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PNSQC Thoughts On Losing “Women Who CODE”

Philip Lew

On April 18th, Women Who CODE announced that they were closing, even though they hadn’t accomplished their mission. The primary reason cited by WWC is the lack of funding. The technical market is tight right now and the first thing that tends to go is “the frivolous stuff”. We are terribly disappointed that our industry believes that “Empowering diverse women to excel in technology careers” is considered a frivolous endeavor.

Women still make up far less than half of the technical workforce even though we are roughly 50% of the population of the planet. If you’re curious about the actual numbers, this article goes into the issue in depth..

The upshot is that, by the end of 2023 women held 35% of the tech jobs in the US. I know that’s a better number than it’s been in years past, but it is still not good enough. The bad news is that female enrollment is STEM classes is dropping – women only received 18% of new computer science degrees. The worst news is that the number is even lower amongst Black and Hispanic women – 6.3%.

Technology careers are some of the highest-paying opportunities available for anyone. They tend to have good benefits and the market is continually expanding as technology is integrated into more aspects of our daily life. The industry waxes and wanes with world trends, but Tech is a solid space where growth is inevitable. (Deloitte: 2024 technology industry outlook PDF)

Women deserve to be a part of that growth and to receive our piece of the pie. We work just as hard, are as intellectually capable, and just as motivated (if not more so) than our male counterparts. Not only do we deserve it, but we’ve earned it. We’ve paid our dues and have had to withstand more than our fair share of “brogrammer culture” and insulting encounters than most men.

Moving forward, I am hopeful that other organizations, such as Women in Technology (WIT) will step in to fill in the gap left by the loss of WWC. For our part, PNSQC is focusing hard on building a community where women feel safe to speak up, provide their opinions, and know that they will be taken seriously. We’ve formed an Outreach Committee whose mission is to accomplish this not just for women, but for all under-represented groups including but not limited to LGBTQ+, People of Color, and young people.

PNSQC values your ideas and viewpoints, regardless of who you know (or don't), who you are, or how you identify. We want you to feel welcome and have prioritized creating an inclusive space where everyone feels supported, encouraged, and elevated. To our female friends: If you are a Woman Who Codes, a Woman Who Tests, or a Woman with Opinions on Quality, you are welcome in our Community.