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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RE[3]: Indeed
by Kivada on Tue 29th May 2012 15:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Indeed"
Member since:

To reinforce Thom's point, what if this were about race or religion? "I got this contract because I'm black", or "I got this contract because I'm Christian". Discrimination, no matter how well intentioned, is still discrimination.

Being from the US and hispanic I know a few things about discrimination, for racial discrimination there is the problem of ethnic peoples being 300 years behind in terms of economic and social status, there are no black or hispanic family dynasties in the US like there is with caucasian families, some of which can trace their family fortunes to land stolen from the native americans. Lets not forget about segregation, slavery, being counted as 3/5ths of a person, separate but equal, Jim Crow etc.

The reasons for these discrepancies, upbringing, education, integration or lack there of, even how education is funded here in the US all play a role. In a poor area the schools are heavily underfunded and under staffed because the schools are paid for via property taxes and certain political factions want noting more then to slash tax collections to cut school funding indirectly as well as cut education funding directly by putting in place a testing structure that causes the school to lose even more funding depending on the pass rate of their students, creating a cycle destined to fail.

Affirmative action like this is based on two false premises. First, the insipid one, the one that actually infuriates me to no end: affirmative action assumes that (in this case) women are less capable than men, and that they need special help, incentives, money, and regulations to achieve parity with their male counterparts. In other words, these laws actually advocate the very same idea they are trying to combat; namely, that women are less capable than men.

As to women, they still on average make only $0.77 on the dollar a man makes for the same amount of work, seniority, education etc. Upbrining also plays a large role here, we don't expect girls to be good at math and science. You see it in the toys and games designed for boys and girls, girls toys are baby dolls, barbies and tea sets, while toys for boys are much more engaging like Legos, weapons/G.I. Joes, and sporting goods. For games, girls get stuff like Nintendogs and barbie in princessland dressup while every other genera of game is targeted towards males.

We're expected to compete and problems solve, girls seem to be expected to be nothing more then cute.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Indeed
by Dave_K on Tue 29th May 2012 20:05 in reply to "RE[3]: Indeed"
Dave_K Member since:

As to women, they still on average make only $0.77 on the dollar a man makes for the same amount of work, seniority, education etc.

That's not true.

The 77% wage gap statistic is simply the difference between median annual earnings for men and women. It doesn't take into account seniority, education, or the different choices that men and women make.

That doesn't mean that there's no wage gap for equal work, but determining it would be a much more complex and difficult proposition than just comparing average wages.

We're expected to compete and problems solve, girls seem to be expected to be nothing more then cute.

Yet women are pretty well represented in a great many complex and competitive fields, including law and medicine.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[5]: Indeed
by phoehne on Wed 30th May 2012 02:50 in reply to "RE[4]: Indeed"
phoehne Member since:

The only problem with one of your statement is that there is evidence of a wage gap among entry level workers as well. So, it's not completely explained by 'choices.'

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Indeed
by Kivada on Wed 30th May 2012 04:11 in reply to "RE[4]: Indeed"
Kivada Member since:

Yeah, but not as doctors and surgeons, only as nurses and HUCs, least thats what I've seen in every hospital I've ever been in.

As for lawyers, in the photos I've seen of the local law offices there are few if any women pictured working in their office as full lawyers, sure they may have several women working as paralegals, but they aren't going to be the ones arguing in front of a judge, at least not any time soon.

Reply Parent Score: 2