RE: Gender Issues in Technical Communication

Subject: RE: Gender Issues in Technical Communication
From: "Dia Blankenship" <dia -at- teknolutionary -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 21:14:12 -0400

> I've
> often wondered if there is a difference in the way male and female tech
> writers are treated by engineers, developers, and others who consider
> themselves "actually" part of the development of a product. "Duh, of
> course!" isn't an answer. ;)

Tech writer, developer, project manager -- I've worked in the whole spectrum
of software development, so I can say that initially, regardless of my
title, it was assumed I knew very little about what was actually going on.
This was aggravated by the fact that I worked on a series of short-term
contract where everyone walking in was new, so there was no context for them
to automatically assume I must be the new project manager, or whatever.

My favorite story was my third gig as a PM, after 6 years in tech writing
and dev. We're all sitting in this room waiting for the program manager to
show up and get the ball rolling... And, being the only (literally) female
in a room of 40+ men, it was immediately assumed I MUST be the admin. asst.
They never asked, mind you, and I never corrected them. I went ahead and
got them coffee, partly because I believe in pitching in, but mostly because
I couldn't wait to see their faces when the program manager showed up and
introduced me. It was indeed priceless! And it showed them who was boss --
and I don't mean just by title.

It happens all the time, at least in the beginning. But long-term, I don't
have that problem. I think it's just a matter of earning respect. Of
course, your mileage may vary...



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Gender Issues in Technical Communication: From: Andy Becraft

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