Imbalance

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.

Corporate Chutes and Ladders

Found on Andrew Sullivan’s Blog over on the Atlantic:

It starts with this Lovely Misogynistic Rant from Jack Welch about how there is no such thing as a “work-life balance” and mostly full of how women are stupid. (Hidden under a paywall for the most part but Andrew Sullivan quotes the good parts.)

Sullivan posts a big rebuttal to this nonsense at: Corporate Chutes and Ladders.

Basically what it comes down to is: if you are female, and you step off the corporate ladder for one second for any reason you will never in your lifetime have any capacity to lead big organizations. Because obviously you are weak. It’s up to the Big Strong MEN! Of course, if a man steps off the corporate ladder for any moment then it’s all good…

Gah.