Women in Tech — Beyond Engineering

Follow Up on #HackingGender Event

At the #HackingGender event, moderator Andrew Keen noticed the subtext of my comment from the audience. He asked if I was claiming that the inclination to program is gendered — that programming is inherently more interesting to men than it is to women.

This is worth exploring further.

I’m not interested in making that claim. I certainly find programming interesting. I’ve found that programming is interesting to most people who are smart and patient, or who are passionate about building things.

That said, it’s straightforward to see that more women hold roles like “CEO” or “Designer” than “CTO” and “DBA.” It’s with this reality in mind that we should address the disparity in status between engineers and everyone else in tech organizations.

When we talk about “Women in Tech” we talk about encouraging women to program. I’d like to see us also encouraging women to become CEOs, designers, and other critical roles in tech companies. Failing to value those roles means we are failing to appropriately value the women who hold them today — and failing to properly encourage the women who could hold those roles going fowards.