Re: A Preponderance of Females

Subject: Re: A Preponderance of Females
From: David Jones/KSBEISD <David_Jones/KSBEISD -dot- KSBEISD -at- DATAHUB -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 1996 11:21:15 HST

As a long time, still underpaid <G> male technical writer in the software
field, I think it has more to do with the perception that documentation is not
*necessary* to creating the product, while engineers, programmers, analysts,
project managers, etc., *are*. For many years, the software (and, I suspect,
hardware engineering) fields were content to leave documentation in the
programmer's/engineer's hands ...

Interestingly enough, in my three encounters in Hawaii with managers of
technical documentation departments, two managers were female and one was male.
Both female managers are paid more than the male manager!

BTW, I've worked with a female systems analyst who explicitly asked me to make
her documentation "look pretty" (her words, she meant it as a compliment) -- so
let's not blame men alone for such a shallow view of what we do!

While I'm sure the original (counterfeiting) poster meant this as flame bait,
this seems to be an interesting topic, since it touches on issues which are
important to our work relationships, regardless of gender. Can we continue to
keep this a civilized discussion?

David Jones, Technical Writer
David_Jones/KSBEISD -dot- KSBEISD -at- Datahub -dot- com
Kamehameha Schools Bishop Estate

"I do not speak for my employer, my computer, or any other living thing."

To: TECHWR-L @ LISTSERV.OKSTATE.EDU (Multiple recipients of list TECHWR-L) @
(Karen Mayer/Touch Technology) @ Internet @ DATAHUB
Date: 04/11/96 10:37:40 AM
Subject: Re: A Preponderance of Females

-------------------- ORIGINAL MESSAGE TEXT --------------------

[someone claiming to be] Chris Hulin asked a couple of days ago whether the
profession was
attracting more women than men. Yes, Chris. It is true. Women happen
to make darn good writers and editors. If we men wish to stay in the
field, we had best look to our credentials and keep up with the women
who network like crazy, grasp new ideas, and learn new software that
keeps them marketable. Not to mention, produce a quality product.

At the Region 3 Student Conference on March 30, women outnumbered men
by a large margin. Within STC, some of the best managers and officers
we have ever had are women. Technical communication, I think, is one
field in which women have excelled--over the past 20 years especially.

-------------------- END OF ORIGINAL MESSAGE --------------------

Thank you for your support! My cohort and I have found that many people,
esp. men, have made the ridiculous assumption that all we tech writers do
is make things look pretty -- glorified typists. It doesn't occur to them that
perhaps we are technically competent and able to learn pretty much
whatever we want to learn. Unfortunately, salary is still an issue, at
least in the USA.

As much as we'd like to believe that women get paid equally for equal work
here, it just ain't there yet. Imagine what tech writing salaries might be if
it were a male-dominated field!

Someone on this list (and I apologize for not remembering who) said that
if she interviewed with a male TW manager and the staff of TWers was
all female, she would run, not walk, outta there. As much as I enjoy
what I do for a living, I'd like to see more men in the field because, like
it or not (and I don't), men give a field/position more credibility and a
higher pay scale. How often do you men TWers get accused of just
making the manuals "look pretty?"

-- karen

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