Author Topic: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.  (Read 71970 times)

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Online blackfin76

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Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« on: July 26, 2018, 07:59:40 am »
I was a shocked to learn that they are now pushing gender issues in engineering as well, they are looking for female engineers to put them on a pedestal.
So today just being a good engineer and love what you do is no longer enought. No... you must also have a vagina to be put in the spotlight. When will this insanity stop?

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180717006017/en/Design-World-Media-Launches-Women-Engineering-Issue
 

Offline daqq

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2018, 08:06:54 am »
Quote
When will this insanity stop?
When most in the western world will be incapable of doing anything useful for fear of offending someone who's loud enough to drown out sanity.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 08:08:52 am by daqq »
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Online blueskull

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2018, 08:24:44 am »
When you give a certain group of people short term "privilege", are you really doing good to them?

MOD: Video removed, we don't need political video here.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 01:37:20 pm by EEVblog »
 
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Offline Eka

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2018, 08:26:52 am »
I was a shocked to learn that they are now pushing gender issues in engineering as well, they are looking for female engineers to put them on a pedestal.
You're a few decades late...
 

Offline IanMacdonald

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2018, 08:35:07 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.  :-//
 

Offline Zero999

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2018, 08:52:47 am »
I agree with the sentiment but is there a need to discuss this again?

These threads often result in an argument. I'm disappointed to see another one.  :palm:
 
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Offline rachaelp

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2018, 08:59:26 am »
I was a shocked to learn that they are now pushing gender issues in engineering as well, they are looking for female engineers to put them on a pedestal.
So today just being a good engineer and love what you do is no longer enought. No... you must also have a vagina to be put in the spotlight. When will this insanity stop?

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180717006017/en/Design-World-Media-Launches-Women-Engineering-Issue

Quote from: The above linked article
The company’s flagship brand, Design World, will celebrate some of the most inspiring women in the design engineering space in the November issue.

In a profession where women are seriously under represented and men have had the spotlight for decades, a single edition of Design World in November being dedicated to women in engineering really isn't very shocking, and I doubt it will have any lasting impact on anybody anyway. Your indignation is unjustified and this thread is unnecessary.

Online blackfin76

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2018, 09:55:15 am »

In a profession where women are seriously under represented and men have had the spotlight for decades, a single edition of Design World in November being dedicated to women in engineering really isn't very shocking, and I doubt it will have any lasting impact on anybody anyway. Your indignation is unjustified and this thread is unnecessary.

I don't get what having a vagina has anything to do with engineering.  :-//
The number of engineers with only one arm is also seriously under represented and engineers with two arms have had the spotlight for decades.  Also engineers with only one arm are a very small minority and it's really ridiculous Design World is trying to suppress them by not dedicating the November issue to their issues.
 
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Offline rachaelp

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2018, 10:13:58 am »
I don't get what having a vagina has anything to do with engineering.  :-//
The number of engineers with only one arm is also seriously under represented and engineers with two arms have had the spotlight for decades.  Also engineers with only one arm are a very small minority and it's really ridiculous Design World is trying to suppress them by not dedicating the November issue to their issues.

 :palm:

Sigh.... How do you know engineers with one arm are under represented? On a similar line, I know exactly one person with only one leg and he IS an engineer, a very good one at that. This is not a clever argument.... As I said, your indignation is unjustified and this thread is unnecessary.
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Offline amyk

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2018, 11:21:09 am »
I agree with the sentiment but is there a need to discuss this again?

These threads often result in an argument. I'm disappointed to see another one.  :palm:
Agreed. No need to wade into the knee-deep bullshit again.

That said, the past few years have seen a surprising amount of publicity from  female "engineers" trying to create physically impossible products. |O
 
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Online tooki

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2018, 11:43:23 am »
I agree with the sentiment but is there a need to discuss this again?

These threads often result in an argument. I'm disappointed to see another one.  :palm:
Agreed. No need to wade into the knee-deep bullshit again.

That said, the past few years have seen a surprising amount of publicity from  female "engineers" trying to create physically impossible products. |O
No kidding. Elizabeth Holmes and Meredith Perry have reinforced misogynists’ prejudices in spectacular fashion. :(
 

Online Jeroen3

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2018, 11:55:57 am »
How many of you were the first in the family to enter engineering?
 
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Online blackfin76

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2018, 12:03:21 pm »
I don't get what having a vagina has anything to do with engineering.  :-//
The number of engineers with only one arm is also seriously under represented and engineers with two arms have had the spotlight for decades.  Also engineers with only one arm are a very small minority and it's really ridiculous Design World is trying to suppress them by not dedicating the November issue to their issues.

 :palm:

Sigh.... How do you know engineers with one arm are under represented? On a similar line, I know exactly one person with only one leg and he IS an engineer, a very good one at that. This is not a clever argument.... As I said, your indignation is unjustified and this thread is unnecessary.

Sarcasm?

My aim was to make fun out of the whole identity politics debate in which they don't see people as individuals but as part of a group. The sooner we get rid of this misconception the better. That's why I called out this issue with Design World. Obviously the managing editor of the magazine has nothing better to report about, rendering the November edition of the magazine totally useless for engineers. This is nothing but an attempt to virtue signaling to the world that they are working on the non-existing problem of too less engineers with a vagina. You know for some reason some people seem to believe a vagina is useful tool for doing engineering. How this misconception has come to be is a mystery to my and the people I have asked to clearify this have never supplied me with a satisfying answer.
 
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Offline julianhigginson

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2018, 12:47:15 pm »
I thought this forum had a no politics rule?

Anyway -  for the whining crybabies up in arms about something as small as this:

1) If you are so blind and oblivious to your place in the world that you can not even see the simple obvious advantage you've been handed your whole lives due to the random chance of your physical sex (and race too, for many... and location on the earth's surface) at birth -  maybe you really are below average enough that you actually should be worried about competition from groups of people that have systematically been kept down for your benefit?

2) But the fact you're whining so hard about something so small and insignificant shows us at some level you do know what's going on, you're just scared as hell of it changing.
 
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Online blackfin76

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2018, 01:27:54 pm »
I thought this forum had a no politics rule?

Anyway -  for the whining crybabies up in arms about something as small as this:

1) If you are so blind and oblivious to your place in the world that you can not even see the simple obvious advantage you've been handed your whole lives due to the random chance of your physical sex (and race too, for many... and location on the earth's surface) at birth -  maybe you really are below average enough that you actually should be worried about competition from groups of people that have systematically been kept down for your benefit?

2) But the fact you're whining so hard about something so small and insignificant shows us at some level you do know what's going on, you're just scared as hell of it changing.

This has nothing to do with politics and besides that this is the section 'general chat'.  Also the assumptions you make are silly. What do you mean by 'obvious advantage'. It seems to me you are full of dispositions that fit a certain political narrative.  So please stop the strawmanning and give me some decent arguments, because it is 'obvious' you have not given it any serious thoughts.
 
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Offline Pack34

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2018, 01:34:47 pm »
That's interesting. In my experience engineering has been fairly agnostic towards genders and orientations. What matters is what you can do and how well you work with others. Maybe it's just my history in working with smaller companies.
 
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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2018, 01:50:53 pm »
groups of people that have systematically been kept down

any concrete and current examples?

 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2018, 01:51:54 pm »
I don't see the big deal in a magazine devoting an entire issue to women, they are free to do that and will live with whatever benefit or repercussion that brings.
Yes, we have had several threads on this topic here and if it goes off-topic or personal the thread will get locked.

IMO it was much more of a big deal in the other big thread about the gender/race politics and "rigor" et.al being introduced into engineering degrees as that potentially impacts the industry and students. A magazine hardly anyone reads is like, meh.

I agree with any general sentiment that gender should be left out of engineering, it doesn't and shouldn't matter. Trying to make any perceived "imbalance" in the industry "right" by targeting gender is I think ultimately the wrong approach, just stick to showcasing engineering. You do something cool, you get highlighted, no one gives a toss about your gender.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2018, 02:07:54 pm »
That's interesting. In my experience engineering has been fairly agnostic towards genders and orientations. What matters is what you can do and how well you work with others. Maybe it's just my history in working with smaller companies.

That's my experience as well.
I got hired in my first job by a female. I didn't care then and I don't care now.
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 had a group of engineering students visit my lab a couple of years back (that Wikipedia photo of me in the lab was taken by one of them as I was talking to them). They were investigating what's it's like "in the industry", and many of the questions focused on gender and discrimination.
I told them that discrimination is quite real - If someone doesn't like the way you look, the way you talk, your attitude, your mannerisms, your sense of humor, the way you smell, the way you dress, the way you sit in the interview chair, and of course your technical competency, you are getting judged. Welcome to the real world were gender is just one of dozens things you could potentially be judged on. But any competent technical employer knows gender has jack-all to do with anything and won't factor into any decision about hiring etc. Other stuff like are you someone they can get along with, and are you competent are the important things.

Not saying there isn't gender discrimination of course, but in my experience it's massively way down the list.

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.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 02:11:48 pm by EEVblog »
 
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Offline Pack34

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2018, 02:23:13 pm »
That's interesting. In my experience engineering has been fairly agnostic towards genders and orientations. What matters is what you can do and how well you work with others. Maybe it's just my history in working with smaller companies.

That's my experience as well.
I got hired in my first job by a female. I didn't care then and I don't care now.
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 had a group of engineering students visit my lab a couple of years back (that Wikipedia photo of me in the lab was taken by one of them as I was talking to them). They were investigating what's it's like "in the industry", and many of the questions focused on gender and discrimination.
I told them that discrimination is quite real - If someone doesn't like the way you look, the way you talk, your attitude, your mannerisms, your sense of humor, the way you smell, the way you dress, the way you sit in the interview chair, and of course your technical competency, you are getting judged. Welcome to the real world were gender is just one of dozens things you could potentially be judged on. But any competent technical employer knows gender has jack-all to do with anything and won't factor into any decision about hiring etc. Other stuff like are you someone they can get along with, and are you competent are the important things.

Not saying there isn't gender discrimination of course, but in my experience it's massively way down the list.

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.

This reminds me of a few interview experiences at one of my employers. When discussing the interviewee after-the-fact the engineers and technical minded people would always comment on their thoughts on technical competency, whether they got the feeling they would be happy with the pace and type of work, and whether or not they would enjoy working with them.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, you would have the comments made by marketing and non-technical managers. With them, I would much more often hear comments about how they carried themselves, the way the dressed, articulated, etc.  I could definitely be some levels of discrimination there and depending on the organizational structure could potentially be an unfortunate barrier if marketing had GO/NO-GO decision making impacts on the hiring process.

I personally don't care if they came to the interview in jeans and sneakers or if their tie wasn't done just right. For me, it's passion and attitude first, technical competency second, with the rest being completely irrelevant. Some of the brightest and best workers tend to be a bit disheveled and no engineer I've met wears ties and a suit to work.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2018, 02:25:06 pm »
In a profession where women are seriously under represented and men have had the spotlight for decades

I'd call into question that being objectively true.
Let's say women are 10% of the field (MIT say 13% in engineering, I think it's under 10% in electronics), you'd expect to see 90% of the "spotlight" go to men. That's a pretty overwhelming figure and could be easily construed as being somehow "unfair" to those who are looking for such unfairness.
But in reality it's not unfair, it's just a simple manifestation of the gender breakdown based on the pure statistics.

I'd argue that the opposite is the case. For a long time I've seen many females getting spotlighted because, whilst they may have done something cool, the media angle has been focused on the "female in tech" angle, and that's the real reason they got the spotlight. It makes for a novel media angle.

One could even argue that females have potentially more opportunity than males in engineering.
 
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Online ebastler

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2018, 02:52:27 pm »
Let's say women are 10% of the field (MIT say 13% in engineering, I think it's under 10% in electronics), you'd expect to see 90% of the "spotlight" go to men. That's a pretty overwhelming figure and could be easily construed as being somehow "unfair" to those who are looking for such unfairness.
But in reality it's not unfair, it's just a simple manifestation of the gender breakdown based on the pure statistics.

But has it crossed your mind that the "90% male" environment might actually put talented young females off, and make them decide for a different career? And wouldn't it be worth some time and effort to change that perception, also by giving above-average visibility to women in engineering, to encourage potential female students to study technical disciplines?

Speaking of which, this forum seems to have far less than 10% female members. Is that "based on the pure statistics" as well? Or is there a feedback mechanism, where the predominantly male audience sets a certain tone which does not encourage female engineers to join? Nothing intentional, I'm sure -- but those who make up the majority in a group may be less tuned in to signals which the group sends to minorities.
 
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Offline rachaelp

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2018, 03:05:44 pm »
In a profession where women are seriously under represented and men have had the spotlight for decades

I'd call into question that being objectively true.
Let's say women are 10% of the field (MIT say 13% in engineering, I think it's under 10% in electronics), you'd expect to see 90% of the "spotlight" go to men. That's a pretty overwhelming figure and could be easily construed as being somehow "unfair" to those who are looking for such unfairness.
But in reality it's not unfair, it's just a simple manifestation of the gender breakdown based on the pure statistics.

I'd argue that the opposite is the case. For a long time I've seen many females getting spotlighted because, whilst they may have done something cool, the media angle has been focused on the "female in tech" angle, and that's the real reason they got the spotlight. It makes for a novel media angle.

One could even argue that females have potentially more opportunity than males in engineering.

Hi Dave,

I think you may have misunderstood what I meant. I didn't mean women engineers are underrepresented in the press, I just meant as numbers in the workforce. Engineering is as you point out a very male dominated profession but there's no reason it should be more so than any other profession other than peoples perception of engineering maybe puts some women off choosing it as a career. Certainly anybody working as an engineer should be judged wholly on their merit and gender should have no impact on their influence or their opportunities in their career. However, this is definitely not always the case. For example, as part of my job, when dealing with a representative of a company who provide certain development tools our software engineers use, whenever I contact him in order to obtain a quote or ask about a technical issue, will always direct his reply to one of my male colleagues.

My point was, the article referenced by the OP is a non-issue, and the OP's continual reference to our genetalia is more than a little ridiculous. I agree there are better ways to deal with any perceived imbalance in the workforce and as I said in my original post, I don't think it'll make any difference whatsoever in the long run anyway.

My only objection here is your final line, I really don't think we have more opportunities than our male colleagues.

Best Regards,

Rachael
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Offline BillB

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2018, 03:25:26 pm »
An interesting study that has garnered some press lately:

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797617741719?journalCode=pssa

Example press:

The more gender equality a society has, the fewer women in STEM.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/02/the-more-gender-equality-the-fewer-women-in-stem/553592/

 
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Offline rachaelp

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Re: Gender politics has now infected engineering as well.
« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2018, 03:30:47 pm »
One could even argue that females have potentially more opportunity than males in engineering.
Indeed, and even more.

There are special STEM programs in lower grade schools now targeting just for the females. Programs not available to little boys, who just get the regular core.

I didn't know this was happening. I agree all children should have exactly the same opportunities. There should not be special STEM programs only available for girls, all opportunities should be open to all. There's nothing wrong with encouraging girls to partake in these programs but they should be freely available to all.
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