[Haskell-cafe] Re: Are there any female Haskellers?

Jon Fairbairn jon.fairbairn at cl.cam.ac.uk
Sun Mar 28 06:43:00 EDT 2010

Leon Smith <leon.p.smith at gmail.com> writes:

> On Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 1:56 PM, Jason Dagit <dagit at codersbase.com> wrote:
>> For some reason it started out as a male dominated field.
>> Let's assume for cultural reasons.  Once it became a male
>>dominated field, us males  unknowingly made the work and
>>learning environments somewhat hostile or unattractive to
>>women.  I bet I would feel out of place if I were the only
>>male in a class of 100 women.
> Is this really true?  I've heard rumors that in the early days of
> programming, that women were in the majority,  or at least they
> represented a much greater proportion of programmers than they do now.
>   I seem to recall that this started to change sometime in the 60s.

One thing I observed of the Computer Science Tripos in Cambridge
was that the absolute number of women doing the course didn't
change much, but the size of the course increased over the
years. This suggests that men went into it because it was
trendy, but for the most part women went into it because they
found it interesting (and the proportion of women in the general
population who find it interesting was roughly constant). This
was twenty years ago, and I don't know if the subsequent data
supports the hypothesis.

Another (provocative) observation is that most of the women
programmers I've known were good at it and thought they might
not be, but most of the men claimed to be good at it but
were not.

Jón Fairbairn                                 Jon.Fairbairn at cl.cam.ac.uk
http://www.chaos.org.uk/~jf/Stuff-I-dont-want.html  (updated 2009-01-31)

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