Author Topic: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.  (Read 39261 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #200 on: August 06, 2018, 12:40:10 pm »
I am sure some will feel I’m out of line here, but the original point is about gender politics, not racism. While both exhibit forms of discrimination, they are significantly different topics, with very different localised issues that don’t equate well across an international forum, or even just within the Western world.
While I don’t want to stifle debate, I’d strongly suggest it’s off topic for this conversation.

Yes, this thread is about gender politics in engineering.
 

Offline amyk

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #201 on: August 06, 2018, 01:06:50 pm »
Start discriminating on gender, and you'll just start seeing more people hack the system.
 
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Offline Howardlong

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #202 on: August 06, 2018, 09:40:20 pm »
Start discriminating on gender, and you'll just start seeing more people hack the system.

The European Court of Justice, which interprets and equally applies law across EU member states, ruled that price discrimination based on gender, conflicts with EU rules on gender equality. This was raised in respect of car insurance premium disparity, but applies to all insurance and financial services. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12608777

While the ruling might have potentially benefited me, to my mind it makes little sense, as men are a demonstrably higher risk when it comes to car insurance. However, if society is going to push and push incessantly for equality of outcome, be careful of what you wish for.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #203 on: August 07, 2018, 01:00:16 am »
I have mixed thoughts on that, I mean statistically men *are* more expensive for insurance companies, statistically we have more serious accidents. That's not bias, it's hard data and unlike some, I'm not offended by generalizations about my gender that when looked at with a sufficiently large sample, are absolutely true.

If we are going to pretend that there are no fundamental differences and everyone starts with a blank slate then yes we should not have any discrimination based on such things anywhere, but I would prefer we just be realistic about it and embrace the fact that there are differences. The differences are what makes diversity worthwhile to begin with.
 
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Offline Howardlong

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #204 on: August 07, 2018, 08:27:26 am »
Glad I read the whole of your post and not just the last sentence on its own!
 

Offline Marco

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #205 on: August 07, 2018, 08:57:58 am »
While the ruling might have potentially benefited me, to my mind it makes little sense, as men are a demonstrably higher risk when it comes to car insurance.

Depends on what information the insurer can take into account. Per distance men have fewer accidents on average, but the insurance generally can't charge per km. Also men are more likely to drive larger vehicles, which makes accidents while backing up a lot more likely for instance. They can take that into account and after the EU ruling the disparity between average men and average women actually got worse.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 09:34:25 am by Marco »
 

Offline langwadt

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #206 on: August 07, 2018, 09:10:11 am »
While the ruling might have potentially benefited me, to my mind it makes little sense, as men are a demonstrably higher risk when it comes to car insurance.

Depends on what information the insurer can take into account. Per distance men have fewer accidents on average, but the insurance generally can't charge per km. Also men are more likely to drive larger vehicles, which makes accidents while backing up a lot more likely for instance. They can take that into account and after the EU ruling the disparity between men and women actually got worse.

I seem to remember and article stating the statistically women had more slow speed accidents like parking etc. and men, especially young men, many more serious high speed accidents

 





 

Online rsjsouza

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #207 on: August 07, 2018, 01:36:21 pm »
Scholarships to visit Shenzen, girls only of course.
(...)

And why woman only?
Because apparently women were worried about the expense:
http://shehacks.com.au/2017/09/vela-georgiev-hardworx/



I do wonder if the (presumably paying) 15yo kid was even considered?
It says students. I was a full time engineering student when I was 15...

Wow... While I can understand that in certain parts of the world it is quite necessary to attract the interest of women students, I don't think Australia would be one of them.

Besides, the subsequent explanation for why to do so "to improve diversity" is pure BS - diversity comes from differents walks of life regardless of gender. If they want to reward people that were not interested or driven enough to apply, that is a complete inversion of values. What a waste of resources to send two people uninterested while other two very driven were left out.

I haven't personally experienced or witnessed affirmative action in the places I worked, but I certainly have heard stories about it.
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Offline james_s

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #208 on: August 07, 2018, 01:51:30 pm »
diversity comes from differents walks of life regardless of gender.


This.

There is a large tech company that is well known for preaching diversity in the hiring process, yet they hire almost exclusively the exact same personality type, CS degree, age range, etc. Their idea of diversity is to discriminate based on race and gender in order to force a "diverse" workforce of like-thinking people.
 
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Offline julianhigginson

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #209 on: August 07, 2018, 04:29:58 pm »
Only bad can come of this. Instead of employing the best person for the job, we'll start to see organisations going down the drain simply because they need to meet some arbitrary quota.

This kind of crap goes against diversity.

Except right now we don't award the best applicants for jobs already.

http://www.pnas.org/content/109/41/16474

this experiment and writeup  (I posted earlier in this thread) showed that for a single job application written for a lab manager role, and then given to people for review where the same application had just the name changed, when the name was male rather than female the application was scored higher on
1) reviewer's judgement of suitability for a role
2) reviewer's estimated salary for the applicant.
3) would the reviewer like to mentor the applicant.

this experiment has been tested by lots of people in smaller ways (other job application situations, submitted scientific papers, etc) and basically in tech fields when you take a standard *anything* and send it off with different names on it, to be judged by a bunch of people, men are consistently discriminated FOR, and women are consistently discriminated AGAINST.

Studies like this show that outside of anything else,  having a female name in a tech endeavour gets your work judged more harshly and valued less than if you had a male name.

with that in mind, this women only scholarship doesn't seem so bad.
 
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Offline Marco

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #210 on: August 07, 2018, 05:24:07 pm »
On average the chance of a female grad student to get pregnant is an infinite multiple of the chance a born male one will. Just changing the sex changes a significant prior affecting their predicted productivity not captured in the rest of the text of the application.

To what extent the discrimination is statistically justified (from a productivity/cost optimization point of view) and to what extent it is prejudicial is hard to say ... but fact remains, Bayesian mathematics is sexist.

PS. my solution, try to estimate the costs and give the department head extra budget when a phd student or employee gets pregnant. Try to remove the opportunity cost for hiring a woman from the one making the hiring decisions, instead of demanding he becomes wilfully blind. Then you can start measuring prejudice.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2018, 05:41:19 pm by Marco »
 

Online rsjsouza

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #211 on: August 07, 2018, 08:20:27 pm »
with that in mind, this women only scholarship doesn't seem so bad.
Except that we can only work with the facts presented to us in the article linked by Dave. While the justification presented by you may be perfectly sound in a more general term (and I have seen this happen in a distant past), it was not the same argument presented by the organizer of the scolarship. At least to me, this does not change the issue at hand which is the risk of sending people less interested in place of others.
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Oh, the "whys" of the datasheets... The information is there not to be an axiomatic truth, but instead each speck of data must be slowly inhaled while carefully performing a deep search inside oneself to find the true metaphysical sense...
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #212 on: August 07, 2018, 08:42:18 pm »
with that in mind, this women only scholarship doesn't seem so bad.
Except that we can only work with the facts presented to us in the article linked by Dave. While the justification presented by you may be perfectly sound in a more general term (and I have seen this happen in a distant past), it was not the same argument presented by the organizer of the scolarship. At least to me, this does not change the issue at hand which is the risk of sending people less interested in place of others.

Indeed.
The organisers reasoning for making the scholorship female only seems quite specific.
i.e. they were surprised that no females applied, and hence this must a problem that needs correcting, ok. But then they supposedly found a reason to justify a solution to this newly found problem (females maybe can't afford it).
They are free to do whatever they want of course, and that's fine.
But I think it's an interesting example of how things seem to work these days.
Indeed, some of the justifications these days border on extreme condescension toward women, and it's at the same time both humorous and perplexing that they are unable to see that in their own logic. Which is a why a lot older school feminists really dislike this stuff too.
 
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Offline blackfin76

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #213 on: August 07, 2018, 10:39:34 pm »
Start discriminating on gender, and you'll just start seeing more people hack the system.

The European Court of Justice, which interprets and equally applies law across EU member states, ruled that price discrimination based on gender, conflicts with EU rules on gender equality. This was raised in respect of car insurance premium disparity, but applies to all insurance and financial services. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12608777

While the ruling might have potentially benefited me, to my mind it makes little sense, as men are a demonstrably higher risk when it comes to car insurance. However, if society is going to push and push incessantly for equality of outcome, be careful of what you wish for.

In the Netherlands there are a number of insurance companies who target specific groups like women and people with higher education, however they are not allowed to refuse services based on those criteria. I once made use of a car insurance targeting women, they send me all documents on pink paper with a flower motive  :-DD

 

Offline tooki

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #214 on: August 07, 2018, 11:07:27 pm »
Only bad can come of this. Instead of employing the best person for the job, we'll start to see organisations going down the drain simply because they need to meet some arbitrary quota.

This kind of crap goes against diversity.

Except right now we don't award the best applicants for jobs already.

[...]
Exactly. And similar experiments have been done with “ethnic” vs local-sounding names (in various countries), and you see similar things. Just a month or two ago, a Jamaican job seeker here in Zurich did an experiment, where he reapplied to 20 job openings he’d been rejected from, using the same resume and cover letters, but changed the name on them to something Swiss sounding, and replaced the photo (generally a requirement here) to one of his white grandfather. 17 of the companies invited the “new” him for an interview. Discrimination in hiring is rampant, unfortunately, on pretty much any criterion one could be discriminated by.

This is why I am firmly of the belief that the first step in any hiring process, literally before ANY applications are looked at in any way, never mind discarded, should be to completely anonymize all applications.
 
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Offline coppice

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #215 on: August 07, 2018, 11:41:56 pm »
Except right now we don't award the best applicants for jobs already.

http://www.pnas.org/content/109/41/16474

this experiment and writeup  (I posted earlier in this thread) showed that for a single job application written for a lab manager role, and then given to people for review where the same application had just the name changed, when the name was male rather than female the application was scored higher on
1) reviewer's judgement of suitability for a role
2) reviewer's estimated salary for the applicant.
3) would the reviewer like to mentor the applicant.

this experiment has been tested by lots of people in smaller ways (other job application situations, submitted scientific papers, etc) and basically in tech fields when you take a standard *anything* and send it off with different names on it, to be judged by a bunch of people, men are consistently discriminated FOR, and women are consistently discriminated AGAINST.

Studies like this show that outside of anything else,  having a female name in a tech endeavour gets your work judged more harshly and valued less than if you had a male name.

with that in mind, this women only scholarship doesn't seem so bad.
When you see more detail of how most studies of this type are conducted, its usually harder to draw any conclusions. For example, as presented the study wouldn't work. If you have a pile of CVs, copy each of them, and put a male name and a female name on each pair, the people given them for review would smell a rat very quickly. They might miss a couple of times that they've seen the exact same CV before, but they won't keep missing this for very long. The description says that instead they had 127 reviewers, gave the male CVs to one half (actually 63) and the female CVs to the other half (actually 64), but these numbers are too small to draw any conclusions from the results. The mix of people in each group could have considerably skewed the results with such a modest sized pool of reviewers.

I find it interesting that they found female and male reviewers were equally biased against a CV with a woman's name on it. Really? No difference at all? That seems a truly remarkable outcome.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 04:20:21 am by coppice »
 

Online rsjsouza

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #216 on: August 08, 2018, 01:40:16 am »
This is why I am firmly of the belief that the first step in any hiring process, literally before ANY applications are looked at in any way, never mind discarded, should be to completely anonymize all applications.
I wholeheartedly agree with that. All power to hire the best candidate.
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Offline Marco

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #217 on: August 08, 2018, 02:56:29 am »
This is why I am firmly of the belief that the first step in any hiring process, literally before ANY applications are looked at in any way, never mind discarded, should be to completely anonymize all applications.

Employers will wait till the interview to weed out young women if they want to do so (whether for rational reasons, ie. maternity costs, or prejudice). How about reference checking and personal referrals? Do you want to create mechanisms for that to be done anonymously with penalties to ensure adherence?

Fuck that ... life's not fair, trying to bludgeon it into being so can make life more annoying as well as unfair. Balance in all things.
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #218 on: August 08, 2018, 03:28:50 am »
I still don't think there is much of any "weeding out" of women going on. Women applying to engineering jobs are so rare that they tend to get the fast track, quite the opposite of being weeded out. The bar is lower for women who apply, not higher.
 
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Offline coppice

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #219 on: August 08, 2018, 03:43:00 am »
They like the low cost of living and wages. They don't like being exposed to the economic risks of India nor the geopolitical risks of China, nor the corruption and nepotism ... they prefer infinite H1Bs.
Try travelling around the business areas of Bangalore. You might drive down a single street and see sites for 10 to 20 of the world's best know tech companies, and few of them are small sites. Most have at least a few hundred people working there, and some have thousands. They have a very high percentage of engineers, with a rather small number of support staff. I don't know anywhere in China to compare with that concentration, but the number of large research and design centres in China, owned by western companies, has grow considerably in the last few years.

Don't expect to see many new chairs in US science and engineering faculties sponsored by American companies. They would rather create chairs in Asian faculties, where the growth lies.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2018, 03:44:55 am by coppice »
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #220 on: August 08, 2018, 04:39:25 am »
I still don't think there is much of any "weeding out" of women going on. Women applying to engineering jobs are so rare that they tend to get the fast track, quite the opposite of being weeded out. The bar is lower for women who apply, not higher.

Certainly when I’ve been interviewing for technical roles, a CV/resume from a woman will pretty much guarantee an interview.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #221 on: August 08, 2018, 05:08:20 am »
I still don't think there is much of any "weeding out" of women going on. Women applying to engineering jobs are so rare that they tend to get the fast track, quite the opposite of being weeded out. The bar is lower for women who apply, not higher.
Certainly when I’ve been interviewing for technical roles, a CV/resume from a woman will pretty much guarantee an interview.
My experience is the same. You have to allow for the novelty angle of a woman applying for an electronics engineering job, though, at least in the UK. A CV from a woman is frequently the first one the reviewer has ever seen. They really are that rare. She's bound to get called for interview, if only for the interviewer to enjoy the novel experience. At the end of the day, though, most people are looking for reasons to offer a woman a job, rather than looking for reasons to deny one. Most engineers like to mix things up a bit.
 

Offline IanB

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #222 on: August 08, 2018, 05:20:52 am »
My experience is the same. You have to allow for the novelty angle of a woman applying for an electronics engineering job, though, at least in the UK.

That rarity is weird though. There are plenty of women doing mechanical, civil or chemical engineering, or for that matter being physicists or chemists.

Is it the electrons that put women off, or the people they would have to work with?
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #223 on: August 08, 2018, 05:43:20 am »
Maybe it would be worth asking a bunch of women in other areas of engineering and find out what attracted them to that area or repelled them from others?

One observation I've had, which is anecdotal at best, is that electronics engineers tend to be *really* into it. They design hardware by day, and usually do the same as a hobby in their free time. This seems to be less true for other areas of engineering but again it's just an observation. I have also observed that quite a few electrical/electronics engineers exhibit symptoms of high-functioning autism or Aspergers, "disorders" that are far more common in men.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #224 on: August 08, 2018, 05:44:22 am »
My experience is the same. You have to allow for the novelty angle of a woman applying for an electronics engineering job, though, at least in the UK.

That rarity is weird though. There are plenty of women doing mechanical, civil or chemical engineering, or for that matter being physicists or chemists.

Is it the electrons that put women off, or the people they would have to work with?
Plenty might be an exaggeration. Statistics say the numbers of women are still pretty low in most other engineering disciplines, but they do seem particularly low in electronics. Its similar for embedded software. Advertise for someone to develop software, keep it vague, and women apply. Add magic words like "embedded" and the female CVs disappear. Its probably better to go for the later approach, though. Most of the female applicants attracted by the vague ad lose interest when they find out the nature of the work at the interview.

Apparently if you want to find lots of women with "engineer" in their job title you have to look for places where engineering intersects with life sciences.
 


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