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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Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

While I'm sure the entire system as you described had a positive outcome, I'm very concerned at step 1:

"First: we had to monitor and record the ethnic, gender, and where known sexual orientation, of our workforce at regular intervals. These stats were published along side similar population stats so that everyone could see which social groups were being under represented."

This was all mandatory? As in, you were forced to answer these questions if you were to work there? I'm actually fairly sure Dutch employers cannot force you to answer questions like this, nor to keep a record of it, nor to publish such records. Mind you, I'm not sure!

The idea that my hypothetical boss (I'm actually self-employed in a female-dominated industry ;) ) would ask me my sexual orientation and record and publish my answer would make me very, very nervous. In due time, if I ever reach the point where I would start hiring people, I would never even dare to institutionalise such questioning.

Reply Parent Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

I don't think that being one of 10'000 respondents to a statistical oriented questionnaire is something to worry about. As long as the answers were anonymous.

Though, I would not answer ethnicity question as it would be a dead giveaway.

Reply Parent Score: 2

M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23


""First: we had to monitor and record the ethnic, gender, and where known sexual orientation, of our workforce at regular intervals.


This was all mandatory? As in, you were forced to answer these questions if you were to work there? I'm actually fairly sure Dutch employers cannot force you to answer questions like this, nor to keep a record of it, nor to publish such records. Mind you, I'm not sure!
"

Nah, its just the last sheet on the application form you fill in. You can ignore it completely, you can describe yourself as part maori, part eskimo, part scouse if you so desire. Your answers won't be associated with your name when published. There's no personal consequences to filling in the form, falsely or otherwise, or leaving it blank.

I have to say I've only ever seen the race one (usually something like [White British / Irish / Black British / Asian British / Other]) on job application forms. There is the ocasional question about religion/denomination elsewhere, but that's pretty irrelevent as most just write 'CofE' to make the question go away.

Edited 2012-05-29 12:17 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1