This part was incredibly disturbing to me:
Women made up 32 percent of the tech work force in 2004, a drop from 41 percent at its peak in 1996. That's largely because of the shrinking number of administrative jobs in the tech industry, the Arlington, Virginia-based Information Technology Association of America said. [Boldface added.]Let me be perfectly clear on this: Are we saying that women in tech jobs aren't really technical, they're administrative? So we have fewer women in IT because we've fired all the secretaries? Am I overreacting? 'Cause my pointy stiletto shoes are gettin' all fidgety over here.
Another bizarre observation by this group: "white" was one of the underrepresented racial groups cited. OK, so if Blacks, Hispanics, and Caucasians are all minorities in IT... who's left? Well.. the study mentions that Asians are overrepresented by a couple hundred percent. OK, so everybody trade in your stereotype of the round, bearded European-looking IT guy. I'm watching you!
But do we even care who does the job, as long as somebody does it? I'm kind of torn on this one. I do not want anybody competent shut out because of superficial physical characteristics. And I certainly don't want anybody incompetent running my servers and having access to my data. But beyond that, I don't much notice the demographics.
I'm pretty sure that people from India are counted under "Asian," but where does "middle eastern" fit into this survey? No, I'm not being paranoid. I'm just wondering, 'cause when I was in college, our engineering department (huge) was full of Saudi students. (Male, of course. Duh.) I imagine plenty of them are employed in this country now. But I never see that demographic listed on the questionnaires. If they're also "Asian," I can better understand the disparity.
Anybody know the answers?