Men have been pushing women out of tech since the beginning


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/11/men-have-been-pushing-women-ou.html


#2


#3

Olivia Colman is the most underrated actor currently alive.
Give her ALL the roles.


#4

Apparently there are a bunch of Kevin Spacey parts up for grabs at the moment.


#5

I’m sure the beginning goes back further than that.

Why do people always assume that a caveman invented fire?


#6

Tell Ada Lovelace about it.


#7

What? Nooooo! I’m shocked! /s

frogman-shocked


#8

This doesn’t accord with my memories. I joined ICL (the product of earlier mergers) in 1972 and as a programmer worked with three women on the team. Later, at a publishing company, the chief programmer was female, as were two senior systems analysts. I don’t recall any animosity or other bad feeling towards any of the women I’ve worked with. As for minicomputers, their design really didn’t fit the corporate processing requirement; though by the end of the 60s ICL had developed a successful small 24-bit mainframe comparable to (say) the PDP-11 in processing power, though arguably with the wrong form factor for laboratory use. I do wonder whether a US issue is being projected onto the UK here.


#9
The history of computing, in the U.K. in particular, backs up one of their central conclusions—that simply educating more women and other minorities to be engineers won’t solve the problem.
The proportion of women earning degrees in computer science peaked in 1984 at 37% and has declined ever since. Today, 18% of computer-science degrees are granted to women, according to a 2016 study from Accenture and the nonprofit Girls Who Code. America’s computing workforce is 24% women, and that proportion is falling too, despite hundreds of millions of dollars the industry has spent on diversity and inclusion efforts.

So… we are educating fewer women as required for this field, and that proves educating more won’t help? I don’t follow that reasoning at all.

Maybe fewer women are going into tech because they are smarter than men.


#10

https://www.stilldrinking.org/programming-sucks

It seems like that some days. That said, I work in a roughly gender-balanced company and as far as I know there is no diversity initiative at all. It just… happened.


#11

I’m pretty close to the token WASP where I work. My boss is a Russian Jewish woman, my co-workers are Jamaican-American, Guatamalan, Syrian-American, a 72 year old Moldavan, &etc. I could go on all day… But we have no diversity program or initiative, either.

I believe our diversity is the result of hiring highly capable people at the lowest possible wages - but the wages aren’t bad (unless you compare them to one of the urban techbro nexii where cost of living is much, much higher).


#12

So I guess all them complainin wimmens and POC oughta sit down and stop their yapping?

So workplace exceptions exist; yay for such places, I guess?

You’d think that grownass men who are usually willing to engage at the relatively thoughtful level normally pursued around here would do more in a thread like this one than merely saunter in and mutter, “Well, I dunno, it sure ain’t a problem where I work.”


#13

I guess not. Find some other target for your ire, I decline.


#14

Exactly. Two things jumped out at me from the article. First was the idea that problems start after hiring 10 people of the same gender and ethnicity, making the first one who is different stand out. How 'bout making sure the first 10 are diverse?

The second was the description of women training men, so that the men could be promoted above them. Part of that tactic included creating significant pay inequity. In many organizations, higher pay is equated with importance or ability, and that attitude seems to have passed down to the workers. This explains why lower paid women and POC are too often considered to be less skilled, when that is not true.


#15

Well obviously. That’s precisely what I said in my post, just under the long section on how Hitler Did Nothing Wrong and above my theories on the racial superiority of the Master Race. /s

What the point was, is that I don’t know what cures the problem since I work at a place that doesn’t have it but I don’t know why. It displays no obvious virtue in this wise and yet… there’s no problem. Well, not that problem, at any rate.


#16

So you’re only able to think and speak about your own workplace, and not the field that it’s in? I kinda doubt that’s the case in other respects.

I just don’t get why the fact that your workplace is an exception to the rule, “but just why that is is a total mystery!” is worth sharing.


#17

Secret recording of first known board meeting at which secret of fire is kept from women

(apologies to Ringo)


#18

What kind of person feels pushed out of a field by minimizing comments offered in response to earnest concerns about their experiences? Oh, right, a human one.


#19


#20

I should really be more careful. BoingBoing BBS might run out of electrons posting things I wrote that haven’t passed a rigorous battery of tests to determine whether they are worth sharing.

But, hey, since I’ve started on this wastrel’s route, I might as well end with misspent electrons and tragically wasted bytes.

So.

The point is that the solution is something that we aren’t doing. We don’t have a diversity initiative. I’ve not attended any meetings on making the workplace welcoming to anyone in particular. I certainly possess any special virtue of inclusivity and neither do my coworkers. And yet we just hired a new AI lead on the strength of her papers, and I can’t tell you what we did right. She was just obviously the best candidate.

The point is that gender balance can just happen and that it’d profit us all to figure out what makes it so.

Oh and…

Yes. I also said this. In fact, you must work at the same place since I am responding to you and, as we’ve established, I am unable to perceive things outside of it.

Or, it could be that I speak about things I’ve personal experience with and don’t traffic in guesswork. What do you want me to say about ‘the field?’ I’ve experience with a corner of it, and that’s what I’m talking about.