor, I sure don't care to be politically correct. I care about getting the best. I probably will have better luck with an Asian/White male than with a black female. I don't want the person who got into medical school only to fill a quota. I want the person who got into medical school despite being on the wrong side of affirmative action.

    It sure would be nice to not have this ugly reality.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 16, 2006 @01:09AM (#15546634)
    So who are the three males who won't be getting the scholarships because the money will go to three less qualified candidates?

    Whoah hey, is that Mitch "Death to Women's Rights" O'Brian?
      Well, let's see, he assumes that women are automatically inferior and unable to code.... but no..... It's only one sentence, and good ole' "mikeusa" can't possibly post something without rambling on about how sexism is good for men, and how women are worthless whores, and that he hopes the Debian Women are wiped out in a car accident, etc. So I guess the above AC is just J. Random Douchebag instead.

      - the other AC, officially dubbed a "traitor to his own sex" by mikeusa
  • Re:Is it sexist? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Vellmont ( 569020 ) on Friday June 16, 2006 @02:04AM (#15546774) Homepage

    Simple fact: there are vastly more women and minorities in the workplace now than there were before affirmative action and forced equal access to education. It works. It's not flawless, and it's not a cure-all, but it has produced results.

    Correlation never implies causation. You have absolutely no evidence that affirmative action has anything to do with more women and minorities in the workplace. The far more likely explanation is that the culture has changed (more women want to work) and there's just more minorities.
  • by OnanTheBarbarian ( 245959 ) on Friday June 16, 2006 @02:15AM (#15546805)
    It's time to stop pretending that there are wonderful abstract principles at stake when people try programs like this: it's a bit like passionate cries of 'racist!' every time anyone attempts to do anything to rectify the grossly asymmetrical situation of many U.S. born blacks. Computing has been a quite sexist discipline for many years, even if the situation has changed for the better recently. As a result, there's a pretty steep shortage of senior women in most CS faculties that I've ever seen.

    As a undergraduate, in 1990-1993, in addition to hearing tales of acts of substantial sexual harassment that went largely unpunished, I also got to see first hand a lot of horny nerds 'helping' the women in their classes by basically attempting to do all their work for them, as well as a few tutors spending an inordinate amount of time trying to score with students rather than teach them. While the situation has improved, the environment of 10 years ago influences the current supply of women with (for example) 12 years of experience.

    So can the 'sexist' talk. Go read Stanley Fish's 'The Trouble With Principle' and see if you can still keep a straight face while pushing your abstract principles...

    Personally, I suspect that the absence of women from projects like GNOME represents good sense, more than anything else. I have met many incredibly intelligent, hardworking and successful women in serious academic 'systems' research (there seem to be a number in compiler research, for some reason), but far fewer in the sort of hobbyist open source sphere. Perhaps they prefer to be formally recognized and paid properly - if you felt that there was the prospect of lingering sexism in a field, one might prefer a area where there's a solid audit trail for success (e.g. 'why did you hire a man with half the number of first-rate publications as me?') as opposed to the rather nebulous world of success in the open source world (e.g. 'I wonder why other developers didn't flock to my project?').

  • by Knuckles ( 8964 ) <knuckles@d a n t i> on Friday June 16, 2006 @02:28AM (#15546837)
    Obviously? Why? There is a Gnome Women [] group. I'd guess they organized it.
  • Re:Is it sexist? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Hannah E. Davis ( 870669 ) on Friday June 16, 2006 @03:07AM (#15546943) Journal
    Re: your comments about nursing, I've read that the same is true among social workers. If a man wants to become a daycare worker, for example, he will face almost insurmountable discrimination -- in the minds of many, he will be branded as a pedophile. To keep him away from children, he will quickly be shunted into a management position, and from a feminist perspective, he may indeed "come out on top." But what if all he wants to do is work in a daycare and take care of children? That avenue is closed to him. In my opinion, a glass floor is just as bad as a glass ceiling if it keeps people from doing what they love.
  • by Hannah E. Davis ( 870669 ) on Friday June 16, 2006 @03:31AM (#15546994) Journal
    Well, you've pretty much summed up the way gender relations actually are in the tech industry ;)

    Most techie guys that I've talked to are convinced that all women who've ever even thought of getting into the industry are untapped fountains of innovation in a conveniently sexy package.

    Most women that I've talked to are convinced that all techie guys are ugly, overweight, unwashed 30-year-old nerds who sit in their parents' basement and look at porn.

    Incidentally, I'm an example of a woman who isn't a total tech genius (although I certainly get by just fine), and none of my co-workers fit the male nerd stereotype. Most are actually fit young guys with pretty wives and newborn babies.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 16, 2006 @03:57AM (#15547052)

    From my very minimal experience, women tend to not involve themselves in affairs from which they tend to have no social gain; this includes projects from which one canot gain much status or power.

    This is not a negative critiqe of women, it's just that they are more socially intelligent than most men are.

    -- Don't seek confirmation of a woman's intentions from her mouth, but only from the logic of her actions. (Anon)
  • The reason there is a vast imbalance of men vs women in math and science fields is not because of a social structure that "guides" them away from these fields. It's because they just aren't interested.

    In my undergraduate mathematics degree, there was just about a 50% split between men and women, and this continued throughout the duration of the course, roughly speaking. However, in the very same university, the proportion of women doing postgraduate research or learning, in the mathematics department, is only about 25%, if that. That's a big drop off.

    You say the drop off is probably a result of the females in the class simply not being interested. I was in that class, and people's level of interest was totally unrelated to their gender. On top of that, the proportion of females in that very same course 10 or even 20 years ago was probably less than 10%, if there were any at all? Is it the case that somehow the female population spontaniously became more interested in mathematics in the intervening years?

    The answer is probably; yes, they did become more interested. But not from some "innate" mathematical ability somehow emerging in one generation. Rather, it was as a result of changing social mores and expectations. In the 1950's, if a girl had said that she even liked mathematics, let alone wished to study it, the reaction would have been surprise and bemusment at best, and outrage and ridicule at worst. Today, such a girl is just about in the same boat as any boy who expresses an interest in mathematics.

    Girls are told, from numerous sources, that "Girl's just don't do science." The message may never be overtly stated, but the irrefutable fact of its presence is a miasma that chokes the desire for science out of young girls. In the same way that someone can be encouraged to enter science via science fairs, presentations, practical work, etc; so too can someone be discouraged from entering science via uneasy support, social mores, outright skepticism, etc.
  • by Mike1024 ( 184871 ) on Friday June 16, 2006 @06:18AM (#15547418)
    Im tired of hearing this bullshit argument. The reason there is a vast imbalance of men vs women in math and science fields is not because of a social structure that "guides" them away from these fields.

    I'm not sure I agree. In the UK education system, one chooses GCSEs at age 13/14. The number of science GCSEs (1, 2 or 3) you choose will control what A-levels (chosen age 15/16) you select (i.e. unless you did 2 or 3 science GCSEs you will have a lot of difficulty). And the A-levels you select will dictate what subjects you can do at university (i.e. it would be hard to get into CS without an a-level in maths, hard to get into engineering without an a-level in physics....).

    If we're letting 13 year old kids (or even 15 year old kids) choose what they want to do for the rest of their lives, you can bet peer pressure is going to come into play.

    I am reminded of something I read in an article some time ago. One year a group of school children were taken on a tour of a hospital. At the end of the tour, all the boys were given doctors' hats and all the girls were given nurses' hats. The parents complained to the hospital; why were the girls given hats corresponding to lower-paid, lower status jobs? The hospital promised to do things differently the next year. A year later the group toured the hospital again and, once again, the girls came home with nurses' hats and the boys with doctors' hats. The parents complained again. "We did things completely differently this year" the hospital said; "last year we gave all the girls nurses' hats and all the boys doctors' hats. This year we asked them what hat they wanted, and gave them that."

    Anyway, here's my point: Demanding specialisation at a time when peer pressure is rife is an example of a social structure that could believably be keeping women away from the sciences.

    Personally I think biology also plays a part, but I think it's short-sighted to discount the effects of society all together.

    Just my $0.02,

  • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Friday June 16, 2006 @07:39AM (#15547570) Journal
    I may be nitpicking but I didn't read a single comment stating that women are unable to program. There are, in fact humorous comments about dating (missed the lesbian cunnilingus joke though) but in general I would say that most male developers do not consider the present situation as a good one and wonder (because they know there isn't a thing as genetical predisposition to computer science) why, oh why ?

    And the people one finds in IT doesn't explain it all. There are more women in the Navy than in CS schools... I even think that despite their lack of women (or maybe because of it), IT departments tend to be the less sexists in most companies
  • Re:Is it sexist? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lys1123 ( 461567 ) < minus poet> on Friday June 16, 2006 @09:49AM (#15548279) Homepage
    I am really glad that someone pointed out this often overlooked side of the issue.

    When I was a teenager I wanted to get extra money by babysitting. I couldn't. People weren't interested in hiring a teenage boy to babysit. I was told that boys don't babysit for money, they mow lawns.

    Now I have nothing against someone mowing lawns for money, but personally I am ALLERGIC TO GRASS. I start itching in the same way I do when I have been in contact in fiberglass insulation. But that didn't matter.

    I didn't matter that I was an honor roll student, or that I was on student council, or that I did volunteer work, or that I could have gotten many people to vouch for my character. I was a boy so I wasn't allowed to watch children.
  • by Dobeln ( 853794 ) on Friday June 16, 2006 @10:47AM (#15548711)
    "See how the argument about 'biological differences' looks in a decade or two when women have finally had a chance to catch up."

    Well, yes - that will be very interesting. But frankly, just extrapolating some past and current trends, mixed with non-trends isn't really a great argument.

    English used to be a heavily male-dominated academic field. When formal discrimination was dropped, females quickly filed in and estabished themselves in large numbers, at most stages of the academic ladder. The same goes for many fields - females are now heavily represented in much of academia. It is very hard to argue for a general academic anti-female bias.

    Contrary to what one might expect from your discrimination hypothesis though, females have had the greatest success in the least meritocratic, "fuzzy" fields of social studies and language, while the fields with the most rigorous standards such as mathematics and physics are still heavily male-dominated. There isn't a large diaspora of female mathematicians or coders toiling away at home, shut out from university by extremely stealthy sex discrimination.

    Also, male and female behavioral differances is not a localized phenomenon to a certain human society or point in time. Rather, they are broadly similar across virtually all societies and eras.

    As for male and female brains being different, that is not really an object of discussion - here is an old-ish article discussing the issue: D-879D-1D06-8E49809EC588EEDF []
  • Re:Is it sexist? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Friday June 16, 2006 @10:51AM (#15548749)
    No, democracy may be bad, but affirmative action is much worse. Democracy produces mediocre results with much inefficiency, is subject to the tyrrany of the masses and certainly has other weaknesses, but it does meet the baseline requirement of being built on a sense of fairness and moral justice. While not always the most efficient system, nor one that reaches the best results the most easily, it is the best system we know of from a moral perspective.

    Affirmative action, on the other hand, is built on a morally bankrupt core. The principle that the ends justify the means lies at the core of affirmative action. The end is a noble one - get more of some underrepresented, "disadvantaged" minority group to participate in an important career or educational path in society. The means - quotas and admission preferences - lead to bitterness and anger toward the same groups who, previously oppressed, are now trying to become an accepted part of the social mainstream. Not to mention reinforcing rational biases about the competency levels of those people that will be assumed by those around them.

    Furthermore, the assumption that "disadvantaged" can be determined by an ill-defined ethnic label is absurd. I can't tell you how many wealthy, privileged people who happen to be black or latino that I've met at the Ivy League universities I've attended (undergrad and grad school). While most of them, especially in grad school, deserved to be there, many, especially those I saw as an undergrad, did not.

    The construction of intentional injustice by arbitrary racial boundaries reinforces the very kind of prejudice we should eschew at all costs. This doesn't just happen in the minds of "racist" people, it happens in the minds of any rational, thinking person and is unavoidable under an affirmative action regime. We need to address the causes of discrepancies at an early age, not their effects later in life by punishing those who have worked hard to achieve certain goals.
  • by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <slashdot,kadin&xoxy,net> on Friday June 16, 2006 @01:15PM (#15549847) Homepage Journal
    I think an important point that is being missed here is that for OSS projects developers are both producers and consumers, so trying to get involvement can equally be seen as an effort to attract consumers.

    I think this is the only argument I've heard so far in this thread that offers a convincing justification for the forced-diversification of a workforce.

    If your goal is to create product which is going to appeal to a broad spectrum of users, and a lot of those users happen to be female, then it might make sense to have some women on board when you're making the product. (Assuming that the needs or preferences of women is different than the needs or preferences of men with regards to an operating system, and that a group of men would not adequately cater to the female component of the audience/market, both of which are debatable.)

    It seems as though we've decided -- or academia and political correctness have decided for us -- that "diversity is a Good Thing," but there's rarely ever any discussion on why this is the case. Honestly, I don't think it's always self-evident or obvious, or even universally true.
  • Re:Women in CSCI (Score:3, Interesting)

    by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Friday June 16, 2006 @05:27PM (#15551799)
    Let me offer a counter-example. I'm an aerospace engineer. Why? When I was little, my parents always encouraged me to go into engineering. Sure, when it was time to go and make the choice, it was my decision, but would I have made the same decision if my parents hadn't encouraged me? Maybe not.

    The point is, it's quite stupid to pretend that your wants and desires and passions aren't shaped by the external world. Especially in your early life, most of your desires are the result of external influences. The simple fact is that the external influences on girls are quite different than the external influences on boys, often for very innocent reasons.

    I agree with you on one point: that women aren't being actively kept out of computer science or engineering, but are choosing to not follow opportunities in those fields. However, I don't think its acceptable to just leave it at that. We have to figure out why exactly that is the case, and what we can do to fix the problem. We have to figure out the root cause. I think the root cause is social. It may be that the root cause is biological. However, unless we do something to find out, we'll never know.
  • Re:WOMEN and TECH (Score:2, Interesting)

    by josiebgoode ( 754961 ) on Saturday June 17, 2006 @07:44AM (#15554333)
    Men like programming computers because they enjoy forcing a machine to do their will, telling it how it's going to act. Women don't take pleasure in this. It's the same reason there are so few female gamers, in general.

    I'm not sure about it. I am a woman and that's exactly why I started programming twenty years ago and why I am still enjoying it today. If I have been a man, I'm not sure I will still have the same pleasure of doing it. As I see male computing professionals around me, I guess I would have quickly wished to leave the keyboard to others and become more of a planner. I don't care much about planning, I much prefer coding. I really love telling my machine what to do. But I have never met a girl enjoying it as I do, so I feel lonely. However, I have met quite a few women interested in learning the skills but mostly through women organizations and mostly for practical purposes, not just for fun. As for video games, if they represent for me a totally alien universe, my daughter is very good at them.

  • by cparker15 ( 779546 ) on Saturday June 17, 2006 @01:53PM (#15555350) Homepage Journal

    While I feel that you do have a valid point, hiring someone merely to balance out a gender ratio is in and of itself sexist.

    How do you think a fully competent man would feel knowing he didn't get the job just because an incompetent woman got the job over him just because she's a woman?

    Throughout high school, I was part of a program called YTE (Youth Tech Entrepreneurs) []. While a part of this program, I was often outnumbered by females, who were all very much encouraged to explore their curiosities when it came to technology. I managed a Web development team while a part of YTE. Approximately half of that team was female, and they were all very talented, often times exceeding me when it came to technical prowess. Not everywhere will you find these preconceived notions of female "inferiority" when it comes to tech. Please keep that in mind.

"The following is not for the weak of heart or Fundamentalists." -- Dave Barry