Why do some focus on women?

Story: Why Women Devs Are Hard to Recruit and Even Harder to KeepTotal Replies: 37
Author Content
nmset

Jun 06, 2017
6:17 AM EDT
We never hear such complaints :

Why is it hard to find women on the front line in the battle field? Why is it hard to find women as army General? Why is it hard to find women in the sewrage domain? Why is it hard to find women constructing buildings? ... ...

Why do some focus so much on women in IT?
jdixon

Jun 06, 2017
8:19 AM EDT
> Why do some focus so much on women in IT?

Because it's politically correct. Remember the equivalent focus on getting women into college from several decades back?

Well, guess what: http://www.denverpost.com/2017/06/04/men-women-college-propo...

The take away quote? "Although more people than ever are attending college, the ratio of male to female students is nearly 1:2."

An inverse ration would be considered a national tragedy and trumpeted from the skies by every main stream media outlet as a disaster in the making that had to be corrected, but since it's men being discriminated against, how much have you heard about it?

And yes, by the standards the government uses in every other field, a 2:1 imbalance is considered de facto evidence of discrimination.
dotmatrix

Jun 06, 2017
9:37 AM EDT
@jdixon: Agree... and...

>Why do some focus so much on women in IT?

Because they are afraid to admit they've already won... any sort of actual resistance to women working in IT or STEM ended a long time ago in the USA... and there was real sexism in those fields at one point. One remaining problem may be supporting family needs such as schedules to accommodate daycare and other child rearing realities. Much of that is already written into law via Family Leave Act.

The current problem of employment in IT and STEM, in the USA anyway, is that we are importing workers rather than hiring them from the local pool first. This is not a racist statement, as it will likely be taken to be... it's a statement of Sovereignty. The nation's citizens... black, white, grey, green, or purple, or whatever... need to be considered first.
mbaehrlxer

Jun 06, 2017
12:18 PM EDT
i am running a small company, so i can tell you why:

because i want diversity in my team of developers. the more different backgrounds, cultures, ways of thinking i have in my team, the more ideas we can produce to solve problems. in a homogeneous the team, the more everyone tends to think the same, and that means less thinking and less challenging of ideas happens.

see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team_composition for a discussion on the concept.

greetings, eMBee.
dotmatrix

Jun 06, 2017
12:52 PM EDT
>because i want diversity in my team of developers.

This just answers the question: Why would someone hire person B of background or stereotype of P?

And that's a fine question to ask.

However...

All the women I know who are interested in programming all have high paying long term jobs writing code and managing people who write code. Every single one. I personally know of zero adult women, who have a college diploma, who want to be programmers or want to have a career in technology who have a difficult time getting and holding down a decent paying job doing exactly that... And this is a good thing which I have exactly zero problems with...

So, is there still an underlying problem?

My personal experience tells me ... no.
gus3

Jun 06, 2017
12:55 PM EDT
Unix is the counter-example. It was boot-strapped by a very small, very focused team, with very limited resources, even by the standards of the day.

To contrast, read Fred Brooks' "The Mythical Man-month." A classical example of too many cooks.
jdixon

Jun 06, 2017
2:15 PM EDT
> ...because i want diversity in my team of developers.

And who exactly is doing anything to prevent you from having that?

> ...and there was real sexism in those fields at one point.

There still is: At the individual level. At the corporate and cultural level? You're absolutely correct, it doesn't exist.
dotmatrix

Jun 06, 2017
2:19 PM EDT
>To contrast, read Fred Brooks' "The Mythical Man-month."

This seems to be it:

https://www.cs.virginia.edu/~evans/greatworks/mythical.pdf

yes?

Read a few paragraphs - interesting so far.

***

A little more... and to the end.

Fig 2.4 seems appropriate for government, in my experience... and the common acronym was O.B.E. (overcome by events)
mbaehrlxer

Jun 07, 2017
12:22 AM EDT
is this a trick question?

if i need a particular skill (say a cobol programmer) and there are none, then i have a problem. and if i want diversity in my team, but there is no diversity because not enough women (for one of the diversity factors) interested in programming, then i have a problem.

it's an issue of supply and demand. if there is demand for women in IT, but there are not enough women to supply that demand then that is a problem.

the problem is not that women can't find jobs in IT, the problem is that employers can't find enough women to fill their positions, and those they do find don't stay because of some idiots who don't treat women with respect.

so how can you say that there is no problem?

greetings, eMBee.
nmset

Jun 07, 2017
3:02 AM EDT
>the problem is that employers can't find enough women to fill their positions

So it's not a segregation problem as the many articles tend to picture. It's just that at its roots, IT is not that attractive to women, just like nursing is not that attractive to men. Then there's no real problem, just tamtam noise from some writers. [ Are they under command from some hidden boss ? That would be a real problem, but another one. ]
mbaehrlxer

Jun 07, 2017
6:24 AM EDT
it is a problem if women stay away from IT because of how they are treated by men. it is a problem if they are discouraged from interest in computer by their parents or teachers.

you keep claiming that women do not want to go into IT as if it were some natural inclination.

the articles you are referring to are trying to point out that this is not the case.

it makes a huge difference if you stay away from a field because you just don't find it interesting, instead of staying away because you don't like to be mistreated by others in that field. the latter is a problem. a serious problem. and it needs to be fixed.

and moreover, the need for diversity make this a problem regardless of women liking IT or not.

if my company performs better when i have more women in my team, then it is in my interest to find ways to make IT more attractive to women, regardless of why they currently do not like it.

i am not trying to push women into IT against their will, but i am trying to change IT so that more women will like to work there because it will improve my company.

greetings, eMBee.
jdixon

Jun 07, 2017
6:24 AM EDT
> if i need a particular skill (say a cobol programmer) and there are none, then i have a problem. and if i want diversity in my team, but there is no diversity because not enough women (for one of the diversity factors) interested in programming, then i have a problem.

Yes your do. But no one else does. Your problem does not obligate any other individual or society in general to fix it.

> it's an issue of supply and demand. if there is demand for women in IT, but there are not enough women to supply that demand then that is a problem.

Only if the women think there is. If women don't want to be in IT, what right do you have to force them to be there?

> ...and those they do find don't stay because of some idiots who don't treat women with respect.

There will always be idiots who don't treat others with respect. It happens all the time, to everyone. People are people. That is not a problem which can be fixed.

Look, if you want a diverse workforce, then there is an obvious solution. Train them yourself and pay them enough to make them want to stay. If you can't do that, then yes, you have a problem. But no one else does.

And if current trends at colleges continue and there are no white male graduates, will you still have a diversity problem, or will that be OK?
jdixon

Jun 07, 2017
6:43 AM EDT
> it is a problem if women stay away from IT because of how they are treated by men.

Every company I know, most states, and the federal government all have laws and policies against such mistreatment. What else do you want people to do? A mind control device on every man in the world?

> it is a problem if they are discouraged from interest in computer by their parents...

No, it isn't. The interactions between parents and their children are none of your business. That's one of their responsibilities, and they should be free to do so as they see fit.

... or teachers.

They're not. The diversity gospel has been preached at schools since I was there over 40 years ago now.

> instead of staying away because you don't like to be mistreated by others in that field. the latter is a problem. a serious problem. and it needs to be fixed.

If it existed, yes. It doesn't. Not at a corporate or societal level. It's been illegal for decades. The laws and propaganda have worked. The problem you're complaining about no longer exists.

At an individual level you can't change people. There will always be individuals who don't treat others properly. That's life, deal with it.

> and moreover, the need for diversity make this a problem regardless of women liking IT or not.

No, it's not. Society has no right to force people into a particular field. We have one instance of that, it was called the draft.

> if my company performs better when i have more women in my team, then it is in my interest to find ways to make IT more attractive to women, regardless of why they currently do not like it.

There is a very simple way to do that. Pay them lots and lots of money. Pay them and they will come. They may only stay until they can comfortably retire, but they will come.

This is the same argument companies use when they hire illegal immigrants: "But Americans won't do the work." No, they won't, because you won't pay them enough. I'll do any legal and ethical job you want for $1 million/year (I may not be any good at it, but I'll do it). For $15K/year, probably not.
seatex

Jun 07, 2017
11:02 AM EDT
I honestly don't know any tech company turning away qualified women, or mistreating them (due to the possibility of being sued for discrimination),

The FAR BIGGER problem currently, in my opinion, is the number of both men and women losing their jobs after training their lower-salaried "guest worker" replacements.
mbaehrlxer

Jun 07, 2017
11:19 AM EDT
> Your problem does not obligate any other individual or society in general to fix it.

i am trying to fix it myself, but you keep telling me not to.

> There will always be idiots who don't treat others with respect. That is not a problem which can be fixed.

i disagree. this is a fixable problem, through education. people need to learn to be nice to each other, and show respect. this education needs to start in school. what everyone needs to recognize is that we need this kind of education (not only for the sake of women in IT, but for society's sake in general), and that everyone should support it.

at the moment, you seem to not support this, and i am trying to change your mind about that.

> Train them yourself and pay them enough to make them want to stay.

i am already doing the training. i pretty much only work with fresh graduates. but all that effort is for nought when they leave because some idiot thinks he can mistreat them. so i am trying to share my thoughts here to motivate others that more effort is needed.

> if current trends at colleges continue and there are no white male graduates, will you still have a diversity problem, or will that be OK?

of course not. that would be hypocritical. but that problem is not here yet. i'll address it when it comes.

> No, it isn't. The interactions between parents and their children are none of your business. That's one of their responsibilities, and they should be free to do so as they see fit.

i am trying to educate people so that they understand that they are doing a disservice to their children by enforcing old gender stereotypes. yes, it is the parents choice to educate their children as they see fit, but that does not mean that i am not allowed to suggest that they take a different perspective. that's the point of education: learn something new. if we are not allowed to educate others then we might as well give up any attempts at betterment of the world altogether.

over the past few decades poverty has been reduced globally. do you think that happened by enforcing the status quo? no, it happened by educating people, that they will be better off if certain things are changed.

> The diversity gospel has been preached at schools since I was there over 40 years ago now.

preaching it, and actually living it so that children are not influenced the wrong way are two different things. you may not have experienced it, but then, if you are not a woman and you may just not have noticed. it's very subtle. the reality is, that there are still stories of discouragement, so you may believe the discrimination is gone, but it really isn't. maybe you got lucky and went to a school with really enlightened teachers. i do know that these teachers exist, so that's not unrealistic. but there is plenty of evidence out there that shows the discrimination is still real.

> Society has no right to force people into a particular field.

you didn't read what i said: i am not forcing anyone into IT, but i want to make IT interesting for women so that they get motivated choose it on their own.

> Pay them and they will come.

not as long as they have to endure mistreatment by the other gender. no amount of money can make up for that.

greetings, eMBee.
mbaehrlxer

Jun 07, 2017
11:26 AM EDT
@seatex: that H1B problem is specific to the US. the gender problem is global. to a different degree in different countries, but it is global.

as for the H1B problem, i believe the solution is simple: require that they be paid the top salaries in their field.

greetings, eMBee.
jdixon

Jun 07, 2017
12:09 PM EDT
> The FAR BIGGER problem currently, in my opinion, is the number of both men and women losing their jobs after training their lower-salaried "guest worker" replacements.

Agreed, but mbaehrlxer points in that regard are valid.

> i am trying to fix it myself, but you keep telling me not to.

I just told you how to fix it. :)

> but all that effort is for nought when they leave because some idiot thinks he can mistreat them.

Who exactly is mistreating them? If it's your other employees, that's something you have control over.

> of course not. that would be hypocritical. but that problem is not here yet. i'll address it when it comes.

Good enough. I really didn't expect anything else from you, of course. I wish I could say the same for those outside this community.

> but that does not mean that i am not allowed to suggest that they take a different perspective.

You can suggest all you like. They're still free to ignore you. And if your suggestions get too insistent, there are other avenues they might pursue to make their displeasure with your interference in their family life known. :)

> preaching it, and actually living it so that children are not influenced the wrong way are two different things. you may not have experienced it, but then, if you are not a woman and you may just not have noticed.

No, I never experienced it. But then my wife agrees that she never experienced it either. Two different people from two very different environments in two different geographical regions. I don't presume it never happened or never happens. But it's not an endemic problem.

> but i want to make IT interesting for women so that they get motivated choose it on their own.

And how do you propose to do that when they've made it clear by their decisions over the years that they simply don't agree that it's interesting?

We've tried removing obstacles. We've tried additional incentives. We've tried special programs. We've made discrimination against the law and mistreatment a fireable offense. At a certain point we may have to simply accept that women as a class don't like IT as much as men do. It wouldn't be the first time the sexes have been shown to be different.

> not as long as they have to endure mistreatment by the other gender. no amount of money can make up for that.

You seriously underestimate the incentive power of money. :) Now, once you have enough money, that changes, but only a relatively small percentage of the population has enough money.
skelband

Jun 07, 2017
12:51 PM EDT
> but i want to make IT interesting for women so that they get motivated choose it on their own.

What a weird thing to say. IT is already awesome. Why would you need to make it *more* interesting?

What are you proposing? Pink computers? That's pretty patronising.
jdixon

Jun 07, 2017
1:15 PM EDT
> Pink computers?

It's been done. Several times.
dotmatrix

Jun 07, 2017
4:11 PM EDT
>What are you proposing? Pink computers? That's pretty patronising.

If I were woman, I think I would find the whole idea that "There needs to be more women in IT and STEM because society needs to be represented more evenly..." patronizing. It removes a significant portion of individuality.
theBeez

Jun 15, 2017
11:33 AM EDT
There is no diversity problem. Strangely enough, people who promote diversity center the issue around one single chromosome and six genes. Given the +/- 4 Ggenes we have, I'd say its a rather limited view of "diversity" - and so does nature. Team diversity means most of all different attitudes, characters and skills. Not +/- 3% of the gene material. And we haven't even put "nurture vs. nature" into action.

And the IT sector is already heavily diverse (in the meaning of those SJW). Asians (or "those with Asian backgrounds" if you prefer) are heavily overrepresented in IT. And why? Because they're GOOD - or does that sound racist if I put it like that?

No, women are much better in IT than men (gee, that sounds liberal huh? - and that out of my mouth!). Sorry, men are much better. (now I sound sexist - just by changing the sex I praise). Women in IT are just heavily headhunted to fullfill diversity quota (ask any head hunter).

All in all, I'm a white male and I probably should be killed off anyway.
seatex

Jun 15, 2017
2:22 PM EDT
"All in all, I'm a white male and I probably should be killed off anyway."

Don't agree with them. That is their plan, at least for those men who won't be feminized.

But they've definitely already feminized most males in the Millennial generation.

mbaehrlxer

Jun 15, 2017
10:36 PM EDT
it is not the genes that make the diversity, that could be considered racist.

it's the background, culture and upbringing.

most women do act and think differently than men, and it is that difference that creates the diversity. a women that has learned to act and think identically to her male peers does not add anything to the teams diversity just because of her gender.

i am not ruling out that genes do have any effect, but we don't know if that is the case. it certainly isn't when it comes to race.

greetings, eMBee.
theBeez

Jun 16, 2017
1:53 AM EDT
"it is not the genes that make the diversity, that could be considered racist". Where do you think femininity finds it's origin? Don't you think it comes from a GENETIC X-X combination, huh? Or do you attribute a vagina to "background, upbringing and culture"?

Note that "diversity" in SJW terminology usually includes "ethnic diversity" as well (so, I follow that definition - not your feminist agenda).

That's the beauty of current feminism, it has become a totally incoherent narrative of assorted "likes and dislikes" with a complete disregard of scientific and philosophical scrutiny. E.g. you gracefully allow people to bring up their offspring as they like, but then reject the consequential outcome. It's like allowing your children to paint the walls of your house and then get upset when your wallpaper is soiled.

You attribute the lack of females in IT to "white males" although that connection has never been consistently proven - for the simple reason that (a) very few women start an IT business on their own (which you do see in media and legal) and (b) although the majority of FOSS projects are one-man shows, there are still only 3% one-women shows. And of course see the incredible success of "outreach" programs, which do little more than drain the finances of important FOSS projects to the point of collapse once you give SJWs the lead (Gnome).
jdixon

Jun 16, 2017
8:10 AM EDT
> it is not the genes that make the diversity, that could be considered racist.

It not only could be, it is.

But that doesn't change the facts. Genes are the primary component of "diversity". Reality doesn't care what people consider racist and what they don't.

> it's the background, culture and upbringing.

They play a role, but it's a secondary one. Nature sets the template. Nurture determines how it's filled out.
skelband

Jun 16, 2017
1:31 PM EDT
It is an interesting point that one of the advantages often touted for getting women into IT is that they bring a different perspective which is often useful. I won't deny the logic of that.

However, it is rarely considered whether or not that different outlook might lead them to prefer different careers in general though and the evidence seems to overwhelmingly support that.

theBeez

Jun 16, 2017
2:23 PM EDT
"Often touted" doesn't mean it's true. Repetition has AFAIK very little influence on reality.

I have known lots of people who gave me a new insight. Some were women, some were men. Would be a great subject for some quantitative research once we get the definitions and methodology right, though.

And let at the same time take into account that tall people are more inspiring than small ones. Or fat people are more fun in the workplace than thin ones.

Did you know that people who eat meat are often jerks?
mbaehrlxer

Jun 17, 2017
12:58 PM EDT
here is some research:

research papers:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228196582_The_Role_...

articles with links to research papers:

http://gap.hks.harvard.edu/impact-gender-diversity-performan...

http://99u.com/articles/16850/everything-youve-ever-wanted-t...

https://blog.soprasteria.co.uk/2015/05/27/mixed-gender-teams...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2014/12/18/are-you-m...

https://www.inc.com/adam-vaccaro/diversity-and-performance.h...

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/three-reasons-to-create-diverse-...

https://women2.com/stories/2014/05/21/smartest-financial-dec...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2014/12/22/why-gender...



articles about research without links:

http://www.catalyst.org/system/files/why_diversity_matters_c...

http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5769-gender-balanced-teams-...

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-diversity-mak...

https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/diverse-backgrounds-pe...

https://hbr.org/2011/06/defend-your-research-what-makes-a-te...

opinion pieces:

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-disadvantages-mult...

greetings, eMBee.
theBeez

Jun 18, 2017
4:19 AM EDT
If you think such a plethora of links impresses me, no it doesn't. First of all, most of these papers don't seem to know the difference between "significance" and "universal applicability". That is, a result within a group of a few hundred people may be significant - for laymen that is "cannot be explained away by coincidence", but that doesn't mean it is valid for other groups. In order to do that you need thousands and thousands of testsubjects - then you obtain results within a +/- 5% margin with a certainty of 95% (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistical_significance).

It may come of no surprise that a recent study has shown that especially in the social and medical sciences there is an alarming lack of reproducibility. Also the test methodology can be questioned. One study "proved" that "diversity teams" made "better decisions". When drilled down to what that "better business decisions" meant it was shown that it resembled a puzzle from a newspaper. Not quite the same, is it.. This problem was also noted in a research paper of the US military where several studies were evaluated that differed from "no effect", via "may be there is something there" to "yes, it works"!

The study of Forbes lacked a followup, that is the search for a hidden variable. Maybe those "diversity teams" were overly represented in certain areas or categories of enterprises that did well anyway. But why should they?

It has been shown that most people working in the social sciences are liberal. It was even acknowledged that that lack of diversity carried the problem of a massive bias in the field. This bias led to a scandal in the Dutch field of social sciences, well known for its research papers with titles like "Non-vegetarians are jerks", where researchers FAKED the basic data in order to obtain the results they politically found desirable.

They were trapped by statisticians who probed their raw test results.

So in short, that you can produce such a lengthy list of links isn't surprising. But hold each one of 'em to the light and you'll see they can and should be questioned. Such are valid questions and part of the scientific process. And don't list opinions - opinions are like noses. Everyone has one.

mbaehrlxer

Jun 18, 2017
11:31 AM EDT
please go ahead and read every study to verify that it is indeed not valid.

see, the problem i have here, is that you are making a claim that not backed by ANY study, not even an invalid one. at least i have not seen any study with results that contradict any of the findings above.

you may go ahead and discount any study made, and i am sure, if you look deep enough, you can find flaws everywhere. but in the absence of counter studies, doing so is rather convenient, don't you think?

if the results are really random, and if mixed teams are really not better, then, given the low opinion if women among a number of men, the lack of counter studies is rather surprising.

greetings, eMBee.
dotmatrix

Jun 18, 2017
11:44 AM EDT
theBeez wrote:So in short, that you can produce such a lengthy list of links isn't surprising. But hold each one of 'em to the light and you'll see they can and should be questioned. Such are valid questions and part of the scientific process. And don't list opinions - opinions are like noses. Everyone has one.


This. In spades. Always.

What is most missing from many areas of public discourse is the reasoned and reasonable questioning of authority with cogent and probing inquiries...
theBeez

Jun 18, 2017
1:26 PM EDT
Try:

(Horwitz & Horwitz, 2007) (Jehn, Chatwick, & Thatcher, 1997) (Alagna, Reddy, & Collins, 1982) (Clement & Schiereck, 1973) (Holahan, 1979) (Pelled, 1996) (Sackett, DuBois, & Noe, 1991) (Bower and colleagues, 2000)

No, not everything is conveniently on the Internet. Most academic papers aren't, BTW. Anyway, have fun wit it. I've concluded several years ago that I have better things to do than spend hours researching and blogging on the Internet for people who are so saturated in their ideology that they've essentially stopped to think rationally.
nmset

Jun 18, 2017
2:33 PM EDT
French national assembly has just chosen 47% female representatives on purpose. A terrible mistake. Not because of the proportion, but because it's not a choice based on merit and competence. Political parties wanted such a proportion at start, it's a deliberate choice, not a reasoning, how can a country's fate be decided on balls or nips ? (It's not related to IT, sorry, just a hot subject here.)
seatex

Jun 18, 2017
5:50 PM EDT
Q: What's the longest battle in human history?

A: The Battle of the Sexes.

And it will never end...
mbaehrlxer

Jun 18, 2017
8:00 PM EDT
theBeez: thank you, i'll check those out.

for stuff not being in the internet, well, i'd consider that criminal negligence nowadays. research needs to be public and easily accessible. any kind of paywall ought to be outlawed.

nmset: we probably ought not to discuss that at length, because it would get us into off-topic areas, but thanks for bringing it up. i agree, choosing representatives should be done by qualification, not by gender (the same goes for IT employees, which is why i am looking to increase the quality of the employees). however given the "quality" of politicians over all, i suspect that putting "unqualified" people into political positions will increase the overall quality, not reduce it, so we won't be able to judge the outcome on its merit. that is, we won't know if it is the gender or the quality of the people chosen, that made the difference here. (apologies for making a statement about politics here, i won't continue this topic)

greetings, eMBee.
dotmatrix

Jun 18, 2017
8:26 PM EDT
>research needs to be public and easily accessible. any kind of paywall ought to be outlawed.

99% of science research is paywalled. It makes life really expensive.
theBeez

Jun 19, 2017
1:48 AM EDT
What research papers are concerned, I can only agree with you there. Aaron Swartz (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_Swartz#JSTOR) died for that - and that was a little too close for comfort.

I tend to go through quite some mathematical papers, just to see if there are new methods which can be used (e.g. http://rosettacode.org/wiki/Gamma_function#Forth). Most of 'em I can discard - too difficult, too abstract - so if I have to pay even a small amount for that, it becomes too costly (up to $20 per paper). IMHO, it is a loss to us all.
mbaehrlxer

Jun 19, 2017
12:32 PM EDT
wow, i had no idea.

when the drama around aaron swartz happened, i sympathized, and thought he didn't deserve the treatment he got, that let to his suicide, but didn't realize how severe the problem really is that he was trying to solve.

i guess, one does not think about that, until they are affected by it themselves.

this topic is now dead, simply because i can't afford to spend that kind of money in order to read the papers that provide the research about it.

greetings, eMBee.

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