My final “official” Gender and Computerization post

Over the past 16 weeks, I have been blogging about Gender and Computerization for a class assignment. When reviewing those blog postings as well as reflecting on my experience in the class as a whole, I’ve realized that I’ve taken a mostly-negative view.

In my defense, I have to say that’s not very hard to do, when you read about negative stereotypes, misogyny, and how men reap the benefits of technology more. I became angry after reading some of those things, and my posts reflected that.

But, in our last class discussion, the instructor asked everyone if they thought it was possible this technology gender gap could be closed. I found myself being optimistic in my reply. I’m not so sure that I think it will ever be closed, but I do think the gap is narrowing.

So, since this post will be my final “official” post for the class, I thought it might be nice to end on a positive note.

Today, I spent some time searching recent news stories on the subject, and I found several that give me more reason to be hopeful. These are just a few:

Chattanooga area schools have received funds to increase technology in the schools. The description of the directive for how the money was to be used specified that the goal was help students “cross the digital divide” regardless of many factors, including gender. The fact that they recognize gender is a component of the digital divide is encouraging.

A new study has found that “women are techier than perceived.” “…although men are confident about the latest gizmos, women are actually more astute when it comes to deciphering tech lingo and devices.” Publicity about studies like this can only help fight the negative stereotypes that women just don’t have technical abilities.

Use of ICTs by African women is rising. The article points out that challenges still remain regarding the benefits that they receive from the use, but more women adopting technology is a good first step in narrowing the gender gap in technology.

The salaries of women in employed in technological fields are now more comparable to men. The claim that the Dice VP makes, that the “gender gap in technology jobs is over”, is a bit pre-mature, I think. But, as the article points out near the bottom, once they “controlled for the confounding variables, gender was no longer a statistically significant factor. That is, all things being equal — years of experience, educational levels, and job title — salaries are statistically equal between men and women.”

So, I am cautiously hopeful. There are still a lot of strides that can – and should – be made. But, you’ve got to start somewhere! 🙂

**PS, this is my final ‘official’ post about this topic. But, taking this class has made me realize that – dare I say it – yes, I am a feminist. And, now that I’ve finally made that admission, I can no longer stand idly by and watch my gender not benefit in the same way as males from this technological revolution. So, I am sure that I will blog about this subject again sometime.

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