The misconception that the tech world is also a young man's world has been around for awhile, but a recent article found on The Atlantic
states that tech companies need to start shifting their focus towards
the ones who are actually driving the wide use some of the most
important social networking technologies: women.
The article points out that 18 to 35-year-old
men simply aren't as crucial a demographic as they used to be:
It turns out women are our new lead adopters. When you look at internet
usage, it turns out women in Western countries use the internet 17
percent more every month than their male counterparts. Women are more
likely to be using the mobile phones they own, they spend more time
talking on them, they spend more time using location-based services. But
they also spend more time sending text messages. Women are the fastest
growing and largest users on Skype, and that's mostly younger women.
Women are the fastest-growing category and biggest users on every social
networking site with the exception of LinkedIn. Women are the vast
majority of owners of all internet enabled devices—readers, healthcare
devices, GPS—that whole bundle of technology is mostly owned by women.
Numerous studies have shown that women are the ones "depending on" social networking technologies more often and with more fluency than men. And since they're also the primary caretakers of children, they ultimately get to decide which devices their children will be able to use. And yet, the lore of the so-called male-dominated history of the the tech industry doesn't seem to be changing anytime soon.
Xen Jardin of Boing Boing stresses that the importance of men in the creation of the Internet has been "overemphasized", and highlights on a New York Times piece written by David Streitfeld on gender discrimination in Silicon Valley, which started off with this patronizing paragraph:
MEN invented the Internet. And not just any men. Men with pocket protectors. Men who idolized Mr. Spock and cried when Steve Jobs died. Nerds. Geeks. Give them their due. Without men, we would never know what our friends were doing five minutes ago.
The idea that men pioneered every technical innovation ever is nothing but a myth. The truth is that as women continue to out-consume and propagate new technologies faster and wider than men.