Macho ‘brogrammer’ culture still nudging women out of tech

Female developers describe covert forms of sexism as ‘death by a thousand cuts’Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach ofFT.comT&Csand Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.comto buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found here.

Miranda is quitting her competitive software engineering job in London, even though she loves the work. While technology companies including Google and Uber have been plagued by sexual harassment allegations in recent months, female coders like Miranda are leaving their dream careers because of more subtle forms of discrimination pervading the industry. “It is death by a thousand paper cuts and managers not believing you are bleeding,” says Miranda (not her real name) who, like the other female developers interviewed for this article, requested to remain anonymous. “These things can seem like small problems or nothing at all to someone hearing them for the first time [but] by the time you are telling someone, you have been ground down.” One of few women in her department at a medium-sized global technology firm, Miranda has worked as a coder for the past eight years. She describes how she is interrupted or ignored in meetings on a daily basis. Male colleagues are given credit when they re-announce ideas that she has already presented. She is equally repelled by the office culture, which she finds unwelcoming for women — as well as many men — with heavy drinking, colleagues firing large foam darts at her while she is working and trying to one-up each other. In her previous job there was a similar atmosphere, she recalls, with men casually sharing porn around the office. A company party once featured a female stripper covered in whipped cream.

Read more

Our videos