back to article UK IT should 'fire men first', says Kate Craig-Wood

Famed skydiving hosting-biz queenpin Kate Craig-Wood has called for IT companies hit by the recession to fire male employees before female ones, as men are - she says - paid more to do the same jobs. “In the IT industry women earn a massive 23 per cent less than male counterparts, despite being equally capable,” says Craig- …

COMMENTS

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  1. Geoff Mackenzie

    Imagine the reaction ...

    ... if someone was to make the reverse recommendation.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Yeah, good luck with that...

    Who's going to lift the heavy servers?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    ...must be mostly in the UK then

    First off, I'm all for equality, but this is patently NOT the case in the US, at least at the companies I've worked for.

  4. Peter Jones
    Thumb Down

    False economy

    since the payout on a sex-discrimination unfair dismissal lawsuit would cost a lot more.

  5. Dave Edmondston
    Thumb Down

    Bit sexist

    Maybe they should fire women first for having disruptive 'career breaks' and the audacity to live longer and therefore need more pension money. Not my view, but the one using the same logic she's using.

    Here's a better idea; lets, em, keep the folks that are actually good at what they do?

    Can't wait for the tribunal if her company hits bad times and sacks more men than women.

  6. N Silver badge

    Dear Kate Craig-Wood

    Fuck off

    Thats exactly the sort of attitude that creates divisions

  7. Shady
    Joke

    That's because...

    ...women spend 23% of their time at work doing their nails, talking about last nights episode of "Celebutard Housewives", spreading malicious rumours about the boss etc, etc.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Because of, or despite of?

    From the article:

    “We also know from research... that companies with the highest representation of women on top management teams perform more than 30 per cent better financially.”

    At the risk of sounding sexist, are these companies performing better because of the women working there or despite them since they are in better position to succeed anyway?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hahahahaha

    rofl hahaha etc, whatever

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Er,

    Isn't this an incitement to break the law?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    "number of women in UK IT has dropped from 21 to 16 per cent in recent years."

    Despite Craig-Wood's best efforts? Natch.

    Seriously though, one still has to wonder if that is due to the rapid expansion of the numbers of people in IT. Perhaps there is still growth in the numbers of women working in IT but it is not growing as fast as the numbers of men?

  12. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Equal rights

    Funny how those who call for equality and gender neutrality lash out and discriminate themselves.

    Me thinks she has a chip on her shoulder.

    IT is a male dominated industry for numerous reasons. In my experience the computer science degrees were largely a male arena. The women preferred to do business IT.

  13. Adrian Jackson
    Thumb Down

    How about firing people based on their ability and value to the company?

    Or is that too simplistic a view?

  14. Gordon Pryra
    Stop

    Women in IT are ugly

    Nuff said

  15. Doddy
    Thumb Down

    Good luck with that

    Wouldn't that be a clear case of sexual discrimination? And yes, it does work both ways.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yea but...

    We don't whine for a week every month or piss off and have babies and then continue to whine about the lack of childcare provision

  17. Andy
    Stop

    blah...blah....blah

    Next she will be championing full maternity leave where a man can take up to a year off work (on half pay) and return to his same job with the full protection of the law - even if everyone else has been made redundant around him.

    I agree about equal pay for equal skills, but really, this stupid outburst could not come at a worse time for our industry.

  18. David Bell
    Coat

    Isn't that why we have Sexual Discrimintation Legislation.

    See this is why they shouldn't be allowed out of the kitchen......

    Mines the one with the flameproof lining.........

  19. Ash
    Flame

    Sounds good to me!

    I suggest that we decrease the carbon footprint of the UK, and reduce accidents on the roads, by making it illegal for women to drive a car.

    What, you wanted sensible suggestions? Maybe ones with some hint of "equality?"

  20. stu
    Joke

    sexchange

    "This would not have been true some years ago when Craig-Wood was an executive at Easyspace - and a man."

    always check out the adam's apple.

  21. Richard
    Flame

    yawn

    Anyone can fire off stats to say how wonderful women workers are in IT (especially if your a boardmember for one of the organisations doing so). I make a point of ignoring 50% of all stats thrown my way, see what I did there :-)

    My point may be biased because i'm a bloke but the office in which I work in has a number of women in it who call in sick AT LEAST once a month for a couple of days (I think we can all guess the reasons why!) thats at least 12 days a year. Convert that into lost time that a man simply wont suffer and you get your (stone age) theory hat men are a safer bet and thus pay them more.

    Add to this the whole career-mom side where women can take half a year off on full pay and sometimes even another 6 months off after that, how much loss is the company suffering now? Again, another thing that men dont suffer (with our puny 2 week paternity leave - if your lucky)

    Sorry ladies, you cant have your babies and eat them too. If you want to get paid more, get a sex change :-)

  22. Bob Foster
    Thumb Down

    So much for equal rights

    I look forward to seeing this woman being sued into oblivion the first time she lays off a male employee, as this is surely a clear case of sexual discrimination

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Well thought out comment there....

    All the male staff will be departing that company toute suite as no matter how good they are at their job should the need arrise they know they will be out the door before any female. I'm all for more women in the IT sector, god knows there are far too few, but with cretinous comments like this the spotlight will be well and truely on memset for the wrong reasons.

  24. Ben Tasker Silver badge
    Coat

    Not enough Women in IT

    To be fair, most women I speak to see IT as a geeky industry, and many just aren't at all interested in the very basics of computing. It has the same problem as the sciences, which is that whilst many women are probably very capable of doing the job, many do not want a career in that sector.

    As for the pay differences, I always wonder about those. We get paid on spinal points, so if I am doing the same job as one of my colleagues, but he has been an employee for longer, he probably receives a higher wage. Given that the number of women in the Industry has only recently become noticeable, I wonder if this contributes to the 'Pay Differences'.

    There are women at work who get paid more than I, a male, do. It's no reflection of expertise, just that they have been there longer than me and so are more experienced. And there are men and women who have been there less time than me, so they get paid less.

    I don't doubt that there are places where women do get paid less, and the management probably explain the pay cut as necessary due to a lack of .... ahem,,,,,, equipment. But I doubt it is as widespread as many would have you believe.

    And if you are paid less than a colleague (male or female) try to look on the bright side, you pay less tax than them!

    I'll grab me coat, it's the one with the pink coloured P45 in it.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Discrimination

    Surely you put yourself at risk to a wrongful dismissal suit if your decision to make people redundant is based even in part on gender?

    Bet that costs a few quid more than a pay difference!

    If redundancies are to be made, surely the best option is to consider each member of staff individually and work out who has the skills and knowledge you need to continue as a business?

    But then I'm not a consultant, so what do I know...

  26. Mark
    Alien

    A title is required.

    Wait, what?

    Did she just say she used to be a dude?

  27. Bracken Dawson
    Black Helicopters

    Erm...

    So the main argument here is you should get rid of the people who earn the most to do "the same job", who just happen to be men.

    No, the people who earn more are likely to be your best people, and this usually means they willingly and deliberately do more than their job description.

    This is just bad logic. Although I'm not saying the 23% wages difference is anything other than sexist.

  28. Stu
    Flame

    ...or...

    Fire the women first as they're more likely to be off due to pregnancy!

  29. jon
    Paris Hilton

    or...

    ...sack all english people and hire people from places where the cost of living is less. Surely that's the 'pc/equality' approach? They cost less after all.

    If men are paid more, the chances are they are better at their jobs. There's nothing sexist about that, this isn't the 1700s.

    Good female employees are as appreciated as male ones in this day in age but they have to work to the same standard. Same as if a male was not working to the standard expected he'd be paid less than an efficient 9-5 person.

    If you really think you are as good as a higher paid person on your level then go see your boss and ask for a pay rise, explaining why you think you deserve it. He'll either tell you why you aren't so good as you think and deflate your ego (the u have something to aim for), or start negotiations (or obviously be fobbed off as most bad bosses do).

    Paris; because she gets paid far more than her male equivalents.

  30. Jim

    Engineering

    Men are gagging for women to come into IT and engineering. But women, on the whole, tend to eschew subjects such as engineering, physics and maths, which rather precludes them from employment in these areas. Is it because these subjects are in some way "manly", or difficult ? Why do women avoid them ?

    In my A level physics and maths classes, the sex split was about 50:50. In my engineering degree class a year later, there were about 60 men and 3 women. I guess it is the same everywhere.

    Perhaps there really IS a difference between men and women ?

  31. Roger Heathcote
    Go

    Seems fair...

    Might go some way towards redressing the decades of wage inequity although a better solution might be to pay people equally in the first place.

  32. Sandra Greer
    Flame

    Flamebait -- but she has a point!

    Since women have been underpaid relative to men doing the same work, it is only fair that they should benefit from this fact by being kept on while the men are made redundant. This would lower the average cost for the company much faster than laying off women.

    In addition, think of the time saved by not having sports pools, sports talk (for the most part), and fart jokes!

  33. Toastan Buttar
    Paris Hilton

    Girls are silly.

    That is all.

  34. K Silver badge
    Joke

    Woman in IT

    .... that's a joke isn't it? I've recruited for several IT positions within the company I work for, out of several thousand CV's I've only ever received 3 from female applicants.

  35. Geeks and Lies
    Thumb Down

    Hocum...

    this is complete balderdash!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Was that "and a man" comment an attempt to piss her off?

    Or is she transsexual?

    Anyway, this is just sexism through and through. What sort of sad bastard would hire men over women? I mean they look better, smell better and you'd have the fun of watching them show up any condescending "now you have to click the LEFT mouse button TWICE - when it's over the big computer icon- to open up Explorer, love..." types when they just Win-E to do the same job.

    Anyway, this is utter sexism. If I said "we should fire all transsexuals first as they're clearly emotionally unstable" it'd be generally false and utter discrimination. Or "fire all black guys as according to Ross Kemp on Gangs they're vicious bastards who'll shoot us all!". Would that go down as well? No.

    Yours,

    A guy paid less than an equivalent woman.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm

    So instead of a saying 'Women deserve to be paid the same as the men' (absolutely right), she is saying lets get everyone on the same pay grade as the lower paid women.

    Doesnt seem like a very none-sexist thing to be saying?

    AC - just in case!

  38. Nicholas Wright
    Paris Hilton

    WTF?!

    That ain't no woman! It's a man, man.

    It's one of Dr. Evil's assassins.^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H

  39. Ben Rosenthal

    sexual discrimination

    is bad in all it's forms, maybe we should just stick with who is best for the job, and then last in first out if that does not settle it.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All Power Sisters

    Yeah, dump the dead wood that is male in IT, those bozos don't know the difference between a call and a jnz. Roll on the good times of high availability, fully clustered, distributed computing that only the ladies know how to do so well.

    Does my bum look big in this?

  41. Kerberos
    Flame

    Women in IT

    I think surely we have got to the point now that the complete and utter lack of women in an IT environment (and the sciences in general) may be a result of their personal choice and preferences, rather than the result of a secret, underhand, campaign to keep them out?

  42. A. Lewis
    Thumb Down

    Or....

    How about you keep whoever does the best work and lay off the others?

    Too crazy?

  43. Gary
    Stop

    Hmm

    She says that she wouldn't need to put this into place in her company as they are doing well, but surely she wouldn't need to anyway, or does she pay men more than women in her company and therefore support the old boys club herself??????

    Would love to see her put such a policy in place.....Those filing a lawsuit please queue here....

  44. John Tuffen
    Joke

    Ahhh...

    .. it's *Positive* discrimination? That's alright then...

  45. MnM

    Women

    'We also know from research... that companies with the highest representation of women on top management teams perform more than 30 per cent better financially.'

    There there pet.

    She's been reading Psychologies magazine again, a publication which once carried the headline 'Think yourself slim'.

    Oh, just googled her...

  46. Ben Saxon
    IT Angle

    What if...

    ...it just so happens that some of these companies pay salary on a sliding scale based on experience and/or performance? Obviously pay discrepancies based purely on gender are wrong; however, if some men are getting paid more than their female colleagues purely because they're doing a better job, wouldn't it often be better to keep them and safeguard the smooth running of IT systems rather than cutting employment costs and hoping the cheaper employee can handle it?

    Kate Craig-Wood needs to think before making blanket statements that don't take into consideration all possible scenarios at different companies.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Clarification?

    "Craig-Wood herself, as a company founder and a woman, would still be safe under a men-out-first regime even if hard times should hit Memset in future. This would not have been true some years ago when Craig-Wood was an executive at Easyspace - AND A MAN."

    Craig-Wood was an executive at Easyspace, and was also at the time a man?

  48. Inzomniak
    Pirate

    Easy to say but hard to prove

    Hmm it's good to sexism is alive and well in today’s work place, surely a job advertised at a certain rate is still a job for all regardless of gender, or am I living a blinkered existence in the basement of my IT department?? ...as the jobs advertised where I work are awarded on merit, not gender!!

  49. Rob Crawford
    Black Helicopters

    Possibly

    getting rid of the useless members of staff independant of gender & age would be a better idea.

    Oh no that unfair on the useless third wouldn't it !

  50. Dave Edmondston
    Stop

    How about...

    ...a picture to accompany the article to show us what a woman in IT looks like? I'm sure Asus had one floating about...

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What's good enough for her

    is good enough for me. I attach a photo of my new desired look

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    But wait

    Is she talking redundancy or firing people???

    If she is talking redundancy you can only make a role redundant so theoretically you can't select 'people' regardless of any criteria including wages, gender, skills - i.e. you can't keep the lowest paid, best skilled, etc and get rid of the lowest skilled and highest paid - that's breaking the law missy.

    And firing, last time I checked you can't fire someone unless they gone done something wrong (or in the UK and been employed for less than 2 years), and to the best of my knowledge, despite what some of the sisterhood would have us believe, being born a man isn't 'wrong'.

    Paris, because she is smarter by comparison

  53. Jimmy Floyd
    Thumb Down

    Mmmm, not quite

    An understandable sentiment, but wrong. And not for the reasons you might think.

    After some nutty politician said a few years ago that "no small business with any sense would employ women of a child-bearing age" there was a thoughtful article in the FT or the Economist (I forget which).

    It pointed out that, while on a day-to-day basis women might work just as hard, they are equally more likely to desire a work / life balance and therefore not break themselves at work for their career. They will seek compromise over confrontation and will therefore go chasing neither excessive results not salaries. They are also (dare I say it) likely to put their children and family first, whereas men might not.

    This was not and is not a criticism of women. In fact, the article said, this is a positive and beneficial fact - and should be seen as such. But don't, it pointed out, think that women are equally productive. They may work just as hard if not harder in the short-term but over the long-term, and from an employer's perspective, they are paid less because they produce less. Harsh, especially for the women for whom this does not apply, but (and this is perhaps a bad time to point this out) market rates exist for a reason.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this her?

    Is this the Kate Craig-Wood the article refers to?:

    http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/business/s/2041210_sex_change_kate_has_never_looked_back

    To be hopes they don't go on the birth certificate, as presumably they haven't changed the law to say that the gender of a person can't be changed on their birth certificate if they have a sex change?

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Good advert

    I'm amused by the fact that the advert showing at the top of the comments page is for "Hiscox"

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    she couldn't make a comment like that

    unless she has meet all of them......

  57. Rick Byers
    Flame

    Constructive Dissmissal here we come!!!

    If I worked for an organisation that stated I would be laid off first, mainly due to my gender, I would quit and claim constructive dismissal. Don't even need to be laid off first!!

    Highest paid workers tend to be the most productive and knowledgeable in the workplace.

    Great business model to get rid of your good workers first and keep the ass kissers!!

    Sounds like the civil service to me!

  58. This post has been deleted by its author

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Ah, bless her pretty little head

    Now back to the housekeeping, luv.

  60. Edd
    Thumb Down

    Stupid.

    Speaking as a male in IT, i've lost a number of contracts because the bosses prefered a pair of tits to actual on the job experience, i've missed out on promotions because i couldnt "blow" my way to the top, and ive been forced out by female bosses who decided they wanted their boyfriends needed my job more than i did.

    Im sorry Katy or clive or whatever, ( kate.craig-wood.com ) but you kiss my swinging friends... those ones you chose to have removed yourself.

    By all means campaign for equal pay, Im all for it, i might even get a raise myself, in the female dominated department i work in where i spend every day explaining the kind of computing basics my 7 year old has already grasped.

    The kind of discrimination you believe in is no different to the kind of discrimination ACTUAL women suffered for decades before you decided to take hormone pills.

    Or in summary, bitch, shut the fuck up.

  61. RichyS
    Paris Hilton

    Ceci n'est pas une title

    So, are you suggesting that Craig-Wood used to be called Craig Wood?

    Paris, 'cos she's all woman.

  62. Mike Shepherd
    Flame

    Who's going to make the tea???

    My full support.

  63. Frank Bough
    Thumb Down

    Clueless bint

    Check out the big brain on Kate, everyone.

  64. RainyRat

    TS

    @AC - Yes, she's a transsexual; see http://kate.craig-wood.com/bio.php for details.

    We've probably all noticed that there's no-one more violently anti-smoking than an ex-smoker; perhaps this is a gender-related version of the same thing?

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Couple of women I know in IT are very good,

    but thats cos they're smart, not cos they have 'ginas (and to be honest, they are bit huckery in the look department).

    After 20 years, I have had a gutsful of women in IT, and of PC and cowardly bosses who won't pull them into line when they get all "but you're picking on me cos I;m a woman!"

    In my own experience,...

    - Woman spends 2 weeks a year doing hubbies taxes on company time

    - Woman refuses to lift floor tiles in the data centre

    - Woman insists on own fan heater under desk rather than wear trousers

    - Woman turns on-call phone off Saturday nights, on again Sunday morning

    - Woman takes 90 mins lunch to attend gym

    - Woman picks up kids from school even though hubby works for himself in the local area

    - Woman agrees to customers unrealistic demands without even arguing

    IT definitely needs more women, in the form of HelpDesk Personnel, Tea Ladies and Prostitutes.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    The 'kate' dilemma

    So....if a man in IT felt under threat in his job, perhaps as a result of her comments, and announced to his colleagues that 'he' intended to become a 'she' .......

    -- would she support 'his' dismissal or 'her' right to fair non-discriminatory treatment.

    I suspect her rants are like the rabid anti-smoking people who used to be smokers themselves.

    Penguin, because it's the male penguin which looks after the egg, and thus deserves the maternity pay....bitter irony eh?

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I'd hit it.

    http://www.memset.com/images/kcw_headshot550.jpg

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    This has all the hallmarks

    of an off-the-cuff comment being taken too seriously. Craig-Wood is a great role model for younger transgendered people, and - although inflammatory - her comment certainly makes a point. Regardless of the level of representation in the IT community, employees should be paid solely on their merit, not on their race, gender or creed. Those of you making reference to pregnancy/menstruation/cooking really ought to examine just what image that portrays.

    Mine's the one with the survival knife and the moisturiser.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    interesting

    I work for an academic institute and there are loads of female scientists here. We also have several women in our IT department. Having said that the last two companies I worked for had no women at all in IT except in management (they were fucking useless because they knew nothing about IT and only got the jobs because they were pals with a female director in the organisation).

    Anyway, this whole fire men first thing is a load of sexist bollocks.

    Paris, just because.

  70. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    right

    Guys? It's an idiotic thing for her to say, no question. But you don't have to declare open season on all of womankind. You really don't. Nor is it cool to start in on transsexuals.

    Also, Edd, you might want to examine your post for traces of hypocrisy. It's nice that you're sympathetic to the fact that women have experienced discrimination (and it's true - not to say that we now need a reversal of that, in case you assume I would ever embrace such an appalling notion), but um... well.

  71. g e

    Whaddya mean 'You People'?

    Reminds me of that scene from Tropic Thunder.. swap ethnicity for gender.

    Anyone in favour of swapping gents & ladies loo sign symbols for 'XY' and 'XX' ?

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Incitement to offend = Criminal....

    As far as I know, the incitement to commit an offence is a chargeable criminal offence.

    Our politicians are usually so keen on keeping the political correctness:

    I want to see this women get charged on multiple counts of incitement to commit a criminal offence and gender discrimination!

    I am all for equality, but there are biological facts, that make women a bigger risk than men.....

    Every insurance company works along the lines of risk-assessment.

    So b1$%* keep your gob shut and let someone do the job who thinks before they talk and doesn´t fulfill the clishé of a typical female.

    best regards

  73. Law
    Paris Hilton

    Good luck with that here

    Through no fault of the company, our office an a 100% sausage fest.... I've not conversed with a female during work hours for over 2.5 years except for when the wife rings me... it's depressing...

    Paris - because if she worked in IT, she'd be hired in a second!!

  74. Don S.
    Joke

    Follow the example

    So ... To follow 'her' example, if men want to keep their jobs, they need to lose their johnson??

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    This is what you get.

    When you let women think they are real people.

    Paris because she needs to get back to the kitchen too.

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cor! More Shite Management Thinking

    Sex discrimination is sex discrimination whether it's males disadvantaging females or females disadvantaging males. Regardless of whether or not they are transgendered. And, as such, is illegal. I couldn't fire you purely for being female just as you couldn't fire me purely for being male. As a leader you should know this. If you don't then you are being a retard. If you do then what's your agenda here?

    Does the IT sector now have its own version of Julie Bindel?

    Had I suggested something similar but reversed - women being sacked because they are women - you can bet there would be one hell of a backlash.

    Whatever credibility you might have claimed has now been lost. Irretrievably. Whatever causes you are associated with are now tarnished with your sexism. Your name is now on the list of the sexist brigade. You are now in the company of Jim Davidson, Roy Chubby Brown, Bernard Manning and many others.

    I hope you're proud.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Used to be a bloke

    http://www.memset.com/images/kcw_headshot550.jpg

    Wow. With arms that hairy, she has to have been born Kevin instead of Kate. Also those aren't Bulgarian Airbags, they're Bulgarian Bubblewrap.

    Seriously - I wish I could be more mature than just poke fun at her but hey - she started it. Wonder if she knows she'll never be able to fire a man again without ending up in court?

    Anon because the above comments could jeopardise a current business deal with Memset. Come to think of it, I might show this article to my (mainly male) management - that should derail it proper like.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LOL

    Women in IT?!

  79. Dave Silver badge

    Double Bluff

    No doubt he/she will claim to be 'trans-gender' and therefore safe whichever group gets fired first...

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    sweeping generalisations

    are made by the lazy, the stupid and the attention-seeking.

    I wonder which she/he is?

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    just my experience

    but i can see things working the otehr way too.

    in the team i work in, we desperately needed a senior to run a project, so advertised the job. Both i and one of my co-workers applied. she got the job, got a nice, 30% pay rise above what we were on, and then said oh, by the way i'm pregnant and will be taking a years maternity leave in 3 months. Knowing that the job was specifically advertised because someone was needed to cover a long term project, before applying.

    guess who ended up running the project anyway but not being paid any extra for it.

    I'm all for equality, but it must be a true equality, not just affirmative action. That means the best person should get the job. The person contributing least should be let go first, this means that large amounts of leave should impact your career whatever the reason.

  82. John
    Flame

    Rubbish.....

    Where are they getting the stats from! in my company the "ladies" are favoured over the men and earn more thanks to calls for Politcal Correctness "equal" treatment!!!!

  83. Wize

    Another case of...

    Discrimination isn't seen as discrimination by some, unless they are on the shit end of the stick.

    I remember a conversation with a woman, who had complained that a man was being paid more than her for her job, about Sheila's wheels. She thought the discrimination by gender was a good thing when said advert came on but near enough exploded at me when I pointed out it was doing more or less what she was complaining about at work.

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Head Count

    http://kate.craig-wood.com/images/memset_guildford_team_1024.jpg

    Shows 7 people, only two of whom are women. Now as this is the only picture of any "Team" on the site it would suggest that these are the senior people. 2 Women, 5 men... not very equal is it.

    Frankly it sounds like she decided to get a bit of free publicity for her company.

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All the laws in the world

    don't and won't alter the fact that KCW is still genetically a man.

    Don't let the door hit you on the way out...

  86. REDKola
    Thumb Down

    Does she just mean smaller companies?

    In my experience working for large corporations, knowing what a colleague (whether they be male or female) earns is a big no no - disciplinary offence in almost all cases.

    As long as I am earning what I believe I'm worth then I'll happily work to the best of my abilities and put in some extra effort. If not then it's up to me to change my situation.

    Any hint of me being made redundant just cos I can stand up to pee would certainly be grounds to bring the lawyers in!

  87. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
    Flame

    Sack all female models first

    Because as we know, female models are paid more on average than male models, and there are more of them.

    So when the advertising budgets are cut, you should cull the women-folk first and leave the lower paid men to show off those bikini's :D

  88. Peter Kay

    Oh dear, a little bit hatstand

    I expect Kate will be along herself to comment in a bit, but really can't see how's she's got a leg to stand on unless it's actually just a talking point/PR (which it undoubtedly is..)

    Yes, there is a pay disparity at times, there's still sexism and not enough women in IT, but this is not the way to solve it.

    In short : assistance to compete on a level playing field=good. Positive discrimination=bad.

    Dare I say that this type of blinkered thinking is likely to make things harder for women, rather than easier?

    Personally I'd be happier if the image of the IT industry is lifted from the nerdy stereotype that exists. It hasn't been true for years, but change is glacial. It might also help if there were easily identifiable ways to attract everyone (but especially women) into IT. Yes, there are now many websites and free tools to interest children/teenagers in IT, but it might help to have a centralised source (i.e. a set of 'quick wins', as many other IT activities require extensive background experience)

    As to the poster asking about a birth certificate : typically after sexual reassignment surgery all documentation gets changed : birth certificate, passport, national insurance, issuing of gender recognition certificate (which, note, is not required for proof of change of name and sex to most institutions) etc.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chip on shoulder

    Perhaps like ex-smokers who turn vehemently anti-smoking, Kate, who used to be a man is now vehemently anti-men. May I suggest her transgender change hasn't worked fully and while Kate now looks like a woman, she is clearly still in need of psychiatric treatment.

  90. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Coat

    Gonna be a lot of companies going down....

    ...due to the fact that roughly 15%* of the IT work force seem to be women, there will be a massive IT staff shortage. Even given ladies' inherent ability to multi-task, I'm still fairly confident that running an IT dept with 85% of the staff gone will still be a bit of a challenge.

    So the ladies will be off too, to which they form a handful companies with all female IT staff, then the Gender Wars will begin as male versus female for domination of the IT landscape!

    * rough figure based on my very quick office straw poll!

  91. This post has been deleted by its author

  92. Matt Owen
    Unhappy

    Unbelievable!

    No, Not Kate. You Lot.

    I've never met a bunch of more sexist idiots in my life. I notice that a lot of you posted as AC... too afraid to stand by your offensive remarks are we ?

    Kate makes a valid point, IF employers wont pay pay their women equal monies, THEN they can save on costs (remember we ARE in a recession) by firing the men, as they ARE paid more. As a point it stands. It may not be right... but there is a more deep rooted issue - and that's the lack of equality in the workplace (not just in IT).

    And as far as Kates personal history goes - WTF has that got to do with the article ? Gay/Straight/Male/Female who cares as long as they are good at their job ?

    I am saddened by all the responses here. It truely re-enforces why I love my Job, but hate the Industry.

    -Jar

  93. Charlie Stross
    Stop

    Is that legal?

    While restoring the gender balance to IT is all well and good as a goal, <em>in practice</em> doesn't the Sex Discrimination Act (1975 and as amended) have something to say on the topic of firing people because of their sex?

  94. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Dead Vulture

    Smacks of self-publicity

    NFT

  95. MnM
    Go

    @Sarah

    But have you seen these people park? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2Q_s2NcuuM

  96. Steve Swann
    Stop

    Project Managers

    Need I really say more?

    OK, fellow IT folks - How many of you work for female project managers? How many of you work in Call-centres where the middle management is entirely female?

    Bottom line: Technical skills at the bottom are mostly provided by male employees, management at the top are mostly (old-guard) male (old school-tie) types. Middle management? predominantly female. Why is that?

    Simply put, its because we're reclusive geeks (as a rule) at the bottom and faceless management at the top. The women fill that essential middle role because, as a rule of thumb, they are perceived as being better communicators and better face-to-face that your average techie....

    ...and they get paid more for it.

    So, are we suprised when it comes to redundancy we are seeing cuts mainly in middle-management? And are we suprised thats its women feeling this situation the hardest? Nope.

    Unfair as it may be, its the way things are. Personally, I think everyone doing the same job should be paid the same amount with bonuses for productivity and length of service, regardless of race, gender, disability etc. etc.

    Oh, and to Sarah Bee - very brave to step out into the open on this one! Bravo!

  97. Paul Donnelly
    Unhappy

    Hee hee hee

    I love that I've arrived just after the occasionally lovely (but sometimes fierce) Sarah Bee has told off the forum for being exactly as discriminatory.

    I believe that we should make illegal every minority representation groupt. No more minister for women, no more Black Police Officers Association, nor Gay (including lesbianism), no special representation for individual foreign groups, no more Women Only anything, no more Men Only anything.

    When the hell is the general population going to wake up and realise that there's NO DIFFERENCE between them and the next person? Pretty much the only group in the UK without a dedicated lobby are White Anglo Saxon Protestants - or about 35% of the population. We are now a minority, the most discriminated against in the country.

    Positive discrimination (like Military Intelligence, or Living Dead, a self contained contradiction) t is waved around as if putting positive in front of any despicable act makes it ok. Anyone for "Positive Assault"? How about "Positive Rape"? Or "Positive Murder" ? Why is "Discrimination" illegal and "Positive Discrimination" ok? Pull the other one, ITS GOT BELLS ON.

    Coat, Hat, Door.

  98. Tom
    Alert

    So...

    Are your textual implications correct, she used to be a man, and is now saying that men should be sacked ahead of women? Do i detect the tell tale funk of a very intricate and dangerous personality complex per chance?

  99. John

    And you wonder why...?

    Irrespective of whether Ms. Craig-Wood is correct or not, if the sexist drivel on display in many of these comments is typical of the average male IT worker it’s not hard to see why more women aren’t clamouring to enter the industry.

    And responding to an argument you regard as sexist with a sexist counter-argument doesn’t make you look particularly clever btw.

  100. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Captain Jamie

    Well said - exactly my thoughts but better said.

    Glad I don't deal with memset any more. Doubt I ever will again now!

    Wonder if the old adage no publicity is bad publicity works here? Perhaps its just free advertising for memset. Make you wonder what memset stands for now. Anyone got any good anagrams? Heres is mine to start!

    men

    earn

    more

    sack

    every

    techie

  101. Adrian Jackson
    Thumb Down

    Re: Woman agrees to customers unrealistic demands without even arguing

    Strange. It's almost always male sales staff who do that in my experience, then pocket their commission as the *real* workers get down to delivering on the impossible.

  102. N Silver badge

    Personal experience...

    A few years ago, I was contracted to fill a maternity position, which turned out to be in excess of 12 months

    After the first week, I had added about 50 defects to the non-existent defect book & went on to fix around 130 persistent defects (as well as the day to day stuff) which gradually came to light, when the users discovered there was someone who actually gave a toss about the level of support they received prepared to roll up their sleeves & fix things.

    Ive no problem with getting rid of the chaff, but as for sacking by gender, theres a perfectly good law against it.

  103. Peter Kay

    @Captain Jamie

    It'd be tricky for the IT sector to have their own Julie Bindel; whilst Julie writes for the lesbian community she's also famously transphobic. This caused a furore when she was recently nominated for LGB writer of the year at Stonewall.

    Stonewall is LGB rather than LGBT, but at times they really don't do themselves a lot of favours.

  104. John Curry

    Fuck me...

    ...shocking display of small minded sexism here. We live in a male oriented world you fuckwits, and the fact that on average women are paid less is just the tip o the iceberg.

    Morons.

  105. Watashi

    Illegally blonde

    This would be illegal. You cannot hire or fire employees on the basis of what sex they are.

    With a bit of luck, Jacqui's personal police force (ie The Met) will be knocking on the door of this woman to have a word with her sometime soon. Oh, wait, she's not Muslim is she?

  106. Jim Macdonald
    Stop

    mmm....

    Ok, I'm looking around our IT dept, and out of 40 staff, there's only one woman (a web designer). So I don't think the "sack the men first" policy is going to have much effect around here.

    We hardly ever get a female candidate to interview for the IT dept, and even when they do, very few can pass the technical portion of the interview. It's not discrimination - they're just aren't that many women genuinely interested in a geeky job. So statistically, IT is always going to have less women than blokes.

    Notably, The 5 previous women that have worked in our department over the years, have all got bored after 1-2 years and taken up other careers or became full time mums. So even then it seems like it could have been a mistake from their perspective.

  107. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    WOW what a sexist!

    I was hired to do Y2K upgrades back in 2000 for the govt.

    While I worked a fellow female employee had the same duty as me to perform but she wanted me to do all the lifting shuttling of computers that needed the Y2k fix.

    Heck no! I complained and demanded to be paid more for doing other people work.

    Grrr and reports like this tick me off.

  108. N Silver badge

    @ Sarah Bee

    Anyone like Kate Craig-Wood who enjoys the oxygen of such an appointed position then abuses it to declare members of the opposite sex should be dismissed their jobs, has in my opinion yet to crawl out of the primeval slime our ancestors successfully managed all those millions of years ago.

    The recurrent though would not cross my mind & I dont see what God given right she has the declare war on male employees, just because they happen to earn more, for what ever reason that may be.

    Its not often the thought of punching a woman crosses my mind, but comments such as hers in the current environment demand that she in turn gets a bloody good slapping, both in this forum & elsewhere.

  109. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great idea

    lets stop sexism in the workplace with sexism in the workplace!

    Simple way to see if "ideas" are sexist etc is to reverse them, if the suggestion was to kick out more women , then dear god all hell would break lose.

  110. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Whay was this bone head's comment considered worthy of coverage...

    If I'm "important", shout loudly, swear and/or make a blitheringly idiotic comment then someone will pick it up. This is directly from the "Dandy-air" handbook of public relations. Let it go - to discuss it gives it the oxygen of publicity.

  111. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Ah, feminist sexism is alive and well in the UK, too!

    What a silly woman. Were my company to fire men and keep the women in order to cut costs, we'd have an IT department of four people. And none of them are systems engineers. We pay our IT personnel based on experience and performance, not on what they have between their legs. Can we help it that so few women choose careers in IT beyond some light Java programming or Windows administration?

  112. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    This has already happened

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/3f00267a-0a86-11de-95ed-0000779fd2ac.html

    Can we ask for less men to be sacked or would that be provocative and sexist?

    Moral relativism (the preserve of the intellectually bankrupt leftie), don't you just love it!

  113. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Chill the fu*k out you slobbering twats.

    What the good lady said was in reaction to a report that claimed..

    "...the recession world-wide could increase the number of unemployed women by 22 million in 2009.."

    And then she made the perfectly valid point that ..

    “Before making redundancies IT companies should conduct a quick pay audit, then let go those who are on higher wages for the same job.”

    Fu*king great idea! I wish all those lazy bullshitting MBA from the unipolytechnik backofbeyond holding, ar*elicking, earn more than me, twats get what they rightly deserve !

    Publicity seeking headline yes ! Sexual-descrimination , Incitement to offend no fu*king way !

    You twats!

  114. Krystan Honour
    Stop

    Discrimination.

    I can assure you anyone firing me because I am male will see the inside of a tribuneral very quickly

  115. Kieron McCann

    A little bit of reason

    Well I was going to bleat on about how ridiculous this idea is and then I read through the comments - Christ, no wonder there are fewer women in IT. I happen to know a couple of female IT managers who are very very good (oh and one of them also happens to be a fox but that's beside the point).

    They have to alternately cope with managing resentful geeks who cannot deal with the fact that a 'chick' knows more than they do and managing spotty little nerds who cum in their pants every time they have a conversation with them. The comments on here seem to back that up.

    It's little wonder that IT is an attractive option for many women.

    Having said that, statistics on gender equality can be very misleading. For example if you believed gender pay gap statistics, you would have to believe that Moslem women earned more than Moslem men. This is due to the fact that Moslem women in employment tend to be more highly educated than their male counterparts - by virtue of the fact that many have worked very hard to break away from traditional gender roles. However, this obscures the fact that many Moslem women are not in paid employment so despite earning more on average, the vast majority of the income generation in the Moslem community lies with males.

    Similarly, I simply don't believe that the pay gap is as big for EXCACTLY the same jobs. It most likely has to do with the nature of the jobs that women tend to do. These are more focused on roles such as support, help desk etc which pay less (another generalisation but one which tends to be true in more than the IT industry).

    In the end though this is just sensationalism that provokes a knee-jerk reaction which does nothing to further the role of women in IT and provokes the small minded dickheads above.

  116. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it happens all the time

    Discrimination happens all the times for all manner of reasons.

    My brother once applied to do some temping, on entering the agency he was greeted with less than enthusiasm because he was a man and could clearly therefore not type properly, once he dashed off the given recruitment exercise accurately and with incredible speed he was taken much more seriously. It was only because he persevered and insisted on taking the test that the agency realised that some men can type.

    Sadly its human nature to discriminate, I'd be very surprised to find anyone who has never had a discriminatory thought in such a situation. How many people have never got an interview because of the way their C.V. is presented and the impression it gives - should employers be forced to interview all candidates a fair and equal opportunity. Its a fact of life, get over it and move on - or setup up your own company and prove everyone wrong.

    IMHE women in IT often work in management and project management. Men are more often techies (geeks). Its not always the case but as a general rule that's my experience.

    Clearly there will be less managers than than techies and similarly less project managers than techies. Help desks are often more evenly staffed by both sexes.

    Most women think blokes who work in IT are geeks and to be avoided at all costs. We all know what sort of reaction you get when you mention what you do so it should hardly be surprising there are less women in the industry as its clearly not something that interests them, just like there are many jobs that women do that I would not be interested in regardless of the pay.

    Get that chip of your shoulder Kate/Robert. One assumes you pay your staff the same regardless of gender.

  117. Jonathan

    maybe its their choice?

    I work in an IT department who are interviewing at the moment and every single CV that has come in is from a bloke. Should they all be binned?

    I've also worked in a steel mill and I don't recall either

    a) a lot or women working there

    or

    b) any campaign to increase the number of women.

    (none of the secretaries in the office block ever commented how they were fed up of their 'woman's job' and wanted to work in the blast furnace but hadn't been allowed to)

    same thing for coal-mining.. where is the government and media campaign to get more more women working down t'pit?

  118. Eddie Edwards
    Joke

    Right idea, wrong reason

    We shouldn't kick men out because they earn more.

    We should kick them out because they are all latent rapists.

    Surely everyone can see that?!

  119. al
    Paris Hilton

    A better approach would have been...

    ...to say that gender ratio of a company should remain the same (or improve in favor of women) after layoffs.

    Another "somewhat acceptablefeminist statement" could have been - any woman who has been through a maternity leave in last 2 years can't be laidoff on performance grounds - maybe unless they are shutting down the division.

    Mass-scale layoffs are not about who earns more. It's about reducing investment from non-profit making businesses.

    Paris, coz she ears way more than many men and must be laid immediately.

  120. Vlad The Impugner

    make 'shocking' comment

    =get publicity

    /thread

  121. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    (untitled)

    I trust the comment was made purely in the hope of creating an outcry. Whoever she is, I trust she hasn't had too much publicity for her show biz whatever so far.

  122. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    A Memset employee speaks..

    I work for Memset. I am a bloke. And given the eight months I've been here, I've been treated exceptionally well. For starters, it's through Kate and Memset they are paying for or all my training and certification for something *I* want to do. All failed promises from previous employers. They have also, unlike my previous employs, have honoured all benefits and bonuses - for all staff. So I'm very happy working for Memset, and for Kate.

    It's nice to know that people's prejudices are alive and well after reading some of the comments here, but Kate does bring up a valid point that men ARE usually paid more - this was certainly the case in a previous job of mine when I found out that a female colleague was being paid far less than her colleagues at the same level and with the same experience.

  123. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Yeah?

    Make me a sandwich, bitch!

  124. This post has been deleted by its author

  125. JimC Silver badge

    I've been in this game twenty years

    And back when I started there were an awful lot more women present when I went on courses and the like than there are these days: I don't know what went wrong, but I don't reckon its healthy. I also reckon that women often have a better attitude than men for support roles... As for the rest of you: don't you like girls?

  126. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    You should be ashamed of yourselves.....

    I am a woman wokring in IT and frankly it's you people's attitudes that are making women not want to enter the field.

    I know of several women who used to work in my department and were hounded out by the attitudes of the male members of staff.

    I am (reasonably) pleasant to look at and can lift servers no problem.

    I always wear trousers in the office and never complain about the temperature nor do I pick kids up from school, attend the gym or spend 90 minutes for lunch. I usually go to the pub with the men who spend longer getting ready to leave than I do!

    I always answer the phone for on call, have no issues with crawling through roofs and under floors with cables AND I have never used the words "you're just picking on me because i'm a girl".

    It's quite unreasonable to launch into the kind of sexist diatribe that has been evident on here because of one persons opinion.

    Yes, it is an exceptionally foolish thing to say but I agree with Sarah that it's no excuse to turn on every woman everywhere which is what seems to have happened.

    Pull yourselves together, and grow up!

  127. Tony
    Unhappy

    Calm down dear, it's only an advert

    Funny how so many people have immediately reacted in such a vociferous way to Kate's comment. Perhaps what she should have said was "get rid of all the baldies or grey haired gits" as with their lengthy service, they will all be on high wages. I wonder how many of the respondents would have bothered then?

    Trouble is, I am one of the grey haired brigade (I thought it made me looked distinguished, but the ladies just laugh) so I would be the first out of the door under that scheme. I know that I am not on excessive wages - in fact I am on well below the average pay scale for the job that I do, and that won't change. I know that I do a better job than the average, as I have been told so by almost every single visitor to the company, who quickly identify that we are well ahead of most other comparable SMEs in almost all areas of our IT provision.

    I can't get an IT job elsewhere as the recruitment agencies won't consider anyone over about 35. I can't do the other job that I trained for for the same reason. On the scrapheap at 53 (it's my birthday, and I'm feeling old and decrepit)

    I would post anonymously, but I can't be bothered - looked in the mirror and I have more than a passing resemblance to Michael Winner.

  128. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Phew! Lucky this is anonymous...

    Men get paid more in IT because they are worth more...

    <ducks>

  129. pctechxp
    Thumb Down

    Own goal for her business

    Well I was considering Memset as a hosting solution for a friend of mine who runs quite a busy site but thats them off my list.

    As a male techie I am deeply insulted by this comment and think she should have kept her golden plated trap shut.

    For the record I am all for equal pay and work alongsode some very talented people (both male and female) and I see no distinction between them.

    Its one thing to campaign for equal pay but quite another to say that male workers should be sacked in preference because female workers are cheaper and defeats the argument I feel.

  130. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He is not the female messiah

    he is just a very very naughty boy.

    Oh come on people, are we all so scared of memes nowadays, that we miss the El'Reg Humour?

  131. Jackie

    Women in IT

    I think some of the previous comments display just what an aggressive place the IT workplace is....and I am glad I no longer work in it. Having said that I have always thought that in a new industry like computing, the old fashioned traditional ingrained chauvanistic behaviours should have gone. Yes it is true women get pregnant - but they don't get that way on their own!!! Men should be as offended as women that co-workers are paid less for doing the same job - then Kate's comments would rile no-one. To restrict our pool of talent, either intentionally or unintentionally, by discouraging women from pursuing careers in IT will guarantee that the "products" will be significantly less than they could be. Also, the interests of women may not be completely coincident with those of their male colleagues. We have buying power now - and we are 50% of the population surely, we need to service all our customers whatever bits they have in their knickers.

  132. kain preacher Silver badge

    title

    gender of a person can't be changed on their birth certificate if they have a sex change?

    in the UK its changed

    No she is not trans just a typical looking brit women.

  133. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Y'all Need To Realize...

    ...that a good 50%-75% of the sexist comments here were probably made by aspie dweebs that need a bicycle pump to get their girl ready for a hot date. These are NOT "people" people.

    It's the kevlar firemen's coat, thanks...

  134. Doug Glass
    Go

    Oh No!!

    She's using the "F" word and it's directed at men this time! You've come a long way baby.

  135. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: illegal

    IIRC, and I am most certainly not a lawyer. Anyone who even suggests such a thing will be hearing from my lawyers. Err...... Anyway,

    discrimination is not illegal as such, it is unlawful. The difference in this instance is that illegal implies criminal whereas unlawful implies civil.

    If you are unlawfully sacked or made redundant then your only recourse is through civil action. Even if your employer was found to be spectacularly breaching employment law they can't be locked up for it.

    However I have now filed Memset as a company never to do business with and I certainly wouldn't want to work there.

    @Martyn Drake

    I am glad you are happy working for Memset and Kate. However, for a bit of realism here just because Kate is one of the decent employers it doesn't mean that her sexist prejudices are therefore acceptable.

    I think we can all agree that where you have two members of staff doing the same job, getting paid markedly different salaries and you only need one of them, then it is sensible business practice to take the salary question into consideration. This statement is completely gender neutral.

    It may be that if you took that approach then the proportion of men affected is higher than women, but that is entirely different to making the assumption that it will *always* be men affected this way and so to skip the actual redundancy process.

  136. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Harriet Harmon in disguise

    "This would not have been true some years ago when Craig-Wood was an executive at Easyspace - and a man."

    So his/her solution to avoid the problem personally was to have a sex change?

  137. Richard C.

    Grow up 'El Reg Commenters

    Ok, so El Reg did make the article a bit more inflammatory than it was (you can read Kate's original posting on her blog at http://www.katescomment.com/fire-men-first/ ), but it is true us blokes do tend to get paid more for doing the same work as our female counterparts (I've even encountered the situation where we get paid significantly more: even thought the woman in question did more hours of more complicated and difficult work).

    I do think companies should have an "open pay rates" policy so that everybody knows how much everybody else gets paid and why: therefore making pay discrimination very difficult to maintain (why should a company make it a "gross misconduct" offence to discuss wages/bonuses with other members of staff?).

    Kate's just really after *proper* equality in the workplace, and the fact she went through a major-major operation a few years ago should have absolutely nothing to do with it: and the comments such as "I'll hit it/I'll do her" just helps reinforce her point that sometimes women are just wanted for their looks and not their intellect or what they can contribute.

  138. gjw
    Jobs Horns

    Used to be a bloke

    Actually she was a woman from the day she was born (in the wrong body).

    Horned Jobs just because.

  139. Katy Bairstow

    Wow - no knee-jerk reactions here!

    As a woman who's spent over a decade in the IT industry it's nice to know that I am automatically assumed to be:

    Unable to "lift the heavy servers"

    Spend 23% of their time at work doing their nails, talking about last nights episode of "Celebutard Housewives", spreading malicious rumours [sic] about the boss etc, etc.

    Not "productive and knowledgeable in the workplace."

    An "ass kisser"

    A bitch

    And I've lost the will to read any more...

    "women, on the whole, tend to eschew subjects such as engineering, physics and maths, which rather precludes them from employment in these areas. Is it because these subjects are in some way "manly", or difficult ? Why do women avoid them ?"

    Perhaps because they don't fancy a career spent with the likes of some of these commentators!

    And Kate is clearly talking about making the difficult choices faced over redundancy - not, as some of you seem to assume - firing men just because they have a penis.

    The sheer volume of nasty comments that have been thrown around just because a successful female in IT dared to express her own opinion on her own blog should be an embarrassment to the majority of IT workers.

    Way to embarrass yourselves guys (oh wait, many of you were anonymous cowards)

    Katy Bairstow

    MCSE, CCNA and lifter of many a heavy server

  140. lee harvey osmond
    Paris Hilton

    Brrrr, no thanks

    "when Craig-Wood was an executive at Easyspace - and a man"

    Much as I admire Craig-Wood for the personal sacrifices s/he has made to increase the proportion of women in the IT profession, I find the prospect of rather terrifying surgery has deterred me from following his/her example.

    And I do think that this entire commentfest would be more readable if there was an "anonymous cowardess" option.

  141. Law
    Flame

    I'm enjoying the comments so far

    .... that is all....

  142. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: I'm enjoying the comments so far

    You are? Why? I'm not. I'm just pleased there have been a few more reasonable ones from men and women alike.

    We're closing this thread at the end of today, which pleases me since it means I won't have another slew of unpleasant burblings to put me off my breakfast in the morning (although there is still the 'drunk sorority girls' thread, of course). So if anyone has any more to say, better post it before 5.

    I've let through almost everything here, and am going to start using my nixing-arm rather more strongly in the last hour this thread is up. If you've got something offensive you really want to add to this already fairly well thrashed-out debate, you can try your luck. As is always the case.

  143. Mike
    IT Angle

    Southpark

    Mrs Garrison is only doing this for publicity.

    It takes, on average 10,000 hours of something to become an expert at it, most of the highly paid IT geeks have spent a long time being IT geeky (most of them male).

    How many geeky women do you know? how many geeky female teenagers? Despite 20+ years in IT I have not met a single female IT geek that knows 75% of what I know, IT is dominated by male IT geeks because they (generally) know more because they have been geeky for a much longer time.

    I have met a few women who were in IT 10/20 years ago, most of them moved on to management, other unrelated jobs (oddly, usually teaching) or full-time motherhood, whereas the men stuck at it, increasing their skills experience and knowlege and their reward is a good salary.

    How many girls were given ZX81's for christmas? OK, maybe the rot started at home and at school, but you can't magically make an unexperienced person experienced by sacking the ones that are experienced, Men should not be punished for doing better than women because they had a better start.

    Notwithstanding, if anyone here sees injustice in their workplace, where someone is being unjustly rewarded because of their gender (taking into account their ability and experience), then it's your responsibility to shout (I have) sexism can only be prevented by education and only resolved on a case by case basis.

    Oh and I once worked with a very smart young attractive woman in IT (UNIX admin) so not all IT women are munters (although it's likely).

  144. Dan
    Coat

    Coffee, keyboard, etc

    "...Craig-Wood was an executive at Easyspace - and a man."

    Hilarious!

    Anyway, she is now legally a woman, has she taken a 23% pay cut, or is she now overpaid?!

  145. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Oh, for crying out loud..

    @Lee

    To date, I have found absolutely no indication that Kate is in ANY way discriminatory - especially in a professional capacity. She is merely raising a valid point, in my opinion.

  146. Peter Kay

    @ open pay rates and @jackie

    Obviously the only reason for companies to not do this is to reduce the wage bill. Otherwise the companies would have to define why one person is paid less than another, how they could make the higher grade and why certain executives are paid vast amounts of money..

    @Jackie - I fully agree that men should be offended that women are paid less than men. The way to do this, however, is not to alienate men by suggesting they're fired to achieve equality. What Kate says is not unreasonable if sex is taken out of the equation, however that's not the case especially given the 'fire men first' URL and picture on her blog..

    It's hardly a surprise that if you irritate people some of them lash out. Still, easier to make blanket statements that bring publicity than have a reasoned debate with a smaller audience, isn't it?

    Whilst IT is a fairly new industry, it's been male dominated from the start, and will take some time to change. At least we're at the stage now that the general usage of computers is largely sex neutral - 'all' that needs to be done is to find some way of reaching the general public (especially women), encouraging people to look past the effort learning the more awkward bits of IT and that it's possible to do extremely geeky stuff *and* have a social life too..

    Unfortunately I think Windows (i.e. the majority platform) is more about running apps than encouraging people to learn; whilst it may extend the usage of computers, it does little to help increase the number of IT staff..

  147. Jackie

    Opportunities

    You guys in the computing world are not seeing the future properly. This recession won't last forever......Computers will help us ALL find ways to improve life. i.e. prevent disease by pattern matching and discovering mechanisms for silencing genes, they will "find" genes out of 3 billion bits of data, and do operations in trillionth of a second, databases will become very large, indexing, queries and performance will improve, data and statistical methods will improve and increase, and more intuitive HCI's for non-technical users will enable people to use your advanced technology tools. Computers will help us answer those big questions...the origins of the universe, the workings of the mind (artificial intelligence) and which gender is the best! (LOL)

  148. Lucy McDonald
    Flame

    @ Mike

    Oh My God.

    I have been geeky for as long as you, you horrid little man and I would happily be a geeky girl, even being paid less than the other men in my department, than be you.

    That's the most sexist, non-sexist post i've ever read.

    Idiot.

  149. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Well done everybody, you've proven the point!

    Having read the vast majority of comments here, I am absolutely disgusted by the attitudes that people have against Kate. Really, a lot of you have just proven there IS a problem in the IT sector. Bigotry.

  150. This post has been deleted by its author

  151. Kate Craig-Wood
    Thumb Up

    From the horse's mouth...

    To those making overtly sexist comments, thank you! I have been struggling to demonstrate just how bad the sexism within the ICT industry is, especially when presenting/talking on the topic to industry leaders and politicians who don't tend to just "take my word for it".

    This is a goldmine though! These comments will give me all the evidence I could wish for. :)

    Also, a sincere thank you to those making serious, considered comments and who made an effort to engage in the debate.

    Kate.

    PS. Also, if you want to hear my whole reasoning (where I make it clear I'm not being sexist myself - merely an advocate of good business sense), this is the original article: http://katescomment.com/fire-men-first/

  152. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    It's all a question of timing...

    For someone who is secure in her own job to be pronouncing on who should and shouldn't be retained, Katy shows a lack of timing and tact, even if her views have substance.

    These are difficult times. IT staff face a lot of competition from overseas and cutbacks. I for one believe we should show empathy for everyone facing job loss, male/female/tg etc. We are talking about peoples' livelihoods here.

  153. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Anonymous Coward

    but think of the shareholders!

    @Sarah: I think El Reg is missing out on a great revenue source here. You should charge people of post comments, on some sliding scale. The average neutral story could be free, but a Lewis Page DARPA/deathware story would cost something, particularly if the posters wanted to strut their military pedantry; anything touching on religion, the US, or US politics (ok, not always distinguished) a bit more; Linux v. Windows or Java v. .NET perhaps twice that; women in IT and particularly Ms. Craig-Wood--well, what's the limit on your credit card?

  154. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: but think of the shareholders!

    Genius. Hey, maybe I'd get a cut. Or a generous valium allowance.

  155. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Hmmm

    Sadly, the demographic for IT workers is heavily biased towards men; there are just more of us working in IT; by sheer force of statistics there will be more useless male IT workers than there are useless female IT workers.

    I feel that this a cheap shot at obtaining publicity for her organisation and as the CEO of same I feel it an irresponsible comment to make; it makes a mockery of her, her organisation and any equal opportunities guidelines they may have in place. Furthermore, one has to wonder if she be making comments based upon race next or is she going to stop short of that and merely alienate 75% of the modern IT workforce ?!

    Surely the way forward is to cut away the dead wood, the hanger-on contractors and especially the idiots who man the helldesks, passing on every goddamned support call through to 2nd line because they're too lazy / incompetent to handle the most basic of enquiries.

  156. Andy
    Stop

    What we need is...

    a sarcasm icon. Because I really hope many of the posts above would've used it.

    And no, the Joke Alert doesn't cover it.

  157. Jimmy Floyd
    Paris Hilton

    @Sarah Bee

    5 minutes to go before close-down and 151 comments posted. Is this an all-time high? It's clearly struck a nerve. But thank you for trawling through these comments.

    I'd double-check that comment above IS from Kate Craig-Wood, though. Or the real one might get the arse (I would).

    @Kate Craig-Wood If that is you, you're still wrong. My earlier point way, way above here isn't sexist (nor abusive, nor prejudiced) but does argue that women are generally less productive than men - partly by choice - and that's why they're paid less. Fire the men first if you wish, but be prepared for a corresponding dip in productivity. Good business sense? If my point about fair market-rate wages holds true, it might actually make no difference at all...!

    Paris, because she does so much for the cause of equality, dontchaknow.

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