Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 28th May 2012 19:25 UTC
In the News This topic comes up quite a lot on technology websites, but I generally try to steer clear from it as much as possible, since I'm not the one to talk about it (you know, with me being a man and all that), however, I feel it might be a good idea to just get my opinion out there and be done with it. The topic of women in IT is a hot-button issue, so let me just go out guns blazing: assuming women need special treatment, help, protection, and affirmative action is just as insulting and degrading as outright claiming women have no place in IT - maybe even more so.
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You misunderstand Affirmative Action
by Drumhellar on Mon 28th May 2012 20:38 UTC
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Thom, these types of Affirmative Action rules aren't based on the premise that women need help, either due to lesser ability, or a perceived lesser ability. Nor are they born out of an attempt to change public perceptions of women.

The purpose of WOSB is to improve the visibility of women in business and technology as a means to combat the subtle, but pervasive influences and social pressures that affect women their entire life, steering them away from business or technology oriented careers.

Some of these influences are more obvious, like buying Legos and Erector Sets for boys, but dolls and easy-bake-ovens for girls, but some effects are more subtle. One such influence is teacher insecurities for grade-school subjects. Statistically, women teachers are more likely to report feeling insecure bout math and science subjects as compared to their male counterparts. Girls will learn these insecurities from female teachers (but not from male teachers), and over time they accumulate. Note that girls will also learn confidence in the same subjects when they have female teachers that display confidence.

These programs are to show women that women can be successful.

Edited 2012-05-28 20:53 UTC

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