In the workplace, male software developers are treated as developers first, men second. However, female software developers are too often treated as women first, developers second.
This is a problem that affects every one of us, whether you’re a man or a woman, whether you report to a man or a woman, or whether you manage men only, women only, or a team of both genders.
What shall we do about this?
The women in our profession — whether programmer or tester, developer or admin, senior manager or new graduate — face this every day. Comments about their bodies or attire, either to their face or behind their back. Double standards in professional advancement, opportunities to take on new projects, business travel, and of course, pay.
Not all of the problems are created by men. I’m told that women are often pretty hard on women techies, too. It reminds me of a conversation between two Dilbert characters, Alice the engineer and Tina the tech writer:
Tina: One day I hope we can be judged by our accomplishments and not our gender.
Alice: I got my 14th patent today. I’m on my way to a lunch banquet in my honor.
Tina: And you wore *that*?
Is any of this new? Of course not. Women in “traditionally male” jobs have been disadvantaged forever. But that doesn’t mean that we have to overlook the issue, or worse, perpetuate it through our own actions.