More on the gender gap in technology: I received a phone call today from a reader, Betty Scott, age 80, who started working in technology, she said, when there were still punch cards. She remembers when women in computers were a true rarity, so she's battle-tested. Her advice to the women quoted in my Inquirer story about women in technology can be summed up in two words: Buck Up.
Scott found herself appalled by the woman quoted in Thursday's story who complained that "I'm the only girl in my IT department and I am the only one that schedules lunches."
I was appalled by that too so I went to talk to Zoe Kime, 34, about why she does it. It started, she said, when she was the junior member on the staff of her Philadelphia-based company. It seemed like a reasonable responsibility for a newbie. "But other people have started since then, so it's probably that no one else feels like doing it," she said. "In the back of my head, I wonder, is it because I'm a girl, or could it be that I'm the one willing to do it?"
Scott said she encountered something similar. Her department, which was all male except for her, held regular meetings. One of her bosses asked her to keep the minutes for the meeting -- often a secretary's job. She wasn't the secretary. However, she agreed and took notes for two more meetings. When it happened the third time, she said, "It's someone else's turn to take the minutes." Fortunately, her boss backed her up and from then on, the job rotated among the group.