[Techtalk] Re: Electrical hacking

Robyn Manning rmanning at adam.com.au
Tue Apr 15 02:41:33 EST 2003

> Did/do you see much sexism in those fields?  You're in the UK yes?  Here
> in Ireland, there seems to be much less of a barrier to women than I've
> heard cited on these lists though the various motor workshops I've worked
> in/visited did tend to have the ubiquitous girlie pinup calender hanging
> up somewhere...
> Conor

In sleepy little South Australia I was the first female student in the
Electronic Servicing Certificate course at TAFE (Technical and Further
Education ie College not Uni) in 1984. Some of the lecturers were ok but
my Soldering / Metalwork lecturer left a little to be desired. He stood
out the front of the class and said Gentlemen and Lady and addressed the
remainder of his lecture towards me about how he wasn't going to change
the way he did anything or how he said it just because I was there. In
the second week another woman joined the course and we topped his
soldering exam by so far above the guys that he really had to rethink
his attitude. I wasn't able to finish the course at that time and the
other woman got an apprenticeship so she left also. I went back to it a
few years later and the attitude had turned around completely. A female
lecturer said that I'd really made some of the blokes think about
electronics, practical work and women. Women have a lot more dexterity
then most men. The problem was, was now that if you weren't wearing a
skirt you didn't get any help from the lecturers because they were
bending their backs getting the token few women through the course. We
started our computer studies and I went on from there. I got a job
repairing Apple II's, Commodore 64's and a few pc's for schools. I've
had teaching and tech jobs since and now most guys are okay with me
being in a tech position and the women love it. The women I come across
in business are often astounded that I could understand these infernal
machines they have to use. I just commiserate with them about

That enough of me ranting.


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