Sexism in IT: Debate rages on

Comments made by Sir Tim Berners-Lee have prompted debate over whether women really enjoy interacting with technology as much as men

The recent comments made by the inventor of the web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, about what he sees as a "stupid" male geek culture in IT have once again highlighted an issue perennially in the background of any discussion about the development of the industry.

Speaking last week, Berners-Lee said that a culture that avoided alienating women would attract more female programmers, which could lead to greater harmony of systems design. "If there were more women involved, we could move towards interoperability. We have to change at every level," he said.

ZDNet.co.uk members have been split in their reaction to Berners-Lee's comments. Some have supported his call for greater representation of women.

"I do work for a IT-telecommunication company as a Business Intelligence systems supervisor and designer. The whole department is divided 50/50 as looking at employees' gender. I would never say any of my co-workers ever pointed out, that my gender has any effect for my quality of work, at all!" said ZDNet.co.uk member LadyRoot. "However, I was four years unemployed. I mean, I had hundreds of part-time jobs, but couldn't get a full-time job at all. The people at jobs agencies were not interested even to interview women for IT positions (especially helpdesk or service). "

However, other members seem to think that Berners-Lee's comments are off the mark and that the fundamental problem is that women just don't enjoy interacting with technology as much as men.

"Just saw your comment on Berners-Lee's thing about women and tech. It's so simple — women don't enjoy tech half as much, they prefer interacting with people. Every male has had tonnes of personal experiences of this phenomenon," said ZDNet.co.uk member 1000163470.

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