Yes I know for many folks this is obvious, but please stick with me. I am not trying to promote any sort of discrimination here.
One of the quite a few believes that are being spearheaded nowadays and that I have quite a trouble of understanding is that we should strive to achieve a roughly 50%-50% ratio of genders across each occupation. So if, for example, it turns out that only 1/4 IT specialists are women, then it is clear that there is much work to be done and we should promote women in IT until around 1/2 IT specialists are women. There are many examples of such thinking, one of them being the relatively recent SO blog post.
I can't help but I have feeling that such thinking misses one very important point and that is that whether we like it or not there are important differences from birth between men and women. These differences manifest themselves in the fact that there seems to be a very clear statistical skew: there are tasks that most women can perform much better than most men and there are tasks that most women can perform much worse than most men. Another even more important statistical skew is that there are tasks that most women are much more interested in than most men, and there are task that most women are much less interested in than most men. Science only continues to find more and more of such correlations; a few non-exhaustive lists are: 1, 2, 3.
There are, of course, exceptions to these rules. History does have a cast of women who displayed great passion for stereotypically "male" tasks, like hard science or even warfare, and who excelled at these tasks. Such women are nevertheless in a stark minority.
Of course, in the past sexual discrimination was very prominent. Nowadays, however, it is not. Even if there are remnants of the past discrimination in the thinking of male workers in certain occupations, there are leveraged by a powerful feminist movement that promotes women in such occupations and chastising all real or exaggerated examples of sexism. In spite of these efforts the statistical minority of women in these occupations persists.
In the light of all of the above I would say that applying any further pressure to increase the prevalence of women in, for example, IT, to 50% is, paradoxically, anti-women. If the long desired 50%-50% ratio was finally to be achieved, this would necessarily mean that we would have pushed to IT women who would be more intersted in other tasks, like even the long disdained "housewifing", and are unhappy at their current IT job and for this reason can't do it well; women, who have been denied the chance to find out they'd be much happier in a different occupation because in the name of gender equality they have been pushed to IT. Alternatively, we could, as some propose in politics, enforce the 50%-50% ratio by prohibiting hiring or electing (in politics) more men as long as we don't have enough women (that is, to apply reverse discrimination); but this would either end up with the same result or with a dramatic cut of workforce because we would have to forcibly push many competent and willing men out of these industries (perhaps forcing these men to do what they don't want and can't do, like babysitting, again in the name of gender equality).
If I were to work in an IT company I would be more than happy to work with a competent woman who enjoys her work and I can only wholeheartedly support opening the doors of the industry to such women. Conversely, if I had a deep passion for teching children in elementary schools and could do it well, I would like to be welcomed there by all of the women working there. This is because there will always be a healthy minority of men enjoying stereotypically women tasks and women enjoying stereotypically men tasks. However, I would say, forcing these proportions to even out in the name of gender equality can only end in disastreous results. Or in other words: There should be no obstacles for women in tech, but women should likely be not promoted or encouraged to join the tech industry either.
What are the standard responses of promoters of gender equality to such arguments?