On Men in Ballet and Women in Software Development

Long ago,  I worked for a couple years as a professional ballet dancer with a small company. Reflecting on this, I have an interesting perspective of working in field were woman are the majority and also one where women are in the minority. I thought I would dedicate this post a few observations of similarities between men in ballet and women in software development.

Men in Ballet

  • Have some lame people think ballet is just for girls and make assumptions about them based on cultural stereotypes

  • Have to have a sense of humor to handle accidentally injuries due to kicks or slips while rehearsing choreography with women.

  • Clearly love what they do. Otherwise, they most likely would have never overcome the social pressure to pursue their craft.

  • Partner when ballerinas to create great performances. The diversity of having men and women dance together allows more freedom of expression in the choreography. Ultimately, that produces a show that is more valuable and pleasing to the audience.

  • Usually have no wait in line for the men’s restroom during ballet performance intermissions.

Women in Software Development

  • Have some lame people think software development is just for boys and make assumptions about them based on cultural stereotypes.

  • Have to have a sense of humor to handle accidental insensitive remarks due to slips in conversation when working with men. (Ex: hot chicks, rude jokes, etc….)

  • Clearly love what they do. Otherwise, they most likely would have never overcome the social pressure to pursue their craft.

  • Partner with other software developers to create great software. More diversity*, allows more freedom of expression in understanding and applying technology to solve business needs. Ultimately, that produces software that is more valuable and pleasing to the business and user.

  • Usually have no wait in line for the women’s restroom during technical conference breaks.

*And yes, the diversity I am talking about is not limited to just men and women.