I think this is because women need challenges.
When they saw that computers would obey them at first or second try, they have given up quickly. Whereas with men, since those (almost) never obey women, they keep trying “programming” men.
A long term and time consuming task, but much more rewarding challenge :-[
I don’t think they ever stopped programming. I’ve worked with several experienced professional women developers who were as good as any of their male counterparts. Most likely the ratio’s of women and men have remained fairly the same through out the history of the profession. Only now there is a spotlight on the profession due to the increasing demand for developers and ability to make a large amount of money programming for a living.
After some teasing in my previous posts here is some good news at Home - appworks
Although in Dutch a short translation by Google:
Much interest among girls to learn programming
Over 60 girls aged 8 to 18 years came in the autumn to the Digi Vita Code Event to learn programming for one day. Under the guidance of female ICT professionals and students Informatica the girls went to work with robots, 3D printers, Scratch and other programming tools. The zest for Digi Vita Code Event was so large that organizers had to close VHTO. Tenders earlier After the success of the event on October 14 more Digi Vita Code Events will follow throughout the Netherlands.
Here is the ultra-short summary for those who are not patient enough to listen:
"c. 1984, boys started coming into CS programs already knowing the basics. They knew the basics because they’d been coding already, sometimes for years. They’d been coding for years because the had a personal computer at home. They had a personal computer at home because it had been marketed to them. To boys. Pretty much exclusively.
Note the anecdote about cases where the computer was locked away in the brother’s room, even though the girl is the one who really wants to use it.
This is why it’s “interesting”, to use Hugh Everett’s term: We made it this way."
I had thought it was because Programming is an Engineering discipline. Just like with all the other types women stay away from them. From my personal experience, women don’t like doing takes that are uncomfortable; like Engineering (i.e. Programming). I have known 5 women who are programmers and it seems like they are well suited for it.
This leads me to conclude with njbuch: Its the marketing.