The CIO Show: Women in IT, part 2

In this the second of our two-part episode on ‘Women in IT’ we delve a little deeper into what sexual discrimination looks like while also sharing some important facts that really challenge key assumptions in this debate.

In this the second of our two-part episode on ‘Women in IT’ we delve a little deeper into what sexual discrimination looks like, and continuing the broader conversation about diversity, while also sharing some important facts that really challenge some of the key assumptions in this debate.

And as one of Australia’s most respected and successful technologists, Marie Johnson argues, discrimination and the need for diversity are issues that transcend gender. Just ask anyone who’s differently abled, or indeed, anyone who’s not ‘white’.

Still, Gartner VP Christie Struckman believes women especially can experience ‘death by 1000 cuts’, making it harder to actually retain them in the IT industry.

We conclude with Bill Von Hippel, professor of evolutionary biology at The University of Queensland, who says that for the most part women – just like men – who have the talent and potential to succeed in the IT industry make their own choices, rather than being the victims of discrimination. Which is not to say it doesn’t exist.

But as Hippel notes, participation of women in STEM disciplines and careers in significantly higher in countries like Turkey, UAE and Algeria, say than it is in countries like Sweden, The Netherlands or Finland where women have more rights and freedoms. But really, how do we distinguish between ‘discrimination’ and the normal push-and-shove, tensions that naturally arise especially in fast-paced, at times stressful industries like tech? 

It’s probably time to retire some long-held assumptions and start asking different questions. 

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