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Re: 'Geek' image scares women away from tech industry ? The Register

On Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 4:13 PM, Mary Barnes <mary.ietf.barnes@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Yes, the article is far from complete.  But, your antecdote only goes to
> show your own bias towards women in science and engineering in general.  By
> the time most females reach high school they have already been conditioned
> that girls aren't as good as boys in math and science. There's a far amount
> of studies showing this - at least in the US.  As Monique said it is a very
> complex issue.  Some of it starts at home and it starts extremely early.
> It's far more common for girls to be told they are pretty rather than
> smart.  They have found some physiologic reasons that do influence math
> abilities - those with "math brains" tend to have higher levels of
> testosterone.

Yes, as I told (well, not actually told, but I think it was clear from
the context), what I reported was just anecdotal evidence and over a
very tiny sample.   Should I place a bet right now, I would say that
the reason is a very complex mix of external influence, cultural
background and maybe the tiniest hint (q.b.) of physiology.

My remark wanted to emphasize the fact that if I had asked to those
girls "Did you consider graduating in engineering?"  they would have
not answered something like "I would like, but... it is not for
girls", "...I am too pretty for that", "...my parents never would
allow me;" I think they would have answered "No, it does not interest
me."  So it seems (by this anecdotal and very limited evidence) that
at that age the choice of not becoming an engineer is not "forced"
over the girl, but just she makes her choice freely.  If the choice is
forced by the cultural background that acts over the years and it
convinces girls that engineering is not for them, I cannot say and
cannot guess.

> That all said, it still doesn't explain why the percentage of women active
> in the IETF is less than the percentage of women that are in the field. But
> it might have something to do with IETFers sharing your perspective that
> women just aren't interested.

Honestly, I do not know what the reason could be.  To be double
honest, I do not even know the percentage of women in the field and in
the IETF.  I guess "in the field" should be the field of networking.
I am quite new as an IETFer, so I do not have enough experience to say
if there is something in the IETF culture that scares women, but, as a
first and personal impression, I did not notice anything that could
make me think that women are unwelcome.
I guess that any problem here is quite complex too.  For example, I
guess that many IETFers participate because their employer asks so.
So, maybe could be the problem (in part, at least) on the employer's

I do not know.  This is very complex and sensitive an issue and it is
difficult to discuss about the causes and possible solutions without
enough background solution.  My fear is that it would produce more
energy beyond 750 nm rather than in the 390-700 nm range :-)


> Regards,
> Mary.
> On Apr 30, 2012 4:04 AM, "Riccardo Bernardini" <framefritti@xxxxxxxxx>
> wrote:

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