Tech is Still a Boy’s Game

Posted by – October 25, 2007

According to The San Jose Mercury News:

Valley companies based in Santa Clara County ranked dead last in the state, elevating fewer women to executive ranks and corporate boards than any other county.

Only 9 percent of companies in the county have promoted a woman to a top post, according to a University of California-Davis study of the 400 largest public companies in the state. Only 7 percent of corporate boards include even one woman.

But most frustrating of all, said Nicole Woolsey Biggart, is that California companies have shown little improvement over the past three years that Davis’ Graduate School of Management has conducted the study.

“The numbers are abysmal,” said Biggart, the management school’s dean. “What has absolutely dumbfounded me is we look just like the Industrial Belt. We don’t look any different to me. That is the big shock.”

Wow, new boss, same as the old boss. Why am I not surprised? Because I have been in tech offices, & sometimes they feel like locker rooms for the geeky boys. The only thing that’s different is there are no jocks there to beat them up, but it’s as if girls are still kind of scary, & so – not allowed in.

2 Comments on Tech is Still a Boy’s Game

  1. kiri says:

    Not to invoke the ghost of Larry Summers, but is it possible that females [in general] just don’t like that kind of work as much as males [in general] do?

    Without even opening the can of worms around genetics and environment, I’m not sure it’s realistic, or desirable, to expect all possible subgroups of our society to be represented in all endeavors in proportion to their overall numbers.

    It would seem to me to be identity politics taken to the obsessive-compulsive extreme. I think that such patterns merit some attention and discussion, but we shouldn’t let the numbers game distract us from addressing structural, institutionalized discrimination.

    Sez me.

  2. tinasim02 says:

    I think there are places that are exceptions (I am happy to say that where I work there are a number of women in senior management positions) and we are actively seeking any qualified woman candidates. But Kiri is right – the pipeline just doesn’t have many in there.

    But I think it’s not just a boy’s game, but the fact that many of the smaller companies are like small clubs run by men, and unless you become favored in the club you really don’t go anywhere. And it’s awfully hard to for a woman to not be objectified by the club, let alone join it. I used to work with my wife at several small tech firms and there are some stories I could tell based on what I saw that still make me mad (yes, even with me around, and they knew she was my wife, crap still happened). Even her going after a job was usually an adventure with sexist overtones.

Leave a Reply