This conversation stays interesting, and for me, has started to get very close to home. [Update: If you care about this, there is lots of juicy input (much of which I disagree with) in the comments. Also check out the contributions from Dave Megginson and especially “gamehawk”.]
Beautiful Bigotry · As in, check out Shelley Powers’ Women Evidently Don't Program, motivated by the discovery that the about-to-be-published Beautiful Code, to which I am a contributor, is an embarrassingly almost-100%-male operation. Check out the dialogue with the editor, and then some of the comments are worth reading too. My take-away: Depressing.
On the Practical Side · There were some reactions to that big devChix post I mentioned earlier. In Tech Women Lauren Wood writes from the perspective of a women who’s always been a singleton among professional males.
For me, the most engaging new contribution is Jeni Tenison’s How to get women into computing, which offers a lot of thoughtful clarity, along with some practical suggestions.
Speaking of Close to Home · Now that I’m down at the bottom of an article that probably few will read, I guess I can raise one of the issues I had with the devChix piece. It goes on at some length about how if we want women as co-workers, we shouldn’t ever even think about approaching them romantically.
Er, um, hmm.
When my first marriage broke up in the Nineties, I pretty quickly decided I didn’t like being single and set out to fix the problem. Most of the women I happened to meet, I met professionally. I asked lots out and romanced a few and married one ten years ago and have two children. The process seemed to have a satisfactory outcome.
So I’m not neutral at all. I really hope that “gloriajw” over at devChix is wrong about this. Obviously you have to be able to take “no” for an answer, and shouldn’t be pushy or slimy. But look, dammit, we don’t have church socials and matchmakers any more. If we can’t date the people we meet at work, the species is gonna bloody well die out.