Author Topic: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.  (Read 36573 times)

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Offline james_s

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2018, 02:24:34 am »
Now we get reverse discrimination were men are being discriminated against because of their gender. It's not making things better.
Both "sides" should just stop it.


A friend of mine is a manager at a large tech company which I will not name here. In the quest to boost diversity they have ended up with a policy where management bonuses are partially tied to the diversity of the teams. This has led to a situation where he is *required* by policy of the management above him to interview a woman or minority for any open position, and to hire a white/male they have to be demonstrably better than any of the "diversity candidates" that are submitted, ie the bar is higher, all else being equal the diversity candidate will get the job. He had an amusing story recently about an internal recruiter sending him resumes with foreign sounding names in hopes of finding a suitable diversity candidate, a number of them turned out to be people from Scandinavian countries which as one might expect turned out to be white.

So yes, men are absolutely being discriminated against for their gender, it's not "reverse discrimination", it's discrimination. Company sanctioned, and in fact encouraged gender discrimination.

Yes the industry has been largely male-dominated for a long time, but I have never personally witnessed discrimination against women. When I was part of the hiring/interview loop at one of the places I worked easily 95% of the resumes we got came from men. Remarkably we had about 25% women on the team despite this. Gender simply was not something I was concerned with, if they impressed me with their competency and I liked their personality I gave the thumbs up, simple as that. My observation is that the teams are very welcoming to women, we *like* working with a diverse collection of people, but we can't hire people who don't apply so if 95% of applicants are men then the company will be male dominated.

On the other hand, veterinary medicine is the field my other half is in and it is hugely female dominated. All but one of the doctors at her clinic are women and about 90% of the vet techs. There isn't a lot of money in that industry though so nobody seems to care about the lack of diversity.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2018, 02:26:32 am by james_s »
 
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Offline tooki

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2018, 02:30:04 am »
On the other hand, veterinary medicine is the field my other half is in and it is hugely female dominated. All but one of the doctors at her clinic are women and about 90% of the vet techs. There isn't a lot of money in that industry though so nobody seems to care about the lack of diversity.
Well, FWIW (human) nursing is a totally female-dominated field, and they do indeed give stark preference to male applicants. (Both in hiring as well as in admissions to nursing programs.)
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2018, 02:35:26 am »
I don't consider that any more acceptable. Why should either gender get preference in any field? Hire based on merit, gender is irrelevant. Equality means equally valued, it doesn't mean a perfectly equal gender/race ratios. I don't understand why the concept that some topics may appeal on average more to one gender than another is offensive to some, it doesn't mean someone of the other gender can't be interested in it. Statistically not a lot of women are into football or car racing, not a lot of men are into cosmetics or high end handbags, so what? People are allowed to be interested (or not interested) in anything they want, do we need to try to force an equal balance?
 
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Offline coppice

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2018, 03:08:04 am »
I suspect the reason there aren't many women is the same reason a lot of men steer clear of eng or science degrees - endless swathes of theoretical maths that have absolutely nothing to do with the subject in question.

An exercise akin to memorising the telephone book - except that being able to recall any phone number in the region might actually be more useful.

Women tend to be more pragmatic about such things, as in  'I can't see the point in that'  and walk away.  :-//
Could you identify some of this irrelevant maths for the rest of us?
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2018, 03:13:59 am »
On the other hand, veterinary medicine is the field my other half is in and it is hugely female dominated. All but one of the doctors at her clinic are women and about 90% of the vet techs. There isn't a lot of money in that industry though so nobody seems to care about the lack of diversity.
Well, FWIW (human) nursing is a totally female-dominated field, and they do indeed give stark preference to male applicants. (Both in hiring as well as in admissions to nursing programs.)
Its not just nursing. Women now outnumber men in pretty much every area of life sciences. In places like veterinary schools there are hardly any men. In (human) medical schools women somewhat outnumber men. In most biology classes women considerably outnumber men. A lot of women with rather personal medical problems used to complain that they'd rather see a woman doctor, but couldn't find one. With current trends there will probably me a lot of men in the converse position in a decade or two.
 

Offline ajb

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #30 on: July 27, 2018, 04:02:51 am »
I've seen practically no discrimination towards females in the industry in my 30 years, just because they are female, other factors are vastly more important than gender.

I certainly believe that you've seen no discrimination, but that in and of itself is part of the problem.  As men in the industry human beings we tend not to see things that don't have any impact on us.  That doesn't mean it's not happening, and even if you're in a workplace that legitimately is the perfect model of acceptance and non-discrimination that neglects the entire larger culture that has produced the overall gender imbalance in the first place.  Children get molded into normative gender roles from an incredibly early age, and through their entire lives are subtly and not-so-subtly nudged back into their "boy" and "girl" boxes whenever they stray.  I've heard stories from tons of women I know about how they were dissuaded or mocked for being interested in STEM topics, or how they were assumed to be less capable in those subjects, likewise for some of the other minority folks I know.   I'm glad that rachaelp is here to provide a first-hand account of how those biases manifest even in a professional setting.

To put a finer point on it: if you're a guy in the industry, saying "I've seen no gender discrimination..." is worse than useless.  Listen (REALLY LISTEN!) to women in the industry, let them frame the conversation, and leave your irrelevant personal experience at the door. 
 
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Offline CopperCone

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #31 on: July 27, 2018, 04:47:56 am »
On the other hand, veterinary medicine is the field my other half is in and it is hugely female dominated. All but one of the doctors at her clinic are women and about 90% of the vet techs. There isn't a lot of money in that industry though so nobody seems to care about the lack of diversity.
Well, FWIW (human) nursing is a totally female-dominated field, and they do indeed give stark preference to male applicants. (Both in hiring as well as in admissions to nursing programs.)
Its not just nursing. Women now outnumber men in pretty much every area of life sciences. In places like veterinary schools there are hardly any men. In (human) medical schools women somewhat outnumber men. In most biology classes women considerably outnumber men. A lot of women with rather personal medical problems used to complain that they'd rather see a woman doctor, but couldn't find one. With current trends there will probably me a lot of men in the converse position in a decade or two.

 

Offline bsfeechannel

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #32 on: July 27, 2018, 05:40:03 am »
People are allowed to be interested (or not interested) in anything they want, do we need to try to force an equal balance?

This issue is not new. When Achilles was born, the oracle told his mother that he would be a famous warrior but would die young. She did everything she could to avoid this fate. She even disguised him as a daughter of the king of Skyros. But that didn't work. He ended up getting one of his "sisters" pregnant and, knowing where he was hidden, Odysseus and other leaders at the Trojan War went there disguised themselves as merchants and offered gifts, adornments, clothes as well as tools and weapons. The only "woman" interested in swords was Achilles. This is my favorite rendition of the scene:


Source: Wikipedia

Achilles, dressed like a woman, holding a sword and being exposed by the "merchants", is seen by the astonished eyes of everyone but not by pregnant sister, who is not the least bit surprised. LOL.

This ancient myth shows that if Achilles was really a girl, and got interested in war, he wouldn't be able to avoid that. Except for social conventions.
 

Offline langwadt

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2018, 06:18:00 am »
I've seen practically no discrimination towards females in the industry in my 30 years, just because they are female, other factors are vastly more important than gender.

To put a finer point on it: if you're a guy in the industry, saying "I've seen no gender discrimination..." is worse than useless.  Listen (REALLY LISTEN!) to women in the industry, let them frame the conversation, and leave your irrelevant personal experience at the door.

of course if he had said he had seen lots of discrimination his personal experience would have been very relevant....




 

Offline CopperCone

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2018, 06:21:10 am »
img

Johnny Bravo is in the crosshairs, yo!

johnny bravo is in a vet school
 

Online ebastler

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #35 on: July 27, 2018, 06:25:28 am »
To put a finer point on it: if you're a guy in the industry, saying "I've seen no gender discrimination..." is worse than useless.  Listen (REALLY LISTEN!) to women in the industry, let them frame the conversation, and leave your irrelevant personal experience at the door.
of course if he had said he had seen lots of discrimination his personal experience would have been very relevant....

I know you mean to be cynical there, but you may inadvertently be right:

The situation is indeed asymmetrical. If discrimination is so obvious that (even) a member of the majority notices it, that says something. In contrast, if a member of the majority states "I don't see any discrimination", that does not say a whole lot. See?
 

Offline langwadt

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #36 on: July 27, 2018, 06:45:43 am »
To put a finer point on it: if you're a guy in the industry, saying "I've seen no gender discrimination..." is worse than useless.  Listen (REALLY LISTEN!) to women in the industry, let them frame the conversation, and leave your irrelevant personal experience at the door.
of course if he had said he had seen lots of discrimination his personal experience would have been very relevant....

I know you mean to be cynical there, but you may inadvertently be right:

The situation is indeed asymmetrical. If discrimination is so obvious that (even) a member of the majority notices it, that says something. In contrast, if a member of the majority states "I don't see any discrimination", that does not say a whole lot. See?


my point was more that if you have already made up you mind that there must be discrimination and dismiss anyone that says otherwise
as irrelevant it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy

 

Offline ajb

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2018, 07:02:06 am »
my point was more that if you have already made up you mind that there must be discrimination and dismiss anyone that says otherwise
as irrelevant it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy
Personally, I've made up my mind that there's discrimination against women in STEM because, leaving aside the tremendous gender gap, plenty of WOMEN have said that there is, and I've heard plenty of first-hand stories from women that I know personally.  So when a man marches into the conversation and says, "Well *I* haven't *personally* seen any discrimination, so what's the big deal?", then his opinion goes straight into the bin where it belongs.  Now, if a guy comes in and says "I don't have the experience of a woman in tech so I'll pay close attention to what women have to say and maybe learn about things that I'm missing or that have a bigger impact on a person than I realized", then there's an opportunity to get somewhere.  Bottom line: don't speak with authority unless you have the experience to back it up, and if you're in the overwhelming majority, then you need to make space for people who aren't, ESPECIALLY when discussing things that specifically affect those in minorities.
 
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Offline coppice

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #38 on: July 27, 2018, 07:09:04 am »
To put a finer point on it: if you're a guy in the industry, saying "I've seen no gender discrimination..." is worse than useless.  Listen (REALLY LISTEN!) to women in the industry, let them frame the conversation, and leave your irrelevant personal experience at the door.
of course if he had said he had seen lots of discrimination his personal experience would have been very relevant....

I know you mean to be cynical there, but you may inadvertently be right:

The situation is indeed asymmetrical. If discrimination is so obvious that (even) a member of the majority notices it, that says something. In contrast, if a member of the majority states "I don't see any discrimination", that does not say a whole lot. See?
What does it say? If discrimination is obvious, that doesn't mean it is commonplace. In fact, the most obvious discrimination seems to be when one bad actor, out of step with the majority of people around them, acts in a discriminatory manner.
 

Offline gkeeth

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #39 on: July 27, 2018, 07:31:59 am »
To put a finer point on it: if you're a guy in the industry, saying "I've seen no gender discrimination..." is worse than useless.  Listen (REALLY LISTEN!) to women in the industry, let them frame the conversation, and leave your irrelevant personal experience at the door.
of course if he had said he had seen lots of discrimination his personal experience would have been very relevant....

I know you mean to be cynical there, but you may inadvertently be right:

The situation is indeed asymmetrical. If discrimination is so obvious that (even) a member of the majority notices it, that says something. In contrast, if a member of the majority states "I don't see any discrimination", that does not say a whole lot. See?


my point was more that if you have already made up you mind that there must be discrimination and dismiss anyone that says otherwise
as irrelevant it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy


Your point was clear; ebastler was pointing out the problem with that sentiment.

If you have already made up your mind that the discrimination does not exist, and dismiss those who have experienced it and insist it does exist, then the discrimination continues without the "majority" (for lack of a better term) realizing or believing it exists.

To put a finer point on it: if you're a guy in the industry, saying "I've seen no gender discrimination..." is worse than useless.  Listen (REALLY LISTEN!) to women in the industry, let them frame the conversation, and leave your irrelevant personal experience at the door.
of course if he had said he had seen lots of discrimination his personal experience would have been very relevant....

I know you mean to be cynical there, but you may inadvertently be right:

The situation is indeed asymmetrical. If discrimination is so obvious that (even) a member of the majority notices it, that says something. In contrast, if a member of the majority states "I don't see any discrimination", that does not say a whole lot. See?
What does it say? If discrimination is obvious, that doesn't mean it is commonplace. In fact, the most obvious discrimination seems to be when one bad actor, out of step with the majority of people around them, acts in a discriminatory manner.


I agree with your assertion that the most obvious discrimination comes from "one bad actor." However, based on my conversations with women who have experienced discrimination in stem, most discrimination is commonplace but NOT obvious -- the discriminators (and they're not just men) probably don't even realize they're discriminating! Once some of these subtle forms of discrimination were pointed out to me, I've caught myself in the act on more than one occasion. This stuff is not uncommon.

I don't know that one kind of discrimination (subtle vs nonsubtle) is better than the other, but neither is great...
 
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Offline langwadt

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #40 on: July 27, 2018, 07:46:27 am »
my point was more that if you have already made up you mind that there must be discrimination and dismiss anyone that says otherwise
as irrelevant it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy
Personally, I've made up my mind that there's discrimination against women in STEM because, leaving aside the tremendous gender gap, plenty of WOMEN have said that there is, and I've heard plenty of first-hand stories from women that I know personally.  So when a man marches into the conversation and says, "Well *I* haven't *personally* seen any discrimination, so what's the big deal?", then his opinion goes straight into the bin where it belongs.  Now, if a guy comes in and says "I don't have the experience of a woman in tech so I'll pay close attention to what women have to say and maybe learn about things that I'm missing or that have a bigger impact on a person than I realized", then there's an opportunity to get somewhere.  Bottom line: don't speak with authority unless you have the experience to back it up, and if you're in the overwhelming majority, then you need to make space for people who aren't, ESPECIALLY when discussing things that specifically affect those in minorities.

and if a women said it she would probably be dismissed too


 

Offline coppice

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #41 on: July 27, 2018, 08:16:50 am »
I agree with your assertion that the most obvious discrimination comes from "one bad actor." However, based on my conversations with women who have experienced discrimination in stem, most discrimination is commonplace but NOT obvious -- the discriminators (and they're not just men) probably don't even realize they're discriminating! Once some of these subtle forms of discrimination were pointed out to me, I've caught myself in the act on more than one occasion. This stuff is not uncommon.

I don't know that one kind of discrimination (subtle vs nonsubtle) is better than the other, but neither is great...
I have listened to quite a number of women engineer's grievances about how they are treated, and the worst of the off hand assumptions they have faced are from other women in non-technical roles - secretaries and HR staff being probably the worst offenders. They have far fewer complaints about male engineers than about women non-engineers. Some of the complaints about men they do have seem to be a matter of perception. For example, women sometimes say they are not listened to in meetings, while a man saying essentially the same thing later in the meeting is listened to. When you ask them to watch for the smartest man in the room suffering the same issue in future meetings, and they do, their attitude often changes. Presenting a great idea too early frequently gets you nowhere. Once the rest of the room has heard enough to catch up, the same idea is seen in a different light. However, if you expect prejudice against you, its easy to read prejudice into this kind of behaviour.

I have never been involved in recruiting where there were more than a couple of percent of CVs from women in the pile. Its usually highest if you are accepting applications from fresh graduates. Most people, men and women, working through the CVs will pick out the women for particular discussion, much as they would pick out any other CVs with an uncommon aspect to them - people who started late in life, had a difficult journey through life, have had a very mixed career, etc. In general the women are treated favourably, because most people would like their department to be a little more mixed than the usual arrangement where the only diversity is whether a person is happier doing digital or analogue work. I'm not sure how the actual hiring record has gone overall, but I do know the women have been a lot more likely to be called for interview than a man with an otherwise similar CV.
 
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Offline John B

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #42 on: July 27, 2018, 08:56:16 am »
When people use the words "representation" or "under-representation", I am consistently disappointed to see that people that should be analytical due to their profession, fail to see the flaw in the argument.

The question when talking about representation, is what is the set of people that is being represented? If you collect all the factors that could contribute to the likelihood of someone being an engineer/scientist/<insert profession>:
  • Interest in the field
  • Aptitude
  • Will and drive
  • Personality traits

Then why would anyone make the assumption that the set of people that fit these criteria, would be the same set as the general population? Especially when there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary? Of course other factors will be brought up, such as lifestyle and whether or not someone plays with dolls as a kid, but the argument remains unchanged.

I also think that people know that the argument is weak given how selectively it is applied. Therefore the success of the argument is due to the emotional impact and cultural zeitgeist rather than the logical strength of the argument. Using the "general population set" argument, there are many fields where males are "under-represented" by the same reasoning. Someone earlier mentioned veterinary fields - it reminds me of a real funny story a while ago:

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/feb/08/sydney-university-under-fire-for-vet-scholarship-giving-preference-to-males

A private scholarship donor requested that a preference to male applicants from a rural background, as there is a shortage of vets in rural areas for agricultural medicine. Veterinary medicine is >90% female, who then overwhelming go on to work in city vet practices, where there is much more interpersonal interaction with pet owners, more appealing and comfortable lifestyle, air conditioned offices etc. Vets who treat cows, horses and sheep (ie the whole arm up the rectum type work) in rural areas are overwhelmingly male. So not only was there very pragmatic reasons to give preference to a male applicant in a rural area, but all the same reasoning was valid if the sexes were to be flipped. Yet despite that.....well read the hypocrisy for yourself.
 
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Offline John B

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #43 on: July 27, 2018, 09:01:44 am »
Bottom line: don't speak with authority unless you have the experience to back it up, and if you're in the overwhelming majority, then you need to make space for people who aren't, ESPECIALLY when discussing things that specifically affect those in minorities.

Is this a majority group of the general population or a majority group of engineers now? Lol.

Pick and choose, pick and choose......
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #44 on: July 27, 2018, 09:26:47 am »
my point was more that if you have already made up you mind that there must be discrimination and dismiss anyone that says otherwise
as irrelevant it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy
Personally, I've made up my mind that there's discrimination against women in STEM because, leaving aside the tremendous gender gap, plenty of WOMEN have said that there is, and I've heard plenty of first-hand stories from women that I know personally.  So when a man marches into the conversation and says, "Well *I* haven't *personally* seen any discrimination, so what's the big deal?", then his opinion goes straight into the bin where it belongs.  Now, if a guy comes in and says "I don't have the experience of a woman in tech so I'll pay close attention to what women have to say and maybe learn about things that I'm missing or that have a bigger impact on a person than I realized", then there's an opportunity to get somewhere.  Bottom line: don't speak with authority unless you have the experience to back it up, and if you're in the overwhelming majority, then you need to make space for people who aren't, ESPECIALLY when discussing things that specifically affect those in minorities.

I agree.

And it must be said: there's a whole lotta mansplainin' going on in this thread.
 

Offline langwadt

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #45 on: July 27, 2018, 10:06:58 am »
my point was more that if you have already made up you mind that there must be discrimination and dismiss anyone that says otherwise
as irrelevant it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy
Personally, I've made up my mind that there's discrimination against women in STEM because, leaving aside the tremendous gender gap, plenty of WOMEN have said that there is, and I've heard plenty of first-hand stories from women that I know personally.  So when a man marches into the conversation and says, "Well *I* haven't *personally* seen any discrimination, so what's the big deal?", then his opinion goes straight into the bin where it belongs.  Now, if a guy comes in and says "I don't have the experience of a woman in tech so I'll pay close attention to what women have to say and maybe learn about things that I'm missing or that have a bigger impact on a person than I realized", then there's an opportunity to get somewhere.  Bottom line: don't speak with authority unless you have the experience to back it up, and if you're in the overwhelming majority, then you need to make space for people who aren't, ESPECIALLY when discussing things that specifically affect those in minorities.

I agree.

And it must be said: there's a whole lotta mansplainin' going on in this thread.

mansplainin'? really?
 
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Offline forrestc

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #46 on: July 27, 2018, 10:19:22 am »
My $0.02:

It appears to me that a large portion of the problem has more to do with the mistaken perception that if a field is dominated by men or women, that there must be discrimination going on.

I think a lot of the mismatches have more to do with traditional gender roles which we aren't that far removed from time-wise.   A girl might look at engineering as something that boys do and then decide to do something else which is traditionally female dominated.   Same for a boy who is interested in nursing or some other traditionally female-dominated area.   This results in a continuing mismatch of qualified male vs female job applicants in those fields - and subsequently results in a similar ratio among the people who have jobs.

A lot of the social-justice-warrior types seem to think that a 50/50 ratio is the only acceptable ratio.   I'd argue that the correct ratio is roughly equivalent to the ratio of qualified job applicants.   And that if we are to do any work on gender equality, it should be more geared toward encouraging individuals to follow their dreams and help them to understand that it really doesn't matter whether you're a male or female or any of the other categories that people lump people into.  It is my opinion that we're already heading in that direction - one only has to compare the ratios of men vs female in the tech industries to see that the trend is going in the right direction.   

Please don't interpret the above to mean that I don't think discrimination exists.   It does.   I just don't think that it's the main problem anymore - instead it's mostly the issue of convincing underrepresented groups to give something outside the traditional roles a try.
 
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Offline julianhigginson

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #47 on: July 27, 2018, 10:43:08 am »
plenty of proper studies out there, but here we are on a tech forum that values rigorous analysis of issues, and all we have is a bunch of guys claiming that discrimination can't exist "because I don't see it"... or "because I had a women boss once"... or "I'm pretty sure women just don't want to be engineers"

have some science, guys.
http://www.pnas.org/content/109/41/16474
this is just one paper, but you'll find this experiment is pretty solidly done, and overwhelmingly showing that women are discriminated against in STEM (by men *and* women) and the fundamental nature of the findings point to a pretty universal relevance.

Even Nature acknowledged that the rating of papers for its own publication has systemic bias against women, where they at least identified a need to try and balance things to make their publication more fair.
https://www.nature.com/news/nature-s-sexism-1.11850

So... we actually know that due to some combination of cultural expectations, we (as in all of us) exhibit real measurable bias against women in STEM professions (I'd say all technical professions) where women are consistently undervalued compared to men.

Does this mean no woman can ever succeed or get a promotion? of course not. it just means that many women have additional barriers to their career than many men do. Lots of little evaluations where they are shortchanged a little bit. (and then there's the actual aggressive/abusive a-hole guys that still exist and are more or less tolerated still, but this isn't even about them... we can talk about silicon valley's aggressive abusive woman hating bro culture later if you'd like.. uber is famous for it, but really it's present in all the big names)

So, the question becomes - what do we do about it?

Personally I think affirmative action (just hiring x% women for roles, etc.. ) can be problematic too... it's an ugly kludge. a hack.

BUT when you are dealing with a systemic issue that does exist, and shows that we consistently are *already* raising up people who are not the most qualified or doing the best work, then what exactly is the loss?

Do we just look at the solution we could use, and decide we'd rather just ignore the problem and say "well I don't see the problem so it's not one" like a few people on here want to - or do we have a go at patching it as best we reasonably can, and move on. In the future we might come up with a better fix (or experimental evidence starts to show that the fix isn't doing what's expected, or it shows society change enough that the fix isn't needed anymore) so we can change stuff around again then? 

Anyway - going back from full on affirmative action, and back to the subject of the original post - I don't see the original issue in this post as anything but good. this is *one* issue of *one* industry mag, that's going to be celebrating stuff that women engineers have done. (Because from the study above, we know that normally their published articles will not cover the very best and most deserving of the subjects they could... they will to some degree prioritise the celebration of the work of men) Maybe people will see it and they will see real examples of women do go great work in tech fields, and maybe a little bit of unconscious bias in some of the readers will shift?


also, for people who love anecdotes:
https://www.guernicamag.com/rebecca-solnit-men-explain-things-to-me/
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #48 on: July 27, 2018, 11:31:44 am »
Personally, I've made up my mind that there's discrimination against women in STEM because, leaving aside the tremendous gender gap, plenty of WOMEN have said that there is, and I've heard plenty of first-hand stories from women that I know personally.  So when a man marches into the conversation and says, "Well *I* haven't *personally* seen any discrimination, so what's the big deal?", then his opinion goes straight into the bin where it belongs.  Now, if a guy comes in and says "I don't have the experience of a woman in tech so I'll pay close attention to what women have to say and maybe learn about things that I'm missing or that have a bigger impact on a person than I realized", then there's an opportunity to get somewhere.  Bottom line: don't speak with authority unless you have the experience to back it up, and if you're in the overwhelming majority, then you need to make space for people who aren't, ESPECIALLY when discussing things that specifically affect those in minorities.


Well, I have personally seen gender discrimination, as detailed in my previous post about the managers that are required to hire minority candidates if they can. The bar is literally lower for women and minorities when all else is equal, because management bonuses are tied to diversity stats, men are actively discriminated against.

Of course many will jump to defend this with "But men have had advantages previously.." yadda yadda, well yes, to some degree they have, but that doesn't suddenly make retaliatory discrimination ok. That doesn't solve anything.

The fact that at one of my previous employers we had around 95% male applicants with about 25-30% female hires also suggests discrimination. Now don't get me wrong, I liked nearly all of the people I worked with regardless of gender, but I'm just not seeing this anti-women bias. The only gender discrimination I've ever witnessed in STEM has been the other way around. That's not to say it doesn't happen somewhere, but it is certainly not the norm around here.

Then there is the rather amusing paradox where many of the same people claiming gender discrimination also claim there is a wage gap. Seems logical to me though that if a company could hire women to do the same job and pay them less, they would hire entire teams of women and save a bundle. Companies do everything they can to save money and that would be a really obvious one if there was actually a wage gap when looking at the same job with the same skillset.
 
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Offline Marco

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #49 on: July 27, 2018, 11:53:19 am »
http://www.pnas.org/content/109/41/16474

There is an unspoken assumption underlying this paper. That with the same application and only the knowledge of the gender, a man could not be be judged on average more competent and hireable simply for being a man.

Men have certain advantages over women on average. We have larger organs, which makes us hardier and less likely to miss work days. We don't have monthly hormonal cycles screwing with our performance. Most importantly, if we are in a relationship and make a baby we aren't biologically forced to take time off and culturally we are much less likely to quit our jobs to take care of it (in that respect Sweden's approach of giving men a huge chunk of take it or leave it parental leave helps a fair bit). Do women also have some inherent advantages because of their different emotional makeup, sure but I don't think they can really compensate.

Someone making a decision whether to hire someone and how much to invest in someone has to do probabilistic optimization if he wants to get best result, they don't have an oracle to judge a person with complete knowledge. All else in their application being equal, men are generally better employees simply because of biology and the cultural imperative for women to raise children. An inconvenient truth ... Bayesian mathematics is sexist.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2018, 12:00:35 pm by Marco »
 
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