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October 16th, 2012

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04:27 pm - hmm
I am taking a (free, non-credit) online course in Computer Networking from Stanford that runs parallel to one of their for-credit offerings. There are videos to watch and problems to solve, and so far I'm fairly happy and comfortable with the material.


There are also guest lecture videos in addition to the course material videos, and I watched one today. Unlike the course videos, which are one or both of the instructors talking directly to the camera, this was a taping of a class lecture, complete with student questions and responses, both as generated from the material and as a result of instructor prompting.

No women spoke, in so far as I could tell. Not to ask; not to answer, even when the professor prompted people who hadn't spoken yet to join in.

There was only one brief shot of the class, and I did see women among the students in the audience hall. Not too many; my visual recall is perhaps three of thirty in the snapshot I remember, and I'm sure (or at least I hope) I missed some. I hope I'm wrong; I hope I mis-identified vocal timbre or something.

Because otherwise, really? Still? In 2012? What the hell is going on, and where are the women participants? Obviously it's bugging me, and I don't think it's entirely because no-one raised the questions I had and was hoping would come up; I certainly don't think I have particularly gendered questions. It hit my awareness gradually about half way thru the 45 minute running time, and then I started paying closer attention. It's hard to guess what extenuating factors there might be, but it did make me feel ...odd.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:October 23rd, 2012 03:47 pm (UTC)
I'm seeing the IT field became more specialized and in general women going to the more people skills route and guys going in the more technical route. But the women who are on the technical side are there because they are super good. The other thing is that I'm seeing more women middle managers due to the people skills thing. I'm sorry to say that I'm part of that statistic of women in the more people skills area of it. But it's a job, and in general, once you proved you can hold your own, it's all good. The differences really started to come out now for those of us having kids. We proved our selves with the long hours, but that is harder now.

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