An open letter to women in technology

To be honest, I had never really stopped and taken the time to appreciate how difficult things are for women working in technology. I mean, I had always attended co-ed schools and mixed with the opposite gender. But as I got older and more involved with technology, the demographic slowly but steadily changed. It started in high school, when we were gradually empowered to self-select our fields of study. For me, my timetable became increasingly littered with mathematics, physics and chemistry, while fewer and fewer girls shared the same courses.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Beautiful post. Conversely to you, I remember being in a first year Linguistics tutorial after a lecture on gender which I regrettably missed and the tutor turned to ask me a question about what I thought of the lecture. I then realised I was the only male in the class (not a reflection of Linguistics as a whole which is more balanced). I’ve had the blessing of not being in a male dominated sphere and learnt so much from the women who were my teachers, classmates and colleagues. It’s sad that things haven’t shifted enough and careers and roles are still as gendered as they are. It’s important to notice these things and heartening to know that things are continuing to shift. And long may they continue.

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Congrats on your little treasure Clinton!

And thank you for your beautiful letter on a hard topic. I’m definitely going to share this with my girl geek friends so they too can feel the love.

Very touching post. I think the fact that your girl has supportive parents like yourselves who are aware of those issues has likely removed some of the barriers if she choses technology. I myself was inspired to go into the field by the technical people in my family (including my mom). Btw, if you want to help the effort, there’s lots of local groups looking for members and volunteers, including IEEE WIE who is hosting a talk at QUT this wednesday.

Congratulations on being a father. Enjoy it. Treasure it.

Don’t be surprised if The Kins finds her own path. It may be into technology. It may be into nursing, or teaching, or just raising kids.

Check out It’s a series of videos you may find interesting looking into research exploring nature vs. nurture, women in technology vs. men in technology. (Borat’s cousin, Simon Baron-Cohen, professor of developmental has a couple of interviews in it.)

It’s ambiguous from your post how old The Kins is, if she is your biological child, if you have adopted her. Not to be a downer, but if she is your biological child, if you have adopted her, then for her sake and your sake, check out your state’s laws concerning divorce. If your state does not provide for a rebuttal presumption of joint shared physical custody, then do write your state representatives demanding they do. Please see for details.

Again, congratulations to your entire family, and especially to you.

Mazel Tov!