I am a woman. I was born this way. I strongly identify with my gender.
I am also a programmer. I started programming when I was 12. Arguably, I was girl then, not yet a woman.

I love writing code. I love problem solving and the shape of ideas. I love it when the pieces fall into place in my head with an almost physical gratification. I believe I am good at programming because I am good at language… when I write code, I just define something, and name it, which creates it. Code is art, or simply craft.

I don’t believe I am good at coding because I am a woman, or in spite of it. I refuse learn how to be a woman programmer.

Every unique part of me influences the code that I write. I bring all of my experience and none of it. Sometimes the code I write benefits from my experience and sometimes I need to open my mind to the discovery of the unknown.

I am a programmer. I am a woman. These are two independent facts.

They say women are disempowered in our society.

On April 9, 2013, we celebrated the Equal Pay Act of 1963.
This day marks how far in 2013 women must work to earn what men earned in 2012.
That is APRIL 9th, over three months into the year.
Women in the United States are paid on average 77 cents for every dollar paid to men [1].
Women currently hold 4 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions and in the Fortune 1000, a whopping 4.5 percent of CEO positions are held by women [2].

Boys in elementary and middle school call out answers eight times more often than girls. When boys call out, teachers listen. But when girls call out, they are told to “raise your hand if you want to speak.” [3]

In the supposed meritocracy of open source, where volunteer work determines the future of critical infrastructure software only 3% of contributors are women. [4]
But if we look at the PTA and not-for-profit volunteers, that work is dominated by women, these do-gooders who hold no real power.

Nearly 60% of all young women have experienced abuse [5] and 30% of adult women report having been in an abusive relationship [6].
Girls are called sluts and boys are just having fun [7].

They say women are disempowered in our society, and yet…

Women are responsible for 85 cents of every dollar spent in the United States [8].
Comscore, Nielsen, MediaMetrix and Quantcast studies all show women are the driving force of the most important net trend of the decade, the social web.
You know more women use Facebook, but did you know that more women use Twitter, tweet more and have more followers than men? [9]

Senior women age 50 and older control net worth of $19 trillion and own more than three-fourths of the nation’s financial wealth [10].
Women have been starting businesses at a higher rate than men for the last 20 years [11].
Nearly 104 million businesses are majority owned by women. They provide 12 million jobs and generate more than a trillion dollars in sales. [12].

Women make 80 percent of health care decisions for their families. [13]

They say women are disempowered in our society.

Are we?