"When you 'weigh revenue versus people,' if revenue wins, then those people were more expensive than other people for the value they provide, but no one's allowed to say that"
In late January, code storage biz GitLab published a blog post declaring that "diversity and inclusion is a core value at GitLab and fundamental to our success." Nonetheless, the company has had trouble retaining female executives. That same month, GitLab got rid of the woman who ran its legal department. The company fired …
The problem is that it's very difficult to measure "value" objectively in monetary terms - particularly for senior positions tenuously related to the productive activities of the business.
That problem is compounded by the fact that there is deep-seated human tendency to confirm their prejudgment by seeing things that aren't there. There's a famous experiment in which subjects are asked to estimate the height of someone standing in front of them: if you first tell the subjects that the person in front of them has a position of seniority, subjects will estimate a greater height than if they think it's an ordinary grunt.
There's a very real propensity to appoint people to jobs who look and act like other people who have held similar jobs before. Even more, there's a propensity to create roles that other organisations have, whether or not your organisation actually needs them, because you want your organisation to look like other credible businesses.
That's why you get a bunch of the usual suspects trotting between similar jobs, even when they've a record of spectacular failure. Along with the fact that investors feel more comfortable with people who fit the mould of people they've worked with before.
When it comes to the two main drivers of human behaviour - money and sex - don't expect logic to trump perception.
"At the moment the research shows that more diverse companies are better. Ftfy.
Argue with the methods and results all you like but don't pretend you have science on your side."
Could you please direct me to that research? The Economist discussed this a few weeks ago, and again months before that, and on both occasions said no correlation has been found. In particular, the studies so far done have produced very mixed results.
You cannot claim to have science on your side without producing high-quality evidence of it.
Edit: most of the statements about diversity is that it helps reduce 'group-think'. But this is a deeply racist and sexist thing to say: it assumes that all white men have the same experiences. The corollary is that all black women have the same experiences as well. If you only hire people from Harvard Law, then you are going to get group-think, regardless of the genitalia and skin colour of the people involved.
Couldt agree more, with what i feel diversty is
Unfortunatly the cynic in me hears corporate diversity as way of saying outsorcing in polite company, i.e. the more "diverse" the cheaper your work force, as we hired 40 diploma mill graduates, opened a new office, got a hefty tax break from government of new office location and polished our warm and fuzzy stats for the share holders at the cost of productivity and experience
I think the bigger issue here is that the term "diversity" no longer accounts for diversity of thought. It's been bastardized by elements of the modern political sphere to simply mean "less white males".
The former is important, the latter is just racism that doesn't count as racism because allegedly you can't be racist to those people.
You're not wrong. I experienced it myself when I was still living in Toronto. Perfectly qualified, great reference from within the company and the team lead's pick following interviews - which overruled by HR. I got the full story from my buddy who referenced me.This was 3 years ago and the person selected didn't last a year.
I'm not mad in hindsight as I landed in an even better spot, with better pay, in a better location, but had I desperately needed that job it would have been devastating.
It's also worth noting just how...wrong that feels in downtown Toronto. There is no real "majority" population anymore. "Founding stock Canadians" or whatever you want to call us only make up ~40% of the population, likely far less by now. It was less than 50 as of 2015. You really have to wonder how low it needs to be before these practices stop.
Well let's do an interesting bit of research.
We know that approx 20% of roles in the tech industry are held by women.
But can someone point me to the statistic for the percentage of applicants that are female?
Nobody has ever quoted that.
I'm willing to bet that it's proportionally lower than 20%.
If it is, then women are going gangbusters in terms of getting into tech, they're beating the odds and are far more likely to be hired than men.
If more than 20% of applicants are female, then we can call out the industry for having a problem.
Personally, I find it appalling that I've never bumped into a sysadmin from French Polynesia they're even less represented than women. Disgraceful. Based on the typical rationale of the media they must be applying for the jobs...but getting rejected because they're Polynesian. White males over 50 clearly have it in for Polynesians and it has to stop.
As a white 35 year old male, I have conceded (based on popular opinion) that I am inferior to all other races and genders and therefore I don't deserve a job and should spend my life getting out of the way of minorities.
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Yup. If diversity is truly a benefit to a company (rather than society as a whole), then companies that lack diversity will do less well and the most diverse companies rise to the top.
On the other hand, if it's just a load of hand wringing, it will make no difference at all.
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There are a number of points in this article that put a rather off color on GitLab. The fact that they made a video about how happy people are, and some of the women mentioned are gone. The fact that a report was credited to a woman who apparently had nothing to do with it. The insistence that diversity is important and GitLab wants to promote women, but fires them as soon as they reach too high a level.
Individually, none of these points are, as of themselves, significant, but I find that the accumulation is significant.
Something is wrong at GitLab, and there appears to be a coverup in progress. Not a good sign.
IPO Time, oh crap we lack numbers in columns all the cool kids have, we need to do this or twitter will hate us spews a marketing droid, thats all the cover up is, CEO wants to cash out, hires women to maximise cashout make his service look attractive to investers. Just the natural evolution of hiring a pretty PA to take to meetings as eye candy.
And WTF does this have to with source control, will it make GIT less of head ache when someone does something "stupid" (aka doesnt share the same thought process as torvalds), will it stop me wanting to hurt people who cant work out a) how to merge properly, and b) how to use PR's, tags, and squash commits???
So frankly i couldnt care less about the politics, life isnt fair, people are not equal (sure should be TREATED equally, but not everyone is a winner), if we were all equal there would be no diversity, so rather than trying to impose equal diversity and diverse equality (added to my list of oxymorons like militant pacifism, organised anarchy) how about accepting that for diversity to work you need places, institutions and businesses that are not, its night and day, otherwise you end up with homogeny not diversity.
Something looks bad, but that's not the way I read it.
Looking at El Reg's articles on Ciresi, I'd suggest the following scenario:
A large potential customer (US gov?) applied commercial pressure to isolate China and Russia. Execs tried to play this as an anti-hacker thing but Ciresi pointed out the obvious risk/compliance consistency issues, perhaps in public, and embarrassed the top brass.
i.e. there was political bungling all-round and the person who doesn't bring in revenue paid the price.
If that is what happened, it rather shows that Ciresi wasn't competent to operate at the highest levels where political acumen is critical.
Diversity in the progressive gender/race/orientation holy triumvirate sense can be a successful marketing ploy, but it has interesting logical implications. For diversity to be important, there have to be differences, or you don't have a diverse population. If there are differences, it is possible that you may need particular attributes present in one part of the population but not in another. The more diverse a population is, the less likely it is to be beneficial in any given specialised role. A less political example would be: that you don't hire postmen to fill software engineering roles. Hire only software engineers for that.
For racial diversity to have any business value, you should be able to quantify the things which make one race desirable over another. What is it about someone's sexual preferences which add business value? How do large mammaries contribute to the bottom line?
If it were my business, I'd just hire people I thought were competent. Judging people by their skin colour, gender or orientation is pretty ugly in my book, and I don't think it is in the interest of the business owner, employees, or customers.
The problem with your attitude is that we all have unconscious biases, the research has demonstrated this time and time again. This is also why we have devolped science, the methods of which act to reduce biases. But sadly it cannot remove them completely.
We see it in AI and algorithms trained on biased data sets who then operate in a biased fashion. You might think you are hiring in a non biased way but you cannot if you do make strenuous efforts to minimise your biases.
This is why industry best interview practice is to have interview panels of at least three people. This is how universities do it for eg. My wife works in Uni admin and can cite chapter and verse on this stuff. Ideally your interview panel should have reasonable diversity, not all male or all female for eg unless there are valid reasons for that.
If you hire people solo you absolutely cannot claim you hire in an unbiased fashion. Sorry to break your delusional self image but this is what us scientists do.
"The problem with your attitude"
Try saying "The problem with this argument", rather than implying he needs to be sent to a re-education camp. It might help with trying to convince people.
"we all have unconscious biases, the research has demonstrated this time and time again."
The research on unconscious bias is not, in my view, scientific. (I am a scientist, so I get to make those type of statements.) I'm not questioning the existence of unconscious bias, but I am questioning whether any of the current 'tests' a) detect anything at all, b) are detecting bias, rather than something else, and c) whether the thing that they detect has any real-world consequences. Each of these needs to be true for the tests to be useful, and I think the evidence is threadbare for each of them.
These are all valid questions when statements like "if you click slightly slower on this word than that then you are a racist" are thrown around.
"an attempt by modern liberals to label what was previously known as "human instinct" as some sort of pathology."
It's way worse than that. The unconscious bias test measures your ability to play a particular computer game. As with any computer game, one can get better at it. I started off very racist on the first go, and not racist at all on the second one. So reproducibility is zero.
The particular (official) website for the test let me also check if I had an unconscious bias against various aspects of US culture that I'd never heard of. I feel I am not biased towards or against something I didn't even know anything about: nope, very biased against it. So it looks like it doesn't measure anything useful either.
That is anecdotal, of course, but those anecdotes are played out in every rigorous, large-scale testing of the unconscious bias hypothesis that has been done.
"industry best interview practice"
That doesn't help you. As you are a scientist, you'll know about the halo effect.
"If a person has one salient (available) good trait, his other characteristics are likely to be judged by others as better than they really are. Handsome men and women tend to be rated highly on intelligence, athletic prowess, sense of humour and so on. In fact physical appearance has little to do with such other characteristics: there is a small correlation between being handsome and being intelligent but it is not enough to account for the mistakes people make in their judgements."
"One of the most damaging ways in which the halo effect is ignored is the almost universal prevalence of the interview as a means of selection, whether for hospital staff, university students, army officers, the police, civil servants, or whomsoever. I will demonstrate later that the great majority of selection interviews are useless, and may indeed lower the chances of selecting the right candidate. Part of the reason is the halo effect: the interviewers are too influenced by comparatively trivial but salient aspects of the interviewee, which affect their judgement of his or her other characteristics."
"One of the most prized human faculties is intuition. Many people find it more hurtful to be accused of having poor intuition than of being slovenly, lazy or selfish. As Rochefoucauld said, ‘Everyone complains about the badness of his memory, nobody about his judgement.’ There are only a few dissenting voices – for example, it has been said that intuition is that strange instinct that tells a person he is right, whether he is or not."
If you want to know how to get the best chance of selecting the correct candidate, read chapter 20, 'The failure of intuition.'
Stuart Sutherland. Irrationality. ISBN 978-1-905177-07-3
In fact, read the whole book anyway...
I admit it, I have a very heavy unconscious bias towards competent people.
I work in international teams. I don't know what skin colour people have and their code doesn't come with genitals. I care about the contribution that they make, and that includes their ability to work effectively with other members of the team. Since my teams all have a culture of respect and collaboration, it's quite easy to find people that fit well.
Do I have unconscious biases against people? Yes, I instinctively dislike the racist sexists that demand you employ someone other than a white man. I've yet to hear any of them give a good reason.
Interesting. Did you get your little gold badge for libelling others or is this a new hobby for you?
You don't know who I hire, or why. Here, let me help: My last three hires were people that weren't in the UK. I didn't meet them before giving them a job. I genuinely didn't know what their skin colour was.
For one of them I still don't. Left the company before I met him. I did meet his colleague though, she turned out to be of Indian heritage.
But hey, keep throwing those unwarranted slurs around. I guess it's easier than thinking.
Chill out, its just millenials not undertanding that image and being seen to do something something is not the same as actaully doing something worth while.
Like anti capitaism demonstraters spamming social media from hypocrite phones generating as bill hicks said the angry anti marketing dollar, or idiots calling boy george anti LGB for not thinking blokes in dresses and male gentialia have the right to use womens changing rooms and toilets.
Competancy > Diversity for any emperical trade i.e. one that doesnt involve mood boards and generates actual quantifieable data. Ohh look at our completely diverse workforce, although we have a under representation of competant qualified people, we can make the next calandar look like a united colours of beniton advert....
You mention research, but you fail to mention one of the most striking results--that (US) conservatives and libertarians show a MUCH lower level of bias than liberals. I assume this surprises liberals, but there is a simple explanation: conservative and libertarian thought is strikingly individualistic compared to liberalism. Therefore, we don't seek to identify people as members of a group unless such a grouping is relevant to the task at hand.
During orientation at Google, they did a couple of exercises designed to point out unconscious bias. Things like names vs professions. The exercises caused me a noticeable level of pain, as I could not understand what correlation I was supposed to be seeing. When they did the reversal, I figured out what was going on. That's not the only time I've had such experiences.
But, since I'm a white guy, you know I'm racists & dismissive towards women.
Maybe it’s not a gender issue as much as it is a whistleblower one. If the people are punished for raising concerns, then the cover up theory is appropriate. Ciresi also warned against telemetry and was steamrolled. The ignoring of the warnings hints at potential incompetence of the leaders. The executives should have at least paused to consider the concerns that people raise (regardless of demographics).
I can understand why GitLab wants to pad out their reviews for this site because to the casual observer it only divulges a few written reviews before clamming up and demanding a visitor divulge salary and other personal information to see any more. So if the top reviews seem glowing you may be getting a false impression.
More generally I wonder if Glassdoor is like Yelp and other social review websites. I'm sure companies affected by negative reviews are contacted by Glassdoor sales reps offering to "improve" their image for money (i.e. make bad reviews disappear). And there will be external services trying to boost or extort companies for $$$ by posting fake reviews that move the rating one way or the other.
As The Register understands, CEO Sid Sijbrandij was required to hire a woman for the role.
"There is a lot of reporting that shows sometimes a company's work culture will privilege one gender over the other. At GitLab, we are proud to say that is not the case, and the truth is in the numbers."
If as a company you start to hire people not on the basis of their skills and ability but on their sex you are running the risk that more of the people you are will turn out to be unsuitable than would otherwise be the case. If you then lie and claim not to be hiring people on the basis of sex then you run the risk of creating a culture of distrust and fear of speaking the turth within your company.
They have simoply reaped what they have sown. they should stop discriminating and start hiring on the basis of merit.
It's the other way around, which is the reason this forced diversity is so controversial.
STEM fields still don't attract enough women, because they largely don't want to work in that field. This is despite expensive recruitment campaigns in multiple Western countries, plus thousands of pounds in bribes and grants to coerce them into the subject. There's no similar push to get men into occupations where they're under represented. In the Nordic countries, where a lot of this originated, they have less female candidates in STEM fields than in the UK and US.
And WHY do you think women don't want to work in STEM, if not for the institutional dominance of men and the kind of disparaging comments about affirmative action "oh, you must be here due to AA"? Perhaps you think women just aren't cut out for it?
AA should be a temporary thing only, to kick-start some momentum. But the fact that a whole gender feels they are not welcome in certain fields implies a wider problem in our culture which is more important than profit.
And why don't you think men want to work in teaching, nursery education, nursing, as health assistants, various parts of the creative industries or lunch time assistants?*
Why do you think there are still distinct differences that the average boy and girl plays with even when they are given free choice and no pressure to select the toys?
Some of it will be subconcious biases and prejudices (on both sides) but I've a feeling that that doesn't account for all of it. Gender differences seem to be prevalent throughout school despite all the affirmative action done there.
There are plenty of good women who work in STEM, and plenty of good men who work in teaching, nursing and other women dominated industries. Perhaps we should just be encouraging everybody to do the role that they want to do and making sure all barriers and biases are minimized without assuming the end result should be an even mix of genders (or any other characteristics) across all industries?
*Of course this is a generalisation and there are men there, much in the same way as parts of STEM fields are heavily dominated by women.
"because other men say that people who do that can't be "real men" whatever that means."
Not a thing you've said so far has been backed up by even Daily Mail level evidence, and yet you've responded to pretty much every comment in bad faith, and with misandrist sexism. Reevaluate yourself.
"Not a thing you've said so far has been backed up by even Daily Mail level evidence, and yet you've responded to pretty much every comment in bad faith, and with misandrist sexism. Reevaluate yourself."
There's plenty of history on Katrinab's side. E.g. the entire history of computer prior to programmable computing hardware - it was seen as cleric work and therefore only suitable for women. Hence the many women doing computation at Los Alomos and Bletchly Park during WW2. Programmable computing hardware eventually changed that perception, of course, and men wanted to do that work instead.
Please take a long look at the demographics in computing and when that changed before you reply or vote on this. As someone famously said a different context, "Pray consider that you may be wrong."
"Hence the many women doing computation at Los Alomos and Bletchly Park during WW2"
Women weren't drafted into the army during the war. Men were. Terrible example.
There's a reason why so many historical photos show factories stuffed with women manufacturing bombs and planes. The male workforce was decimated as nearly every fighting-age man was required (and even some that were under 18 years old).
"Women weren't drafted into the army during the war. Men were. Terrible example.
There's a reason why so many historical photos show factories stuffed with women manufacturing bombs and planes. The male workforce was decimated as nearly every fighting-age man was required (and even some that were under 18 years old)."
Thanks. You've provided a nice example of the erasing and downplaying of women's role in the history of computing. Even Wikipedia doesn't support your argument. The women at Bletchly Park were recruited on *merit*, and that was *only* recognised during the war for the reason you stated. That's what it took for men to consider employing women for anything other than clerical work.
This was a time of systematic priotizing of men over women in STEM and work, amoung many other areas in society. This was a pivotal moment in the history of women's rights in work.
"Women were increasingly involved in computing after 1865. Private companies hired them for computing and to manage office staffs."
"Six out of ten women working in Bletchley Park were serving in the British Armed Forces."
It was even worse for black women. They were doubly discriminated against.
GitLab already proved the type of company they are when a few years ago their back ups didn't work and they lost code. They showed what they could do by transparently showing the world how they were fixing their mistake. And since then the software and service has been brilliant.
The people who work there could be genetically modified budgies who weigh 50kg but are 7ft tall and all love Bulgarian Folk Trance music. It really doesn't matter. What matters is the product they provide you with and whether the choice of that software will get you sacked in the morning.
Another point of comparison that could have been useful, in respect of the idea pushed by the title ("keeping women on staff or in management"): In equivalent roles, do men stay at Gitlab for longer periods of employment or not and (again for the same roles) is the rate of voluntary/involuntary departure the same? The company seems to be big enough that the relevant statistics could be calculated to show if there's a systemic bias all across the company.
Five years ago I worked for a very famous U.K University commercial spin off, operating in the nanotech and semiconductor research areas, and the majority of the applications engineers were women from diverse international backgrounds. These people were all at least post graduate plasma physicists, that's PLASMA PHYSICISTS! Company Director I reported to also happened to be female.
When manglement touts diversity a wise person smells a rat. They want hit a bunch of check boxes not actually trying for real diversity. With real diversity you should have mixture at the top as well as throughout the organization. But when touting diversity there seems to be a very strong glass ceiling for certain groups.
Well, diversity is a nice to have imo, I'm a gay developer so knowing a company is an open environment and not broish etc is encouraging; my previous experiences at overly broish companies haven't been great. If you're too different, you get judged more harshly.
Companies very often just do robotic diverse hiding but that alone won't work. It's a mindset on how welcoming and open the company is. It usually comes from the top down, so if the leadership is cliquey...
However it can't be at the expense of the company's revenue or hiring the right talent. If someone doesn't live up to their responsibilities, they gotta go. Nor should companies necessarily be penalised if diversity decides to leave. There's few of us, and it's a competitive world. Nor should it discriminate against white cis het men, that wouldn't be fair.
So the situation is not black and white. A load of women quiting could mean everything or nothing or 50/50.
"Describe 'bro-ish' for me please. I'm genuinely curious."
Aka "toxic masculinity". A lot has been written about it. Just search for the phase.
You can also search for "bro-ish". I can find a lot of uses for that, but few definitions - mostly on Urban Dictionary. E.g. the following: (bro-ish) v. The act or action of performing a "bro like" task in order to aide or assist in one's biological, adopted, or acquired bro.
"E.g. the following: (bro-ish) v. The act or action of performing a "bro like" task in order to aide or assist in one's biological, adopted, or acquired bro."
That isn't a definition, of course. Or squeegle-ish can be defined as having the properties of a squeegle.
Google obsesses over data in everything, especially HR. They are also very concerned about diversity, and particularly that women are paid enough. So, one day they ran the numbers. Oops. They were able to demonstrate that women were systematically getting paid more than men for the same job with the same level of experience and competence.
Which is only a surprise to people who don't understand bounded random walks.
As a staunch socialist, you might expect that I'd be eagerly in favour of enforcing diversity in the private sector.
Unfortunately, I'm not just socialist, I also have the affliction of logic, and logic dictates that:
In other words, if the democratic majority dislikes a company's policies, then they should vote with their wallets, otherwise they are complicit.
Yes, this is very much a classical liberal view, and not at all socialist, but it's also a pragmatic view in a society that is clearly also not really socialist, except when it suits them. Play by the rules, or stop playing the game. Personally I'd rather do the latter, but I'm in a minority, so the best I can do is point out the hypocrisy of playing a game whose rules you don't like, and hope that somebody besides myself notices this glaring contradiction.
<blockquote>Pointing at the company's January 29 blog post about Comparably's 125-person survey, GitLab's spokesperson added, "Diversity and inclusion is a core GitLab value. We strive to foster an environment where everyone can thrive and we are proud to be recognized recently for these efforts."
I'm interpreting this as "What we say three times is true, dammit", and filtering accordingly.
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