The I in Teamwork

As a 19 year old, I co-oped at a nuclear plant.

I was a college student, working with electricians, many of them who were Vietnam vets. Lacking their practical experience, and being a “foreigner” as an Indian among a set of “good ol’ boys”, I felt that I had a lot to prove. I worked doubly hard to show them that I was willing to work. Over time, I won their respect – but it wasn’t easy.

I’ve read that many women in the tech sector feel the same way as I did, that they have to prove themselves to their male counterparts. That there is an ever so subtle gender bias in the workplace.

What do you think? Is there a gender bias within the tech industry? If you’re a woman in tech, I’m especially curious to know your view on the matter.

-Krishna

These beautiful and intelligent people wrote

  • Paul RaulersonReply
    July 8, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Hey Krishna –

    Oh yeah, not only are many women the target of gender bias, so indeed, are many men. Some women can use weapons utterly unavailable to us guys, both to get ahead and to get out of messes they create.

    While it is absolutely true almost all women are discriminated against, honestly? I think *everyone* is the target of some kind of bias. It’s probably the number one source of anger in the workplace.

    I don’t know, but I have had similar experiences – being thrown into the middle of a group of much more experienced people and being forced to earn their respect I mean. I don’t think being a white male helps, there is always something that can be found to hold against you – Yankee / Southerner / Irish / Italian / Fat / Skinny / short / tall / young / old / Baptist / Lutheran – all those operate just as much as the more visible castings of ethinicity, race, religion, or sex.

    Got me on my soap box you did! The comic today was very funny – but it was funny because we all know that Pam (as a character in the strip) is a dynamic highly capable ninja in disguise. It *was* funny for me when a group of AT&T Lineman wanted to take on my then 104lb 5.1″ outside plant engineer wife… :)

    • Krishna M. SadasivamReply
      July 8, 2013 at 8:14 pm

      Great insight, Paul – you are absolutely correct. Discrimination is universal and, technically, anyone can be a target.

  • ArkanabarReply
    July 10, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    As bad as it may get in commercial IT concerns, apparently it can get quite a bit worse in free software/open source communities.

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