Where have all the women gone ...?

Is it just me, and thus based on purely personal observation, or are there even less women in IT than there used to be?

IT has always seemed to me to be a rather male dominated profession but if I look around me, now, it does seem that the last 5 years have seen a further and quite rapid increase in imbalance.

There do seem to be more women at the very top of the tree but far less in middle and senior IT management structures; and don’t even look at the hard core techie layers …. Why …?

The money is good in IT, the prospects for meritocratic advancement are superb and with the rapidly evolving landscape for IT – thankfully negating the ridiculous alignment debate – the opportunity to play a significant role in any business has never been better. I really don’t get it. The very best project and program managers, database analysts and developers I’ve ever worked with or for were women. Some of the finest techs in architecture, networking and server management I’ve had the privilege of leading or working alongside of, were female. Not that long ago 40% of my direct reports were women but when I left my last role that had been cut in half with no obvious or sufficiently experienced replacements.

Where did they go and what other careers and sectors attracted them away?

What’s wrong with IT and technology as a career for women? How do we encourage real participation and engagement to address the gap and grow a richer and more powerfully diverse IT engine; even in the face of rampant outsourcing?

Rant: Isn’t it about time we got back to developing on-shore careers and prospects instead of selling the family silver for short term gains.

And, in responding to this inequity what we really don’t need is a silly ‘tipping of the hat’ or slippery cosmetic measures to obfuscate the issue just because it may be politically correct or to register a tick in the box of some hackneyed CSR type initiative (yip … another rant).

What we must, must, must drive and define are genuine grassroots actions that will grow our talent and skills pool to capitalise on the remarkable opportunities for IT in the 21stst century.

Go on then, tell me I’m wrong …..