On a neurological level, our brains are connected differently. That isn't to suggest we should conform to any sort of societal role. I do agree we should encourage people to think independently and not cast stereotypes. Can't we also embrace the positive aspects of our differences? Best of luck with whatever you do and have a great weekend. 😊
My wife never was interested in technology from a maker or programmer perspective. It also just seems like "magic" to her. But where as I graduated from college with a BS in Computer Science after 7 years, she got her Bachelor's, went on to get a MBA, moved to a new city and bought a home, and by the time I met her I was 1.5 year out of college. She graduated with a BS in 2004.
She is tremendously smart and has over the course of our relationship gained an interest in programming to the point where she's taken an SQL course and is looking to leverage Data Science in her work as an Enterprise Risk Analyst.
This change was not because, as a student, she had considered Computer Science or the tech industry as an option, but decided she preferred something else.
No, this change was due to her realizing there wasn't a barrier to her learning how to code. That it was an option for her to gain an understanding of how programming languages fit into the paradigm of creating apps phones, computers, and TV. And she could use that knowledge to make "magical" things!
What I take from @StephSmith's work and the article she written is that we need to not limit our thinking to "we're just different and are inclined for different roles". That's the thinking of an RPG player or the US military before women were allowed to intentionally signed up for those roles.
We are not a class-based species. There's nothing specific to the genders that determine our roles. Individually, each person has their own aptitudes and interests. But they are also severely impacted by what their environment tells him they are or what they could be.
I have lost a friend who killed herself after working hard to join our high school football team (which she did). And she got accepted into the UNC School of Arts. I will never know what forces she engaged with that continually told her what she couldn't do.
I dealt with issues of self-esteem growing up (and still do) to the point where I talked to my mother over the phone expressing a desire to kill myself (and it wasn't the first time these thoughts haunted me). All because I allowed the voices of bullies and adults get in my head. They shaped for me a vision of the future I did not like.
I don't bring this up lightly. It's to illustrate that both everyone faces obstacles from society that should not exist. We should never be telling girls or boys what their limitations are. We should be asking, nah, encouraging them to discover their limitations and to push for whatever dream they have.
There is not one reason to believe that we each go through life with the exact same experiences, with the exact same opportunities, and with the exact same knowledge/awareness of those opportunities.
Once we are born, that's it. Genetics can only take you so far, the rest is up to society, the environment, and each individual in it. That's why is it important to do basic retrospectives and ask questions like, "Why are so many people from this demographic continue to pursue these careers and not others?".
As a society we need to have serious conversations about what known and unknown obstacles exist that prevent or otherwise limits a person's ability to excel. These obstacles could be physical (blindness), legal/financial (grants to encourage men to go into STEM roles, not women), but also societal (like being uncomfortable/resistant to have a conversation about demographics or reassessing assumptions).
Fundamentally, this is important because once we remove or lower the barrier for more people to go wherever their passion takes them, then we as a society benefit.
I couldn't agree more. It's important we encourage people to think independently from the status quo and keep an open mind. Although to acknowledge we might have different biological drives isn't to suggest we should conform to any sort of societal role. That's a fantastic success story about your wife. Cheers.
Thanks for the comments about my wife and understanding my perspective.
I apologize if I seem to be poo-pooing your point of view, I just cannot understand what biological development aside from blindness or other handicaps could potentially prevent someone of pursuing a career in tech.
And I think that's where it boils down. You say "biological drives" and I think "an obstacle or impediment". I don't think my biology drives me to program, I don't think my wife's biology drives her to do her job.
Sometimes we feel like a job is a calling, but that could be more spiritual than biological.
I mean it's sitting down and thinking really hard about concepts and ideas you can't physically taste, touch, feel, smell, or see.
Anyone with the ability to type and think critically can do it, no biologic organs are required.
I just cannot accept that any "biological drive" exists that called for me to be a programmer. I was driven to programming because my environment seemed to remove any other option for me. I was lonely as a kid, so I tended to solve problems on my own. Then I got a computer and I had a wealth of information around me.
Then I found out I could make changes to my computer myself! No one told me I could, no one told me I couldn't. The bullies and adults just told me I was worthless, stupid, and need to fight my own battles cause the adults in charge didn't care. That was about school, that wasn't about computers.
Gradually, programming seemed like something I could do by myself.
Others are attracted to programming because of the ability to create and cooperate. Any industry, any field, can have social elements that encourage collaboration, team work, critical thinking, thinking of the logical possibilities, or even thinking about the social/economic/physical/mental/etc aspects of a project.
When I hear other people's stories, I never hear anyone say they were born to be a programmer or some other tech professional. It's usually something they pursued because of experience, not something innate to their genes.
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