An Open Letter from a Male Project Manager to Women in IT.

This letter was originally intercepted by undercover agents employed by the Pointy Haired IT Manager Committee For The Maintenance Of Status Quo and destroyed before it could be made public. But they left a proverbial copy at the printer. And in this post, I present that to you.

The author of this letter is a long time IT project manager and is said to have been fired for his job for suddenly contracting a Jim-Carrey-in-Liar-Liar-type disease.

Hello IT Leddies,

I must first introduce myself. I have been in IT for 8 years now. Why, you ask?

Reason #1

itpayeffort.jpg

Reason #2

itskills.jpg

That’s why.

But this letter is about something else. This is a Thank-you letter. In gratitude to all of you. As a Project Manager, I owe a large part of my career growth to all of you. One might even say that it came at your cost. I am indebted to you for letting me get away with a very subtle, hard-to-detect and practically ineradicable form of male chauvinism despite working in an industry that pats itself on the back for being more women-friendly than any other industry.

On an average, IT firms in India tend to have between 30-40% women on their rolls. So cumulatively, you are a pretty large group. But if we just take a count of the number of women who are Vice-presidents and above, it’s a ridiculously small number. So even if I was not a visiting professor at the Maximegalion Institute of Slowly and Painfully Working Out the Surprisingly Obvious (MISPWOSO), one of you could still look at these figures and say “Hey. C Here. Something is rotten in the state of Java”. But you don’t. He he.

Managing IT projects is hard enough, but not without these “guidelines” to “effectively” manage projects to make my life “easier”. These have been handed down to me by IT managers of previous generations.

  • If you are a girl, you can be put in testing or quality assurance. Guys will generally decline or threaten to quit if offered these positions. So when you need to find 100 people (by the proverbial EOD) to do testing, QA, DB administration and configuration management (all considered by guys to be dead-end jobs), it is so easy to sweet talk you into “how strategically important this is for (company)”, herd you in, and start the billing. Ka-Ching.
  • If you are girl over 25 years old and single, I can coolly consider you a risk from a resource planning perspective because you could get hitched any time, and marriage usually tends to involve one of
  • Resignation, because your in-laws don’t like working girls.
    • You are likely to decline abroad opportunities because hey, chances are, your husband is not going to quit his job to join you.
    • You are likely to become pregnant any time and therefore a potential 3 month billing-loss candidate as far as I am concerned.If your would-be works in another city, chances are, you will demand a transfer, and HR departments in IT companies hate transfers because their promotions and bonuses depend entirely on preventing them.

      So I thank you for letting me simplify planning by letting me apply the rule – “Girls over 25 and single, keep them offshore in non-critical positions, preferably in QA, testing, DB/Server admin and configuration management”. My brain works much better when I don’t have to consider too many parameters. And I have you to thank for that.

      Promotions are difficult things to handle, but you make that easy for me as well.

      • I hardly ever need to worry about offering you “Architect” positions, because
      • My boys club mates tell me that drawing boxes in powerpoint slides and writing a bunch of lies in concise bullet points is not something girls can do well. Everybody in my peer Project Managers’ group tells me that men are better and more convincing liars and can coolly and calmly justify wrong decisions, something an architect needs to do all the time.
      • In any case, you need to be about 28 or so before you become an architect, by which time, you are probably married and have kids and cannot make 1-month trips abroad or stay back in office till 1 am in the night, and therefore even if you are perfectly capable of being smart and productive in the 8 hours you work in a day, I don’t need to promote you. I thank you for letting me encourage a culture of “Work more, not work smart”. It’s simpler you know. Promote anybody who sends me emails at 1 am in the night.
      • Guys demand and fight for higher performance ratings and promotions like a pack of hyenas over a deer carcass. You generally do not. Therefore it saves me half the trouble. I take most of your promotions and hand them out to guys who couldn’t print “hello world” even with pencil and paper. I thank you for helping me meet my performance curve targets by allowing me to ignore most of you.
      • It is sooo easy to do performance appraisals for you girls ya. All I need to do is whip out my standard “You need to involve yourself in more value-adding activities outside of your project work” and give you a lesser rating than I would give the trained male chimps who code in my project. When I was young, I used to get psyched by all your crying and stuff. But with experience I have now learned that crying at performance review meetings is, in fact, a sign that you have accepted what has been conferred. So I thank for you for the clear and precise signal. Men are so tricky, you know. At performance review meetings, it’s hard for me to make out if they are planning to kill puppies post-meeting or strangle my neck, or both.
      • Your chances of becoming a project leader entirely hinge on how the men in your group will receive your promotion. If there are male peers in your group, you stand no chance, unless there are an equal number of opportunities. Promoting a girl when an (albeit less qualified) male peer is available could cause the guy to threaten to resign and therefore why risk that, eh? It keeps my HR manager happy when the men in my team are happy with their performance ratings and promotions. I thank you for letting me consider your promotion only when the men in your group are substantially younger to you.

      Well. In short, I thank you for enabling the subtlety of this whole thing. Those of you who do grow in your careers, don’t think this is a problem, and the vast majority of you who don’t grow, also don’t have a problem, because you take the whole marriage-first-career-later thing in your stride. Good for you. And for me. He he. So in short, nobody will actually admit that there is a problem. It’s a perfect wedding between the established social system of male-centricity and professional project/career planning convenience, something that is likely to keep a lot of you out of Vice-president posts for years to come.

      I am so lucky that none of you come and ask me why I make the resourcing and planning decisions I make. Because, you know, you can put me in a spot. You can refuse dead-end positions if you wish to. IT today has a serious manpower supply problem, and yet, you make it so easy by being, what Maami brilliantly categorizes as an ACPP (Ae Chi Paavam Pa). Every IT manager dreams about team members who are complete push overs. And most of you IT girls are ACPPs. You can’t get fired for being troublesome. Hell, you just can’t get fired nowadays. Companies are fighting hard to retain staff, and yet, you girls silently accept what you are given. Such a comfort for me ya.

      The top companies in India have unholy profit margins. And you ACPPs help in a big way. I can get away with taking most of your promotions and appraisal ratings and passing a part of them to the men. So the balance? That’s the grin you see on every shareholder’s face.

      Thank you.

      ps: Thank you very much

      pps: Thank you so very much.

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      83 replies

      1. Yay. First comment. Well written article. Society insists that women be mothers first. This problem exists all over the world, right?

      2. At the end of the article, I was wonderin if this article depicts the pinnacle of male chauvinism :) …not that I am complainin ;)

        The first two graphs were brilliant though! Rest just follows! :)

      3. Good one! has convinced me that you are a really good Architect :-)

        Keep it rolling!

      4. Very nice one….wondering what drove u to expose this undercover-to-be-over-protected letter!!!

      5. Sabash biddo.
        But what happens, God forbid, if IT Lahdy is smart and pushy as the next man? The knives are out man and it gets real nasty for her.
        (Why she not married ya?)
        (Frustrated b**** man)
        (Sleeps her way to promotions)
        (Smiles and bullshits her way through work)
        Sharon Stone will surely get her knickers in a twist over this one in Bharat.

      6. Maami,
        Very possible, but in most IT cos, one can get fired for talking like that because they are conscious of keeping up an image of being women-friendly. That’s why I seriously think that troublemaking is worth it. IT managers have it way too easy when it comes to dealing with people. No labour unions. No strikes. And a highly compliant 30% of the workforce.

      7. Very well said Ashok. I guess we should at least be able to laugh at the injustice.

      8. Was reading writer Sujatha’s memoirs and his experience at BEL as a manager..especially the women who would cry at the drop of a topi and jump wildly to conclusions or the harridan battle-axes with proto feminist agendas.

        He writes funnily, but this is a battle waiting to be fought in the IT sector.

      9. kudos for pointing out some unpleasant stuff…and in such a hilarious manner…though ofcourse what you’re really saying isn’t funny at all :(

        what does thoppai mama mean by “harridan battle axes with proto feminist agendas” btw? those who refuse to be ACPPs?

      10. Perfectly portrayed Ashok!!!

        “It’s a perfect wedding between the established social system of male-centricity and professional project/career planning convenience,”

        Excellent and very true..

        PS: I’ve been reading ur posts for some months now and they are all cool and make that day for me

      11. And you’ve just won yourself an admirer! It is heartening to know that there are men who think about such things instead of shuffling their feet and calling us names.

      12. Great post KA,
        Very informative (at least for a non-IT guy).
        I used to wonder about the gender imbalance in the upper echelons of the IT industry.
        ‘Nice’ to know that you guys are at least maintaining an outward charade of woman-friendliness.
        I wonder if the good pay in your industry for even the women in lower echelons helps to maintain the charade. The affected women, even if they were aware of being discriminated against, might just be accepting the status quo because
        1) it is the same all over the IT industry and
        2) the conditions are much worse with poorer pay in other industries.
        All they have to do is compare themselves with other areas where there are a lot of women like government jobs (especially the postal & banking sectors) and of course health care.
        Thanks for using your jalsa skills for making an entertaining read out of an unpleasant truth.
        As an independent consultant (I’m guessing here, but that is what I gathered from some of your posts) you have the freedom to express such liberal views and you’ve used that well.
        Suber thalaiva.

      13. Very well written. I fear some “Dharna” outside your home :)

      14. Tell you what male chauvinism has become a part of Indian professional attitude so much so that their counterpart had been kind of comfortably settled in their a slightly diffused role…but thanks (so much) to stereotype-braking IT industry where Indian IT males get to mingle jingle with females and “westerners” in “professional” roles more so often, that it has left them confused!…this muddle is what stands out in your post, if I have put it rightly. But as old stereotypes break, new pigeonholes sprout up – like the enclosing age circle rings in worn tree trunks…viz. our new perception of female roles in IT, And can we do much to stop them?

        By the way which larger part of IT industry you represent and where ? Am keen to know :)

        +Ashish.

      15. Though it might seem chauvinistic, most women do prefer offshore positions. This may be attributed to marriage/kids and also because the number of female geeks is far less when compared to guys.

        Even in grad school I might have met one or two female geeks/code-gurus as opposed to the ten-fifteen guys I’ve found.

        I wouldn’t go over board and state that women are allergic to code, but then they surely aren’t fascinated by braces and semicolons.

        This urges them to accept admin, QA, SAS positions in contrast to J2EE, RIA and other vibrant technologies. From previous experience, I personally am apprehensive of female programmers though I know a few who kick ass.

        My mental image of women in IT has always been that of a blonde bombshell using a CD as a mirror to do her mascara…
        sorry ladies, but personal experience warrants such a chauvinistic stand…

      16. Wonderful post. Unfortunately, this happens not only in IT, and not only in India/ Indian companies. Happens all the time in the US.

        Speaking up helps, but only so much. You can bash your head against it if it’s a glass ceiling, you will hurt yourself but at least the glass will break. What if it’s a brick wall? :(

      17. Plausible kathai but I always thought Management left papers on printer for the Java democracy to read and mislead itself i.e., as some kind of disinformation.

        Anyway, PM’s open letter to women TM’s reminds me of Narayanamoorthy’s exhortation to the film industry to get third party certification if they wanted to get to the next level etc.. The audience featured Bipasha Basu in the front row listening intently, with legs demurely crossed, and an unfathomable expression on her face that reminded me of Nandini (of Ponniyin Selvan fame) looking at Pazhuvettaraiyar with a look that had (according to the author) kama-krodha-lobha-moha-mada-matsarya all crossing her face one after the other, like a series of Powerpoint transition. She was probably thinking of the certification audit.

        Re Thoppai Mama’s note about Sujatha. T Mama should know that Sujata did not do a ball of work while at BEL. He was always at namm’ Inishtitoottu (ostensibly to use the Inishtitoot Library for which BEL ran regular bus service) but actually to go to the Lending Library on Sampige Road to borrow Odessa File and assorted other bestsellers for ‘inspiration’. Before returning to Jalahalli, of course he stopped at the Mess for ootta. Such was the ootta that he could only have slept off the rest of the day. And I’ve seen him eat. So this story about women co-workers crying must be a work of pure fiction.

      18. Very interesting article. came across your website through desipundit.

        Thanks,

        Vasu

      19. Srinivasa and Apu,

        re Sujatha, I can only go by what he wrote in his memoirs (I loosely call it that, it is more a collection of essays).

        My impression is he was not being judgmental-just factual about his impression of the female engineers he worked with at BEL. At no point does he come across as biased-if anything, he seems to say they rarely argue on the merits of the case, but cloud the discussion with tears, wild leaps of logic or offence-is-defence tactics.

        Nevertheless, bringing it back to KA’s post, ellaame jalra goshti-aa irukkeLe, Maxdavinci thavira.

        Why don’t we analyse what the women themselves do to contribute to this state of affairs?

        Women in my opinion tend to be pragmatic realists above all else. It is more the men who tend to go into unrealistic pursuits (There, I’ve alienated both genders in one fell swoop).

        Once in a career, women are more likely to factor in long term considerations like family, kids, childcare and the like, negating their individual aspirations. Thus they will make safe choices that don’t remove them from the family core.

        Discuss.

      20. not being judgmental-just factual about his impression of the female engineers

        Right.

        Has anybody else noticed how when it comes from men, it is always factual and never judgmental?

        Once in a career, women are more likely to factor in long term considerations like family, kids, childcare and the like, negating their individual aspirations.

        And somehow the way all work lives are organised, without adequate child care, etc, is not a male problem. After all, they had nothing (much) to do with the production of children, no?

        Great post, Krish. First time on your blog.

      21. Thanks for this. It made me angry but is so true. I’ve not gotten over my surprise of how women always hold on to the chains that bind them. The older I become, the more conditioned I get to behave in the same way. :(

      22. Melbourne maama, you’ve answered your own question. It is not the man’s bother to keep close to the family core. He’s the family head who brings home the pay cheque and will turn his nose up if the sambar is sour.
        It is the woman’s responsibility to take care of home, children, your lunchbox, worry about your rising sugar levels and your mother’s, never yours.So despite equal opportunities even abroad how many NRI women suffer with no domestic help and hold a job and run between the day care and home and still will tell the slob “sorry” teary eyes and all for offering only takeaway tonight?Silly tears and guilt is in our responsibility; shirking your habit.

        “Women are pragmatic realists”. That’s because we are willy nilly made to learn the art of negotiation- of family, children, husband and job, with little support or encouragement from men. How many of you changed diapers more than 100 times even though you worked and your wives didn’t ? A 100 out of the 100000 young dads?How many davincis are ready to make evening meals despite both spouses working? Do you remember why your working mom’s faces looked more worn by the end of the day than your dads?
        Sujatha, Cho and other stalwarts have repeatedly said a woman’s place is at home, hearth and bed. They have publicly denounced feminists and approved of women who do not question of the male order of things.

        We are denigrated for weeping, being submissive at work and playing safe to maintain larger equilbirium; and routed if we show some pluck at work. Even if the dice is loaded against us, fault is of our making.

        Wow, thanks man. Do you have a little daughter?

      23. i hear you are looking for someone to remove drishti.

        remove cooling glace and squint right eye. i will do virtual drishti removing. i do it all the time for the indian kirket team. it works. mostly.

      24. Hilarious!

        BTW, saw someone exactly like you in a DEL-BGL Kingfisher flight yesterday morning…even asked him if his name was Krish Ashok! He was actually behaving more like Jammy of OuchMyToe.com while looking like you…what with all that vazhinjufying over the KF airhostesses – a recurrent theme at most of Jammy’s posts!

        But, he wasn’t you…at least thats what he told me, mildly amused!

      25. Hey there,

        It’s heartening to see that you came up with such a brilliant follow up post to the whole TamilNadu Posters and Politicians thing.

        Shows all us readers that there is more to you than just mundane humor and insanely funny BS. Although it is the BS that keeps us coming back to the blog, it at least makes us feel a little less guilty about coming back again and again.

        As far as the whole gender discrimination thingie goes, I’ve asked my secretary, Nancy to type out a wonderful comment praising you wholesomely for the sheer mind-boggling clarity of thought and insanely wonderful usage of punctuations in the post.

        Hey Nancy, where is that damn post?

        Signed,
        IT Manager

      26. Brilliant…hit the nail right on the head :)

      27. Let’s face it, if we wanted the status quo to persist, most of us men could have sat back quietly and been part of the silent majority.

        Let’s go back to the crux of my original comment which was;

        Why don’t we analyse what the women themselves do to contribute to this state of affairs?

        Or if that is too touchy a subject for us cave dweller men to participate in, maybe just the ladies may want to discuss it.

        P.S
        Some of the responses made me think why men steer clear of the debate on feminist issues.

        1) First, they can expect to be howled down by aggressive chip-on-the-shoulder (do I dare use the f word) feminists whose position is “My way or the Long Island Expressway”

        2) Women are just too angry right now. The bell curve is still being drawn. Maybe we need to wait ~25 years or so. (meanwhile let’s continue to keep them down)

        3) Third, men are confused about what women really want and what constitutes appropriate behaviour.

        PPS: And please, no out of context barbs.

      28. Brilliant writing. How true! There is a silver lining to it though..

        Ok, my hubby gets three times what I get for doing the same job but we are both laughing all the way to the bank! I do convince him from time to time that he deserved all that he earned, so that we can take our annual vacation to one of those great places, or I can quit my job everytime I got bored of getting up at the same time every day.
        So, best is not to grudge the poor men their salaries but just take control of their bank accounts..

      29. KA, interesting. You are absolutely right about this happening to women in the IT industry. Where the problem lies, is debatable. I have been working with the same company that I started with after college. Among other reasons, one main reason for sticking on, is the flexibility they provide when I insist on ‘Family before Career’. May be I can make 30% more, if I moved elsewhere, but I am wary of foregoing the flexibility I have gotten used to and need.
        Husbands these days are very accomodating of the wife’s career, but let’s face it, no husband is going to quit his higher paying job, to relocate because of the wife’s job. No husband is going to be prepared to quit his job and take care of a new born baby at home. So gender inequality exists not only at work, but at home, in society, in all cultures and in the way God made us differently.
        Maami.. “So despite equal opportunities even abroad how many NRI women suffer with no domestic help and hold a job and run between the day care and home and still will tell the slob “sorry” teary eyes and all for offering only takeaway tonight” – you’re absolutely right.

      30. interesting read for me….never thought such is the situation in the IT industry…. since i am not in that one and out of country for some time to have come across women in IT industry and listen to their experiences….

        But in science also there are young upcoming researchers(group leaders) whose motto to deal with their group members is `work more without questioning` and since once´s career in science depends on the kind of reference letters that we get from our previous bosses……it is generally considered not wise to fight with them….

        Yeap……managing career and family, that´s where it takes the toll…..

      31. @maami: I was jus’t being sarcastic and I apologize if my comment seemed otherwise.

        On a more serious note, I cook better than all my female frnds!

      32. lol. I had a hearty spectator laugh, coz am a woman and am in IT, but definitely not in the IT industry! hehe, thinks work differently elsewhere.

        Nice :)

      33. Max: Good chuck.

        If I’m “angry, feminist and aggressive and have a chip on my shoulder” the height of the qutub minar because I find it shallow that privileged women (IT and elsewhere), who have it best both ways, chortle at their personal goodluck, unmindful of sisters who have it difficult; and am unable to be supplicant about smug men in sharp suits saying, “putting family first and your career second leads to digging your own work graves, so why whine?” so be it. It’s agreeable whilst we remain ACPP and you can patronise us and we are grateful if you commisorate with our predicament. Such callow wisdom is undisputable. I rest my case here.

      34. Maami: Three cheers for you. And for 10yearswhat’shisface, this.

      35. Good One.. I agree with Reason#2

      36. Ok. There is no doubt that there’s a long way to go, and I had no idea that this post would initiate a heated discussion on gender issues.

        My very specific reason for writing this is precisely what Maami alludes to in her last comment – Here is an industry where you have the opportunity to reduce (not eradicate) gender bias simply because of

        1. Sheer numbers of women in this industry

        2. If women decide to make trouble for their appraisers and managers, they cannot deal with this in the traditional suppressive way . They cannot afford to snub women because finding another job is ridiculously easy.

        And it was my personal opinion that women in IT Of course, it’s not easy. Men can be nasty, but the if there is an industry that has the chance to moderately attempt to change the status quo, it is IT in India.

      37. Scathing. Brilliant. Spot on.
        Those effort and skill graphs were priceless…

      38. I don’t think you can have gender bias for too long. 20 years ago, women in IT were like 1-3% – that kind of explains why there are so few women in IT Management today. But 10 years from now, there will be a whole lot more, including as CEO’s, so this IT Project Manager will just have to take a hike.

        In another discussion some 5 years ago, I had advanced this thesis that women tend to be distinctly better at the software profession. And that men are actually positively bad. Of course, I was speaking statistically. For my trouble, I still have to look over my shoulder whenever I cross the street in front of the Indian stores in US suburbia. As recently as last week, I got socked by a Mama when I was reaching out for ‘Om Shuntee Om’ dvd in a Patel Store. My crime – I called men liars :)

        Here’s the URL:

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/agathiyar/message/22522

      39. A wake up call for women in Indian IT industry.
        tring..Tring..TRing…TRIng…TRIN..TRING…

      40. A wake up call for women in Indian IT industry.
        tring..Tring..TRing…TRIng…TRINg..TRING…

      41. Excellent post, Krish!

        As a woman in IT, I completely agree with everything you’ve said in your post. Personally, I find that social isolation (albeit very subtle in its manifestations) also prevents women from getting ahead. In most teams that I’ve worked with in the last few years I’ve noticed these large impenetrable male cliques. For every 10 DM level men hanging out together at chai/smoke breaks, there’s one woman manager having curd rice at her desk. No prizes for guessing who taps into the all-important grapevine. The head start that comes from seizing new opportunities, keeping tabs on office politics and finding strategies to get ahead are simply not accessible. Not to demonize anyone here, but C’est la vie.

      42. Spot on man.. My ex gf used to tell me a lot of stories of her workplace, of how the company kept on screwing female workers out of hikes and good assignments year after year. She then put resume on jobnet, got a humungous offer and then browbeat her boss into paying her more. Amazing lady..

      43. bleedy chauvinists! it is so heart rendering to meet one of the species though! genius to use an alibi cover as the letters source though;)

      44. what you have written is absolutely true but who the hell cares when you are getting a heavy pay package!!thats wt matters doesnt it

      45. Almost shocking to hear empathy from a male. May your tribe increase and actually do something about the state of affairs.
        Good post. Deserves to be pinned in bulletin boards of every company – IT or not.

      46. Spot on. As a woman who spent 7 miserable years in an offshore onsite IT company ( and marginally worse years in non IT companies in India before that !) ,you capture the issues so well.

        I completely agree with Nitya about the social isolation one feels . I used to smoke and that was like a double -edged sword- taking smoking breaks helped me bond but I got a lot of shit from HR and colleagues about my ‘unwomanly ‘behavior –

        Great blog!

      47. Well,I wondered why QA,DB ,configuration management sounded familiar to me. I saw your linked -in profile and realised why ;-).

        Well I belonged to the category of above 25 marrried ,asked for transfer and got one and at offshore since then and now entered second phase as well and my promotion is due in May. What do you think wil happen to me :-).? By the way I cam accross your blog via desipundit and must tell you that the blogs are so funny yet so real.

      48. Hilarious. The Reasons were funny too.

        I fwded this link to my PM :D

      49. Good one! I once had a manager who would do reviews only at 10pm in the night and we had to stay with him to do the rework. The guys stayed back without a murmur (no safety worries. advanced asskissing skills). I raised a mighty stink about it and was told, I am not a “good team player” and I am a “troublemaker” … It broke my heart and I quit for a better paying job :(( … I guess not all women are the ACPP type, but it is the majority, sad but true :( … And not just women, men too, are so very afraid of their bosses, and promotion and opportunity and blah blah… Its rather frightening to watch – the zombie generation… Awesome post :D!!

      50. I am a woman Exec, and have chosen not to do the children thing to further my career. Nothing has stood in my way.

        I don’t understand the problem though: statistically my gender is much, much more likely to take time off either short term or long term due to childbirth. When evaluating two candidates, even if the woman is the better candidate, it counts against her if she is planning on having children in the next five years. Vastly so. I would not let a man on my team take indeterminate amounts of time off for any reason – so why should we give the same to women?

        Just because it’s not “PC” to say it, doesn’t make it wrong. Business is about mitigating risks. Women are a risk if they are planning on having children.

        Is that sexist? no, its pragmatic. If a man said he was going to CHOOSE to vacation at some point for an indeterminate amount of time, you wouldn’t hire him would you?

        I know it’s not the same, but when it comes down to it, childbirth is a CHOICE and you need to be upfront with your employer.

      51. Usually I give a very cool, rational answer to ignorant messages like that. Unfortunately, due to your obvious ignorance and lack of education I can say only this withouit risking some irrelevent straw man diatribe.

        This article makes me want to punch you in the face. I bust my fucking ass, choose NOT to have a family, am SINGLE, work 24 hours a day to prove idiots like you wrong.

        The only solace I can take in this is the fact that I know 100% you will never wake up next to someone as quaility as me. Why? Because we’re too tired out working men like you.

        Ashok: Ahem. I presume you are dissing the hypothetical guy who wrote the letter, and not the real person who invented the obviously unlikeable IT manager who wrote the letter. And I would agree with you that the IT manager I invented is not likely to wake up next to someone quality.
        On the other hand, if you are dissing me, then either you didn’t read the post entirely and at least missed the crucial first paragraph

      52. Can you imagine if we let “Muniamma” into IT. “Keesiduva Keesi”

        ppps: Saroja Saman Nikalo!

        Sorry for a vetti comment in your old post, my wife pointed me to this article and it opened my eyes so wide that it popped out.

        It is reality and I always wondered what the solution is. Perhaps men will evolve to carry children and become house husbands in the far future and Maami will write this article for poor men in the future.

        pppps: Yes this means Maami is Immortal!

      53. hey.. i’m thinking the companies’ major concern is to maximise profits sustainably and to do this i think they wouldn’t really mind choosing women for top positions if that were the end result.. i think most women are actually happy with this equilibrium themselves.. a lot of women do not stay with their companies after marriage.. at least around 10 cousins of mine have left their companies after marriage.. so there is actually a lot of sense in those arguments.. however, i do think that women who are really focussed on their careers deserve greater opportunities at least going by what you say.. if you are intent on moving ahead, then ideally your gender shouldn’t come into the picture.. but i don’t think it is a good idea to stop this kind of discrimination entirely because the net result will be not-so-focussed people sitting at the top.. going only by mom and her colleagues (architects), i know that they are more focussed on what happens at home.. giving such people high-priority work will surely result in decreasing quality of output..

      54. All of you dumb blokes, just take a look at yourselves before you rant about women. All those of you who support Krish Ahok’s point of view are a bunch of stinking male chauvinist pigs (from Buckingham canal). Grow up guys! Step out of Mylapore and Luz Church Road. There is a whole world out there …

      55. “…trained male chimps who code in my project…” liked the expression very much

        @silappadikaaram ……..hmmmm wonder is ibm’s site is ur personal page..
        :)

      56. Check this out….I am female…and I thank the Author of this article…Gives me soo many amos now….to get the G.. out…It’s soo out PM’s

      57. vuttufying: explain this term
        Present continuous form of the Madras Tamil verb “Vudradhu” which refers to a forceful form of “doing”. It usually attaches itself to other nouns such as 1) Peter 2) Reel etc. So Peter-vuttufying refers to bombastic exaggeration and Reel-sutthufying refers to lying.

      58. I think that results on http://bnetsearch.com/ it is better than on other web search engines. And what you think of it?

      59. @maxdavinci : we cant generalize from just one sample. My experience has been very different . in one of my projects, 3 of the best 6 programmers, as well as 2 of the worst 5 , were ladies. Ladies face other issues too. Its very risky for them to commute late at night.
        Ladies also take very few snack and smoking breaks.
        Most IT bosses assess ppl on how late they leave . now, not all those who work late are dumb. bot lots of incompetent non-performers zoom up in their career, by warming their seats and consuming coffe, snacks, and electricty till early morning.

      60. :) good one.. close to the reality in some areas.. but definitely not an entertaining one for the ladies.. :) i liked the graphs again..

        • So close to home it hurts. I see this everyday, ladies, working harder and later than their peers. The guys have become leads already, simply cos they have tea with the managers. The work allocation happens unofficially and the girls are now reporting to their peers and get appraised by them. Nowadays, recession has become the official excuse to tell ladies openly in official meetings, you will be refused billing if you request leave for marriage or pregnancy. The managers are so confident they will not face any questions!!

      61. I hate the dimwit IT project manager class and I hate you even more Ashok Krish for writing about the realities that I choose to ignore, for rubbiing salt on wounds and for telling me how pathetic I must be to accept these morons as bosses!!!!

      62. Brilliant, as usual. I thought this was hilarious!

      63. Glad I finally got to read this!

        And how true.. having been subject few of the things given here , I figured out taking it by lying down would get women no where. That was when I figured out that we women also can fight like a pack of hyenas for that promotion along with men, even if men swear at us beneath their breaths! But now thankfully, the place I work for has a separate WOmen in IT division.. and is highly supportive of women growing up the ladder!

      64. fanfare: What krishashok doesn’t realize is that women have argued for promotions, better pay, respect, technical lead positions etc., and they were either fired or the manager so emotionally traumatized them for speaking up that they had to to leave the job.

      65. hey…after reading that vellaikari’s comment on ur post..a thought..may be you should come out with a hypothetical hilarious post on miscommunication between us and the vellaikarans!!

      66. I’m glad if not in our life and career, we can atleast make ppl like u breathe easy in the hyena hounded environment. Inlaws and kids anyway can never be pleased anyday, no matter what you give up or what you do.

        By the way, loved your write up.Atleast got me smiling at the still sorry situation. It does provoke a lot of thought as to ” I can fight back”, and the fact remains that I won’t :)

      67. Stumbled upon this really old blog post, when I was looking for something else. Do such hypothetical managers, a.k.a. jerks do exist in real life?

        I managed projects of extreme complexity. Before “opting to become a manager”, I did a lot of super complex software development as a Ph.D. scholar, Linux Kernel developer and in the team that developed a search engine that all or at least most of you use now. As a woman, I never felt inferior to any of the men that I work with in terms of my intelligence. I was always able to get ratings and respect for the kind of job I did. My managers never treated me any lesser or greater than how they would treat an equally smart man. But I do not know about the area above mid-level management, since I have not been there yet.

        @Srinivas,
        I read the link that you posted. Thanks for writing up that wonderful article as a counter to that NY Times article. But you talk more about managing software project, while the NY Times article is about programming and aptitude at computer science. I always think men and women can be equally smart and can do math equally well, which is the basis to be good at computer science. The ability to visualize and program complex theories depends on the individuals and not on how many X-type chromosomes that they have. You do not need to glorify us by calling that we are “distinctly better software people”.

      68. Wow! I didn’t realize this was an old post but the scene hasn’t changed much has it? As a woman software engineer in the industry for the last 13 yrs, I can relate to a lot of this. I am already in mid management and see some trends in my teams too. Like someone else pointed out, getting married and having kids is a choice and from a company’s perspective, it is a liability. And I don’t think it’s the company’s fault (or the manager’s for that matter). Hypothetically, think of a single guy who takes care of his sick mom (sounds filmy and cliched, maybe but just hypothetical to illustrate the reality) who cannot work long hours, can’t take onsite assignments etc. Does his career suffer? you bet! So it’s not the organization that needs to change, it’s the society/family setup. The organization is after all running a business and needs to be profitable. If you are a liability, you will be cut out.

        If this situation has to improve, we need more men changing diapers and doing the dishes. For all those so-called non male-chauvinists who have commented here commiserating with the women in IT, I request one thing – Today, go home and do the dishes, clean the kitchen, help your kids with homework, cook a meal, do whatever and take a little responsibility off the shoulders of the woman in your life, be it mom or wife.

        To all the women ACPPs out there, quit being so. If you have to have tea breaks with your coworkers in order to be part of the grape vine, you can attempt to do it. Getting ahead in professional life, takes a lot more than just sheer talent. This applies to both genders anyways. IT industry has spoilt us by leading us in believing meritocracy works. Maybe it does work more in It than other industries but is, by no means, the only way to get ahead. And please don’t turn this to a battle of sexes because, for a moment make the victim is this letter gender neutral, maybe it’s a guy who behaves this way, will he not be affected. I have seen way too many men also being passed over for promos. So it’s all about the attitude not the gender.

        @KA thanks as always for a entertaining yet thought-provoking post.

      69. Loved this post … super-like!!

      70. Re. an Open Letter that Folded Itself into an Envelope

        Shalom. I am commenting on this old but still relevant post since no one posted a comment of the shade I have (there was a hint of it in 2-3 responses).
        ——–

        The satire began as being sympathetic towards women in IT, depicted as trapped in their posts, by using sarcasm of a fictional, opportunistic manager. But by the middle the narrative shifted. The liar-liar manager’s voice got lost and another tone, at once both clever and harsh, got superimposed. End result: Sandwiched between biting generalization and glorious condescension, ”women in IT’ stood adrift, bereft of depth and meaning. Humor lost interest and walked away.
        ——–
        When emotions cannot catch up with words the human body uses tears as expression. The complexity of emotions a person may be feeling at a performance review is best left unperturbed. The women command respect for what they are instead of derision for what they are not as per a manual.

        An IT company may appear to have an atmosphere for steady advancement for women but it seems to be of angstrom depth. Expecting women to win rat races by themselves, without progressive societal and workplace changes along with mentor-ship does not hold water (or filter coffee, for the writer). On the other hand, desperation for advancement by males, even in jest, is suggestive of underlying self-worth issues.

        Chao,
        - A Senora

        Psst…. The meek shall inherit the earth.

      71. Thanks for highlighting an important issue…Makes my blood boil! Wish I was in the IT industry so I could sue their Godd@#n A$$€$!!

      72. I see a lot of interesting posts on your page.
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      1. The women-friendly IT industry « Cubically Challenged
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