“Another great barrier to entry is a partner with similar interests in the field, naturally a common occurrence due to similar social circles and shared interests, it can happen many people overlook the female partner’s geeky credentials, unintentionally perhaps but noticeable none the less.”
Yes, I know this one well. To the extent that with alarming regularity, people (some of whom I know reasonably well) assume that the web development consultancy I have been building over the last four and a half years, is actually Drew’s business. That’s annoying. Drew and I met because of our similar interests, we have similar skillsets, but we are neither responsible for each other’s work nor do we have the same point of view on many matters relating to our work, which makes for interesting conversations over dinner (the small person has no chance).
Following the links from Natalie’s post to the HOWTO Encourage Women in Linux, this point in particular I feel is so important,
“I encourage all women in computing to be as visible as possible—accept all interviews, take credit publicly—even when you don’t want to. You may be embarrassed, but by allowing yourself to be publicized or promoted, you might change a young girl’s life.”
A little while ago I was commenting on the some of the strange emails I get from people who think that I might just be the girl geek they have been looking for all their life, someone (a man!) said that basically I should expect it, and if I didn’t like it to not put my photo on my books or take credit for my work. The above is one reason why I do so, I want women to be visible in this community, I want younger women and girls to see that this is a job they can be doing. The more of us there are here, the less unusual we will become and perhaps people will stop assuming that we are somehow not quite as good as the men in this business.