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I think it really depends on the community / organization you choose to surround yourself with. It also depends on what 'bad' means to you and your personal tolerance level.

I've found myself in less-than-ideal environments (incredibly white male dominated workplace where everyone talks about the strip clubs they went to the night before), but have also had the fortune to work in incredibly supportive environments.

The latter had a ratio of men and women developers that were close to 1:1. My colleagues didn't just 'treat me like an equal', they were encouraging and openly recognized that women face a different set of challenges in tech.


"less-than-ideal environments (incredibly white male dominated"

What's wrong with white males? This doesn't sound very inclusive. :(


There's nothing wrong with white males but as a group we are the dominant majority and, especially when the rest of the sentence is "workplace where everyone talks about the strip clubs they went to the night before", we can be understanding of an underrepresented member of our community pointing out the need for more peer representation.

I work at a company where the vast majority of the developers are Asian men.

If someone made a similar statement about that demographic, it'd be unacceptable, and rightfully so.

It just feels like it's becoming socially acceptable to make fun of white guys in this community. :(


Emphasis is on the ‘dominated’

Any workplace that is entirely homogeneous is going to have problems. Entirely white male is probably not going to be very accommodating to any population but white males.


When you are job hunting, ask to meet the team you would be working with when you schedule interviews. Some places have you eat lunch with the team, which I think is a good practice and great opportunity to see if it will be a fit for you. Gauge the maturity level. If it feels like a frat house, then you probably want to pass. If you get into it but it turns out not to be a fit then find another job. Don't settle for being mistreated (for gender or any other basis).


Please don't let the horror stories put you off. It doesn't matter what career path you take you will eventually come across someone who has unacceptable behaviour.
I've been working as a developer since the late 90s and have been on all male teams for all but 4 years of that. You can not let an all male team stop you joining a company. Meet the team and the rest of the company before you join. Check out the environment you will be working in as well as potential colleauges.
Even if your potential team is all male this can be balanced by an open plan office and this can keep the bad behaviour in check.
They key is always remember why you are doing your job and do not stay anywhere you feel threatened.


I think it depends on where you are. Some companies are better than others. Be as selective as you can, but remember that even the good places might have issues too. Don't let it scare you away. The work is awesome and very rewarding overall. I regret nothing, even though things have been hard at times.


I, obviously, cannot speak to the experience of women in tech, but so many of the stories, including from good friends of mine, make me ashamed of the industry I work in.

A good friend of mine, Shannon Vettes, created a panel session for DrupalCon that tried to take on this issue (along with other issues related to conflict - for lack of a better term - in the tech workplace) and I loved the idea, so I am running a version of this online, for free at with some really great speakers as panel participants (and me, though I hesitate to call myself a great speaker). The goal is to have people ask questions, share experiences and learn from each other. I'm hoping that it'll be helpful to some people.


For the past 10 years of my professional life, at 4 major jobs. I would say that Women were generally in dominant or authoritative position.

So I personally have never experienced women being treated poorly. I could be in isolated industries as they were primarily Government, Agencies, Startups, and Corporate. But I also only work for people who seem like decent human beings and treat people well.

It is very hard to comment on something that I have not experienced ( I'm a guy ) or witnessed. But treating women and people, in general, is not terribly hard to do. You will run into jerks everywhere. That is part of life and people being different.

Don't put up with shit, and don't take a job that you don't feel isn't a good environment. Check out some staff members on social media. See how they are expressing themselves. Chat them up if you're considering applying for a job.

Consider the fact that you are interviewing them, not the other way around.

Thinking back, Most jobs that I have taken have been referrals from other people I trust.


You should at least be aware you may encounter it. With any luck you won't, and men behaving badly towards women in the industry is being tolerated less and resulting in consequences more; but every isolated case is still someone else's personal experience, and you'll still find some environments (workplaces, conferences, events) more or less congenial than others. If you start feeling bad vibes, pay attention to them.


How many horror stories have you heard about man in the kitchen?
But how many times have your husband/boyfriend/friend cooked an awesome food?

So how many times have you tease men for cooking? Expect the same.
Also how many times did you say "wow that man can cook better than me!" Make them say the same for your code.

It all about the culture, and we are still growing boys in different ways than girls. This will lead to different ways of thinking and excelling in different subjects.

So get used to the teasing, but do not accept lack of respect because of gender.


Just FYI I'm a guy so do with this what you will :)

Having worked in both male and female dominant companies (and neutral ones) I'd say that I feel I've got an understanding of the 'odd-one-out' feeling and I don't envy women from this POV when working in software. That being said one very male dominated software consultancy (which actually got strippers to a party -eye-roll-) got its shit together very quickly once a few people kinda realised that was not going to help us be a diverse team. A lot of places never make this transition though.

Personally I've found the culture of the place can strongly dictate how minorities (women are probably more represented than other groups these days) would feel at the company. As I said I've worked in female dominant cultures where they also make no effort to make you feel welcome and openly talk about the similar things I've heard from men in jobs. I feel like men are a bit worse at this but anecdotally I'm not sure that is true.

I'm currently attending a coding course led by a very well respected woman and in the class I think there are 5 girls in the class of 28. I feel like just listening to conversations and stuff that they're driving in paring situations and talking up when they have things to say. I really feel like if you look for the right company/group culture than there are a lot of bright groups and companies with respect to welcoming minorities and helping them not feel like they are a minority every minute of the day!

SO I guess long story short... in my experience it is MUCH, MUCH better than when I started 20 years ago. I'd far rather be a woman in tech than a POC or other groups. My girlfriend recently made the comment (she's also a developer) that in the US at least, it would be fairer to focus on POC and probably more specifically Men of Color than just women in general in her experience.

I really think if you look you can absolutely find a places to work and exciting projects to work on where you will feel welcomed and can grow. It's then kind of up to you what you do with your own feelings of being the odd one out.


While I'm not a woman in tech, I feel like as a non-white male in tech I can relate. Co-workers making offensive comments and not realizing (or bothering to consider) that they're offensive, having to prove yourself more than you should have to, people not expecting anything from you and being "pleasantly surprised" when you do something great, when you don't get a project/raise/proposal-consideration having that inner question of "did this happen or not happen for regular reasons or did it happen or not happen because of who/what I am".

I can't say that I fully understand the position of women in tech and I know that my situation is different and not as difficult, but I'd like to think I can at least empathize.

All of that said, I think/am hoping that life is getting better for women in the tech industry. From my personal experience I've never worked at a place where outward misogyny or an undercurrent of misogyny was encouraged or tolerated, though I know that there are companies in my city that do operate that way. I've been lucky enough to either get head's ups from other devs in our local tech community or lucky enough to have seen the yellow and red flags during the interview process. I don't want to work in that kind of atmosphere either and I don't want to support a company that allows that kind of atmosphere to survive.

I would say def make connections in your dev community (meetup groups are great for this) and make personal connections with people that work in various companies in your area. It's easier to find out what a company is really like from a friend on the inside. Also, follow your instincts and keep an eye out for red flags during interviews. It may be hard to spot during the first one-on-one interview (no one is ever going to say "oh, and yeah we undervalue women here"), but if you're on the second or third interview where you're getting a tour through the workspace and/or talking to the other devs on the team it's easier to spot what kind of an atmosphere you'd be working in.

I don't think we're ever going to be fully free of misogyny in the workplace (or full on or diet racism), but I think it's becoming less and less acceptable and more frequently called out.

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