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“Glass Wall to Technology”

Dear women in technology:

We are writing to request your help.

A recent article in Computer World (June 16, 2008) highlighted the “antigens” or reasons over 50% of women leave technology careers. Based on our shared experiences with girls and women all along the technical career path – from middle school through mid and late career, we find one concerning factor is the incidence of what we are calling the “Glass Wall to Technology ” — the subtle and not so subtle negative messages that many women and girls experience from peers, teachers, colleagues, supervisors and others. We believe that these experiences have a major impact on women and girls
education and those working in technology.

In an effort to better understand the dynamics of the incidences, we are asking that you send to Claudia Morrell any examples of incidents in the last five years you have experienced (know of) in the educational arena or the workplace that you feel both relate to gender and had an impact on your
relating to your participation in a technical field. You can decide the definition of technical, but do tell us what area or career you were working or learning in.

We will be collecting these and removing any names and any markers that might
identify you or your school or workplace, and reviewing them to better understand the current picture in Maryland, the region, and nationally. We will be open to receiving these at any time, but our first deadline is July 23.

We hope to publish some of these in aggregate as a way of documenting what happens to women and girls in technology and to develop strategies and recommendations. If you want to share your experience but do not want it used for publication purposes, please let us know that in your

As you decide whether to write to us, consider the importance of what we are doing in support of yourself, your daughters, and the global knowledge society that impacts us all. In this safe space, it is important to add your voice.

Please feel free to pass this request on to others. If you would prefer to send your reply anonymously, send it to:


Claudia Morrell
Maryland Women in Technology

Linda Shevitz
Maryland State Department of Education

Bernice Sandler
Women’s Research and Education Institute

Published in Employment