Women Surpass Men Online

Joanna Sheldon cjs10 at cornell.edu
Sat Aug 26 18:22:56 PDT 2000

Gordon and all,

>Serious male domination of the field began when academic
>institutions tuned into the status, power and money which the
>programmers were acquiring and turned the craft into "computer
>science" and "software engineering." Academic science and
>engineering in the 1970s filtered strongly for maleness. The
>status and place of women in computer-related occupations
>(other than keypuncher or data-entry clerk) then declined into
>a Problem and an Issue for the same elites who had produced
>the situation.

Women find a fairly comfortable niche in this industry in the area of technical writing. In the last ten years techwriting has come to be considered an integral part of development -- the interface between R&D and the potential consumer. It brings in less money than programming, and techwriters who have programming skills (mostly guys) make more $$ than those of us who don't. I've always supposed that the reason for the lower financial reward is that it's not as creative a task as programming -- it's not where the product's being generated -- although I'm inclined to argue that neither hardware nor software is actually product, as far as the buyer's concerned, until it's properly documented.

cheers, Jo


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