Survey of women who left tech: "it's the culture"

I’m surprised you seem to think this is the big issue. Maternity leave affects a woman a few times during her career - but hostility and harassment are there every day at nine AM.


Please point to the part of my comment where I said culture, hostility and harassment were not the big issue. I didn’t, because I think it is. I was just curious (as a Brit) how the total absence of maternity leave in the US affects women’s ability to stay in work.

It was something that was repeatedly mentioned in the article, by the women themselves, as a significant issue for why they left. However the lack of maternity leave and flexibility at these companies was part of the general culture, and a symptom of the fundamental problem.

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You’re right, and it’s an issue everywhere in our country, and how can this be a thing in 2014? At least they can’t get fired, but I’m old enough to remember how ferociously Republicans fought for their right to fire pregnant women.

Because freedom.


I’ve been thinking a lot about this thread. Is it true? Is it the culture? I took a look at other professions in my salary range:

Police detective
High School teacher
Occupational therapist
Nuclear power plant operator
Elevator installer

None of these with maybe the exception of the health care professions seems particularly woman friendly and all of them seem to have some issues with work hours that my 9 to 5 job does not. Maybe it’s just one of the more accessible well paying jobs for women, and so more women try it.

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Yep, coming from the UK I find the US approach to parental leave to be horrendous. I think we’ve still got a way to go in the UK but the US system is so anachronistic, and surely can’t be good for kids.


I just try to be nice to everybody. My employers are paying me to form mutually altruistic relationships with their other employees, and that always begins with being a nice guy who does not take offense easily.

I don’t work for the kind of sociopaths who like to set their employees at each others’ throats, fortunately.

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I’ve personally hired (and passed over) many people considered “old” for tech. I can’t tell you why you might not have been taken up without knowing more. There certainly appears to be some ageism in the Valley, but there are also other forces at work that look like ageism, but are actually more complicated.

For instance, I almost always reject any applicant who has worked for a large bureaucratic company for large amounts of time, I can’t deal with anyone who has gotten used to bureaucracies or needs/wants a lot of structure.

I also really only care that your couple years was working in the exact technologies that I need or at the very least, you have a side project working in the tech we use. The rest of your résumé is at best, irrelevant and at worst, a distraction.

Rightly or wrongly, these two things alone filter out a lot of older, experienced applicants. It isn’t intentional, but it does likely make it harder for older applicants who don’t customize their résumés for the jobs they are applying for.

Just because I can put up with bureaucracy doesn’t mean I like or need it.


Sure, but he’s talking about a top-level filter. Very lossy.

When you get hundreds of resumes for a job opening, you can’t take the time to exhaustively peruse each one, much less interview everyone. So you end up throwing out some good candidates, because you hope there will be plenty more in the stack, and you have other stuff to get done. After all, if you had all the time in the world on your hands, you probably wouldn’t need to hire anyone.

I know people who will take a stack of resumes, smack them against the desktop to align the edges, and then throw out every resume written on non-standard paper. If it’s colored (other than white) or has a border decoration or is on slightly larger or smaller paper, out it goes, without ever being read. The rationale is that the best workers don’t need a gimmick to get hired, so they won’t waste their own time making a gimmicky, “hey look at me!” resume. I know other people who won’t look at a resume more than one page long… which is a problem for people like me, who have had highly varied prior experience.

Well, if you find it that easy to find well qualified candidates, good luck to you. Good tech people are hard to find around here.

We’re on the mid-atlantic coast of the USA. If we put an ad for an experienced programmer in two local papers and one on-line job site, we’ll get hundreds of applications. Most of them will not actually be well qualified, though; we’ll only end up interviewing a half dozen or less. It’s just a matter of plowing through the enormous pile of resumes.

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It works for the kids of the rich, and what else matters?

Ah! The art of hiring! Slightly more scientific than water dowsing.


My sister recruited for a large multi colored search firm. Women where treated terribly by a large number of staff members, who mainly hail from other countries. A lot of inappropriate comments language and even physical issues at times. At some point all the women who have left or where transfered out of meaninful possitions to avoid “issues” are going to find each other and sue the living hell out of that company and probably a few others.

There is a ton of racism in the valley and I am not referring to KKK type racism I am referring to if you are not my race where going to look at other candidates. Women a filtered for this same reason also.

Maybe you work in a company full of assholes, where harassment of women is a routine (and apparently punctual) occurrence. While the women I work with in the IT department of a large aerospace company probably all have examples of inappropriate behavior on the part of male coworkers, such behavior is clearly not pervasive, and there is strong management support for reporting of and dealing with such issues.

After 35 years in computing, it is my feeling that women leave IT and other flavors of computing for many of the same reasons that men do - it can be a grueling career with long hours and where experience is often seen as an unnecessary expense rather than a valuable asset.

But even with an employer like mine, that allows extended paternity leave (drawing from sick leave and vacation, or unpaid), I am pretty sure there are many women who left at the birth of their first child, never to return. More power to them if that is what they want…

Likewise, I am quite sure that there are many places that are actively hostile to women, but like the article your comment implies that this is standard practice in the field - it most certainly is not. Perpetuating the myth that women are universally reviled and abused in the computing community certainly doesn’t seem helpful to the stated goal of getting more females into computing.

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Did you mean to address this to me? Because you seem to have read something completely different from anything I have written.

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