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Education Technology

Tech's Gender and Race Gap Starts In High School 489

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-blame-the-schools dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Diversifying the tech industry is a prominent topic these days, with much analysis being done on colleges and companies that employ software engineers. But exam data shows the gap is created much earlier — it's almost overwhelming even before kids get out of high school. From the article: 'Ericson's analysis of the data shows that in 2013, 18 percent of the students who took the exam were women. Eight percent were Hispanic, and four percent were African-American. In contrast, Latinos make up 22 percent of the school-age population in the U.S.; African-Americans make up 14 percent. (I don't need to tell you that women make up about half.) There are some states where not a single member of one of these groups took the test last year. No women in Mississippi or Montana took it. Seven states had no Hispanic students take the exam: Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, and North Dakota. And 10 states had no Black students take the exam: Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Utah. In some of these states, there simply aren't many students of any race or gender taking the test, which helps explain the dearth of young women and minorities. (Indeed, no women or minorities took the exam in Wyoming—but that's because no students at all took it.) But Idaho had nearly 50 students taking it, and Utah had more than 100.'"
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Tech's Gender and Race Gap Starts In High School

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  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @09:27AM (#45931493) Journal

    (I don't need to tell you that women make up about half.)

    Actually girls graduate at a higher rate than boys both in college and in high school. So they make up more than half the graduates.

    • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Sunday January 12, 2014 @09:31AM (#45931519) Homepage Journal
      My question, very much in general, and not to troll, is: at what point people just get to do what they fancy?
      If you treat education like a cup of coffee [youtube.com], you might be more pleased with the results.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 12, 2014 @09:51AM (#45931581)

        My question, very much in general, and not to troll, is: at what point people just get to do what they fancy?

        If you treat education like a cup of coffee [youtube.com], you might be more pleased with the results.

        Because education isn't about personal gain anymore. It's a business. Period. And you've become nothing more than a number. Not even a student number, just a number buried in a statistical pile somewhere that states exactly what you should expect to achieve with your over-analyzed degree over the next 50 years, to include your chances of getting married, having children, or your expectant salary down to the dollar, adjusted for your zip code.

        Statistics. That unforgiving bitch no one asked to be invited that tries to manipulate all of our lives. I kind of feel bad for women here to be honest. After all, it's clear that they don't have interest in certain fields, and yet we're berating them into it with pointless statististics. Fuck that. Do what you WANT in life. You only get one shot at it, and statistics are often dead fucking wrong due to personal choice and the chaos that ensues.

        • by ebno-10db (1459097) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @10:43AM (#45931775)

          Statistics. That unforgiving bitch no one asked to be invited that tries to manipulate all of our lives.

          Statistics don't manipulate people - people manipulate people.

          Seriously. I wish more people understood more about statistics, in particular their elementary application, because that would avoid much of what you're talking about. If nothing else beat into their heads two basic points. First, correlation does not demonstrate correlation. Most people here have heard that a thousand times, but it's not widely appreciated in the general population. Second, statistical behavior is not deterministic. That's the ultimate "duh, no kidding", but it's usually unappreciated. If person A belongs to group G, P(success|G) < P(success|!G), it doesn't determine whether person A will succeed.

          "Lies, damn lies, and statistics" only applies to people who don't understand statistics and their application.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dkleinsc (563838)

          After all, it's clear that they don't have interest in certain fields

          It's also pretty clear, based on the experiences of women who have an interest in technology, that they experience hostility, sexism, and nastiness, many enough for them to quit. If it were just a couple, then I'd think it was maybe a fluke, but when every woman I've talked to in tech about it has said they experienced it, and all but 2 of my female college classmates dropped out of the CS program, I'd say it's safe to say there's a sexism problem in the culture of tech that should be addressed.

          Try this, if

          • by mopower70 (250015) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @03:13PM (#45933177) Homepage

            It's also pretty clear, based on the experiences of women who have an interest in technology, that they experience hostility, sexism, and nastiness, many enough for them to quit. If it were just a couple, then I'd think it was maybe a fluke, but when every woman I've talked to in tech about it has said they experienced it, and all but 2 of my female college classmates dropped out of the CS program, I'd say it's safe to say there's a sexism problem in the culture of tech that should be addressed.

            My experience has been that women in technology who say they "experience hostility, sexism, and nastiness" are experiencing the exact same environment that the men they work with experience. Men who work in the primarily female field of nursing experience cattiness, back-stabbing, and undermining cliquishness. Are women in nursing inherently sexist? No, of course not. Men are just not used to the dynamic of a primarily female workplace, and the same holds true for women.

            Try this, if you are a guy in tech who doesn't get it: When you encounter a reasonably good-looking (by your standards) woman with a similar professional background, is your thought process about her professional work (e.g. language or OS choices, server configurations, algorithm ideas), or is your thought process about how you might be able to get her into bed? If it's about her work, congratulations, you aren't part of the problem. If it's about the hope of bedding her, then you need to pay attention and make sure you're thinking with your brain rather than your dick. If you don't know for sure, err on the side of professionalism and focusing on work, and let her make the conversation personal if she wants to. If you can't stick to those rules, you are part of the problem.

            So, the woman who finds a male nursing co-worker attractive is the problem with the under-representation of men in the nursing field? Men interact with men differently than they interact with women. Women interact with women differently than with men. "Professionalism" that attempts to pretend that's not true is doomed to failure. There are plenty of fields that are balanced in gender representation. There is absolutely nothing inherent in IT professionals that they create a more "sexist" environment than there is in nursing or teaching professionals. Attempting to blame the behavior of those already in the field is disingenuous, uninformed, and insulting.

            • My experience has been that women in technology who say they "experience hostility, sexism, and nastiness" are experiencing the exact same environment that the men they work with experience.

              Sounds like you work in a generally unpleasant place.

              I have rarely experienced hostility or nastiness, let alone sexism. I have witnessed most of my female coworkers be subjected to such on a semi regular basis. Most often, some variation of a male finding excuses for devaluing a female's contribution in spite of clear evidence of equal or superior quality and quantity of contribution. Sometimes there was actual hostility/nastiness directed at women that was never directed at other men.

              As for school-age tre

          • by AK Marc (707885) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @09:39PM (#45935339)
            And studies like this one prove you false. Women don't avoid IT because they've been in the field and find it troublesome (the people, not the work). The "trouble" starts much earlier. They don't go into IT, and stop considering it, long before they are aware of what the working environment will be. That points to something other than "sexism in the workplace" as a much larger factor.

            Your irrelevant rant only masks the problem, and is counter-productive to real progress. That makes you part of the problem, not the solution.
          • So, the evolution of heterosexuality is to blame? That could be a pretty big thing to try to engineer around. How about single-gender software teams?

      • by NicBenjamin (2124018) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @11:39AM (#45932039)

        From your word choices I will make the entirely stereotypical and somewhat racist assumption that you're a Brit.

        Would you be cool with it if the only 18-year-old kids in Scotland who evinced an interest in one of the most lucrative career fields were the children/grandchildren of peers? Would you just be like "I guess the commoners like working for McDonald's?" Or "I guess Irish Catholics don't enjoy tech work." Because that's pretty much exactly what's happening here. The people who ran the country (and, in fact, who created the country specifically for their own benefit) were white men. We've fixed most of the worst problems, now we really pride ourselves on America's ability take anybody (that "Give us your poor" poem on the Statue of Liberty was always jingoistic BS, but that doesn't mean we don't think it should be true) whose willing to work and make them wealthy.

        Tech is the career field that is most likely to take you from loser to Millionaire before your 30th birthday. And only the old nobility is taking advantage of it. Therefore everyone else wants to know why. Your explanation ("Black people and women just don't like tech work") works at a logical level, but it's identical to the reasoning white men used to explain why black people and women weren't dominating the economy in 1910; which means that it's not terribly convincing.

        What I suspect is going on is a couple things:

        1) The white upper-middle class is a lot bigger on college education then anybody else (except possibly Asians, but none of the states mentioned have a large Asian population). This means they send their kids to schools which have lots of AP course options, and force their little darlings to take multiple of these courses. A HS AP course not only raises your GPA, thus increasing your odds of Harvard, if you pass the test it also counts as a 3-4 credit college class. I suspect that if the AP did a survey on class status of test-takers the white working class (which is bigger then the black population in most states) would take the test even less.

        Note that the way we do education in America guarantees that non-whites (and poorer whites) will have significantly less access to AP tests. You either have to pay $20k per kid per year in private education, or live in a school district with a bunch of rich people paying taxes to get your kid into a school that offers lots of AP classes. Since school districts tend only to have a handful of neighborhoods, this means to use public schools with AP tests you have to be wealthy enough to live in a very good neighborhood. It also means that in the event a cheap neighborhood ends up in a good district, it stops being cheap.

        2) HS kids are obsessed with identity. The ultimate insult to any HS-age boy is to imply he's either female or gay. Girls will try boy things at that age, but not as often as they would a few years later. It's very rare for a non-white HS student to consider a white teacher a role model, but early 20-somethings will happily take a white college professor as a role model. Which means that when one racial/class group monopolizes a career field it's much less likely for HS-age kids of other groups to think they could actually do that shit. A couple years after High School the technically inclined black kids will stop thinking of programming as something that makes white guys (like Zuckerberg) rich, and start thinking of it is something they could do, but generally by the time you're 20 you're already a) in the midst of a career or b) halfway through college in a non-CompSci program.

        Note that this is not just a race/gender problem. The kids of the working class white guys aren't likely to go for computer programming when they're 17 because Zuckerberg/Gates/etc. all seem a lot like NPR-listening upper-middle-class geeks and they're proud hicks. But nobody measures this shit because in the US nobody really thinks the white working class is distinct from the white upper class.

        --------------------

        I don't really know if there's a way

        • "Note that this is not just a race/gender problem. The kids of the working class white guys aren't likely to go for computer programming when they're 17 because Zuckerberg/Gates/etc. all seem a lot like NPR-listening upper-middle-class geeks and they're proud hicks. But nobody measures this shit because in the US nobody really thinks the white working class is distinct from the white upper class."

          As someone who comes from decidedly redneck stock (Texan), and who grew up in Texas schools let me say this:
          A) N

      • by Bengie (1121981)
        That YouTube link was horrible at explaining something that doesn't pertain to this subject.
      • My question, very much in general, and not to troll, is: at what point people just get to do what they fancy?

        The problem is that young kids are not mature and informed enough to make that decision. They should be exposed to a wide variety of subjects before they make a decision to focus on one. Even colleges generally require students to take a core of required courses and a wide variety of electives. When I was in college, I wanted to focus only on engineering and science. But looking back from the other end of a lifetime, I can see that the "core" classes in humanities and literature were the most important.

  • In other news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @09:29AM (#45931497)
    Gender and culture start early in life, and continue through life. More on this when we talk about how women dominate professions which require high empathy and social skills.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by wisnoskij (1206448)

      Empathy is slightly off, in fact the positions you are talking about often like lower empathy. You are talking about a good ability to read emotions/people, like a sociopath.

      Sales,HR, etc and the like. Interacting with people, but most of the time not looking out for their best interests.

      In my opinion, of what little real evidence there is, it points to men being the empathetic gender.

      1. We know that the number one creator of empathy in children is time with their father.
      2. Women and girls are simply not kn

      • Yikes. I'm not touching that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        1. We know that the number one creator of empathy in children is time with their father.

        How do we know that?

      • by MacTO (1161105)

        Well, it is based upon stereotypes both ways. But I do agree that the professions that are typically associated with empathy simply are not.

        I have a background in elementary teaching, and while caring elementary teachers are certainly sympathetic, I've encountered a number of men (and women) who could not make it because empathy got in the way. Simply put, you cannot invest too much emotion into the kids. If you do, you will both burn out and make poor decisions. The real concern is the long term develo

      • by Fwipp (1473271)

        "Ladies are sociopaths"
        Modded +3.

        Oh, slashdot.

        • by Velex (120469)

          Too bad it's not untrue.

          An eye-opening experience for me was a co-worker I had a while back. She was kind, hard-working, and fair. She wasn't afraid to let me know when I was wrong about something and she didn't fly off the handle when I told her she was wrong about something. Then again, I don't recall many times other than when she was new that I had to let her know her perception of how something worked wasn't accurate.

          Unfortunately, she get pulled down by the drama and decided to find another job.

          It

    • by Nerdfest (867930)

      Culture and culture plays a huge part as well. Look at the what most seem to think is the current 'black' culture in he US and think about how much it encourages science and technology. The problem seems to be that people don't want to bring up how dangerous is in both the short and long term as they will be thought of as racist. There is such a thing as bad cultural practices, and they can be changed fairly easily if people want to, but you need to separate it from race.

  • oh no! (Score:4, Funny)

    by ganjadude (952775) <pmalloy4391.gmail@com> on Sunday January 12, 2014 @09:30AM (#45931511) Homepage
    Kids who are not interested in XXX dont do XXX when they get out of high school! Also, water is wet
  • here we go again... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 12, 2014 @09:34AM (#45931533)

    Its 2014, not 1992.. Why must we try so hard to get women to work in tech? I don't believe that there are any negative influences early on dissuading women from working tech. Maybe they just don't want to. Just putting that out there. I'd love to see more women in tech, but don't brainwash someone into it.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 12, 2014 @10:12AM (#45931663)

      I got asked by the teacher why did I want to go for computer science instead of humanities. I told that I like computer science better. His answer: "you know, some guys going for computer science are very good. It would be easier for you in humanities." It was NOT after failed test or anything like that. It was in the beginning of school year and he knew nothing about me.

      How many boys got asked stupid questions like that? Girls can pick up that they are not supposed to be interested in these things soon enough. We are supposed to be clueless and kids are good in picking up such clues.

      • by elrous0 (869638)

        I had a college prof who used to tell freshmen and sophomore programmers that clearly had no acumen in the field (male and female both) that they needed to find a new major. It was harsh, but he was usually right.

        • by mark-t (151149)
          A couple of key points to consider.... the first being that such a recommendation is infinitely more acceptable in college than it is in high school, and the second being that even in college, such a recommendation would generally come from that person's academic historical record, which was not the case in the above person's anecdote.
      • by mark-t (151149) <[markt] [at] [lynx.bc.ca]> on Sunday January 12, 2014 @11:53AM (#45932097) Journal

        got asked by the teacher why did I want to go for computer science instead of humanities. I told that I like computer science better. His answer: "you know, some guys going for computer science are very good. It would be easier for you in humanities." It was NOT after failed test or anything like that. It was in the beginning of school year and he knew nothing about me.

        And if a daughter of mine came home from school with a story like that, I'd have been all over it, asking why teachers are discouraging somebody from taking a class about something that the student indicated a preference for. What difference should it make how good other may be compared to how hard the course might be for somebody else? Some of the people in humanities could also be very good too... should they also be discouraged from taking that class as well simply on that premise? Sure, it's definitely possible that it might not interest you as much as you had hoped in the beginning, but you'd learn that over the year as you took the class. What kind of basis would a teacher use for deciding that a student was liable to change their mind about how much interest they had in a subject when they plainly said that they liked it?

        I'd be expecting an apology from that teacher to be delivered to my daughter the following day, or else I'd be wanting to see that teacher fired.

        Wow.... just wow. How *DARE* that teacher suggest that you wouldn't be any good or have any significant interest in computer science just because you happen to have ovaries.

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @11:03AM (#45931871) Journal
      Because we want to get the best people. If you look worldwide, the gender balance (to pick the one imbalance your post mentions) is a lot closer to 50:50 in some countries, in others it's even more skewed. This implies that there's nothing intrinsic about women that makes them genetically less likely to want to do engineering or scientific things, there's some other cultural or social pressure stopping most of them. If we're only recruiting from 10% of the female population that, absent these pressures, would have gone into these subjects, then we can hope that it's the best 10%, but that's not very likely.
    • by elrous0 (869638) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @11:18AM (#45931963)

      I wonder if there are articles on fashion industry sites lamenting the lack of heterosexual males in the fashion industry.

      • Why don't you go and read some articles and find out?

        And yes there (a) are heterosexual men in the fashion industry and (b) there is a social pressure which reduces the number. This is not a good thing.

        But this is a tech website not a fashion one, so we tend to discuss issues relevant ot the tech world.

  • What I tell kids. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Forget the computer science - go for the biology and other hard sciences.

    I have yet to hear of a hospital that offshored their medical staff or lobbied for H1-Bs.

    I have never heard of any medical establishment saying, "There are no qualified Americans."

    Funny. I guess all the smart Americans are going into medical.

    Oh yeah, and in medical I have never heard any one say that "if you're over 30, you just don't get it."

    • by ruir (2709173)
      The thing is IT workers are seen as white collar jobs/glorified secretaries and firms resent having to paying them wages as very qualified workers.
  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @09:40AM (#45931555)

    This is a sticky issue but there are differences between men and women.

    Anthropologists and neurologists have been proving this for some time.

    Now I am not saying women are not capable of doing the work. Rather, they don't want to do it or don't find it interesting. And yes, there are exceptions but statistically most women simply don't want to do technical work. Its not what makes them happy.

    What is more, why are we so hyper obessessed about the gender gap in these fields? What about the lack of female lumber jacks or female coal miners or female crab fishers?

    I'm sorry, but why is it that they only care about jobs considered high status? And really, is tech even high status at this point? Oh sure, there are some extremely well paid positions in that industry but there are also a lot that pay nothing. Its a range.

    And while we're at it, lets point out that the start ups were by and large set up by collections of interested young men that started out with NOTHING.

    Nothing is stopping women from doing the same thing but generally speaking they don't do it. They're not the sort to drop out of college, start some crazy company with some friends, and risk everything to make a go of it in one thing or another. They just aren't wired that way. And to be honest, most men aren't wired that way either.

    Statistically some men are... and while some women are... its a tiny percentage.

    In any case, this gender gap argument is bullshit and needs to get filed as legacy women's lib bullcrap.

    • by cyber-vandal (148830) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @10:10AM (#45931655) Homepage

      A lot of the young men that dropped out of college didn't risk everything since the college they dropped out of was Harvard.

      • so your argument is that women don't have rich parents?

        Kindly have a point.

        • by femtobyte (710429)

          I've known a few women who had extremely rich parents --- and had to flee as far as they could to have any life besides "trophy wife for a richer husband." Some rich parents can be extremely sexist and small-minded; they're interested in passing on the family empire to their sons, and selling off their daughters for political/financial alliances. Wanting to grow up as anything other than a high-society socialite can make you a persona non grata in wealthy circles.

    • by erroneus (253617)

      The title talks about gender AND race gaps. So let's talk about race too. But your commentary works as well for racial differences too. It's just not as popular to point it out.

      "This is a sticky issue but there are differences between whites and blacks.

      Anthropologists and neurologists have been proving this for some time.

      Now I am not saying blacks are not capable of doing the work. Rather, they don't want to do it or don't find it interesting. And yes, there are exceptions but statistically most blacks s

      • by Velex (120469)

        The problem with every single one of these damned threads are people like GP who start off well enough pointing to all the data that proves that male and female brains are wired differently, but then completely misses what those data are saying as you've aptly pointed out.

        Those data aren't saying that women are better or worse at xyz or are biologically predestined to be interested in something or other. What those data are saying is that the brain has a gender, too. Now, if only I could get MRAs to look

      • I didn't say that. Your strawman is not a counter argument.

        You don't have a right to define my argument. That is my right. Just as I cannot define yours.

        • by mvdwege (243851)

          Actually, you did.

          What's with bigots being so tender that they can't stand being called out on their bigotry?

          Of course, given your username, the balance of probability says you're just playing a bigot to troll.

    • This is a sticky issue but there are differences between men and women. Anthropologists and neurologists have been proving this for some time.

      I presume you're talking about the nature part of nature vs. nurture. Yes, there are differences, but you haven't cited any specific differences which have a causal effect on who decides to go into CS. I'm not saying you're necessarily wrong, but waving your arm and saying that because there are differences, it must account for this difference, is a very fuzzy argument.

      • The person be they male or female makes the primary choice.

        And that choice is in part a factor of their gender.

        • by Velex (120469)

          It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that we expect anybody assigned the male gender at birth to be breadwinners and have no such expectations for womyn-born-womyn?

          Why are there so many trans women in tech careers and no womyn-born-womyn? Perhaps it's something other than biology.

          I believe this is a problem that feminism created for itself. Womyn-born-womyn know they don't need to learn a skill or trade in order to become Mothers, and oh how we shower Mothers as a society.

          I hear in Iran, things a

        • Combined with your earlier point, that's a tautology:

          There are differences between men and women.
          Such as?
          The choose different types of work.
          Why?
          Because there are differences between men and women.

    • The "low status" jobs you mention aren't that low status. Believe me, I'm in retail. Lumber-jacks, crab fisherman, etc. not only make more money then I do they also have better hours and more benefits.

      More importantly they are jobs that many people physically can't do. All involve heavy machinery that occasionally has to wrestled with. You need upper body strength to do that, and women just don't have as much upper body strength.

      That's just not the case with Engineering.

      And, as somebody else pointed out, th

  • by buddyglass (925859) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @10:01AM (#45931613)
    If you drill down to some of her Excel spreadsheets you'll find that the overall number of female CS exam takers was 18.5%. One might explain that by arguing that women just don't like math/science/etc. But you'll also find that 48% of Calculus AB exam takers were women. Possible explanation: you need calculus if you're planning to do pre-Med as an undergraduate and lots of women wants to be doctors. Apparently very few women want to be software devs and/or engineers. But it's not because they're unwilling to take a math class, as we can see from the rate of females taking the Calculus exam.
    • by mvdwege (243851)

      Apparently very few women want to be software devs

      Given the rampant misogyny on display in the tech world, especially on discussion sites like this, would you want to become a sofware dev, were you a woman?

    • by Velex (120469)

      Shhh!

      Next we might find out that womyn-born-womyn really aren't segregated and living in ghettoes in the bad part of town! Next we might find out that womyn-born-womyn actually have pretty much the same opportunities as the males in their families!

      Who knew?!

      Next we might even find out that when one is assigned the male gender, one realizes that one needs to get a job that's going to provide a decent income and work whether it's something one finds personally interesting or not, and that when one is able to

    • That's probably part of it. But there's a much simpler explanation.

      If you want to be valedictorian/Harvard material/etc. you have to take a lot of AP classes, and you have to take three or four years of math. You don't have to take any computer classes. There are only a couple AP courses that are pure mathematics -- Calc AB and Calc BC and Statistics -- and Calc AB is probably the only one offered at most schools.

      OTOH if you need a full load of AP classes senior year CompSci is probably optional.

  • is created (Score:4, Insightful)

    by markdavis (642305) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @10:01AM (#45931617)

    >"But exam data shows the gap is created much earlier"

    "is created" implies that some one or some group is guiding/causing/forcing it to be so. A better wording would be "appears" or "unfolds" or "starts" something.

    Wording is important.

  • So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FuzzNugget (2840687) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @10:08AM (#45931647)

    This just in: different genders and ethnic groups are naturally attracted to different things.

    Next we'll be hearing about how there are an inordinately high number of females in the hairstyling and beautician industry or how basketball has too many black men.

    Oh, wait, no we won't, because discriminating against white males is the racism du jour.

  • by jackspenn (682188) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @10:11AM (#45931659)
    Why are we fixated on trying to artificially diversify professions?

    The PC BS has to stop at some point. There are some professions and things that men prefer more than women and others that women prefer more than men.

    I will give you one example of this insanity:

    In the mid-nighties a friend of my parents came over all upset. She was a manager for a publisher and all except one of her editors were female. She explained that men did not have a strong desire to edit textbooks. The only male she could find that was both good and interested cost her over double the rate of any other female editor. The reason was that she had to hire him away from another employer so that she could meet a diversity requirement from some of the states who purchased her textbooks.

    Well, this male editor ended up getting an even higher offer from a different publisher. As she sat at my parents table saying "Men just do not enjoy or wish to be editors as much as women do. How am I ever going to find enough men who are both good and interested in doing this job?"

    It was at this point that my dad who worked in IT at the time walked in and heard this statement. He said "I have the same diversity issue at work, they would like to have more women in IT, but most women don't want to be in IT."

    At this point my mom suggested the simple solution, she explained how my dad was paying good women more money than men to work in IT when he could find them and sometimes not as good women when he had nothing else. So my parents friend ended up hiring three not so good male editors and just had whatever they edited initially sent back through to other editors.

    Was that fair? Was it right? No, it was what the government wanted.

    People walk around saying "Diversity is our goal" or "Diversity unites us". Yeah, that last one goes up at a state office building each April, I go to their lobby just to laugh at their mini-ministry of truth.

    The truth is so much simpler. Hire people who are interested in learning/growing in the areas related to their work. Don't worry about how the numbers turn out. The only reason companies worry about diversity is because of some BS forms some bureaucrats asks them to fill out. Don't let your world be shaped by this nonsense. If asked be honest, explain you do not discriminate, you only hire the best qualified.

    (I agree, I do need an editor)
    • Why are we fixated on trying to artificially diversify professions?

      Perhaps because "we" believe that the best explanation for the massive disparity in numbers is due largely to some social pressure rather than something innate?

      The truth is so much simpler.

      Not really.

      Let us say we are sure the differences are due to misapplied social pressures. Would you prefer to leave the social pressures as they are or would prefer to work to change them? If so what would you do about it?

  • Enough already (Score:5, Interesting)

    by erroneus (253617) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @10:15AM (#45931673) Homepage

    Men have personalities. Women have personalities. They quite often very different. They lead people into different directions in life.

    Why aren't we asking why there aren't more "jocks" in science and why there aren't more "nerds" in sports? It's the SAME CAUSES.

    And every time the topic comes up, it invariably results in recommendations of making an environment more comfortable for the other party. And this push ALWAYS goes one direction without fail. So here it is.

    WHITE MEN: You must change everything about yourself. You are to blame for everyone else not being like you. Women don't want to work with you in your job and it's always YOUR FAULT. Black people never feel welcome or equal in your work place either and guess whose fault that is? That's right. It's your fault.

    Has no one ever wondered or asked why we're only pushing to have more diversity in a white man's environment? Why it's considered wrong for there to even be a white man's environment? Why is there no push for diversity in churches? Why is there a Korean Christian church around the corner? Why aren't there more Christians and Jews in mosques? There is a long, long list of things women do which men have no interest and yet no one is pushing for more diversity in those areas.

    Diversity is code for anti-white-male. Show me I'm wrong by pointing to an instance calling for diversity that isn't targetting while males?

    • Re:Enough already (Score:5, Insightful)

      by serviscope_minor (664417) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @12:19PM (#45932233) Journal

      There is a long, long list of things women do which men have no interest and yet no one is pushing for more diversity in those areas.

      You're really claiming there are "things" that women do that "men are just not interested in". You have no idea. Guess what: news at 11! there are social pressures on men as well as women (the modern lack of male primary school teachers is an excellent example of a bad social pressure).

      Until you admit that men and women are more diverse than you believe you will be entirely blind to social pressures which stop people being what they want to be.

      So, I call bullshit on your "long, long list of things" that "men have no interest in".

      There is certinly more variation within either gender than the average difference between genders in essentially every measurable way: there's 3.5 billion people in each and those tails go out quite a few standard deviations with that many people.

      But yet you've found a long, long list of things which 3.5 billion of the worlds population like ad no one in the other 3.5 billion likes. Oh and even better, it's completely innate!

    • by femtobyte (710429)

      Why is there no push for diversity in churches?

      Well, I can't speak for your church; but, working to reach out and be more inclusive of the increasingly diverse neighborhood around my church is a recurring theme brought up at basically every council meeting. There certainly is a "push for diversity" in churches, if you go to the churches that value diversity --- rather than the ones filled with the members who fled the more diverse churches decades ago over the prospect of welcoming inter-racial couples, and later gays.

      You may not see "pushes for diversi

    • by dkf (304284)

      Diversity is code for anti-white-male.

      Only in cultures where the dominant cultural gestalt is white-male and insists that everyone conform to that model, and then only because when you've got a culture that insists that everyone conforms, to insist on being different at all is to be a dissenter. You're just reacting as would be expected by someone who is a fully conforming minor member of the dominant culture, defending against any threat you perceive, no matter how small.

      You're a cultural lymphocyte. Congratulations!

  • by craigminah (1885846) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @10:18AM (#45931681)
    Why do we all need to score the same or have the same fill rates in the various skilled jobs? Can't we all just agree that boys and girls are different and will excel at different things? Why does everything always have to be equal? So long as girls have opportunity to take science, math, etc. with no stigma then we've done our part.
    • ...and the various races are different as well (didn't see that part). We all (as populations) are better or worse at certain things, although individuals of any race or gender can excel at anything. Again, we need to ensure everyone has the opportunity to excel...whether or not they do is up to them.
  • What test? (Score:5, Informative)

    by clickety6 (141178) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @10:40AM (#45931755)

    exam data shows...

    18 percent of the students who took the exam ...

    some states where not a single member of one of these groups took the test last year ...

    etc., etc. if you're wondering what the hell test is being talked about, you'll need to check the actual article to find it's the Advanced Placement computer science exam.

    • by tompaulco (629533)

      exam data shows...

      18 percent of the students who took the exam ...

      some states where not a single member of one of these groups took the test last year ...

      etc., etc. if you're wondering what the hell test is being talked about, you'll need to check the actual article to find it's the Advanced Placement computer science exam.

      Yes, I read the article, too, and thus I think the whole thing can be thrown out. It is not appropriate to try to gather statistics about general enrollment in a discipline by the number of people who attempt to go for advanced placement in that discipline. Particularly if you are going by numbers where one of the largest states to participate had 50 whole people take the test. Many states had no one take the test, probably because they have their own standards for determining advanced placement, as probab

    • by Solandri (704621)
      Well that makes their conclusion that the divide begins before college rather dubious, since the only reason to take the AP CS test is if the college/university you're planning to attend will give you credits for it. If they don't, you're throwing money down the drain by taking the test. (Not that I believe the divide is something caused by colleges - men and women are just interested in different things. But if you're starting from the premise that it's something caused by colleges, you can't disprove it
    • by Ken_g6 (775014)

      And how many schools even have an AP computer science class? Mine had a programming class, but not an APCS class. Of course, this was 15 years ago; things may have changed.

      I did take the APCS test, but I had to specially request it. I was the only one in the room taking the test, though there might have been one other person in my whole class who took it. Many students may not know it's available, even if you don't take an APCS class - or they may just not want to bother getting a test set up just for t

  • Genders, races, and social classes have different genetic makeups and hence different abilities.

    It's taboo to say this. You should ask yourself why.

    • Well, except the 'ability' isnt programming per se, but programming in Java or Ruby. Let's be clear about that. People who have difficulty speaking English don't typically have a problem with language in general.

  • There are many ways to make money to reasons don't exist to pursue tech unless you are there purely for the tech and don't give a shit about routing around some of the social defectives in it. Men are conditioned for that sort of thing and most women are not.

    It's not nice to point that out but it's a standing joke for good reason.

    Medical fields will have strong growth for a lifetime and most cannot be outsourced. A better question then why there are fewer women in tech is why anyone is in it. Some

  • Why don't we ask the women? Survey young women at different stages oh high school and university. Ask them what they would like to have a career in. Maybe ask the smart ones why they chose not to go into CS.

    Any women reading slashdot right now who didn't go into CS care to tell us why?

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