How (not) to get women into your industry…

// 10 March 2008

The European Union information society commissioner, Viviane Reding, has argued that the ICT industry needs to promote itself on the basis of not being boring but rather that:

“IT jobs can be very sexy indeed.”

Yes because that’s what’s driving women away from the industry isn’t it? Yes they are scared it isn’t sexual enough so we must reassure women it is “sexy”. It’s not the entirely male-dominated, heterosexist basis of the industry. No instead women are more tempted by the “sexier” areas of life. Or maybe, just maybe, the problem isn’t with women graduates perceiving the industry as lacking in “sex appeal” but rather with the industry being virilently anti-woman? I mean how many IT professionals do we all know who work anti-social hours on top of their regular days and are “on-call” almost all the time? Perhaps if the industry reviewed its implicit assumptions which make it impossible for women to work there they might do better.

Now must go off and review whether my job is “sexy” or not…. after all we don’t chose our careers on “logical” grounds like men do…..

Comments From You

Denise // Posted 10 March 2008 at 11:38 am

Not only would I want my IT job to be sexy, I’d insist on a pink computer…

I never know whether people such as Vivianne Reding really don’t get what the problem is, or just refuse to admit it.

Helen G // Posted 10 March 2008 at 11:57 am

The IT profession is not only subject to rampant sexism – ageism is endemic too. There are also class and race issues.


Apart from that, I can thoroughly recommend it – if you like a job where people only “communicate with” (=shout at) you when they have a computer problem.

From the Dept of Useless Information: a lot of IT workers have gender identity issues…

*runs away to hide in the server cupboard*

Sian // Posted 10 March 2008 at 6:20 pm

Well my future career definitely isn’t sexy (putting your arms up cow’s bums anyone?), doesn’t seem to stop my year being over 90% female..

Sian // Posted 11 March 2008 at 8:51 am

Oh dear I’ve only just noticed this has come from someone working for the EU… Why did I think they might somehow know better?

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