A hot topic in the last few years has been awareness around the lack of women in IT. This goes from how we give young girls dolls but boys a plastic screwdriver, to gender equality in the household, i.e., who has responsibility for the children, to how we treat women in IT on a daily basis. At the heart of the matter, I see the gender equality in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education as the issue which needs to be attacked at all levels of society.
In 2009, 24% of the jobs in STEM in the US were filled in by women, where in all jobs, the average was 48%. (source)
You go, girl!
I’ve said it before: I am a Heterosexual Type-A Alpha-male with ADHD. This is a recipe for disaster when it comes to treating women or just people in general. Micro-agression is probably one of the things I am guilty of the most. Quite recently I talked about a female colleague, who is a brilliant engineer, and referred to her as a ‘great girl’. I heard myself saying it, immediately corrected myself and was lucky enough my (female) partner in the conversation did not take it as an offense. After talking it over with her, I will never say it again and I will help other people understand why they shouldn’t as well. It is condescending in every possible way.
The phrase ‘girls’ night out’ or ‘boys’ night out’ is not an excuse to call a female colleague a girl! You would never refer to a man in a professional context as a boy.