Apple's 'iPad' points to dearth of women in IT

Apple's 'iPad' points to dearth of women in IT
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I just tweeted this about Apple's new gadget:

iPad does not appear to be a woman-friendly name/perfect example of why we need more women in the IT game.

A bunch of women tweeters joined me with a big "amen."

I suspect a room full of female computer engineers would not have named Apple's new cyber tablet the 'iPad.'

This naming faux pas is a perfect example of why we need more women IT professionals in this world. Apple wants women to buy these gizmos but is anyone really thinking about us gals?

"It's all a bunch of guys in a room going 'We'll go with whatever we say. No one will argue with us,'" said Richard Laermer, author of "Punk Marketing".

Seems like we need more women in that room.

Women control more than 83 percent of all consumer purchases, including 66 percent of home computers, and they outpace men when it comes to buying consumer electronics, but they hold only 27 percent of computer-related jobs, according to a study by the National Center for Women & Information Technology.

And from 1983 to 2006, the study found, the number of computer science bachelor's degrees awarded to women plummeted to 21 percent from 36 percent.

"It's been a steady decline since the 1980s," says Lucy Sanders, CEO of the center. "The participation of women in IT has never been strikingly high, but now it's getting worse."

I know, the name iPad is sort of funny when you think about it. One of my Facebook guy friends Richard made me laugh with his interpretation:

Finally, a pad that men can't pretend to be too embarrassed to purchase!!

But deep down this is anything but a laughing matter.

Will you be buying the iPad? Gail Sideman with PUBLISIDE Personal Publicity in Milwaukee thinks you will.

"I can say from a women's perspective, today's announcement of iPad falls into a someone 'stupid' name," she admits, "but I don't think the moniker will hurt sales of the new device. I think people will continue to make fun of how the name relates to feminine products, but its features and Apple's reputation for funky, high-performing machines will allow the talk to dissipate."

Maybe we should think twice about buying products with idiotic names like iPad. I can just hear the jokes if a woman is using the thing too much: "She's on the rag again."

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