I recently recorded an ArchBeat Podcast featuring Helen Sun and Karina Ishkhanova discussing women in IT architecture. So it was an interesting bit of serendipity that I just ran across Researcher reveals how "Computer Geeks" replaced "Computer Girls", an article by Brenda D. Fink on the Clayman Institute's Gender Blog. Here's a short bit:
Asked to picture a computer programmer, most of us describe the archetypal computer geek, a brilliant but socially-awkward male. We imagine him as a largely noctural creature, passing sleepless nights writing computer code. According to workplace researchers, this stereotype of the lone male computer whiz is self-perpetuating, and it keeps the computer field overwhelming male. Not only do hiring managers tend to favor male applicants, but women are less likely to pursue careers a field where feel they won’t fit in...It may be surprising, then, to learn that the earliest computer programmers were women and that the programming field was once stereotyped as female.
"Socially awkward?" Clearly, Ms. Fink and I move in different social circles. And it's more than a little ironic that she uses one stereotype while debunking another. But don't let that put you off -- the article offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of the world's most important profession, a profession that continues to evolve.
H/T to Eddie Awad for sharing the article.
And stay tuned -- the podcast featuring Ms. Sun and Ms. Ishkhanova will be available in a few weeks.