I've been here for a little while, but I've never seen a single female user. I know maybe there are some, but I've honestly never seen any.

I know that out there in the world the female to male programmers ratio is way better than here.

Is my appraisal of the situation correct and can anyone explain why representation seems skewed towards predominantly male participants on Stack Overflow specifically?

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    Did you conduct any kind of count? How do you know the actual sex of an account holder? – Martijn Pieters Sep 2 '13 at 20:09
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    Because there are fewer female programmers in general? Not sure what you mean by a better ratio. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Sep 2 '13 at 20:10
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    I've heard of several female programmers who choose to hide their gender while on online communities like Stack Overflow due to bad experiences. So even if there were a "gender" checkbox, we couldn't know for sure what the male:female ratio really is. Still, it's obvious of course that there aren't a lot of females around (look at the top 50 users...) but as to why, I can't think of an answer that wouldn't be wild speculation – Pekka Sep 2 '13 at 20:13
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    @not Pekka: Nice try, missy. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Sep 2 '13 at 20:14
  • We do have a female moderator - Anna Lear. – user215114 Sep 2 '13 at 20:15
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    @BoltClock'saUnicorn The handbag fascination kind of gives it away. I still wonder whose profile image she's using though. Poor guy. – Bart Sep 2 '13 at 20:16
  • @BoltClock so someone finally saw through my fake beard? In a way, I'm relieved. – Pekka Sep 2 '13 at 20:16
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    Actually @gparyani Anna and Lear are two cats. The female you see in their profile image is merely their caretaker. – Bart Sep 2 '13 at 20:19
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    Never seen any? You don't have to look hard at all to see any – random Sep 2 '13 at 20:24
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    Well I do believe there were at least two females who voted to close this question. – Taryn Sep 2 '13 at 20:24
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    A more useful question is why are there so many bad programmers. On SO and in general. – Cat Plus Plus Sep 2 '13 at 20:25
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    So we can conclude that at least 40% of SO's users is female now, right @bluefeet? – Bart Sep 2 '13 at 20:28
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    @SobinAugustine What's there to discuss? You've provided no proof to back up your claims. – Daedalus Sep 2 '13 at 20:30
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    Who cares about the male/female ratio? The real question is why aren't there more alcoholics on SO? If this was a real programming community, there'd be a lot more of us around... – yannis Sep 2 '13 at 20:44
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    @ShaWizDowArd Yeah, I was a regular elected mod on SO for a couple months and on Programmers for almost a year before I got hired. :) – Adam Lear Sep 2 '13 at 21:06

Given that many names are pseudonyms and that there is no place to put gender on our profiles, it seems that you are assuming this. Unless you knew who is behind the keyboard, this is just a generalisation.

  • 7
    A generalization, yes, but probably not an unreasonable one. – user102937 Sep 2 '13 at 20:12
  • @RobertHarvey, yes that is true. – user226423 Sep 2 '13 at 20:13
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    @Oded: Everybody knows ChrisF is a dog. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Sep 2 '13 at 20:34
  • @Oded ...or a unicorn, or a Skeet clone, or a marauding alien... – user226423 Sep 2 '13 at 21:13

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