I generally don’t write about work for a large host of reasons and this is far less a work post than an observation on engineering post.

I sat in a big meeting for 8 hours yesterday with a big collection of the “brain trust” at work — system administrators, network engineers, DBAs, lead engineers, and engineering management. What I noticed after an hour was the population mix:

29 guys.
1 me.

This bothered me enough to mention something — I jokingly commented that I felt like the Waldo in a Where’s Waldo drawing and mentioned were no other women in the meeting at all. “So?” was the response which I am sure meant “that doesn’t mean anything.”

It was weird. We do have one other female engineer but she’s exceedingly junior. There are no women in any other direct engineering roles. (We do have women system analysts.) I stand alone.

It’s still bothering me a little and I’m wondering if I’m just over-analyzing or if this is part of the core of why I feel so off all the time. It definitely says something about the culture of engineering, even in Enlightened Liberal Maryland.

  • Kim

    I cannot imagine any reason why you should NOT be bothered by it. Of course you should be bothered by it.

    I don’t know if it’s the cause of why you feel off so much of the time, because I think you could end up with the same culture with 50% women in your department. Or 20%.

    But it is totally worth thinking about.