#1ReasonWhy Women Avoid The Tech Industry

[Updated Wed] Sexism in tech is nothing new. Neither is public unbridled misogyny. Back in 2007, in the early days of the Web 2.0 world, we had the case of web developer and speaker Kathy Sierra. It's five years later and this week's viral hashtag suggests we haven't come very far, baby.

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  1. Back then, Joan Walsh, the powerhouse behind Salon, voiced her mixed feelings in an essay, "Men who hate women on the web."
  2. "But it coarsens you to look away, and to tell others to do the same. I’ve grown a thicker skin. I didn’t want skin this thick. And what does it mean that women writers have to drag around this anchor every time they start to write — that we reflexively compose our own hate mail, and sometimes type and retype to try to avoid it? I can honestly say it’s probably made me more precise and less glib. That’s good. But it’s also, for now, made me too cautious. I write less than I would if I wasn’t thinking these thoughts. I think that’s bad. I think Web misogyny puts women writers at a disadvantage, and as someone who’s worked for women’s advancement in the workplace, and the world, that saddens me."
  3. Today's meme, if you want to call it that, was triggered by a much more innocent-sounding tweet than the attacks Sierra suffered.
  4. Folks started talking to Luke and by sometime mid-day, a hashtag emerged.
  5. There's only so much you can say in a tweet, although these tweets generated threaded conversations. But two women, in particular, shared stories that touched my heart, stories that haunted my fingers and demanded that they take to the keyboard in response.
  6. On my Facebook page, I had a conversation that mirrored much of that 2007 essay by Joan Walsh
  7. "Still, I’ve taken the position that yes, women have it harder, but most letter writers aren’t misogynist, and sometimes their criticism has made valid points: our writing could be clearer, our reporting stronger, our analysis crisper. I know that’s been true in my case. I’ve mostly told Salon’s women writers who are upset about their mail either to get a thicker skin — I grew one over the years — or to stop reading it. Basically, I told them to man up. Sometimes I was right. Sometimes my reaction amounted to telling them to stop wearing such provocative outfits online, lest they get what they deserve."
  8. We should not -- do not -- need to "man up."
  9. Just like we shouldn't be living in a world -- after this election no less -- where every chairmanship in the Republican-led House of Representatives went to a man
  10. There's the age-old issue of pay. Mother Jones weighed in:
  11. "According to an annual salary survey of about 4,000 gaming professionals by Game Developer magazine, female animators made $26,000 less than their male counterparts in 2011, on average—female programmers ($83,333) made about 10 grand less then male ones ($93,263)."
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