While programs emerge to encourage young women to pursue tech-field careers, many women in those fields are leaving “in droves,” the Chicago Tribune reports.
Garann Means, for example, worked as a programmer for 15 before abandoning the career when it appeared she was not going to move up to a management position. “There are a lot of things that piled up over the years,” Means said of her experience. “I didn’t know how to move forward. There was a lot I had to put up with in the culture of tech. It just didn’t seem worth it.”
A difficulty is that many of the barriers to women aren’t huge and thus more easily identified, challenged and dismantled. Tech’s problems are small but numerous and parts of the culture. “They’re [things that are] so small you’d never even complain about them,” Alaina Percival of Women Who Code told the Tribune. “But they happen day after day. They’re the kind of things that separate and exclude you from the team and make you say, ‘Hey, is this the right career path for me?'”
Women still represent small percentages of the technical teams at many companies that have gone from start-up to major brand. Women account for 17% of Google’s tech workforce, 21% of Pinterest’s, 15 of Facebook’s. Systemic changes more than gender-neutrality training sessions are need to achieve significant changes, Joan C. Williams, law professor at University of California Hastings College of the Law, told the paper.
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