When Kayoko Sugahara started working as a systems engineer 25 years ago, she sometimes stayed in her office late into the night running performance tests on computers, and often went there on weekends to use the computers there.

But now, thanks to technological developments, Sugahara, a distinguished software engineer with IBM Japan who specializes in database design, can do much of her work from home — though that means she has to be online virtually 24 hours a day.

Compared with such changes in the computer industry's working environment, though, Sugahara says she has not seen much change in terms of the number of female engineers in her field.