You have probably heard other terms for the same topic, but the idea is the same. The woman who stands at booths to showcase a product knowing little or nothing about the technology and code that drives it is called a “booth babe.” Companies believe that a use of sex appeal and clever come hither looks will not only drive people into the booth, but result in more people buying their product.
As women continue to bust through the glass ceiling and create their own companies, one of the necessary tools to acquire is funding. Money buys resources, people, and time to create and see ideas flourish.
I finished my PhD about a year ago. When I first joined graduate school I knew beyond a doubt that what I wanted to do after I graduated was to teach and work at a research university. What could be better than the flexible schedule, the ability to work on stimulating projects, and traveling around the world to talk about my research? It all looked so cosmopolitan.
Attending conferences, where many typical computer scientist (read: socially inept people) are huddled together to learn about esoteric topics, can create a breeding ground for isolation. For example, being the only woman at your small start up may be annoying but being the only woman in a room full of strange men may be daunting.
The best thing related to computers that I or my parents could find when I was a teenager, awkward and crazy dorky, was programming classes. You know what would have been a whole lot better? Building robots. You know what would have been even better? An all-girl robot group!