Women’s Issues in the Software Industry

An overview of some of the issues and challenges faced by women trying to succeed in the software industry.

This paper discusses how many women within the software industry have long known that if one aspires to high management it will be a tough road. It looks at how women in the software industry, in general, must work harder than men to get the same respect, and be willing to make, in many cases, significantly less pay for the same work, thus dispelling any myths about equality. It analyzes some of these issues, such as the extreme lack of a flexible work environment, and looks at what some women advocacy groups are hoping to achieve.
Although many software companies, most notably, the Microsoft Corporation, spend a great deal of thought and resources in the development of women-friendly programs, including extended maternity and paternity leaves, accommodation for emergency leaves, and superior benefits, virtually all lag behind in the issue of childcare and accommodation of real family life. Motherhood is still seen as a liability for women’s advancement, and the pay of women continues to suffer if they do have children so much that, on average, women are paid, about 2.5% less than their female counterparts without children, while men earn approximately 2% more after becoming fathers(WomenOf.com).