I was going through my delicious links today, and I was remembering what I was doing and what I was thinking when I posted a particular link.
For instance, HOWTO Encourage Women in Linux reminded me when I was just starting out in Linux and kind of intimidated. I got some of the “OMG, you’re a girl” comments in IRC (not the linuxchix or ubuntu-women rooms). It bothered me a little bit at the time, but now I’m “over it”. I try to laugh it off usually, and explain why I run linux. Granted, I shouldn’t have to explain anything about what operating system I choose, but I give honest answers to people who ask.
Now, I don’t mind people inquiring why I use Ubuntu. If it’s an honest question (What do you prefer about Linux as opposed to Windows? Why did you pick Ubuntu over Vista? What is your favorite thing about Linux or Ubuntu?) I don’t mind answering. What I don’t like are questions that imply that I’m not capable of installing and maintaining my own operating system (Linux, Windows, whatever). I’ve gotten very little of that from the Ubuntu boards and IRC channels. I consider myself lucky.
Continuing on in this vein, I came across Achieving Gender Equity in Science Classrooms from the Women in Computing Keyword List (following links from the HOWTO above) and going down to “Teacher Influence”. This article is very interesting, particularly this bit, under “Provide Diverse Role Models”:
“Female faculty: Ultimately, the best solution is to hire — and retain — female faculty who can serve as role models. Women faculty members who have families can also choose to share their stories about balancing work and family. “The faculty are very important in creating an environment that is supportive of women students” (Finholt 1990). According to the National Resource Council, “the presence of women faculty at all ranks” would be a “a signal to women students that they will be respected and treated fairly”(NRC 1991).”
In my schooling at Kettering, I found a couple of female faculty that allowed me to talk to them. Granted, there were male faculty that I could talk to, but I felt encouraged by my female professors.
I just found these articles quite interesting. I wonder if other female students would go into science/technology/computers if there were more encouragement and cooperation in those disciplines.