Nature, nurture, or what?

More

Daniel Drezner is pondering women in science and technology: do they leave because they're pressured to, because they think it's unfeminine, or just because they'd rather do something else?

I actually found technology relatively family friendly, if only because women were such a novelty that companies liked having them around. On the other hand, it was definitely a boy's club; I experienced some really stunning sexual harassment during the years I was a consultant, not to mention having to sit quietly at lunch while my colleagues discussed the women they were checking out.

But ultimately I left not because of a hostile environment, or because I worried that it was masculinizing me. I left because I just didn't care as much as the guys I worked with. When I came in on Monday morning and people asked me what I had done, the answer was usually something like going to a club, or sailing. When they asked the guys I was competing with, the answer was more likely to be "I built a fiber channel network in my basement." It seemed likely to me that my career would suffer from competing with the monomaniacal, so I left to find something more in line with my obsessions.

But that's only my experience; I can't speak to anyone else's. Especially since the entire time I was a technology consultant, I only ever worked with two other women, and one of them left to have a baby two months later.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Are Americans So Bad at Saving Money?

The US is particularly miserable at putting aside money for the future. Should we blame our paychecks or our psychology?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In