Women in Tech

There’s a thought-provoking piece over at DevChix entitled » Let’s All Evolve Past This: The Barriers Women Face in Tech Communities. ((Hat tip to Tim.)) I strongly support these ideas, and I detest the hate-filled speech that passes for “robust open discussion” in many testosterone-fuelled online forums. And for those in denial about the level of misogyny, think again: ((My emphasis.))

When it was illegal for women to publish writing during various times in history throughout various countries, women published their work under male pseudonyms. Today, many tech women still use male pseudonyms when posting to lists or publishing tech articles. The reasons are to have their work read without bias, and to avoid misogynistic ‘hyper-scrutiny’ of their work. I have experimented with this myself using a male pseudonym to post articles, and being told that the articles are informative, useful, great. Six months later I republish the exact same article, using a different title and a female pseudonym, and suddenly the article is horrible, technically incorrect, useless. It’s a fascinating study. I would love to see some prominent male techs publish under female pseudonyms, and watch the responses.