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It's wrong to offer up the idea that women somehow are biologically averse to tech. You need only look outside the US to verify this: Malaysia's tech sector is almost evenly split between men and women.

It's a cultural thing, which we're loth to admit. We look around and say, "We treat women the same around here", not thinking for a second that maybe that's the problem.

I run the Hackbright Academy, a hacker school for women, and I ask all applicants what compels them to apply to our program. Invariably, part of every story is the idea that they were intimidated out of the field in college or high school by their male peers. Whether or not that's the grand reason for the disparity, it's still something that shouldn't be a reason at all.

Malaysia may not constitute good evidence for it being a cultural thing. Reason: a young male social outcast in Malaysia can't teach himself computer programming the way a young male social outcast in the United States can. So all programmers are college taught, which results in an even gender split. Whereas in the US, male geeks get a head start as kids and intimidate women in college with their accumulated skills.


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