Apr. 24th, 2010

marenzi: (Writer's Block)
My dad, who's a programmer, sent me this article about how, despite the fact that the number of women in engineering & sciences is very slowly rising, the percentage of women in the IT field has been dropping steadily for years. He noted that when he started out thirtysome years ago, it seemed like half of the programmers were women; now there are only a few in his office.

The article notes that "women we talked to cited a lack of encouragement as opposed to active discouragement," which I think describes it perfectly. No one told me, "Oh, you can't be an engineer, you're a girl." They said things like, "Oh really, engineering? But that's so much math & science! I think you'd be much happier at a liberal arts school." Of course, none of my male cousins - all of whom are engineers - were encouraged to go study English.

And yeah, there are incredible perks to being at an 80% male school, but it really fosters underhanded misogyny. Last quarter, my programming professor called my friend & I - the only two girls in the class - into his office to tell us how proud he was of us for doing so well, "since this computer stuff's usually really difficult for girls to understand." Like, I know that somewhere in his brain that might have seemed like a compliment, but really? How do you expect us to push ourselves to do well when you don't expect us to do well? It depresses the fuck out of me that he has two little girls. I feel so sorry for them.

Frustration. Ah well. This week was hell - four exams, all on Thursday & Friday, so I shut myself in my room and ignored everything but schoolwork. Had a doctor's appointment right after my last exam, so now I get to spend a week waiting for my bloodwork results to come back. But then I went out last night to our South of the Border party which was just a jumble of upside-down margarita shots, sweaty crazy dancing to a really awesome live band, & a three-story beer bong. Woke up, worked out, went out for an all-day coffee date with my best friend-slash-wife, got all of my homework done, and am about to go out for dinner before the Delta Sig party tonight. So, you know, it's ending nicely. :)

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Kate

April 2011

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