This is why there are so few women in tech.

Context: I'm over 40. I've been working for more than 3 decades (more than 20,000 Work hours), in both indoor and outdoor occupations, and blue collar and IT.

I am NOT condoning or agreeing with the following. These are the stereotypes I have seen expressed most often regarding women in a male dominated workplace:

  1. A female will regularly ask males to lift and move equipment or perform other manual strength tasks for them. Males, even weak males, tend to do these tasks themselves. They will use forklifts, dollies, carts, or other power tools if necessary, rather than ask someone else to do the task for them.

  2. A female will regularly seek time away from the work day for a multitude of reasons (medical, maternity, childcare, life-work balance). Males will be present for the work day, and if overtime is available, will seek it.

  3. A female will solve work problems through long interactions. Demanding changes to the work environment, management intervention, or litigation. Males solve work problems through brief, though sometimes intense, conflict.

  4. A female is intellectually inferior. They make emotion based arguments. Males are intellectually superior, they make logic based arguments.

I have not written these down to say that they are correct or that I agree with them. I've written them down so that the person asking the question can understand the thinking behind the "accommodations" comment. They are the types of stereotypes that likely lie behind the comment.

If we aren't willing to communicate, we can't get past the stereotypes and the problems they create.

That manager probably knows that there are males who hold those stereotypes currently working there, possibly many of them. So, if they have 30 or more employees, and they introduce a female to that work environment, the likelihood that it will cause problems is huge. It isn't fair or right, but it doesn't mean that it isn't a problem for that workplace. How does a manager communicate to a prospective employee that they are stepping into such an environment without running afoul of the legalities? Without setting the business up for a lawsuit?

Male or female, humans are such a mess. That's why I prefer to work with hardware.

/r/TwoXChromosomes Thread