There are no lines at the women's restrooms in IT firms.
Twenty years after the U.S. Department of Education put an emphasis on getting more female students to embrace math and science, there still is a dearth of females in the IT space.
Why is that?
IT is, by most accounts, a process-oriented field. And some of the most successful women I've ever known are intelligent, process-oriented people who could think circles around some of the most successful men I've ever known. In fact, half the time they're two steps ahead of those men.
If you read the research, women don't enter IT because it is still very much a male-dominated environment. Like many other mostly male careers, IT is so infused with 'guyness' that women are put off.
Of course, there are some trailblazers and there are organizations such as Women in Technology International (WITI) and the National Center for Women in Technology. And I recently heard an American Express Plum commercial featuring the female owner of a technology services firm based in Texas. But frankly, there aren't enough of them to make a loud enough noise to be noticed.
And the U.S. is not alone in this situation. A recent survey conducted at the 360-degree IT event in London shows that three quarters of respondents believe their companies are not doing enough to attract women into IT. One-fifth of the respondents, on the other hand, said there were already enough women in IT so no more needed to be done. But with an astounding 20 percent of its IT workforce female, the UK is light years ahead of the United States.
What can be done to attract more women into IT? Is it even an argument worth having? I'd like to know more about the women who are in IT and setting an example. Alternatively, I'd like to know your thoughts as to why there aren't more women entering the IT space in the first place?