Where Did All the Women Go?

PM Network, July 2007 | Go to article overview

Where Did All the Women Go?


UNITED STATES

The number of U.S. women working in IT is on the decline-and that could be bad for business, according to The Defeminization of IT, a February 2007 report by the Cutter Business Technology Council, Cutter Consortium, a global IT advisory firm in Arlington, Mass., USA. Women today are finding better deals and more potential in other professions-especially law and medicine-and taking their skills elsewhere, says Tom DeMarco, senior consultant at the consortium.

Data from the U.S. Department of Labor show that in 2000, women accounted for 28.9 percent of the IT workforce. In 2006, when overall IT employment hit an all-time high of nearly 3.47 million, women only made up 26.2 percent of the workforce, a 7.7 percent drop from 2000, according to an April CIO Insight article.

The IT workplace has become uncongenial, Mr. DeMarco says. "We tend to burn people out, which is not something that a 20-year-old woman is looking for," he says. "The work is on the lonely side because we spend too much of our time alone in programming. …

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