Women In Computer Science Occupation Essay

Gendered Jobs Assignment

While looking through the data table which depicted the percent of women in each occupation compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, I immediately checked computer programming because that is what I am studying at Temple. What I found is that the percent of female computer programmers makes up 21 percent out of the 480 total participants observed. The second occupation I choose to look into was psychology, which is a field dominated by women. With the data from this study, it is shown that 70.3 percent of the 193 people observed were women.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics website gives detailed information about general knowledge of each occupation and statistics related to various professions. I chose to look at computer programmers, who write and test code in various computer languages, and update and fix previous code to keep programs and networks current and up to date. Working with software developers, businesses, and other programmers is something that occurs a lot throughout the job in computer programming; this hints at the fact that computer programmers must also be socially inclined and have good speaking skills. Becoming a computer programmer is something that one can do with proper education. Even though it is not needed, it is suggested that one get a bachelor’s degree. One of the most common majors for computer programmers is Computer Science. However, there is also various licenses and certifications one can get that show efficiency in languages and products. The median pay for computer programmers is $38.24 per hour, or $79.530 a year in 2015. The job outlook for computer programming is estimated to decline 8 percent between 2014 and 2024.

Due to programming being something that can be telecommunicated since one can program from anywhere, it is a job that can be outsourced to other countries where they can pay programmers a lower wage. The pictures depicting this job reveals three pictures of men on their computers, while there is one picture of a female at hers. However, with the picture of the female, there are two men sitting behind her on their computers. This shows that, while the job is something females are capable of doing, it is a profession mainly dominated by males. When looking at the history of programming, the first computer programmer was a female. Along with that, Margaret Hamilton, a female programmer working at MIT in the 1960s coded lengthy routines that were able to help get Apollo on the moon (McMillan). These tremendous feats seem to have been forgotten in the course of history, and over time, computer programming has become a male-dominated field. When women were the majority of workers in the field, people saw computer programming as something that was easy, because it involved typing and ‘filling in the blanks’. However, it turned out to be challenging, and even though women were just as good at it as males were, it was not looked at as the lucrative job that it is now. Another reason why women might look at computer programming as something only males do is when looking at the top technologies companies in the United States, such as Apple, Facebook, and Google, it is mostly male dominated, which can be threatening to a woman looking for job opportunities(Larson). Women should not be turned away from a profession just because there are not many females in the field. When one field is heavily dominated by one gender, it reveals more about society and gender-constructs than the skills of a certain gender.

On the other hand, psychology tends to be a female-dominated profession. For example, only 30 percent of psychologists are males, a fact that surprised me. Psychology is a vast field made up of a plethora of different subspecialties. Whether psychologists own a practice, work alone, are employed by a healthcare facility, or conduct research, they help to explain and clarify thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. To become a psychologist, one must obtain a Ph.D. in psychology or Psy.D. degree. Psy.D means Doctor of Psychology. There are other certifications that one can get in order to work as certain types of psychologists, such as a school psychologist. The average pay for psychologists in 2015 was $34.89 per hour, translating to around $72,580 per year. Psychology is a profession that is projected to grow 19 percent between 2014 and 2024. The demand for psychologists is predicted to grow due to the increase in people choosing to see them in order to help them with their problems. Psychologists are also able to provide assistance to an aging population. When observing the pictures of psychologists from the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, there seems to be a better representation of gender equality compared to computer programming; however, the representation of women tends to be greater than men. One picture that stands out is a group of six people in a meeting: four of the people are women, and the other two are men. Also, the one woman is standing up, revealing that she is leading the discussions and is most likely superior in her position. Only one of the other pictures has a male in it; the majority of the pictures portray women working. When looking at the gender gap in this occupation and what the job entails, it would seem that women are gendered into the idea that they are good at listening to problems and having higher emotional intelligence than men. Women also exceed men when it comes to higher education, including doctoral programs, so when it comes to an occupation like psychology, women become the majority (Willyard). However, this is not to say that men cannot excel at being psychologists; in the end, the profession can be rewarding for both males and females.

Computer programming and psychology are two professions strongly composed of one gender. This sets up a barrier in which the other gender does not want to be the minority, leading to more and more domination by one gender. In turn, this phenomenon can lead to it being more difficult for the ‘excluded’ gender to obtain a job in said field. In both occupations, the pay is relatively similar, hourly and yearly, yet each occupation attracts opposite genders. Psychology attracts women, while computer programming tends to be a male-dominated field. It seems that the technology aspect is something that attracts more males than females into the computer programming field. If more women go into computer programming, this could allow for an increase in job equality, along with opportunities for them to pursue more jobs within the field. If large tech companies would express the use of women programmers and the opportunities that are out there for females, it would show that this does not have to be an occupation mainly hiring men. Psychology is a profession that people portray as ‘women’s work’. To make the representation of female and males the same in an occupation such as a psychologist, people should realize that the attributes one needs to become a psychologist is not gendered towards women. With skills like analytical thinking, communication, observation, patience, and problem solving skills, this occupation does not entail qualities men should feel like they do not have an opportunity in succeeding with. In the end, if society gendered professions less, and there was no social construct within the workplace, females perhaps would be more comfortable in pursuing traditional ‘male jobs’, and vice versa; this in turn would lead to a balance of males and females in the workplace and less stigma surrounding what jobs are best-suited for each gender.

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