What it's like to be a woman in a mostly male industry

What it's like to be a woman in a mostly male industry
What it's like to be a woman in a mostly male industry 

By Bill Brenner
Senior Editor
December 01, 2010 

In the second decade of the 21st Century, it's easy to think that career 
success no longer hinges on gender and race. But Marisa Fagan knows what 
it's like to be a woman in the security industry, and it's not the 
utopia of equality some people might expect.

To succeed in security, Fagan says she's had to make some tough choices 
that men are rarely faced with. For a good example of this, she points 
to a recent column in the Cranky Product Manager blog about women having 
to deal with a "frat-house culture."

"The article makes the point that technology jobs require intensely long 
hours and it's just more likely that a man can maintain that schedule, 
and therefore a manager wants to hire more men," Fagan says.

"I personally feel the effects of this dilemma every day as I choose 
work or travel or conferences over building more aspects of family life. 
Everyone must make sacrifices to get ahead. I won't venture to say why 
more men choose this particular sacrifice than women."

She has also discovered, to her discomfort, that the security 
conferences she attends are overwhelmingly dominated by men.


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