What is the potential for women in IT?

A. Currently about 40 percent of IT personnel are women. As in any other industry, some women who are asked about gender bias openly admit they have experienced it, whereas others say, "What bias?" If you're trying to determine a company's commitment to women, look carefully at the number of women in technical and management positions. Also, try to get the opportunity to interact with some of the women privately, to get their first-hand observations. The success or failure of the company in this area often flows down from upper management policies and attitudes.

Fairness in pay, promotions, raises, respect from peers and the importance of project assignments are all potential issues that women might encounter in a gender-biased employment situation. Some good statistics are available in an Information Week article, "Gender Gap Is Smaller in Technology,". It appears that women in IT are actually better off in the gender salary gap than women in the general job market, with only a 9 percent difference in pay compared to 24 percent for the national all-industry average.

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