Attracting Women to the IT Field?

Via Techdirt, we learn that somewhere in Austraila, there’s a pinup calendar of women in IT, supposedly created to “shake off their industry’s geeky image and encourage young women to consider a computing career.” Setting aside that the calendar has been plagued by some simple proofreading errors, I’m not exactly sure why this would encourage young women, especially the best and brightest, to suddenly go for an IT career. (And doesn’t the IT field want the best and brightest?) I think the low number of women in IT has more to do with intimidation than a perception that the field is not glamourous.

It seems to me that a better way to accomplish this is to cultivate the women already in the field (think things like KDE Women or LinuxChix), directly encouraging participation (like the GNOME Women’s Summer Outreach Program) or mentoring. Encouraging young women to do computing is a heck of a lot more useful than having them think “hey, women in computing can be like movie stars, too!”

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