I haven't even started looking through this properly yet, but Patrick just brought to my attention the results of the A List Apart Web Design Survey 2007 and it's a great read so far.
Being the unwilling complainer and non-supporter of discrimination (either the negative or the positive types), I'm always especially interested in those bits of data referring to us ladies, and these are some items that have caught my eye so far:
- Women perceive a high level of gender bias in the industry than men do (but only 22.3%).
- The number of people (male & female) who think there is definitely not a gender bias in total is a huge 63.8% (only 1.7% think there definitely is one). It's important to note the tone of this was to "ask specifically if the respondent feels that his or her career has been impacted by bias, not whether the respondent perceives there to be discrimination in the field".
- Women have around the same or higher salaries than men in the industry (highest in the $20,000 - $79,999 salary range).
- "In general, female respondents who work full time do not seem to make less than male respondents who also work full time, and in fact may earn a bit more. This pattern can be seen in Fig. 3.5., “Salary range by gender,” in Section Three.".
- "A greater percentage of women than men believe they lack a needed back-end development skill (Fig. 10.3)." (28.8%).
I'm not sure exactly what to say yet, but it certainly supports some thoughts I have on the matter of women in web development. I think there's always been a lot of talk about discrimination specifically within our industry (dare I even mention the matter of female speakers at conferences, or the lack thereof?) but with very little data and evidence to back up various arguments. I'd like to see some well formed discussions come from research like this and I hope to do just that as soon as I've digested the information and done a little more background work.