Yesterday, I got the following comment on my post about Etsy Women Hacker Grants from one woman who stopped switched from engineering in college:
“I am a woman and switched majors out of engineering because I had constant reminders that I was “the girl” in the program, and didn’t get the support to make it worth staying. The guys who volunteered to study with me or be a lab partner were all in it for a date – it was really hard to be taken seriously. The only girl who remained in my class was one whose study partner was her boyfriend 2 years ahead in the program. A program specifically for women, where we could get the foundations in a nurturing environment before being tossed in with the wolves to fight, would be a much better spend by Etsy or anyone else.”
Unfortunately, the treatment of women in tech does not get much better after college. I know I’ve gone to meetups and other tech events where I would be having a great conversation with a guy until he figured out I wasn’t interested in dating, and would just walk away. I have friends who’ve had similar experiences. The “brogrammer” culture does not help.