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Taking redundancy personally.

Friday, March 14, 2003
No Jobs Shortage for Women

An article that initially appeared to be about skills shortages soon turns into a terrible rehash of the tired no women want to work in IT with nerdy blokes for colleagues.

Ann Swain seems to find that there is an IT skills shortage in this country. If only she’d told me earlier I wouldn’t have spent the last 5 months looking for work!

The answer to the apparent skills shortage is of course to hire women. She states that if you were to ask a woman to characterise a typical IT professional, she would describe “a young man with excess facial hair, sitting behind a computer all day munching pizza and guzzling Coke.” Admittedly, Ann then goes on to explain that this is not the case. Thanks Ann. You’ve saved yourself there, but why would anyone in IT consider hiring a woman who had the pizza eating coke monster vision in her mind? This person would clearly be out of touch with the real world. Are you suggesting that these same women should be considered? I know many women who were made redundant at the same time as me who have IT experience and they cannot find work. What chance would someone else have?

Ann also quotes that less than 10% of senior programmers in the UK are women which gives a typically skewed figure for employment. The role of IT comprises so many more roles than programming, perhaps Ann doesn’t realise this.

I’ve worked with female senior programmers, senior testers, senior technical authors and senior product managers. All of whom are currently looking for work in IT as a result of redundancy, all of whom are more than partial to a pizza and coke fest.