One thing that Tierney did not mention in his NYT article yesterday is a recent Harvard Business Review report, which says that although 40% of the scientists and engineers in the early stages of their careers are women, most of those women (52%) will quit a job due to gender-related issues.
The reasons? A major factor is "macho" work environments that isolate women. Indeed, 63% said they had been sexually harassed. Another factor is job requirements that are incompatible with maternity and family responsibilities. Most of the women who left jobs said that they would return if employers addressed the issues that made the jobs untenable for them. Pace Tierney, it's not the case that those who felt compelled to quit did so because they realized they were misplaced in a science/technology career.