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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rr7.num7
Member since:
2010-04-30

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.


What these programs show is that women can be successful... as long as they get special help.

Reply Parent Score: 1

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

What these programs show is that women can be successful... as long as they get special help.


What, and us males don't get special help by the prevalence of precognitive bias for males in technical roles?

I don't know about you, but I don't feel threatened by correcting for precognitive bias against women.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Dave_K Member since:
2005-11-16

I don't know about you, but I don't feel threatened by correcting for precognitive bias against women.


I'd question whether that's all affirmative action is designed to do. Its proponents often go much further than that, for example pushing for quota systems intended to manufacture equality of outcome.

In addition, I think that crudely attempting to balance things by providing advantages to women could reinforce any biases. You can say that it's just making things fairer, but it certainly makes it look like women can't succeed without special treatment. When women are employed in preference to more experienced and qualified men it's bound to create resentment too.

Reply Parent Score: 2

rr7.num7 Member since:
2010-04-30

What, and us males don't get special help by the prevalence of precognitive bias for males in technical roles?

I don't know about you, but I don't feel threatened by correcting for precognitive bias against women.


"Us"? I don't know about you, but I've always worked very hard, even in my free time, to be good at what I do. I've never felt like I was underqualified for any job I've had, so I don't have any reason to believe that I've received special help. If I knew there's someone better suited than me for a job, but I'm getting it because of someone doing me a favour, I would reject it. And I don't want to sound arrogant, but I've never felt threatened by anyone, male or female. That's one of the good sides of being semi-obsessed with your career, I guess.

My problem with affirmative action is exactly what Thom (and others) already said. That's all. It doesn't have anything to do with the fact that I am not a woman. I do have a sister, nieces, and maybe I'll have a daughter one day, so, I'd have to be very stupid, selfish and short-sighted to oppose to it just because it made me feel "threatened", or because it doesn't directly benefit myself. Every time I read or hear something along the lines of "oh, you just say it because you are not a woman/black/whatever", it makes me feel like I'm back in elementary school. I'm better than that, and I hope you're too. For instance, I don't like tattoos or piercings, but I really, really hate it when tattooed/pierced people get discriminated. And, of course, I would be against banning tattoo shops, and against affirmative action too.

Reply Parent Score: 2