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Let’s talk about ‘women in tech’: Silicon Valley still has a gender problem, by VentureBeat, with Knotch as an example

Stashed in: Founders, Silicon Valley!, Sexism, Women in Tech, Cognitive Bias

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Christina Farr writes in VentureBeat about Knotch:

Stephanie Volftsun is the technical lead at all-female tech startup, which is a surprise to most people that she meets.

Female chief technical officers and senior engineers are a rare breed in Silicon Valley. Why? Women’s share of bachelor’s degrees in computer science at colleges and universities is decreasing, according to the National Science Foundation.

Volfstun is the daughter of Russian immigrants — both engineers — and has been coding for most of her life. At 23, she is a “full stack” engineer, meaning that she can build mobile stack, web stack, or native applications for her startup, Knotch.

Volftsun would earn a six-figure salary at any tech company, but she is reluctant to work at a male-dominated tech startup again.

“At college, I didn’t feel the pressure of being the only girl in my computer science classes because everyone starts out on a blank slate and you have your grades to build you up,” Volftsun said.

As a professional (she landed her first job as a back-end engineer at financial technology startup Addepar), she found it more difficult to prove herself to her fellow developers. “It was harder for me to gain the same level of respect my male peers had,” she said.

This perspective is shared by hundreds of women in the tech industry, according to a report by the Level Playing Field Institute. Its 2011 study found that IT workplaces, including tech startups, can create hostile or unpleasant environments for women and people of color, prompting those employees to seek out other industries.

The problem isn’t just too few female engineering grads — it’s that junior-level programmers are leaving the industry in their droves.

The NSF conducted deeper research that revealed that workplace culture is a big problem. In a survey of almost 4,000 female engineers, a third of respondents said they left the industry due to a bad boss or negative working environment.

More about Knotch's plan:

It's really bad that she found it difficult to get the same level of respect as her male peers.

Silicon Valley still has a lot of room for improvement.

Knotch launched a new website that connects people based on opinions:

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