Friday, April 22, 2005

Women in Technology - Flower Power didn't Work.

"Women in Technology" is an IBM endeavour that takes women who work in IT into the schools to encourage grade nine girls to take math and science. Although more women are going to university than men, young women aren’t studying math and science. As a matter of fact, their numbers in these subject are dwindling.

Yesterday, I attended a training session in preparation for a May 4 "Women in Technology" event where 400 girls from various schools across Manitoba swoop down into the University of Winnipeg, where 50 facilitators, myself included, will help the girls design a web site.

I looked around the room at the other facilitators attending the training session. I suspect I was the oldest one there. Most of the women had the title "manager of something or other." Although I’m an analyst, not a manager, I’m well aware of the probability that I make, in the neighbourhood of, $10,000 a year more than most of the women who were in the room.

I suspect there is a current business trend where the title manager is handed out very liberally to lure people into positions where they will work sixty hours a week for not much money.

This brings me to a topic of interest. Third age people, regardless of gender, are making a lot more money than the younger people chomping at their heels, and it’s unlikely that these younger people will ever see the kind of money third-agers earn. Take this fact and combine it with the fact that women’s salaries aren’t budging when it comes to pay equity, and we’re in deep trouble.

This concerns me. Why isn’t there more concern over the erosion of the middle class? Why isn’t there more concern over the lack of pay equity? Perhaps it’s because, as always, most of us is so wrapped up living our daily lives we can’t see the forest for the trees. Besides, we feel powerless to do anything about the state of the world.

I just realized I speaking from a liberal 1960's perspective. Power to the people. Make love not war. All we need is love. Flower power. Stick a daisy in that gun.

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