Author Topic: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.  (Read 39262 times)

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Offline james_s

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #800 on: February 04, 2019, 10:23:33 am »
Language is often deliberately used to color something, but on the other hand sometimes not. I think the best thing to do when one encounters ambiguity is to ask for clarification rather than making assumptions that could be incorrect. I sometimes use the term "dominates" simply to describe a majority, either there is a lot of something, or something is large/loud/interesting/unusual enough to command a disproportionately large amount of my attention. Sometimes I may use words in ways that are unconventional or not entirely correct, sometimes because it is a term that has gained acceptance and other times because I simply used the wrong word, I'm not a linguist, it happens.
 
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Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #801 on: February 04, 2019, 11:37:20 am »
Language is often deliberately used to color something, but on the other hand sometimes not.
I did not intend to imply you chose a color for a point.  I assumed you either did not notice it, or did not care.  I saw you using a term I thought conveyed significant subtext you did not intend.  I felt you were making an error that I myself make often.  Kinship, not finger-pointing.

I am trying to say that using commonly used terms often conveys an unintended emotional load, and that skews a discussion; with emotionally intensive subjects, up to overriding any rational arguments on the emotional level.  When one can choose between "male-dominated" and "majority-male", I suggest choosing the latter, because of the likelihood of associating the former with subjucation -- unless, of course, the subjucation subtext is desired.

I have been told here by native speakers that they don't see that color, and that I should ignore it if I see it, but I still disagree.  I admit you could be right, but looking at the contexts in which the two terms are used, it seems to me the subtext is real, and not just something only I perceive.  I believe that for thing-oriented humans it is easy to miss such subtext, even if they are affected by it subconsciously; and that is the nefarious part that one should be aware of: to not transport connotations you yourself do not support.  That is the "viral" nature I referred to earlier; being "an asymptomatic carrier" in biological terminology.

When talking about subjects with high emotional load, this is doubly important, because a lot of humans process such subjects emotionally, bypassing rational thought.  Rational people argue using the terms in their rational sense, without being swayed by any emotive subtext (because they are more interested in the subject than any emotive content); but the emotive people only care about the emotional subtext.  As I have found myself to be easily swayed by such subtexts, I thought it might help others who are similarly frustrated about the lack of rational argument in the subjects at hand, and see the underlying mechanisms how the discussion is manipulated by people not participating in it directly.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #802 on: February 04, 2019, 11:59:19 am »
Language is often deliberately used to color something, but on the other hand sometimes not.
I did not intend to imply you chose a color for a point.  I assumed you either did not notice it, or did not care.  I saw you using a term I thought conveyed significant subtext you did not intend.  I felt you were making an error that I myself make often.  Kinship, not finger-pointing.

I am trying to say that using commonly used terms often conveys an unintended emotional load, and that skews a discussion; with emotionally intensive subjects, up to overriding any rational arguments on the emotional level.  When one can choose between "male-dominated" and "majority-male", I suggest choosing the latter, because of the likelihood of associating the former with subjucation -- unless, of course, the subjucation subtext is desired.

How about you simply chose not to be emotional about such things when discussing them?
The issue here is not with the speaker, it's with the recipient.

Quote
When talking about subjects with high emotional load, this is doubly important, because a lot of humans process such subjects emotionally, bypassing rational thought. 

Again, how about people try not to do that?
The best way to help with that is to educate the listener rather than try and control the speech of the speaker.
Trying to controls peoples speech is usually a bad way to solve an issue.

For a simple word like dominate, to ironically now dominate this thread is just ridiculous that could have been avoided by the reader simply not assuming ill-intent in use of the word.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 12:04:10 pm by EEVblog »
 
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Online EEVblog

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #803 on: February 27, 2019, 03:38:17 pm »
https://hbr.org/ideacast/2019/02/fixing-techs-gender-gap

Quote
Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, is on a mission to get more young women into computer science. She says the problem isn’t lack of interest. Her non-profit organization has trained thousands of girls to code, and the ranks of female science and engineering graduates continue to grow. And yet men still dominate the tech industry. Saujani believes companies can certainly do more to promote diversity. But she also wants girls and women to stop letting perfectionism hold them back from volunteering for the most challenging tasks and jobs. She is the author of the book Brave, Not Perfect: Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder.

Err, yeah, sorry, but that is the problem. Girls in general just aren't that interested in engineering in the same percentages boys are. Science, sure, girls are dominating numbers now?, but engineering, nope.
Perhaps that's because engineers, to quote Sheldon Cooper, are the "Oompaloompa's" of the science world, and maybe that's not as enticing as science in general. And you go down the trades ladder to garbage collection or whatever.

And what the heck is "perfectionism" about? (I haven't listened to podcast)

EDIT: Here is the bit on perfectionism:
Quote
RESHMA SAUJANI: Well, it’s also weird because the world’s first programmer was a woman. You think about Ada Lovelace and the ENIAC women and Grace Hopper. There have always been women in technology and women in computing, but things started really changing in the 1980’s, where in the 1980’s if you walked into any computer science classroom it would have been 40 percent girls and 60 percent boys. So, really close to parity.

And then those numbers started trickling to where we are now which is less than 20 percent because I think, culture. The 1980’s you saw the birth of the brogrammer and you saw him on Weird Science and Revenge of the Nerds. And when you ask girls what does a computer scientist look like, it looks like a dude with a hoodie sitting in a basement somewhere. And you can’t be what you cannot see.

And so, we started creating the caricature of what it looked like to be a computer scientist and girls didn’t see themselves in it. And I also think that a lot of this has to do with the way that we raise girls. We raise girls to be perfect and we raise boys to be brave. And girls start believing that they’re either good at something or bad at something. And for every single one of us, math is not immediately easy. It’s annoying. It’s challenging. It’s hard. If you get an answer wrong and instead of saying, “Oh wait let me try it again,” you go straight to “I suck,” or “I’m not smart” – You’re going to get turned off that subject especially when you’re raised to do everything perfectly.

ALISON BEARD: But it’s really hard. Especially given societal norms, the way our education and employment systems work. We do want to be perfect because a lot of times perfect is expected of us. So, what are some of the specific strategies that have worked for the girls in the program, the women that you’ve seen and talked to, and for you in your own life?

RESHMA SAUJANI: Yeah, I mean look, I was that girl. I was the perfect immigrant daughter, went to all the right schools, worked at all the right places. Woke up at age 33, pretty much on my floor – just miserable. Because I didn’t understand. I thought if I did everything right I’ll be happy.

And the thing with perfectionism – it’s not only creating a leadership gap, but it’s really causing an unhappiness gap. Women are twice as likely to be depressed than men are. And what we’re seeing right now is so many women are just unsatisfied with their life. They’ve missed opportunities because they don’t think that they’re smart enough or ready or not perfect enough. And we let our great ideas die on the vine. And we see other people pursuing our dreams and we sit there and we’re full of regret and envy, and that creates anxiety and depression and unhappiness.

And so, I, in my life when I ran for Congress and I lost and it didn’t break me, it was like an eye opener, like “Oh my God, I can try things and fail and actually be happier. What?” And so, I started exercising my bravery muscle which I do every day and here are some of the things that I do and that I think other women have done that have worked.

One is: I practice imperfection. So, if you ever get an email from me, it probably has 10 typos and it’s like, definitely doesn’t make sense. So, for a lot of women, if I say to them, practice imperfection. So, send an email with a typo in it. You’ll literally have this collective gasp like what? But think about how much time we spend writing and rewriting and rereading, when we could have been doing other things.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 03:44:05 pm by EEVblog »
 

Offline grizewald

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #804 on: February 28, 2019, 09:41:48 am »
Quote
"I practice imperfection. So, if you ever get an email from me, it probably has 10 typos and it’s like, definitely doesn’t make sense... "

What a great way to show contempt and disrespect toward the person you sent the e-mail to.

This person is a narcissist.

 

Offline IanB

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #805 on: February 28, 2019, 02:59:44 pm »
Quote from: Reshma Saujani
One is: I practice imperfection. So, if you ever get an email from me, it probably has 10 typos and it’s like, definitely doesn’t make sense. So, for a lot of women, if I say to them, practice imperfection. So, send an email with a typo in it. You’ll literally have this collective gasp like what? But think about how much time we spend writing and rewriting and rereading, when we could have been doing other things.

Yeah. Thing is, I have known people who do that, who are hurried and careless, and leave things half finished and imperfect because it is quicker, because they can move on to other things (while leaving other people to tidy up the details). And I don't respect them. At all. Unfortunately, they do find a way to succeed. There are people (managers) who think they "get things done" and who advance them accordingly. Not every successful trait is admirable. Sometimes you get to choose between what gets you ahead, and what is right (e.g. Donald Trump). I'm not sure Mr Trump is a good role model to aspire to.
I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Online rsjsouza

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #806 on: February 28, 2019, 03:54:27 pm »
Blaming the 1980s culture and an "intangible perfection" as factors that pushed girls away from computing... 

Just read a book like the Commodore or the Data General history to see how much a job in the computer design industry was becoming stupidly demanding when the industry was transitioning from the very large mainframes to the mini/micro computing world. Heck, even I wouldn't be that interested in working 72-hour shifts to try to finish a piece of hardware in time for a given trade show - and for a pay that was not terribly great. As far as I know, none of these hard core developers are millionaires.

To me it is much more believable that a large amount of other careers started to become more open to women at the same time and at better working conditions, but I don't have data to corroborate this.

I will just leave this here; Denzel Washington's point on unfairness and excuses
https://youtu.be/2yKfkr2lqQM?t=372
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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 james_s

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #807 on: February 28, 2019, 04:09:41 pm »
Blaming the 1980s culture and an "intangible perfection" as factors that pushed girls away from computing... 

Just read a book like the Commodore or the Data General history to see how much a job in the computer design industry was becoming stupidly demanding when the industry was transitioning from the very large mainframes to the mini/micro computing world. Heck, even I wouldn't be that interested in working 72-hour shifts to try to finish a piece of hardware in time for a given trade show - and for a pay that was not terribly great. As far as I know, none of these hard core developers are millionaires.

To me it is much more believable that a large amount of other careers started to become more open to women at the same time and at better working conditions, but I don't have data to corroborate this.

I will just leave this here; Denzel Washington's point on unfairness and excuses
https://youtu.be/2yKfkr2lqQM?t=372


I know a guy who started his career at Commodore. The workload was crazy and the pay was crap but he did say it was a lot of fun. In the earlier days of my tech career I pulled a lot of 60-70 hour weeks all summer long in order to ship for the holidays. It was a good job for the mostly single guys who had it, a few who weren't single ended up divorced in the time I was there.
 

Online rsjsouza

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #808 on: February 28, 2019, 11:23:34 pm »
Blaming the 1980s culture and an "intangible perfection" as factors that pushed girls away from computing... 

Just read a book like the Commodore or the Data General history to see how much a job in the computer design industry was becoming stupidly demanding when the industry was transitioning from the very large mainframes to the mini/micro computing world. Heck, even I wouldn't be that interested in working 72-hour shifts to try to finish a piece of hardware in time for a given trade show - and for a pay that was not terribly great. As far as I know, none of these hard core developers are millionaires.

I know a guy who started his career at Commodore. The workload was crazy and the pay was crap but he did say it was a lot of fun. In the earlier days of my tech career I pulled a lot of 60-70 hour weeks all summer long in order to ship for the holidays. It was a good job for the mostly single guys who had it, a few who weren't single ended up divorced in the time I was there.
Perhaps my bit came out a bit wrong. I would have loved the fun at a workplace like Commodore and myself worked several very long shifts doing things I liked (and some I disliked). Learned a lot then. The point I was trying to make was that, in cold rational thinking, very few people would jump at that - especially if marriage/family is in the picture.

I recall years ago when a very large multinational consulting company was trying to recruit engineers at my university. After the whole sales pitch, someone asked what was the rate of divorce among employees - the ensuing answer sealed the deal for a lot of people in the room.
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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...
 

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Offline Howardlong

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #810 on: March 05, 2019, 11:25:17 pm »
Ups :D
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/04/technology/google-gender-pay-gap.html

I am not sure how widespread within Google this is, almost certainly it's a small minority of cases, but it makes a good headline. I'm surprised the NYT carried the story, it hardly fits their usual narrative.

It's not beyond the realms of belief that in order to try to achieve a 50:50 gender equality of outcome, inevitably you'll find you're going to have to pay more to attract that smaller pool of talent, and pay less to the larger pool of talent to discourage them.
 


Offline r3bers

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #812 on: March 06, 2019, 10:06:46 am »
More Females in Engineering more engineers becomes married on co-workers.
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #813 on: March 06, 2019, 10:59:53 pm »
Seem to be a big to-do about a recent 60 Minutes special on girls in STEM

https://onezero.medium.com/erasing-women-in-tech-how-60-minutes-ignored-womens-voices-stories-and-expertise-7ee8e157c262

https://medium.com/@ayahbdeir/an-insiders-look-at-why-women-end-up-on-the-cutting-room-floor-71a4865a15b0

Firstly, welcome to the world of media and journalism. I've had several pieces dropped, that's just the way it works, maybe they haven't heard of the cutting room floor. IME, the best way to make sure you're included is to do your piece live. Sure, it's disappointing to be dropped, but that's precisely their modus operandi, they build up expectations, but they have no contractual obligation to use you in their content.

The first piece shows that the writer is partisan and dogma based: I don't see why she needed to make partisan points, but perhaps she took this bias with her during her pieces, and she came over too much as an ideologue rather than as an enabler.

The second piece is more balanced, but unfortunately she initially bought the apparently conciliatory story she was told by the producer. They don't really care TBH, it's not like they have to maintain an ongoing working relationship. Unfortunately she's read a little too much between the lines IMHO, and her segments were just a victim of the cutting room floor.

One thing I've learned when dealing with popular media is that you _have_ to make whatever you're communicating as simple as possible and inevitably you're going to have to skip details. Judging from their articles, I may be wrong, but I suspect they may well have unnecessarily complicated their pieces with ideological dogma, which just wouldn't make sense to the average viewer in the short segments afforded to popular media.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #814 on: March 06, 2019, 11:08:52 pm »
Seem to be a big to-do about a recent 60 Minutes special on girls in STEM

https://onezero.medium.com/erasing-women-in-tech-how-60-minutes-ignored-womens-voices-stories-and-expertise-7ee8e157c262

https://medium.com/@ayahbdeir/an-insiders-look-at-why-women-end-up-on-the-cutting-room-floor-71a4865a15b0

Firstly, welcome to the world of media and journalism. I've had several pieces dropped, that's just the way it works, maybe they haven't heard of the cutting room floor. IME, the best way to make sure you're included is to do your piece live. Sure, it's disappointing to be dropped, but that's precisely their modus operandi, they build up expectations, but they have no contractual obligation to use you in their content.

The first piece shows that the writer is partisan and dogma based: I don't see why she needed to make partisan points, but perhaps she took this bias with her during her pieces, and she came over too much as an ideologue rather than as an enabler.

The second piece is more balanced, but unfortunately she initially bought the apparently conciliatory story she was told by the producer. They don't really care TBH, it's not like they have to maintain an ongoing working relationship. Unfortunately she's read a little too much between the lines IMHO, and her segments were just a victim of the cutting room floor.

One thing I've learned when dealing with popular media is that you _have_ to make whatever you're communicating as simple as possible and inevitably you're going to have to skip details. Judging from their articles, I may be wrong, but I suspect they may well have unnecessarily complicated their pieces with ideological dogma, which just wouldn't make sense to the average viewer in the short segments afforded to popular media.
You may well be right. The guy that did appear on TV seems to be from a larger organisation, probably with a lot more media experience, and probably better practiced at expressing issues in a more bite sized (some would say trivialised) TV friendly manner. However, not showing female run groups helping females seems a part of the media's current nonsensical narrative that women are as good as anyone, yet have no agency and need the help of others to get anywhere.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #815 on: March 10, 2019, 12:47:58 am »
One thing I've learned when dealing with popular media is that you _have_ to make whatever you're communicating as simple as possible and inevitably you're going to have to skip details. Judging from their articles, I may be wrong, but I suspect they may well have unnecessarily complicated their pieces with ideological dogma, which just wouldn't make sense to the average viewer in the short segments afforded to popular media.

I also suspect that is possible, and during editing and production they looked at the content and decided it's not what they wanted.
My first thought was cutting room floor, just like probably 90% of the content they shot.
I have a similar problem when I interview people, I have no clue what they are going to say, how they will articulate their points, what angle they are going to spin, or whether or not they are going to be generally compelling on camera. I've shot a fair bit of stuff at shows for example that ended up on the cutting room floor, and not for reasons of time.
Does seem a bit silly though to ultimately pick a guy as the key figure in the story though.
 


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