I am working in a country where there is a very high male predominance in the IT field. I am wondering whether this is by culture, by region or globally true.

Are there studies on the topic of gender distribution in IT professions? Or maybe about students in IT-related faculties etc..?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is not about navigating in the workplace. Dec 5, 2019 at 7:54

1 Answer 1


In short: It's globally true, but there is nuance.

Not a study, but quite popular, the Google Memo from James Damore is addressing the issue of ideological bias and gender distribution in IT. It's more constructed as an internal suggestion.

In the past, when the IT field was more mathematical and academical, the ratio of women even surpassed that of men at some point. But once it became a practical job, men had gained interest in IT jobs while women seemed to lose it - or found their interest in different job domains given the advancements of technology.

While there is variance, this tendency is globally true. Just compare it with the more extreme types of jobs: People working on oil rigs, electricity cables, coal mines, heavy machinery, sewage work or other physically highly demanding work. These are 95%+ (possibly 99%+) dominated by men, simply because there are almost no women willing to do these jobs. These jobs are dirty, dangerous and physically demanding - no person in their right mind would do them... unless it's a good way to get money with the individual abilities given and therefore to increase one's sexual market value - which only applies for men. So the phenomenon is quite understandable here.

If women have the choice, in general they prefer safer and more socially focused work. If they don't, like it was in Hungary and other Soviet occupied countries some decades ago, plenty of women also had to work on the field, just as my aunt, mother, and my grandmother did - each beginning at young age. The Scandinavian countries, allegedly the countries where most egalitarian agendas have been enacted, the gender disparity in choices of jobs is even greater, contrary to what was expected. The greatest factor is, I expect, the general level of prosperity in a given country.

The general rule of thumb is this: Men prefer jobs with things, women prefer jobs with people. Men in general are more competitive, women in general are more cooperative. See it as 2 Bell-Curves, with different center points, where a part is overlapping. There are men who can work with a minimum of social interactions, which IT jobs can quite be (which applies to several of my coworkers, myself and my brother and his coworkers).

A note however: There is no problem to fix, unless one considers the choices of men and women in general to be bad and therefore subject to correction... which is, besides being authoritarian, quite offensive to everybody who does not align with one's idea. Or one would have to enact actually active, real, institutional discrimination against certain groups to "compensate" for passive, alleged, non-institutional discrimination. This is also a never ending game of continual increase in authoritarianism and bureaucratic micro-management.

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