The May 14 edition of the Financial Times carries a "Digital Business" special report. The section deals with challenges facing the future of
computer dorkdom corporate IT departments. Chief among them, the FT asked in its front-page story, "What is it about girls and IT?"
"They are heavy users of technology yet avoid studying IT," the subhead explained, noting that "female skills" in IT are "in great demand." Oddly enough, the editors at FT may have found one solution: transsexual IT staffers.
Flipping to the back page of the FT's Digital Business special section, readers could find the tale of one Kate Craig-Wood (pictured above at right), whom reporter Peter Whitehead described as "the attractive, intelligent and articlulate 31-year-old managing director of a successful technology business... a woman whose extraordinary journey provides a unique insight into the role that gender plays in the technology workplace."
Did I mention Craig-Wood was male for the first three decades of her life?:
Women say they are put off working in IT because they often feel left out in what tends to be an overwhelmingly male environment. One woman who understands this better than anyone is Kate Craig-Wood. Because until two years ago Kate was Robert.
In her first 29 years - "I was born with a female brain and a male body" - she played the role of son, brother, husband and businessman. Since her gender transition was completed in 2006, she has been daughter, sister, girlfriend and businesswoman.
Whitehead noted that Craig-Wood "is also concerned about the negative perception of IT as being 'geeky' and not a sexy career path."
I don't know about you, but it sure is less sexy to me after reading this story.
Photo credit: Daniel Jones for the Financial Times.