As I've written about before, the number of women (and their percentage) receiving degrees in computer science and related information technology (IT) fields has greatly declined over the last 20 years. And, as I've opined, one good reason for this is the nature of the IT workplace, well summarized by the following quote from the Tech Republic article linked from the title above:
In many ways, IT is unfriendly [to women] because of the nature of the job. IT is a 24/7 job. Achieving any significant position in IT often means putting your career before many other aspects of your life. You will find yourself putting in 70- or 80-hour weeks, becoming deeply committed to both the short-term and long-term needs of your career, and this will result in the loss of time spent with family or in personal activities.While there are certainly many other factors involved, simply put: women are less accepting of sacrificing their lives on the altar of their company's bottom line. One way to look at this is that, traditionally, this has been expected of men and so men are acculturated to it. Or maybe women just have more sensible priorities. In any event, as an educator in this field, and given these characteristics of the field, I'm not surprised that enrollment craters whenever the job market begins to look even a bit bad.
When asked in a recent survey if their IT jobs were meeting expectations, 52 percent of women said they worked more hours than expected. The same survey stated that 40 percent of the men felt the same way. It is hard work, and most people, especially those who want to participate in a significant family life, are not willing to make the sacrifice.