back to article 1 in 5 STEM bros whinge they can't catch a break in tech world they run

A bunch of blokes in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – STEM – jobs reckon they are the victim of "reverse discrimination" from efforts to diversify the ranks in tech companies. This is according to a study by Pew Research, which said this week that an August survey of men in STEM careers showed that 19 per …

  1. Robert Forsyth

    Isn't it a small minority

    of white males that give the rest of us a bad name?

    1. Tomato42 Silver badge

      Re: Isn't it a small minority

      let me just give the musicians a bad name, now, in which pill drawer did I leave my violin...

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Isn't it a small minority

      Isn't it a small minority

      While some of the minority is in the wrong, I bet there is a grain of truth here too. If you start doing anything not based on merit, you dissatisfy BOTH sides.The real way of getting more women into STEM is not any "make equal plans", but fixing STEM in general:

      1. Reducing the antisocial content. Frankly, the level of arsehole behavior which is tolerated from some "talented individuals" especially in software engineering is not acceptable in any other workplace.

      2. Providing full career length development paths which are STEM only. There is a only a handful of companies that do it. One of the reasons why Cisco got where it got in its glory days was exactly that - you could get all the way to a DE which is a VP level salary while remaining technical. Try that in a UK company - there is NONE that has that. You have to BECOME first. If there is no career path people will fight for their right to be closer to the emergency exit and it will always be ugly.

      3. Applying positive gender correction to numbers, etc EARLY. VERY EARLY. The latest point where it can and should be applied is University. If there is a STEM slant at school level (f.e. my older attends one) it needs to do that too. Otherwise the antisocial side of nerd society shows its ugly head straight away. Taking my older one as an example I have had to go as far as allow his younger sister "full manners control" including "Alice fist of death" deployment to ensure he does not imprint that for years to come.

      From there on things are better left to their own devices, otherwise you will end up with everyone being unhappy about the way they are. That as a side effect will sort out some of the antisocial aspects. They are unfortunately a natural consequence when you collect a 90% male teenager population in a university dorm setting without the appropriate counterbalance and some people never manage to shake it off after that.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Isn't it a small minority

        "Applying positive gender correction to numbers, etc EARLY. VERY EARLY. The latest point where it can and should be applied is University."

        You are on the back foot with that one from roughly age 10 onwards. By 14 or so (in the UK at least) children are closing doors on themselves academically with their subject choices. By the time you get to university, it is *way*, *way* too late to do anything about the fact that the applicants simply aren't there.

        Other than that, I think I agree. I particularly like the "Alice" touch, though it will doubtless annoy the snowflakes described in the article.

        (Edit: The term "snowflake" was coined by social conservatives as a term of abuse for those who in their view "couldn't stand the heat" of real life. Therefore, I think it is entirely reasonable to use it against those of that same group who, it seems, can't stand the heat when it is applied to themselves.)

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

          Re: Isn't it a small minority

          I prefer the term broflake myself for this type of "man".

      2. streaky Silver badge

        Re: Isn't it a small minority

        Let the race to mediocrity commence.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Isn't it a small minority

        While some of the minority is in the wrong, I bet there is a grain of truth here too. If you start doing anything not based on merit, you dissatisfy BOTH sides.

        Absolutely. This 'social justice' bullshit is just ratcheting up the hostility. It's counterproductive and divisive. It breeds contempt for the 'protected' minorities. Professional victims hijack the company, competent white male workers jump ship to companies that don't discriminate, and any competent women/minorities who remain are tarnished by the appearance of preferential treatment. The company goes to shit, salaries decline, then they get pink slips and other companies will be very hesitant to hire them. Who benefits from all this? Nobody.

      4. Kabukiwookie Bronze badge

        Re: Isn't it a small minority

        "1. Reducing the antisocial content. Frankly, the level of arsehole behavior which is tolerated from some "talented individuals" especially in software engineering is not acceptable in any other workplace."

        Try working for a bank, then come back to me.

        1. Intractable Potsherd

          Re: Isn't it a small minority

          I can name two separate university departments (different universities, different subjects) where the number of male academic promotions fell to zero, and the promotions of females with much less experience and fewer and less prestigious publications became laughable in its obviousness. I have no particular axe to grind since I didn't want any of the posts, but it is easy to see that there isn't a level playing field. The goal is simply to have more female* senior lecturers/readers/professors as quickly as possible, regardless of qualification. Unfortunately, the beneficiaries of positive discrimination will always be looked at with suspicion, as will any others with the same relevant characteristic.

          There is pressure on the judiciary to do the same, simply so the numbers can look good - waiting a few more years until the increased number of female lawyers get the usual amount of time in before applying to become a judge just doesn't seem to be acceptable.

          *Odd that the number of promotions for people with e.g. disabilities doesn't seem to have gone up in the same way ...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Isn't it a small minority

      I used to work at NASA. Definitely "diversity" in promotions outweighed competence. Has for decades.

      1. Grimsterise

        Re: Isn't it a small minority

        This commenty says to me: 'I was rubbish at my job so I'll blame 'diversity' for the fact that I never go promoted.

        1. streaky Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Isn't it a small minority

          This commenty says to me: 'I was rubbish at my job so I'll blame 'diversity' for the fact that I never go promoted.

          This comment says to me "I'm rubbish at my job so I'll blame the fact I'm not a white male for the fact I can't get ahead". Surely you see how lame this game is?

          All anybody sensible wants is an even playing field on both sides. I'm personally all about meritocracy, you get the best person for the job, no matter what they are and you go from there. Employers can't, nor should they be, artificially trying to solve society's past ills. Simply doesn't work, why would anybody try to hire somebody who isn't the best fit for the job they're trying to fill? It's a nonsense, any company doing this isn't going to be in business for long unless they have more money than sense (see: google et al).

          I literally couldn't give a toss, I have no issue getting hired - but I can understand why people are annoyed; and women and racial minorities have to work with the very people they're actively trying to piss off, that's a recipe for stupidity. Regardless, companies are actively doing themselves harm which I find utterly hilarious, so carry on. Incompetence is pervasive through management culture in tech so there's nothing new here.

        2. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

          Re: Isn't it a small minority

          ...and with a very minor tweak of rhetoric, your statement becomes....

          "This commenty says to me: 'I was rubbish at my job so I'll blame the *lack* of 'diversity' for the fact that I never got promoted."

          Still not factual evidence.

      2. nerdbert
        Flame

        Re: Isn't it a small minority

        I also used to work at NASA. That is until the HR drone and my manager gave a presentation that flatly stated that no white male would get a promotion until there was "equality" in our department. There were 20 engineers in our department, all "white males" as far as HR was concerned (i.e. we were all males of Caucasian or Asian decent). We did the math and very soon the department was down to 5 engineers and still shrinking last I heard. Why stick around in those situations?

    4. wheelbearing
      Coat

      Re: Isn't it a small minority - Bear me out please - two things..

      Thing 1

      Both assertions - that both men and women in some recruitment/promotion situations are selected against - could be true.

      Scenario 1

      Medium/ large corp IT setup.Thing 1

      Both assertions - that both men and women in some recruitment/promotion situations are selected against - could be true.

      Scenario 1

      Medium/ large corp IT setup.

      Think of the situation - you are the hiring manager/HR person. You have two candidates at the final selection who have performed equally well at interview and are on a par in terms of their CV.

      One is white male, one is female. The hiring company has a strong campaign to hire more women. As the hiring manager and HR bod, who do you pick?

      Well I reckon 8 out of ten times it will be the woman that gets it - on the basis that especially if the hiring manager/HR is old, white and male a) he will fear heat in some way if he doesn't, b) he hopes to gain brownie points for his own promotion/performance/redundancy review.

      I reckon that in this scenario one big factor that may affect the outcome will be the sex of the hiring manager + HR. If you are a woman you may feel you have more scope to hire men without (as much) criticism.

      Scenario 2

      Small business

      You are the owner/manager. You have two candidates at the final selection who have performed equally well at interview and are on a par in terms of their CV.

      One is white male, one is female. The hiring company has a strong campaign to hire more women. As the hiring manager and company owner, who do you pick?

      Regardless of your sex, as the owner I reckon you'll likely choose the man, because, brutally, the man is less likely to take time off. 2016 ONS (the UK state statistics office) labour market figures indicate women take on average more than 150% more time off than men. That is highly significant, especially in a small business where the likely outcome of your choice will have a much more significant and personal impact.

      Thing 2

      I think that the UK tech sector overall has massively improved the chances of advancement of women in the tech workplace once they get there. They are now as good as they have ever been, and maybe not far off as good as they will ever get without state sanctioned positive discrimination and a massive change in womens culture, so that, all other things being equivalent, women have as much chance as men to climb the slippery hierarchy pole (should they wish to do so and should they make the same child/dependent care choices as most men - ie default being "don't do much at all").

      I do accept that men have a big impact on the career choices women make, especially as tech companies are mostly male dominated (which in practice basically just means there are more men than women in positions of power in the businesses, and so the culture is bound to be more male influenced).

      As a dad to three daughters, I think the biggest barrier to women entering the tech workplace now is other women. Despite (or maybe partly because of) my best endeavours, none of my daughters has chosen to pursue science tech educational qualifications. Their girl peer groups appear to be relentless in their view of science and tech as "uncool" "nerdy" and "for blokes mainly".

      Female targeted mainstream and popular media just seems to reinforce this attitude.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Isn't it a small minority - Bear me out please - two things..

        Their girl peer groups appear to be relentless in their view of science and tech as "uncool"

        Sadly there seems to be a peer group which regards any educational achievement as uncool. I read recently that the lowest achieving group in the UK are white working class males.

        1. kjw

          Re: Isn't it a small minority - Bear me out please - two things..

          Not IT specific, Channel 4 made a two part documentary on this very recently: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/professor-green-working-class-white-men

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Isn't it a small minority - Bear me out please - two things..

        The intelligent thing for a small business owner to do is to employ the older of the two workers. Positive age discrimination is a metric that is considered virtuous, and employees over 40, as well as being generally experienced and conscientious, also don't take parental leave so much.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Isn't it a small minority - Bear me out please - two things..

          "The intelligent thing for a small business owner to do is to employ the older of the two workers. Positive age discrimination is a metric that is considered virtuous, and employees over 40, as well as being generally experienced and conscientious, also don't take parental leave so much."

          That depends on the labour laws in your country. In the Netherlands, the older a worker, the more expensive contributions employer become to things like state pension. If you're over 50 and need to find a new role, there's very few companies that will still want to hire you.

  2. lnLog
    Trollface

    *chuckle*

    ^see above, can't say I have any sympathy for some 'members' of my gender. Come back when the ratios are 50/50 at work and home looking after their spawn.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: *chuckle*

      Why on earth should it be 50/50? Who are we to force all genders and races to like all jobs equally?

      Surly we should respect peoples choices.

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: *chuckle*

        Surly we should respect peoples choices.

        I can't choose to work for Google, they would have to choose to employ me.

        And don't call me surly.

        1. Chemical Bob

          Re: And don't call me surly.

          Ill-tempered, perhaps?

  3. Mycho Silver badge

    Ignoring the gender element

    How about we just accept that Tech treats people like shit?

    There's no need to cite this complaint as evidence when it's made by a woman and victim blame when the exact same complaint is made by a man. 20% of people, male and female, who leave tech do so because they were treated like shit.

    Tech needs to stop treating people like shit. That's all there is to it.

  4. sprograms

    The nature of the disadvantaging beast

    It may sound paradoxical (bros discriminated against by the system "they run"), but the confusion only arises from considering the males that are running the system as having the same interests as the new applicant mails. No. They live in different worlds and have different goals. The new applicant wants a job on a non-discriminatory bases. The senior managers/owners have a different goal, building and maintaining a workforce the gender/race composition of which matches the current demands of the political environment: It is that political environment which regulates the tech corporation, In other words, the political environment is able to force the disadvantaging of males simply because it "wants" more females in the positions. The political environment (at present) has no care about differing qualifications and productivity (should there happen to be any). It wants what it wants.

    The U.S. Civil Service and others have gone through this hell (if you're a man) heaven (if you're a woman/minority). It's ugly, but it's life. The newly advantaged consider the disadvantage of males just "payback." The payback should be going to the previous generation males, or manager/owner males, but it never does, for a reason. Discuss.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Ignoring the gender element

      Agreed on most counts, except for one thing : it's white males that are at the origin of treating people like shit.

      So I'm really sorry, but I just can't drum up sympathy for white males who today feel discriminated against in the whitest industry on the planet.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ignoring the gender element

        Well, working at a very diverse Fortune 100 company in the US, I can say that power corrupts regardless of sex or other measures. In my greater than 10 years at my current company the only person to yell at me at work has been a female vice president. In a company where that sort of culture is discouraged I find it interesting that it happened at all let alone from one of the members of the non-white male group. I generally agree that white males are the current group that has a lot of the powerful positions but it definitely seems like the common thread is powerful positions more than it is any other group.

      2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ignoring the gender element

        " it's white males that are at the origin of treating people like shit."

        Always? 100% of the time? Every. Single. Company?

        Never an Asian male? No one Oriental? No females. At. All?

        I call bullshit. And you're probably going to call me names now (racist, sexist, pig, misogynist etc. etc.) because you have zero evidence for your statement, but that's par for the course these days. Make a big statement, present no evidence and shout down anyone who disagrees. Because shouting makes right. Or are you going to start banging on about historical injustice from the previous couple of centuries that (most of us) are actually working hard at correcting already?

        I've worked for a very, very wide range of people and one thing I have learned in all that time is that people are just that. People. Some are arseholes, some are not. Skin colour, gender and cultural origins seem to have bugger all to do with it.

        I'll grant you that most harm done to me in my life has been by rich people in suits, but they're not always men and they're not always white.

        But, you stick with your popularist, sweeping, emotive bollocks. Seems to be getting you what you want.

        Whatever that is today.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ignoring the gender element

          My last job, all the hostility came from two females, one of them white.

          In the case of the younger of the two, who is the only colleague I have ever had stamp their little feet at me (unable to vent at the person they were angry with because he wasn't there) I went full BOFH.

          Short version, I was polite, gave a quick solution to her problem, then waited until I inevitably had to clean up something she'd done wrong. A few phrases like "Oh, no, everybody makes mistakes, no sense getting bothered about it." later and she never vented at work again.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Ignoring the gender element

          "Some are arseholes, some are not."

          The former seem to be most likely to get to positions of authority.

      4. Stu Mac

        Re: Ignoring the gender element

        There wouldn't be any jobs if it wasn't for "white males". We live in a white part of the globe and time we put the size 10s down on a few necks again.

      5. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: Ignoring the gender element

        ..."it's white males that are at the origin of treating people like shit."

        In a white dominated society. Now, try going somewhere that isn't a white dominated society and seeing how far 'white privilege' gets you. Travel, see how white westerners are treated, and often we're just seen as a walking wallet to take money from, by fair means or foul.

      6. FrozenShamrock

        Re: Ignoring the gender element

        I would venture that treating all people like shit is different than discriminating against certain types of people. I do not believe I have personally been discriminated against because I am a white male; the companies I have worked for have treated all of us like disposal shit.

        I did notice when I worked at Microsoft that even though women made up only about 15% of the technical staff they made up about 60% of first line managers.

        1. Mycho Silver badge

          Re: Ignoring the gender element

          I would venture that treating all people like shit is different than discriminating against certain types of people.

          In reality, yes, but when it happens to you it feels like discrimination.

      7. danielanthony

        Re: Ignoring the gender element

        "So I'm really sorry, but I just can't drum up sympathy for white males who today feel discriminated against in the whitest industry on the planet."

        Clearly, you haven't been to China or India where the number of non-white techies is 99.9999%

      8. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ignoring the gender element

        @Pascal Monett: those are OTHER white men. While it is possible for people to think of "white men" as a homogeneous privileged group, and to (mis)treat everyone they so classify on that basic, it simply isn't so. Just who counts as "white" is unclear. I count Turks, Copts, the Lebanese people I've met, and my Jewish friends as "white". Others have other views. On one grandfather's side, my ancestors were classified as "untermenschen" by the Germans; on the other grandfather's side, they were classified as "subhuman" by the English. Yet they were all "white" Europeans. The idea that my grandfather's dispossessed people formed a common-interest bloc with their oppressors is ridiculous. In my previous job, I, my boss, and his boss, were all "white males", but we came from different cultures, had radically different political views, and *massively different levels of power*. Lumping me with my boss's boss on the basis that we both shave and are melanin-deficient is so crazy only an ideologue with no understanding of or interest in human diversity or social dynamics could come up with such an idea. The people at my level in my former job (which was involved programming and training) were lovely people working hard to support an inclusive environment. So treating workers as a homogeneous group simply on the basis of which part of their body they use the razor on and the colour of their skin also ignores human diversity. --- A white male who scores 47/100 on the Buzzfeed privilege checker.

    2. I3N
      Pint

      Read the EET - knew early that Tech was shit and being a lower-paid boffin was best

      along with having a plumber look over my shoulder while I was doing homework and comment "Oh, transistor load lines".

    3. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Ignoring the gender element

      "Ignore the gender element" is just right in this case. James Damore didn't get kicked out of Google for his gender or race but because of his political views.

      1. Indolent Wretch

        Re: Ignoring the gender element

        Yeah those political views he felt the need to express in a google forum visible to everyone at the company and in a way that violated his terms of employment?

        Ah diddums.

    4. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Form is temporary but class is permanent.

      "...the confusion only arises from considering the males that are running the system as having the same interests as the new applicant mails."

      There is some truth to this. In the UK, white, working class males are one of the more disadvantaged groups. Whereas the white male elite is one of the most privileged. And white males span the levels inbetween. White males are not a homogeneous group.

      This is also an empirical hint that stuffing the elite with women and non-whites won't help the minorities at the bottom. Identity politics is a second-order effect and applies intra-class; class is the first-order term that dominates.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Form is temporary but class is permanent.

        I'm toying with the idea of getting a T-Shirt printed with the following..

        "I'm so privileged I'm not allowed a voice".

        1. Jonathan Schwatrz
          Thumb Up

          Re: Sir Runcible Spoon Re: Form is temporary but class is permanent.

          I'll take two, please, Spoony.

      2. Cyberspice

        Re: Form is temporary but class is permanent.

        However white working class females are even more dscriminated against than white working class males. They are the ones who suffer the most pay differentiation. Intersectionalism is the relationship between different privileges. Yes white women in the elite are more privileged that working class men but they are still not as privileged as white men in the elite. This is the same at all levels.

    5. InNY

      Re: The nature of the disadvantaging beast

      Back in the day, the US Civil Service couldn't get any suitably qualified white men to apply for any jobs with them, unless it was in a law enforcement agency. Thus, they went with other suitably qualified folk.

      Same as the various State and City agencies dotted around the country.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ignoring the gender element

      @Myco: I'd rephrase that. How about we just accept that (upper) MANAGEMENT treats people like shit.

      I've a friend who worked in the paint industry. You think Tech has it bad?

      I've had friends who work in tertiary education tell me "don't even think about working here."

      I've spoken with young lawyers. I am *so* glad I was never a lawyer.

      You should have heard Granddad's stories. (He was a wharfie.) My word, scum got treated better.

      Middle management can be wonderful human beings. Somewhere along the line toHR or upper management they get a cardiectomy.

      Posted anonymously because even hinting at my previous employment conditions could get me in trouble.

  5. jakeisatwat

    Slight typo

    -- "A woman has to be significantly better at her job to be judged just as good," said one woman who apparently isn't satisfied despite getting 19 per cent of Microsoft's tech and leadership roles.

    One single woman is taking 19 per cent of the tech and leadership roles at MS? That's just selfish.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Slight typo

      She better be good if she's doing 19% of the entire company's leadership work! I'd need a nap.

      1. The Nazz Silver badge

        Re: Slight typo

        Just hanging this out there but maybe she's the one responsible for the Windows 10 clusterfuck.

        Runs and hides, again.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Slight typo

          Nah, a fuckup that big takes a majority of the executive leadership to sign off on it.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Slight typo

        "She better be good if she's doing 19% of the entire company's leadership work!"

        Maybe effective leadership was meant. After all, it's Microsoft.

    2. Richard 81

      Re: Slight typo

      Well you know what they say: "if your wan't something done, give it to someone who's already busy".

  6. Jove Bronze badge

    Sissy Press

    Another sign that The Register has moved camp to the sissy press establishment.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      No one's forcing you to stay.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Coat

        Very true. I, for one, don't waste much time here anymore.

      2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Unhappy

        No one's forcing you to stay.

        You're absolutely right. Much more of the kind of biased rhetoric displayed in this article and this will no longer be a safe space for commentards.

        El Reg commentards made this site what it is today, and I daresay we all expect our Vulture to be scathing and vitriolic to all viewpoints equally. I do hope this isn't a sign of things to come, as that will probably signal the demise of our hallowed ground, there's nowhere else quite like it but when it's gone, it's gone.

      3. Jove Bronze badge

        Will be sticking around since the snowflakes always screw-up. Why don't you shove off instead?

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Indolent Wretch

      Re: Has Been Happening For Years

      Maybe it was because they were trying to benefit from a more gender diverse workplace and if they just kept giving out sponsorships to the same people time and time again then nothing would ever change.

      I mean really? If you have a 90% male workforce and you give out 90% of your sponsorships to men then guess what you'll have 10 years from now.

      Seems pretty obvious.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Has Been Happening For Years

        So what happens to a company that offers 100% of all training to non-white-males and 0% to white males when they aren't deluged in non-white male job applicants? The white males get pissed off and leave is what happens.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is absolutely true when it comes to gender balance

    In many STEM subjects women make up less than 10% of the graduate population, but no companies could get away with employing such a small proportion of women these days. Hence, less talented women are employed and subsequently promoted ahead of more competent men.

    And please don't quote the overall male to female ratios of any particular company to strengthen your case. This diversity madness only really started to take hold in the last decade, so naturally the numbers will still be biased heavily in favor of males for a significant time to come.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: This is absolutely true when it comes to gender balance

      Except you're quoting made up bollocks statistics to justify maintaining the status quo - try doing some basic research first.

      Below is a good start. (Overall female ratio in Stem courses is 39% and none is near 10%).

      https://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/75-006-x/2013001/article/11874-eng.htm

      And before you use that ratio to say there isn't much of a problem look at likelyhood of unemployment in females with a Stem degree (hint its much higher).

      1. find users who cut cat tail

        Re: This is absolutely true when it comes to gender balance

        You are aware you quoting Canada stats, right?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is absolutely true when it comes to gender balance

      "Hence, less talented women are employed and subsequently promoted ahead of more competent men."

      That's quite a leap to make.

      If a company is recruiting for one position then the applicant who is successful could be male, female, asian, mixed race, black etc. They might also be the best applicant. That person may also be be promoted based on merits, that person may have been the female. It doesn't necessarily mean that fewer women who study a subject means that less talented women are employed or promoted.

      Just using your 10% figure.

      It could just be that the fewer number of women studying are all more highly capable due to social factors. So all the 10% women may be at the same technical level (or, god forbid, higher) than the top 10% of men. Therefore it may be that having 50% or higher women in the top jobs would make sense.

      You can't correlate the number of people studying to the talent of that pool.

      1. Indolent Wretch

        Re: This is absolutely true when it comes to gender balance

        It seems likely that given a lot of barriers to women getting successful careers in STEM jobs that a higher percentage of them are going to be (a) the top of their game and (b) less likely to let other people stop them from succeeding.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is absolutely true when it comes to gender balance

        That's quite a leap to make.

        It could just be that the fewer number of women studying are all more highly capable due to social factors. So all the 10% women may be at the same technical level (or, god forbid, higher) than the top 10% of men. Therefore it may be that having 50% or higher women in the top jobs would make sense.

        OK, the two scenarios are thus.

        Mine:

        In any group of people, there will be a range of abilities. When a particular group of people is 90% male then, by the law of averages, you will have significantly more talented males than females.

        Yours:

        Mysterious "social factors" conspire to make 100% of women more talented than 90% of the men, for any given group.

        And I'm the person making quite a leap! :)

        Now, you may argue that the end justifies the means but when a society introduces "positive" discrimination and quotas for positions, it is inevitable that talented individuals lose out to those that are less so.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This is absolutely true when it comes to gender balance

          "Yours:

          Mysterious "social factors" conspire to make 100% of women more talented than 90% of the men, for any given group.

          And I'm the person making quite a leap! :)"

          You've made another big leap taking by saying that my statement that the facts available don't prove a correlation and giving an example of a scenario when that correlation doesn't fit, and you've leapt to a conclusion that I think the example I gave is the case that I think is the reality. I was saying that you can't prove correlation and an example that all the women *could* be as talented or more talented than the top 10% of the men. I specifically didn't say this is the case. The 10% women could all be less talented than 100% of the men. Either scenario could be true or anywhere in between, it is just not possible to say and therefore you can't leap to the conclusion that less talented women must be getting jobs above men based solely on the amount of trainees. There are many more factors to take in to account, and I don't have the statistics to state the correlation so I didn't specify one.

          However what you could say is that if high end companies with a large employment force are discriminating towards women then the 10% pool will rapidly get depleted and there will only be men applying for all the other jobs available.

  9. spacecadet66

    Why do I suspect that for 9 out of 10 of those 1 in 5, they aren't nearly as good at what they do as they think they are.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If only you knew...

      I've seen C.V.'s where you can just feel the ego oozing off the pages or others that seem to be a dating profile over a C.V.

      1. spacecadet66

        Re: If only you knew...

        As have I. As have I.

      2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: If only you knew...

        ... ego,.... oh dear, I checked out two former colleagues on Linkedin a while back,... one was my boss, and he'd managed to get into an IT management role, although he was a salesy bullshitter, and now, well, he's working in sales and giving 110% etc. The other was another team member, who it seems, had the prefix 'Senior' for every single job he'd ever had, even right out of University. Except he'd been in the same team as me, and wasn't a senior anything, he was a regular grunt tecchie, like I was.

    2. dan1980

      @spacecadet66

      Most people who complain about unfair treatment aren't as good as they thing they are.

      In the current climate, when there is a story about a female tech applicant claiming unfair treatment, it is presented as irrefutable evidence of discrimination - the claim is assumed to be true because everyone knows that tech as a whole is strongly populated by males so it's just 'common sense' that women are discriminated against at every level and every position in every tech company. All tech companies are the same, don't you know - we're all 'bros'.

      When there is a report of a male (especially a while male) claiming unfair treatment, it is presented as evidence of 'whinging' - he is told to 'check his privilege'.

      Thus the wave moves and so men who can't get a job in tech are told it's their own fault and women are told it's the fault of some chest bumping cabal of bros.

      Look no further than the entire tone of this article, where a man's complaint is ridiculed and it is ASSUMED that a broad trend means he, specifically, couldn't have been discriminated against (and he is thus a 'whinge[r]') while a female's assertion is not only presented unchallenged, the author takes it upon himself to reinforce it.

      These broad-brush assumptions have to stop.

      If someone claims they, specifically, were treated unfairly in a specific workplace in a specific instance when applying for a specific position then that specific claim shouldn't be either assumed to be self-evidently accurate or inaccurate based solely on the gender of the complainant.

      That males in general may be less likely to be discriminated against in the tech sector doesn't mean that a specific male being discriminated against isn't every bit as large an offence as any specific woman being discriminated against. The assertion that so many other men are on the receiving end of unearned benefits does matters not one bit because none of those benefits conferred to other males helps with the rent money or puts food on the table for someone discriminated against.

      Instead, that man is told that it's his own fault - it must be - he is lumped with the responsibility to take the blame and pay penance for his entire gender. Even if you believe there was discrimination, it's less important because turn-around is fair play, right and - poor man - he's just getting a taste of what women have had to deal with for decades.

      Except that these specific people haven't done anything wrong in the first place - they weren't the ones on the other side of the table knocking back women for jobs because of their looks; they weren't the ones making advances and innuendo; they weren't the ones denigrating and making crude jokes. They just studied hard, worked hard and wanted a job or a promotion. They weren't 'bros' and they didn't strut around high-fiving and suggesting people 'check out the tits on that one' and their claims shouldn't be ridiculed because they share genitalia with the ones who were in those positions, acting that way. They don't 'run' the 'tech world'.

      It makes me depressed - literally, medication-taking, psychiatrist-seeing, body-harming, sleep-losing depressed - to have this non-stop weight of guilt shoveled upon me just because I was born a certain way and have decided to try and make my career in the tech world. I don't need it and I haven't done anything to warrant it.

      I am in my position because I was the best applicant at the time. Don't imply that I got my job because I was born with a penis. Don't imply that when I interview candidates I am biased towards those also born with penises and against those who weren't. You don't know me and no trend or average or set of numbers gives you any right to make assumptions about me just because I am a member of some group I had no choice in joining.

      I work hard and I am dedicated. I treat everyone well and try, as best I can, to get on with my life without interfering with anyone else. I am kind, I am thoughtful, I am helpful, I am considerate and I genuinely believe that, while the world at large is unaffected by my existence, I make the lives of those around me better - a little bit easier, a little bit happier, a little bit more pleasant, a little bit weirder, perhaps but hopefully more interesting for that. I am not perfect and at times I make those lives more full of worry, more stressed, more annoyed, more sad and more difficult but I am a good person and I know that the people around me know that and appreciate that.

      But I am not a big person and I have no desire to be. I am not a CEO or a leader or a pioneer or a great thinker or a role model or a crusader or an entrepreneur. I won't break new ground or do great deeds and, with no children, 60 years from now, few will remember me and none will miss me. I am a small fish who keeps to myself and I am happy not to make large waves.

      I am not responsible for what other people do just because we share a gender and the trials of my life are not less significant because others of that gender are wealthy or favoured.

      Sorry, that was a rant, but I am deadly (word used with consideration) serious when I say that this burden of guilt lumped on me depresses me immensely.

      1. Long John Brass Silver badge
        Pint

        this burden of guilt

        Yes; Everything you said times a million. Wish I had more up-votes to give

        Have a pint mate; you earned it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Dan1980,

        I can only agree with every word.

        Thank you, someone needed to say it and you put it so well.

        All males are NOT the enemy and sometimes we get the greasy end of the stick as well. !!!

        As in all life the winners stand out and the losers are forgotten :)

        This is true of all genders.

      3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        "I am in my position because I was the best applicant at the time. "

        You *may* have been. However, all we can be certain of is that the person who employed you *thought* you were. We have no way of assessing "best" when matching something as vague as a person to something as vague as a job. We never will. HR is not a branch of engineering.

        1. dan1980

          @Ken Hagan

          No, I was the best applicant.

          I never said that no other applicant might not have, if given a chance, been equally-good (or better) after some years; I said that I was the best applicant. Which means that I fulfilled the criteria completely, aced my interview and completed my practical tests more completely than any other applicant.

          That's not to say no one else could do my job better - there are scores who could - just that I was the best applicant at that time, within the window they set (an admittedly short one).

          Your statement may be broadly correct but - and this is my whole point - it is a disservice to assume that a broadly accurate statement applies in every instance.

          For the record, I was not interviewed by 'HR'; I was interviewed and tested by the lead engineer so one of your key assumptions is utterly incorrect.

      4. jmch Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        @dan1980

        If I could upvote you a dozen times for that post I would! It's about time to understand that employees are individuals, discrimination happens against individuals by individuals, and blaming a collective group for the wrongdoings of some individuals not only blames the innocent, but allows the guilty to get off scot-free to continue their douchebaggery

      5. 2+2=5 Silver badge

        > It makes me depressed - literally, medication-taking, psychiatrist-seeing, body-harming, sleep-losing depressed - to have this non-stop weight of guilt shoveled upon me just because I was born a certain way and have decided to try and make my career in the tech world. I don't need it and I haven't done anything to warrant it.

        Like others, I agree with your post and recognise many elements of myself in you. But don't let things depress you - most people have enough shit in other parts of their lives at various times that you don't want to be taking on extra.

        Do you hire people? No? Then you're not responsible for the gender imbalance at work.

        Do you post social media articles saying that IT jobs are not for girls / only for nerdy men? No? Then you're not responsible for the public's mis-perception of the industry.

        Do you treat the women and minorities that you do work with with respect and as equals? Yes? Then you're doing great.

        > I am in my position because I was the best applicant at the time

        See - you're thinking positively already!! I like to think that I am in my position because I was the cheapest applicant that passed the minimum grade. If anything goes wrong I console myself with the thought that if the company were really worried about it they would have paid more and employed someone better. :-)

        1. Indolent Wretch

          >> Do you hire people? No? Then you're not responsible for the gender imbalance at work.

          Well he still might be if he feels the need to express his imagined guilt by acting like an arse at his female colleagues and by even the slightest extent making them wish they weren't working there.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        My son was second in his year at maths. But he didn't get chosen for the maths team because the #1 kid was also a white boy... and they chose from lower down the list to get a girl and an ethnic minority kid.

        He was really disappointed, because he loves maths.

        Posting anon because you can't say this out loud without being shouted at.

  10. Johnny Canuck

    I thought I was reading "The Onion" for a minute there.

  11. Jonathan Schwatrz
    Stop

    Why stop there?

    ".....Nearly one fifth of the men surveyed – the type of guys who account for 80 per cent of the tech staff and 75 per cent of leadership at Google...." Will the author be so happy squawking his latest bit of virtue-signaling if we asked why there aren't more female writers on The Reg? Surely we can find San Fran-based females from minorities to replace Shaun Nichols. Indeed, the Wikipedia article on El Reg seems awfully light on any female names, let alone minority ones, and stuffed full of what sound like white male names as editors and senior management - surely El Reg should practice what it preaches (or just give up on the virtue-signaling)?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why stop there?

      Bring back the moderatrix!

    2. dan1980

      Re: Why stop there?

      @Jonathan Schwatrz

      "Indeed, the Wikipedia article on El Reg seems awfully light on any female names . . ."

      But that's Wikipedia - you know you can't trust a single thing that comes from anywhere near there. Just ask Andrew O.

  12. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  13. Dr. Ellen

    In the 21st century, the finding of reasons to be aggrieved seems universal. Men complain about women, women complain about men, elites complain about deplorables, and hard-working deplorables complain about useless elites. And they ALL complain about their bosses.

    Frankly, I think it's the bosses' fault.

    1. fredj

      "Normal person has a problem with a normal manager"

      That just isn't a news story! You have got to have sex/discrimination/exploitation/ or something to make the news.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So we are supposed to automatically believe any minority but are supposed to be extremely sceptical of any majority.

    and people wonder why racists and sexists are the way they are.

  15. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    IT Angle

    I'll believe

    in equality between men and women when I see a woman doing the job some guys were doing lunchtime

    Using a sewage truck to unblock a sewer..... and the guys did'nt look(or smell) pretty when they came up out of the hole....

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: I'll believe

      Perhaps they have tried.

  16. Mark 85 Silver badge

    This has been going on for decades now it's men vs. women. In the 70's is was Vietnam Vets (they'll kill all the managers) then it was the blacks getting precedence. For awhile it was various minorities from other countries getting preferred treatment. Maybe after the women, things will settle down as there will be no one left for the SJW brigade (and lawyers) to go after.

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Terminator

      RE: Mark

      Doubt it. Next it will be robot rights. Robots deserve time off! Robots have feelings! Robots deserve higher pay, etc...

  17. Bob Dole (tm)
    Trollface

    Welcome to the 21st

    "I’ve seen too many qualified white males passed over for promotions or advancement in favor of a woman and/or minority. Qualifications don’t matter these days, rather your gender and race matter."

    That, my dear friend, is the entire point.

    Just give it another few years, maybe a decade, and things will swing around to something resembling fairness... wait, lol, who am I kidding?

    1. dan1980

      Re: Welcome to the 21st

      Bob Dole (tm)

      You were kidding but many people actually think that things will eventually 'work out'. They may, but that's not the issue - the issue is the disruption while it happens.

      And there will be disruption so we shouldn't just ignore that the cost of that disruption has a face.

      It's like the changes away from manufacturing jobs where you have politicians proudly boasting of the new 'high tech' jobs in the 'information economy' they are creating. Great, and the world will, in the end, likely be better for it. BUT, those wonderful, new, modern, 'high value' jobs are not going to the thousands of people now struggling day-to-day because the can't find work in the industry they've devoted decades to.

      I'm not suggesting there is - or is about to be - masses of unemployed young males displaced by women in the workplace, just pointing out that employment changes always disadvantage some people and those people who suffer are usually not to blame for whatever situation led to the change - they are just ordinary people trying to get on with their ordinary lives.

  18. DCFusor Silver badge

    Had I not been a white male

    I'd have been dead sure I was being discriminated against. I was the hottest thing in engineering, or so I thought, and I did have fantastic results - patents (for the company) projects on time and in budget, you name it, I stormed the heights. This was back in the day and I noted no real discrimination in the outfit other than ageism, in this case, the older, more experienced people did well, and yes, even back then being black or female was good for your career - if you were good at your job. So was there discrimination in favor of those people? Not really - they were good. Maybe they had to be better than average to even get an interview, but since I took part in those too - there just weren't many applying.

    On the other hand, half-competent other white males had a vise grip on any higher level jobs. Comging as I did at the very tail end of the boomers (I'm now 64) - everyone was 5 years older than me, and no matter what, I was "the kid".

    Well, experience (and then running my own company - I really was good at this stuff) showed me that for one thing I was a right arse back then, and frankly, quite well suited for the job I had, but would have been a disaster had I been promoted to management - only doing that in my own outfit showed me that being a great engineer has little to do with being a good manager/owner.

    It still frosted me. And as I said above, I'd have been DAMN SURE it was discrimination if I'd had the least excuse to believe that, and even being white male, I latched onto age as a discriminant.

    The sad truth is, it's a pyramid and it's narrower at the top. No matter how many would be a good fit there - and I wasn't - there's only so much room anyway. And those who are there and have the power, naturally tend to hang on to it - and can, because they have the power.

    Thus in my older age, I put most of this down to human nature, race and gender independent. Our best two software people were a white male and a purple female (who was in town for NIH to study how she was alive despite essentially no heartbeat - she really was purple).

    I do agree with Damore very slightly - there are differences between all pigeonholed types, with a lot of overlap. So what? If you suck at math, don't whine non one's offering you a math job (and sucking at math increasingly means you're likely to be male - last 3 really good maths types I met were female). If you're great at facilitating - you might be a manager or a secretary, male or female - and anyone who's been in or run any big outfit knows damn well it could mostly function without any but the secretaries...

    In short, in a highly competitive business like I used to be in - beltway bandit consultant to the IC - there was no discrimination that mattered at all - it was pure meritocracy. Whining about the outfit not obeying the peter principle is just human nature...Honest, you're better off if they don't - the Reg is full of tales of clueless bosses and other jerks promoted for some reason other than they'd be good at their new job.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Had I not been a white male

      "quite well suited for the job I had, but would have been a disaster had I been promoted to management...clueless bosses and other jerks promoted for some reason other than they'd be good at their new job."

      One of the problems I've seen for the whole of my career has been the lack of progression other then into management. Nobody gets rewarded in the long term for being good at their job except by being promoted to a management role for which ability may well correlate negatively with that needed for their current job. We thus end up with work being done badly by those who have either shown themselves unfit to do it or too inexperienced to be assessed and badly managed by those who could have actually done the job well and been underpaid.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The argument that a high % of the existing employees belong to one demographic group is irrelevant if the hiring criteria has only recently changed to "positive" discrimination. A non-discriminatory hiring policy would judge people as individuals rather than w.r.t. a target or quota.

    Unless the law explicitly makes "positive" discriminatory hiring practices illegal, then there is little point taking the case to court and expecting to win. The law is what those in power want it to be - not necessarily what is right.

    1. The Commenter formally known as Matt

      It depends where you are. There is no such thing as positive discrimination, just discrimination.

      In the EU it's illegal full stop (well that what I was taught on our diversity training anyway)

  20. EpicDyo

    The smug, dismissive way this article is written kinda proves their point

    The sex or race of an applicant shouldn't be taken into account during the hiring process. Maybe it's the case that these men have been discriminated against due to diversity quotas, are they to blame for the fact that other white males have been hired before them? So called 'Positive Discrimination' is still discrimination, however much you feel someone deserves to be looked over because of their skin colour.

    I say let's start pushing blind hiring practices. Applications without names, races or sex, just the information required to see if someone would suit the role and has the relevant experience. I can imagine it might be a bit complicated once it gets to the point of references/interviews etc, but I reckon it would make everybody happy.

    Equality of opportunity should be the aim, not equality of outcome.

    1. Simon 15

      Re: The smug, dismissive way this article is written kinda proves their point

      Absolutely spot-on, blind hiring practices would be the perfect solution here as discrimination, be it positive or 'standard' is discrimination nonetheless. Organisations or events that are exclusivity for one ethnic group are equally discriminatory yet many of these do exist such as the National Black Police Association, Music of Black Origin awards to name just a few. Can you imagine how unacceptable it would be to have a National White Police Association or Music of White Origin awards? Anything that discriminates between two otherwise equal persons on the basis of race alone, is, by definition racist and abhorrent.

      The problem always seems to arise when companies are given targets to meet for the number or people they should be employing from a particular demographic and this is where this racism occurs as one group of people are treated more favourably than another based on the colour of their skin alone. In my view (which I consider to be entirely logical) it should be the person who is the best skilled to do the job who is employed regardless of their gender, race, religion, sexual preference creed, colour or disability. I'd much rather have a black heart surgeon operating upon me if she was the best applicant at interview rather than a white male. The point is, race, along with any other irrelevant characteristic simply shouldn't enter into consideration.

      I think that the fact that we have organisations and industries that are predominantly 'white' or 'male' raises several interesting questions. Unfortunately much of the time the key assumption is that this disparity is caused by discrimination, i.e. "The company favours white males because we don't like anyone who isn't Caucasian even if they are clearly brilliant in their field." This is a very lazy and illogical conclusion to make but one routinely bounded about without any thought, of which the most recent example I can recall is the BBC reporting that a higher percentage of black males were being referred to the NHS for mental health assessment and therefore the NHS was inherently racist. If I take this logic to an extreme I could therefore claim the NHS was also sexist as 100% of admissions to the postnatal ward were female. It's clear to me in both of these examples that the observable effect of a disparity in demographic is caused by reasons other than racism/sexism. This doesn't mean than racism and sexism don't exist (they clearly do) but they simply do not explain the observed effect. Clearly more women than men are admitted to the post-natal ward because they are the ones that give birth to children. Would it be too far to speculate that more black males are referred to the NHS for mental health issues because they are more prone to mental issues than the white folk? Racist! I hear you cry, but once again you have judged me based on the observed effect rather than the underlying cause. I'm no expert but I would suggest a more socio-economic reason for this disparity, perhaps more black males have incredibly stressful jobs?

      As with far too many issues in today's society, it is almost impossible to have a reasonable discussion about the underlying cause of many of these disparities without upsetting those unable to distinguish between cause and effect. Even our greatest minds are unable to make suggestions that dare to offend modern sensibilities. James Watson, a Nobel prize winner for his and Crick's discovery of DNA has now been shunned by the entire scientific community for daring to suggest that there may be actual differences between racial groups and genders. He is now considered to be a 'racist' (a bit like the 'communist' tag of the 1950's) even though his suggestion was based entirely on the observable evidence. If I recall my history correctly, Galileo was treated in a very similar way when he dared to suggest that the earth wasn't flat. Just because you don't like what someone is saying, it doesn't mean they are wrong.

      May I now dare to speculate that the reason why most tech companies employ far more white males than any other demographic is that, one the day, they were the best applicants for the job? This doesn't mean that the companies being racist, it's just the way it was. There may well be (and often is) discrimination further down the chain that has resulted in fewer ethnic minorities applying for the position (poor education, housing, opportunity) and it is this underlying external cause which needs to be addressed at source rather than warping employment practices to retrospectively compensate for it. All 'positive' discrimination does is discriminate against the demographic of people who are unfairly blamed for causing the problem in the first place! Two wrongs don't make a right...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: The smug, dismissive way this article is written kinda proves their point

        "I'd much rather have a black heart surgeon operating upon me if she was the best applicant at interview"

        I take your general point but I'd prefer it if she was the best in outcomes rather than interview.

    2. Long John Brass Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: The smug, dismissive way this article is written kinda proves their point

      I say let's start pushing blind hiring practices. Applications without names, races or sex

      This has been tried and then hastily scrapped as it only made the perceived imbalance worse. The claim then became the blind hiring practices were themselves discriminatory

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The smug, dismissive way this article is written kinda proves their point

        I say let's start pushing blind hiring practices. Applications without names, races or sex

        The interesting thing about this is I have some experience with this. As a male I have what appears to be a female name and I've never had problems getting the interviews especially compared with my cohorts. It's only when I turn up to the interview and they find out I'm male and in several cases the disappointment was extremely obvious.

    3. dan1980

      Re: The smug, dismissive way this article is written kinda proves their point

      @EpicDyo

      "Equality of opportunity should be the aim, not equality of outcome."

      Exactly.

      Unfortunately, this is impossible to measure while a raw percent, measured at the end, is easy. The problem comes when the latter is used to draw conclusions about the former.

      Things like quotas - however softly applied* - are an attempt to fix a stated problem at the very end of the chain, without addressing any of the contributing factors up to that point.

      It might be seen as a pragmatic, necessary response to what is seen to be an urgent problem but fixing something at the end rarely leads to the best outcomes.

      Think of something like racial inequalities.

      Yes, you can enforce a quota on hiring or implement special programs for advancement in a company but that doesn't address some of the bigger issues or problems. For that, you have to look at the whole structure of society - the services (like schools) available in certain neighborhoods; the financial assistance and safety nets - like health care - provided; even things like the judicial system, which is structured in such a way that poorer people are disproportionately impacted, which flows on to families, including the ability to support children who are in their formative years of schooling which will impact their performance and opportunities later in life.

      You also have to acknowledge that, quite frankly, things take time.

      If you say you want to address the issue of lack of women - or a particular racial group - in upper management, you have to accept that to be qualified for a promotion to that level, you should have good experience at middle levels of management which in turn requires experience at lower levels of management - the corporate ladder and all that.

      Well, climbing that ladder takes time and so fixing any inequalities only starts the process and time - and continued monitoring - is then required to allow the full effects. You have to address the number of the targeted group at the beginning of the pipeline before you start dictating the output.

      * - And coverage like this is a soft form of quota: verbally punishing companies for not achieving whatever arbitrary measure has been decided from afar.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: The smug, dismissive way this article is written kinda proves their point

        "You have to address the number of the targeted group at the beginning of the pipeline before you start dictating the output."

        The start of that pipeline is a long way back. Maybe in school, maybe in the peer group, maybe in the home and maybe in the individual.

    4. Craigness

      Re: The smug, dismissive way this article is written kinda proves their point

      A trial of blind applications in Australia resulted in more men being hired, so they decided not to proceed with it. There is an assumption that white men in charge of hiring will try to hire other white men, but the opposite is true, which is why men in Silicon Valley can't catch a break.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The smug, dismissive way this article is written kinda proves their point

      I'll mention the orchestra thing in case there are readers unfamiliar with it: https://www.theguardian.com/women-in-leadership/2013/oct/14/blind-auditions-orchestras-gender-bias

      Bear in mind there are employers who are now using recruiters who specialize in female hires so you have an uphill struggle there!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Possibly the wrong conclusion drawn from an illogical hire

    Idiot bosses like to surround themselves with vulnerable people. Vulnerable people won't speak up, won't refuse a command to do something wrong, and might not have enough experience to know when things should be better. Look for teams of recent graduates on H1B work visas. Look for the failed techie that somehow gets promoted to VP. In the middle is the idiot boss.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is a multinational medical engineering company near me where my b-in-law works.

    Every year they take on 50 engineering graduates.

    Every year the first 25 places go to women irrespective of their graduating grades. The remaining 25 are fought over by over 500 applications (nearly always all men). Sometimes they even struggle to even find 25 women graduates in that field.

    I believe in equality - but I believe in full equality. I dont care what sex/race/religion/number of heads a person has - my criteria is, can they do the job better than person "x".

    However the media doesnt - it just looks at the surface and screams bias just because the numbers dont add up.

    Lets get more women into science, engineering, computing degrees - then everyone can stand on their own merit and hopefully this stupid media hype will eventually die away

  23. The Nazz Silver badge

    Ha Ha, updating my CV as you read.

    Name : Jane (nee John) Doe

    When do i start?

    If it's any consolation, the white tech guys should be grateful they're not working for the UK's BBC.

    I've said before, it used to be "Equal pay for equal work."

    On the matter of sports:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-42604174

    This woman was subsequently knocked out, losing two sets to nil. Some male losers lost 3-2. So, ignoring any "quality" of work/effort she worked between 40-66% of the men's efforts.

    To be fair to the Darts organisation, they point out that she , and others, have equal OPPORTUNITY to play against the men with the same potential reward. Strange that very, very few, if any ever do.

    And as has been seen with snooker, the occasional one that tries is simply not up to the job.

    The anomaly is of course, Tennis.

    Take Wimbledon, and no doubt the other majors. Best of 3 for the women v best of 5 for the men.

    How often do we see a one -sided 6-2.6-1 womens score yet men can lose 6-4,4-6,7-6,6-7,4-6.

    15 games v 56 games?

    Equal pay for equal work?

  24. FozzyBear Silver badge
    Flame

    Oh for fuck sake. Enough of the sexism or any other "ism in the workplace.

    If an 'ism actually exists in the workplace, sure rage against the machine and make the arseholes pay.

    But I'm sick and tired of reading there must be more women in STEM jobs and in management positions.

    Has anyone actually asked the women involved what they want, what they'd prefer to do, what they are willing to do? What they are qualified to do?

    Or are we being force fed the same ol' crap from interested parties who personally benefit perpetuating all manner of 'isms.

    1. DontFeedTheTrolls

      "Has anyone actually asked the women involved what they want, what they'd prefer to do, what they are willing to do?"

      Yes, I'm pretty sure many women have expressed how much they want to work in STEM and been discouraged by societies attitudes. We need to make the path welcoming to all from an early age.

      "What they are qualified to do?"

      Irrelevant. Training and qualifications are part of building a career path that we all follow. Agreed you aren't going to give an unqualified woman a job as a rocket scientist, but you wouldn't give the job to an unqualified man either (I hope).

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Face it...

    We white males are screwed. If we weren't they some sort of harassment would be lodged against us. I have strong doubts that it will actually be resolved in any "good" way.

    Oh, well.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here is a solution

    What the feminists need to do is go into the universities gender studies and liberal arts departments march them out at gun point and force them to join one of the STEM departments. Bonus points if you shoot them for failing grades.

    Then and only then will the gender ratios in the real world shift.

    There was a great documentary from one of the Scandinavian countries covering the jobs that men and women like do when the country is rich; It's the poor countries that you find more women in STEM as the better pay and conditions makes it worthwhile. So it turns out that all things being equal when people are free to whatever the hell they want women tend to like people orientated pursuits, and guys surprise surprise like things oriented pursuits.

    A serious question to all the Lady BOFHs here at ElReg; Are you happy with all this white-knighting these woke beardy hipster fuctkards are doing on your behalf? Do you like all the effort you have put in at the coal face with the rest of us being pissed away with this kind of crap?

    Answers below

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Talent stream

    For diversification at the top you need to start in the talent stream, encouraging diversity there first.

    If you promote to the top from a very small minority talent pool below then you will end up at some point promoting folks that are not as capable as their co-workers and that will encourage, not resolve discrimination.

    To me if you want to go down the target route (e.g. we want X% of the board/snr management to be Y) then you need to match the X% to the Y within the talent pool, if there is a problem with that % then fix it there first.

  28. BambiB

    If women are REALLY "equal"...

    ... then the solution to many of these problems are actually rather straightforward. Remove gender references and judge an applicant on their merits.

    In the software field, this might mean taking a resume and stripping out any gender references - including names. Assign a number to the individual. Then have the gender-less applicants take a test that can be comprised of knowledge questions and performance measurements. Score them.

    Hire the best qualified based on the results.

    What you would likely find is very few women being hired - certainly far fewer than today's protected-class, gender-biased, affirmative-action hiring.

    The College Entrance Examination Board ran into this phenomenon in their Physics Level II Achievement Test. Women were woefully underperforming. Afraid that their test was somehow gender-biased in favor of males, the CEEB did an in-depth analysis of the test, question-by-question. It turned out that when a question involved rote application of a stock formula or straight-forward computation, women did slightly better than men. But when the question asked for abstract reasoning or innovative solutions, men far out-paced the women. In the end, the CEEB concluded that they had two options: They could remove the questions requiring abstract reasoning -- OR -- they could test the ability to do physics. It's important to understand that this particular test was one taken only by those who had a personal interest in pursuing a study of physics - that is, the population self-selected for an interest in the subject. While one might expect the average male to be more likely to have an interest in the subject than the average female, this was a group of people where ALL were interested and preparing to enter into the study of physics.

    Men and women have different capabilities. Damore's note on the subject is only a minuscule snapshot of a tiny portion of a vast array of studies that support his position - and more. In general, in most technical fields, men far outperform women at every level. Their superiority is akin to the advantage men have in sports where the very best female athletes in the history of the world are on par with male high school athletes and where jobs that require proof of a level of physical fitness (i.e. the armed forces) are compelled to create a lower-level "handicapped soldier" standard for women. That standard is so disparate that a 19-year-old woman and a 55-year-old man are given the same performance rating for a 2-mile run if the male runs the distance nearly a minute FASTER (15:36 versus 14:42). A male 19-year-old must outperform his 19-year-old female counterpart by a full TWO MINUTES AND THIRTY-SIX SECONDS (15:36 versus 13:00) to earn the top score. When it comes to physical activity, the relative weakness of females is tacitly acknowledged by the lower standards. Why does anyone think such differences are restricted to physical differences? Put another way, can anyone produce a peer-reviewed study that argues there are no differences? If so, let us have the evidence so that it may be compared by the mountain of evidence that demonstrates male superiority.

    1. Mooseman Bronze badge

      Re: If women are REALLY "equal"...

      OK so if I read your comment right, you are assuming women are inferior in some way to men because they are not physically as strong, yes? An interesting analysis, certainly.

      I don't know what date your physics test stuff is from, but there was a study done in the mid 1990s about just such apparent discrepancies -

      " A joint study by the ETS and the College Board concluded that multiple choice formats favor men over women, partly because men are more willing to guess on tests when they don't know the answer. Men also perform better on timed tests. Another ETS study found that when the time limit was removed from SAT subtests, girls' scores improved markedly, while boys' scores changed very little"

      In other words, while male and female brains are indeed different, there are obvious reasons for the score differences.

      I find your whole "women are inferior because they aren't as strong" idea (another sweeping generalisation but never mind) both stupid and offensive. I know several women in highly technical jobs and at the top end of their fields, with internationally published articles and papers. Are you suggesting they only got there because of some positive discrimination efforts? My wife has a first class degree in maths - was she marked higher because of her gender do you think?

    2. Dr. Ellen

      Re: If women are REALLY "equal"...

      I don't think you DID read Bambi's comment right, though Bambi could have presented the comments more effectively. The argument was that men and women do not have the same capabilities; the mistake was in using examples involving superior male performance. I don't think anybody feels women would make better weightlifters -- but in my experience, women make better psychologists and doctors. Your mileage may vary, but I doubt it would vary enough that you would assemble a 50/50 Olympics weightlifting team.

      1. Mooseman Bronze badge

        Re: If women are REALLY "equal"...

        Here, let me highlight one if his sentences for you - it doesn't mention weightlifting by the way:

        "When it comes to physical activity, the relative weakness of females is tacitly acknowledged by the lower standards. Why does anyone think such differences are restricted to physical differences? "

        So, yes, I'm afraid I did read it right. The man is a grade A moron who actually believes because women aren't in general as strong as men they are somehow an inferior version, mentally inept and pandered to when the poor dears should be presumably barefoot and pregnant in his kitchen.

        I am frankly astonished and disgusted by the attitudes revealed on this forum. All these whiny little boys who claim they are hard done by because they are white males, really? To use a phrase they will no doubt have used themselves, "grow a pair".

        1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

          Re: If women are REALLY "equal"...

          " believes because women aren't in general as strong as men they are somehow an inferior version,"

          If this is not the case, why are professional sports almost completely gender segregated? Surely we should be demanding that the IOC immediately adopt all sporting events as mixed gender? Why can't we have football matches with male vs female teams? Why can't a football team be made up of mixed genders?

          Why is it considered to be "unfair" to have women compete against men in physical sports?

          Please note, I don't think the analogy of physical competition can be extended to non-physical activity. A quick browse for winners names from quiz shows, cooking contests and so forth shows a relatively even balance of genders. There are a couple of interesting outliers: More women have won Masterchef than men by a fair margin, but there are far more male winners of Mastermind. I doubt that means anything significant, but it struck me as interesting.

          It's weird how we allow gender segregation in sports but not elsewhere. Imagine if a TV station announced a quiz show that only men could be on, or a cookery contest only for women.

          1. Mooseman Bronze badge

            Re: If women are REALLY "equal"...

            " why are professional sports almost completely gender segregated? Surely we should be demanding that the IOC immediately adopt all sporting events as mixed gender? Why can't we have football matches with male vs female teams? Why can't a football team be made up of mixed genders?

            Why is it considered to be "unfair" to have women compete against men in physical sports?"

            Do I really have to explain this ? Men and women are physically different, I think we all agree. Men tend to be bigger, stronger and faster, we all agree in that too. Mixing genders in sporting activities is therefore pointless in general. However, extrapolating this to include mental ability is beyond stupid - is anyone seriously suggesting every female scientist, engineer, doctor, dentist, surgeon, phychiatrist etc etc etc is there because she is a woman and not on merit? Honestly this forum has made me question the intelligence of a lot of so-called bright people - someone says if a woman is the best on the day she is picked, someone else immediately comes back with stupid little comments like "she was the best at interview not at her job". Others try to whine how hard done by they are because they are white and male. Poor babies. Grow up the lot of you - this isn't the 1850's

            1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

              Re: If women are REALLY "equal"...

              "extrapolating this to include mental ability is beyond stupid "

              Yes, this. Couldn't agree more. I think the point I was trying to make is that any kind of generalization is both false and disprovable. My "People are people" argument can be extrapolated to "Not all women are better than all men at task XYZ" and vice versa. There are female weight lifters that can lift far more than me!

              Surely this nonsense about "Women are never better than men at IT" is equally bullshit? People vary in their abilities as easily as their status. To judge someone by a single trait is an utter fallacy.

              Note, however, that I believe this cuts both ways; feminists who run around saying "all men are patriarchal bastards" are going to get equally short shrift from me, and I make no distinction about the way I will argue/debate/shout at someone due to their gender, race or social status.

              Equal treatment, no?

              1. Mooseman Bronze badge

                @bernard

                Yup, I totally agree. Some people are good at their job, some aren't. Gender is irrelevant. Bias and ranting/whining from both men and women is counterproductive and demonstrably false.

                I notice NONE of those complaining that they have been a victim of discrimination, or quoting " a company near me" or "I know its true cos this bloke down the pub told me" have ever offered any evidence beyond anecdotal. Oh, sorry, one attempt at justification based on an incomplete report.

                I had assumed that a bunch of people working in what can be a mentally stimulating and taxing role would actually have some intelligence, but clearly I was wrong. It's the same "poor me" mentality that blames foreigners for job shortages while at the same time claiming they are costing you money because they are scrounging on benefits. Sorry guys, your ineptitude and failure is nobody's fault but your own.

  29. WatAWorld

    Why am I not reading about this story in The Register?

    http://thefederalist.com/2018/01/10/19-insane-tidbits-james-damores-lawsuit-googles-office-environment/

    Why does The Register carry so many strawman arguments on this issue? Why does it ignore people's own statements and evidence is going on?

    What is wrong with The Register's editorial staff and what happened to journalistic integrity?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We should be aiming for the best people in the job. Irrespective of gender, colour, race or sexual orientation.

    Any sort of quota of any kind will mean you won't have the best people in the job and the business will be worse off.

    I understand I am naive but this is the end point that should be aimed for.

  31. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Can't we go back to a meritocracy where the person who gets the job is the best qualified? Some in the STEM fields are already bunging women £10K to go into the job and discouraging males from applying. Reverse discrimination is still discrimination.

    Sincerely

    A minority

  32. Velv Silver badge

    As a white male who works in STEM I can tell you that there is a substantial number of lazy, feckless, work shy jobsworth people who wouldn’t lift a finger to save their grandmother from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Trall.

    If you didn’t get the job and you believe you were a victim of discrimination, then you probably fit in the category above. I’m not saying it never happens, but my experience is that the best candidate gets the job, and I’ve never come across any instance of selection on criteria other than ability to successfully navigate the interview and CV process.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "my experience is that the best candidate gets the job, and I’ve never come across any instance of selection on criteria other than ability to successfully navigate the interview and CV process."

      So you're basing "best" on the ability to navigate the interview and CV process rather then the ability to do the job when they get it.

  33. RobertLongshaft

    Interesting

    I have had 2 engineers work for me who left California to work in the cold and dark East Midlands, when I ask them why they left "the good life" both said it is almost impossible to get a technical job in California unless you are willing to work for peanuts or you are from a "minority" group.

    Of course they were both skinhead, far right, white supremacist,nazis. Anyone who voices criticism of the social marxist left wing doctrine has to be, right? Right?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stupid Reg

    Just how stupid are you, Reg?

    Let's say 80% of men are arrogant, ambitious and/or sexist. So they cause a lot of issues and perhaps get promoted over women unfairly and stop women getting hired/promoted. Let's say the other 20% (1 in 5) of men are not arrogant, not ambitious and not sexist - they get on with their tech work and treat people fairly, men and women.

    You (Reg) and other stupid people/media habitually treat 'men' as one heterogeneous mass, ignoring that some men are different from others. Some are rapists, sexists, etc. Many ARE NOT!!!

    So now women are being given positive discrimination - that's undeniable - because of the actions of the 80% of men. So the women are being favoured over the 20% of men who are NOT THE PROBLEM! Why would those decent men not complain that they are getting discriminated against???

    Stop this "men caused the problem" cr@p - perhaps *some* men were involved in the problem (if/where there is a problem) but that does not mean that all men were guilty or deserve to be discriminated against!

    1. Mooseman Bronze badge

      Re: Stupid Reg

      Interesting. Have you read the comments section at all?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As a non-white I frequently observe that most people aren’t anti-discrimination out of any high principle - rather they simply want to be the ones doing and benefiting from it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Too close to the truth to be agreed with !!!

      ".... rather they simply want to be the ones doing and benefiting from it."

      I can only agree BUT I fear it will go down like a lead Zepplin with the majority of Reg Readers as it is far too close to the truth !!!

      Most people don't want 'True equality' but really want 'Equality of advantage', to put it simply it is the "I want what he/she has got !!!" reaction the average person gives when looking at someone who has risen above the pack.

      Our emotions and drivers are a lot more base than we would like to admit.

  36. Matthew Taylor

    A little gratitude...

    A lot of hate for white males on here. If we're going to be lumped together as "white males", then speaking as one, I'd like to defend our record. After all, we've invented the majority of the technological world we live in these days, and in my view it's pretty bloody good. I'm all for meritocracy - I believe everyone deserves a fair chance at success in the technology industry, just like in any other endeavour. But people seem to want to run white males out of town on a rail, and fill the spaces left behind with women, just "to make it fair". And there's nothing fair about that.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: A little gratitude...

      "After all, we've invented the majority of the technological world we live in these days, and in my view it's pretty bloody good."

      Well, we made pretty sure nobody else much got a look-in so it is not terribly surprising.

      Cambridge didn't even award proper degrees to women till 1948, there was a period in which they could

      take the exams but not become members of the University. Oxford did so in 1920. Technical jobs were simply not open to women, so saying that men invented the technological world is a bit misleading.

      Something similar happened in Apartheid South Africa. Jobs beyond a certain level were simply not open to black Africans. The result, of course, was problems post-Apartheid.

      When one section of society has been systematically discriminated against, hand waving about equal chance of success becomes nonsensical. I don't know what the answer is myself, but the status quo should not be an option.

  37. The Commenter formally known as Matt
    Thumb Down

    What a biased and immature article.

    If you are a white male and you apply for a job and a less qualified non-white or non-male candidate is chosen then you have been illegally (in the EU anyway) and immorally (everywhere) discriminated against. Whether the company is dominated by your gender or race is completely irrelevant, only your abilities (and the other candidates abilities) are relevant.

    The author mocks men for believing they are discriminated against, and applauds women for having the same beliefs, whilst providing zero evidence for this incongruity

  38. SimonC

    Wow the author of this piece is really hammering home the numbers of males and females as if that is a good argument against the genuine complaints.

    Truth is for every female CV we get 30 male CVs. One or two of the 30 males will be a superstar developer, but they're complaining that because the 31st CV is female that trumps their skills. It doesn't matter how many men are in tech, that's still someone getting the shaft.

    And the problem is getting worse. Implying women have had the short end of the stick for years is nonsense, most good developers learned like I did: reading the instruction manual of their family computer at age 6, scrounging bits out of programming books at the school library, begging parents to buy a magazine that had a compiler on the coverdisk, and slowly building tons of programs and poring through the help files of QBASIC to make tons of silly games, buying a copy of visual basic 1 from a charity shop for 50p, making more stuff, writing tons of home projects etc. all of this ANYBODY could have done, and if a child under the age of ten with no money or income can get ahead then anyone can.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Precisely. I'd love to work with more women - but they are very hard to come by - you just don't get the CVs. The only way we managed to increase the number of women on the team was to hire graduates.

      We're not hitting our official Peruvian blind, disabled, hermaphrodite quota either - but that's another matter.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stupid PC brigade

    America - world class self-loathing liberal morons.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Stupid PC brigade

      This isn't a mental disease based on Nationality, it's based in Irrationality.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Stupid PC brigade

        Absolutely - but certainly in the tech field most of this non-sensical, box ticking, PC crap, seems to originate from America.

        1. Jove Bronze badge

          Re: Stupid PC brigade

          Nope. It is pervasive in UK organisations.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Stupid PC brigade

            Yes it's pervasive in UK organisations - doesn't mean much of it isn't imported. Mind you, plenty of loony left-wing Guardian reading types in the UK (don't start there are sane Guardian readers out there as well - I'm not talking about them), looking to be offended by anything and everything, definitely.

  40. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Flame

    Over down under...

    In Australia the firefighter tests have been changed to make it easier for women to join. Now, rather than being able to carry a 90Kg weight a short distance (to simulate carrying a small person) it is now dragging a 30Kg weight a tiny distance.

    So...More women will now pass the test but you're more likely to die in a fire since your firefighter will probably be unable to lift anything bigger than a toddler.

    Some male firefighters released a video applauding the change, while the women are attacking it for making them token firefighters and lowering standards...So the men are scared of being called sexists, while the women are rightfully complaining the change has made everyone less safe.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That is one heck of a long report - am I the only one that thinks the writer of the article had the intention for it to be tongue-in-cheek?

    I don't doubt the bias in these jobs, but the report does point to some very real reasons for these results. STEM subjects at school are seen as harder and the immediate benefit to society is lower, but a lot of participants enjoyed these subjects. Given also that STEM jobs are perceived to be better paid, is it a wonder that fewer teachers are from the STEM subjects? In the UK, and across the world, some folks working in STEM are giving their time freely to teaching young children about programming and technology. It is clear to me that encouraging young children to see how interesting, challenging and satisfying it is to be 'coding' or 'making' is a good thing to do. If it breaks the 'boys play with bricks and guns' and 'girls play with dolls and picnics' then that is a valuable first step in breaking the status-quo.

    Getting the 'best person for the job' is not really measurable, as any real STEM person can see the difficulty of actually measuring this. An employer would want a) someone who can do the job adequately, b) someone who fits in with the team (oh, yes, STEM jobs do need teams these days) and c) someone who brings something that will benefit the team, or improve it. Those being interviewed might find it hard to understand two of those, so it is easy to say they are discriminated against. Sadly, for women in an all-male team, they are easily seen as disrupters of the 'boys game' and not as a widening of experience and attitudes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It doesn't read as tongue-in-cheek to me. I think the author just hates himself.

  42. The Dogs Meevonks

    Articles like this don't help the debate, they hinder it.. Discrimination occurs in ALL places and to ALL types of people of ALL races/cultures/genders and all the other differences that people use to differentiate or label others with.

    The only real thing that is different is the number/frequency with which this happens.

    To dismiss ANY of them in such a manner as this article does is in itself discriminatory.

  43. Bucky 2

    We never started with a meritocracy

    There's no meritocracy to go "back" to.

    We believed the job market was a meritocracy because they told us it was. We believed them. We got jobs. We assumed it was because we had merit.

    The presumption was flawed.

    Naturally, that produces fear, uncertainty, and doubt. This is sometimes expressed as racism or sexism, but what it really is, is existential panic.

  44. This post has been deleted by its author

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    An interesting statistic on your box of morning cornflakes

    From a Blog of Interest:

    The racial makeup of Cupertino was 18,270 (31.3%) White, 344 (0.6%) Black American, 117 (0.2%) American Indian, 36,895 (63.3%) Asian (28.1% Chinese, 22.6% Indian, 4.6% Korean, 3.3% Japanese, 1.3% Vietnamese), 54 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 670 (1.1%) from other races, and 1,952 (3.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic of any race were 2,113 persons (3.6%); 2.4% of Cupertino’s population is of Mexican ancestry. ... White students are down to 15.3% of the public schools, with the vast majority of students being Asian.

    Plus:

    The average house in Cupertino is over $2M. There are very few apartments. It is a case of an entire city that new whites cannot afford to move into. The whites that still live there got there before 1990 or so. They are sitting on immense home equity gains.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: An interesting statistic on your box of morning cornflakes

      "The racial makeup of Cupertino"

      Cupertino is a small city in California that happens to have Apple HQ next to it. People who work at Apple, by and large, don't live in Cupertino. They live all over the Bay Area and the world.

      No idea what point you're trying to make, anonymous coward.

      C.

  46. Robert Forsyth

    It's the Parents' Fault, Partly

    That gender neutral school experiment/document on the TV last year, initially the boys could do the logic puzzles, but the girls could not. However, after some practice the girls could do as well as the boys. The conclusion draw by the program was, the toys given to the children has a big influence on their STEM abilities. So nurture rather than nature.

    When they cross dress babies and get other parents/carers to play with them, the babies dressed like girls were given doll like toys and those dressed like boys car or construction like toys.

    With teenagers, peer pressure seems stronger than parent pressure, but gender stereotypes have already done their harm (in my opinion).

    In the late 70's, for me, the computer class was equally mixed and given by a woman teacher. Most kids make something in metal/woodwork and sewing/cookery, I guess my school was fairly progressive, before you choose which exams to take.

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      Re: It's the Parents' Fault, Partly

      The Nordic countries disproved this and found that the reverse was true. Women rebelled and went into traditional roles more.

      1. Mooseman Bronze badge

        Re: It's the Parents' Fault, Partly

        "Women rebelled and went into traditional roles more"

        Citation?

        Interestingly, in single sex schools more girls go into STEM subjects than they do in mixed gender schools, by quite a large margin. This clearly shows that nurture, in this case peer pressure, has a huge impact on a girl's decision to get into science or not.

  47. Nimby
    Unhappy

    Reverse discrimination is still discrimination.

    I find it really sad that of the nearly 150 comments so far, this simple and obvious phrase appeared only once. I would have hoped by today this would be rote to all.

  48. Nimby
    Alert

    Excuses are easy. Living is hard.

    For the record:

    1) Last I checked, I am still a hetero white male software engineer, and have been for a very long time. (But who knows? Maybe people really can change!)

    2) I cannot recall a single moment in the entirety of my childhood where my choice to excel in STEM was anything but ridiculed by my peers. It was a constant source of bullying, rarely but seriously to the point of life threatening. Yet I chose to continue with being a white male computer nerd regardless, because I enjoyed it.

    3) Out of all of the acts which I could truly call discrimination that I have suffered in my life, only one was not reverse discrimination.

    4) I believe that most people truly don't understand discrimination. They see how hard things are for themselves, never once realizing just how much effort it took everyone else.

  49. Brian Allan 1

    Quota systems degrade company profitability! Hire the best, regardless of gender or race.

  50. Steve C#

    Best person hired and promoted?

    I do not care what you are as long as you are the best and most competent person. Unfortunately I have seen companies hire and promote people due to their physical characteristics instead. Too many companies think is more important to do that then to have the very best employees. Racism or sexism of any kind is just stupid.

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