Women programmers

I just read an article on Wired about Openhatch. As an opener it mentioned gender inequality in open source programming, saying that that only 11% of open source programmers are women, compared to 23% of all programmers being women. Does that reflect the Blender user community as well?

I’m not intending this to be an indictment of Blender or Open Source in any way, but it does seem to be almost entirely men in the videos and tutorials, both users and programmers. Is there a way to encourage women to pursue this?

This is the article: http://www.wired.com/2014/07/openhatch/

Maybe I’m wrong, but open-source is a bit nerdy-geeky, and men are usually more nerdy…
But my opinion it’s not strictly scientific :smiley:

Its not like men are more encouraged to program for Blender than women. Stop making up problems where there arent any.

This feminism bullshit should really stop. Can`t go two steps without hearing about some made up problem from video games to Blender forums now.

People should invest resources in ending poverty and hunger instead of wasting time on such trivialities.

EDIT: Its actually quite simple - women are statuss driven creatures. Its not like open source is something you brag about, on the contrary - people are wary of stuff that`s free. There are certain preconceptions that we have yet to break for open source to be trully mainstream.

Never understood the obsession with diversity quotas. Some demographics are going to be more interested in a particular subject/vocation compared to others. People should not be forced into interests they may not have just to meet somebody’s quota. They should instead be encouraged to pursue those interests that they do have.

No offense to woman here, but every studies I stumbled on says that men are better at math then woman, so maybe this is why more men are programmers, as for the ratio in open source, well, it is more often then not a non paying job, so it is bound to attract more men in my opinion, as more men are hard core programmers to the point of doing it for free!

And I agree with SynaGl0w here, there is a trend about equality in everything, while in fact men and woman usually differ in taste and abilities, woman are usually more competitive then men, believe it or not, maybe because they still live in a men’s world!

Maybe we’re the outliers, but the animation studio I work at is roughly 70% female.

I agree that there’s no need to argue about feminism/demographics here, I don’t think themadgm was aiming to start a fight, it’s just become the culture of BA to argue about anything and everything. Don’t feed the trolls people.

The first computer programmer in the world was a woman (Ada Lovelace). The word “bug” to describe misbehaviour by a computer programmer was coined by another woman programmer (Grace Hopper). My former manager was a woman C++ coder. Believe me, women throughout the history of computing have been coding.

If in the future a female coder chooses to improve Blender with her talents, great. The fact this hasn’t happened yet (to my knowledge) should not be an open invitation to speculate about why in the form of sweeping generalisations about an entire gender.

My university bucks the trend then, 3/4 of my math lecturers were women.

I’m not trying to start an argument, or force anyone to deal with sexism or gender perceptions.
I had two questions from the original post:

  1. Does [the low percentage of women in open source programming] reflect the Blender user community as well?
    Follow up: Are there any statistics on this?

  2. Is there a way to encourage women to pursue [Blender]?
    I have nieces who are talented and smart, and I don’t want them dissuaded from considering these options by public perception that it’s a ‘men-only’ thing.

According to the article, open source programming is something that is looked for on resumes when hiring potential programmers, so there is an economic need to brag about it.

As Mark Twain put it, “there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” It’s very easy to cook up a meaningless-correlation and to pass it off as significant, and this is a great example of this fallacy.

Lots of programmers are not involved in open-source … I’m one … because by and large there is no revenue in it. I’ll write source-code for you if you’ll pay me $150,000 a year to do it, and in that case I’m happy for the source-code to belong to you (or, to belong to no one) as “a work made for hire.” If, on the other hand, you want to buy some of the work-product that I have written for myself, it is (still) for sale.

There’s no correlation between “women” and “programmers,” let alone “women” and “open-source.” And let the record hereby show that, by far, the most talented programmers, analysts, project-managers and so forth that I have ever worked with … have been women.

I’ve got to become famous then every word I utter will be transmuted into a pearl of wisdom.

I think over all it is cultural interesting why women run away from CS more than any other engineering/scientific fields of study(seriously CS seems to specifically have low numbers of women), but it is irrelevant to look at the statistics. You won’t learn anything and just get mad. The math thing is bull and the problem is probably more intricate than we have any hope of understanding. Moving on.

Wow, fun topic.

No need to generalize, statistics are indispensable it you read them right. But it’s a common error to read them wrong, mistake correlation with causation etc.

I actually never see men’s reluctance to work with women. When an observation is made that something is a men’s thing, it’s not usually followed by a statement that it should be a men’s thing, but rather that men have a tendency to be more interested/proficient in such areas. So I don’t see any reason why your nieces would be dissuaded by the public.

Here is an interesting documentary on this very subject that I recently saw: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5LRdW8xw70

So your answer is: “No, there is nothing that I can do to encourage girls to become programmers”?

I disagree with you, but I must admit I don’t have a good answer either.

I would say there is no need to encourage girls to become programmers (or members of any profession for that matter) - I’d rather say that the best situation is when there is nothing discouraging them to do so, and they are free to pursue what they want.

In fact it seems that the amount of members of a specific sex in one-sex dominated professions is even higher in countries that are more liberal when it comes to sexes - Norway for instance, which is no. 1 in Europe in that area. So, it seems, when sexes are more free to choose any profession (this situation is intensified in advanced countries), they will tend to choose the ones that suit them better, rather the one that will provide bigger financial gains. So for men that will be professions that deal with how things work (dealing with systems), and for women this will be the more social professions (dealing with people).

This was all explored in the documentary I linked in the previous post.

I am not saying that woman cannot do math, of course they can, only saying that there are more men good at math then woman, at least according to pretty much everything I read over the years, which might explain why there are many more men in the field!

I started programming in 1985, and I have met much fewer programming ladies then men programmers in all these years, even though Montreal is renown for its large programmer’s base!

The original question was about commercial vs open source, so you could easily say that this shows it’s actually easier for women to get a paid programming job* than it is for men, leaving more men to work in FOSS. Gotta love statistics. Maybe someone could build a render engine based on it!

*I know that OS does not necessarily mean unpaid.

When you guys figure out how to encourage girls to become programmers, could you also tell me how to encourage 30-year old man to become programmer. http://blenderartists.org/forum/images/smilies/sago/confused.gif