Week of 10/16/17: Gender Equality In Tech

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Ben Giacalone 12 months ago.

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  • #1909

    Elan Isaacson
    Keymaster

    This week’s articles are “Push for Gender Equality in Tech? Some Men Say It’s Gone Too Far” by Nellie Bowles, “Women and Tech” by Laura Colby and “Microsoft C.E.O. Says Tech’s Progress on Gender Equality Is ‘Not Sufficient’” by Tiffany Hsu. These three articles discuss the progress or lack thereof of gender equality in silicon valley and the tech industry as a whole. What do you think about the progress in the tech industry? Has enough been done to combat gender discrimination? What do you think should be done? Come discuss on our forums with other HP MUNC members.

    Please remember to keep all discussion civil.

    #1915

    Dylan J. Tulloch
    Participant

    The proper extent of gender equality should be that people are paid equally for equal work, not hired specifically for their gender, and no one stressing gender. The only factors that should determine them getting hired are their qualifications and their work ethic. If they can get work done properly, no one should care what genitals are attached to their waist. I personally am tired of these federal quotas that companies must meet in terms of hiring.

    #1916

    Adelina Branescu
    Participant

    @dylan Tulloch, first of all, what genitals are attached to their waste don’t determine their gender. But moving on from that, due to a history of excluding women from the tech industry and only encouraging boys to participate in it, it has been shown time and time again that very capable and talented women have difficulty succeededing in STEM environments socially, and often shy away from the tech industry because the disproportionate amount of men in it make them feel like they don’t belong there, like they will be harrassed, not taken seriously, etc. On top of that, many talented women who would otherwise excel in STEM, and specifically tech, don’t give it a shot because they doubt themselves from early on because of the notion that exists in society that women aren’t worse than men at math, physics, etc. Accoding to Business Insider, many women stay away from STEM because they are teased in school in those classes and are also never encouraged to take them in the first place. That being said, it’s a huge issue if a high paying industry in this country is predominantly male, and obviously sitting back and letting talented women just get hired with no help is not helping the issue at all. So, measures need to be taken. A quota will make the tech industry seem more welcoming to women and will encourage women in future generations to pursue tech. Then, eventually, quotas won’t ever be needed. I’d like to hear your ideas on how to solve the gender gap in tech. Otherwise, I’m interested in why you don’t think we should do anything to solve it. Are you okay with a wage gap too as a result of this gender gap in tech and other STEM fields?

    #1918

    Adelina Branescu
    Participant

    that women are ***
    succeeding**

    #1919

    Anonymous

    I personally dislike the idea of a quota, that people aren’t hired based on there worth, but that idea can realistically only bring us so far, at a point we may need actual action like a quota.

    #1920

    Adam Liebell-McLean
    Participant

    I agree with @Max Shiffman because the presence of quotas means that people may not necessarily be hired for their merit, but instead to meet a goal. However, I think there is a deep cultural problem. The idea that high school girls excel at math and science, but think that hard work is not enough to do well in that field is sad. I think there should be equal opportunity, and while one could argue that there is equal opportunity for those females that take the initiative, I would say that recent events involving sexual harassment in any environment prove that even those women who push forward face challenges that men do not experience to anywhere near the same degree. Finally I would add that I dislike the idea that men are discriminated against. I think that is a sentiment that arises among men who are outperformed by women and know it.

    #1921

    Marzia Karim
    Participant

    @dylan I agree with you on most points except the quotas. I understand where you’re coming from in that you view quotas as possibly discriminating but it is dangerous to talk about quotas without understanding the history behind why they are needed. They’re such an appealing solution because due for centuries women have never had the same advantages men had in STEM fields. This can be seen in ancient times when women were not allowed to attend certain universities and were not given proper credit and it can be seen in 2009 when only 24% of STEM workers were women. As of 2017, only 6.7% of women graduate with STEM degrees. This can largely be attributed to societal pressure urging girls from a young age to pursue more “feminine” fields or softer sciences such as psychology. When this already small amount of women who graduate with STEM degrees enter the workforce, they are, as Adelina said, harassed and not taken seriously.

    Additionally I take issue with the very first headline where it says “Men say it’s gone too far”. Literally who even asked? This article just embodies how STEM is a men dominated field, and a super high paying one at that.

    On top of everything, these companies for the most part, have implemented their own quotas. Most of these aren’t government implemented quotas, and in all honesty, if these companies want to be more progressive and improve their PR, that’s their right and they have my respect for that.

    Quotas are to act as a tool in achieving gender equality. The end goal, like Adelina said, is to get to a point where we no longer need quotas and can hire people based on skill and experience alone without sexism or prejudice and until we as a nation and society and capable of that, quotas are our best solution.

    #1922

    Adeesa Haneef
    Participant

    I agree with Adelina and Marzia in that quotas are used to ensure women are able to have an equal opportunity in STEM field occupations until societal normalities ease up on women and their career choices.

    #1923

    Dylan J. Tulloch
    Participant

    Why? The most powerful part of business is money. Most people, no matter how sexist, racist, etc, will choose to do whatever makes them wealthier, not what keeps women below men.

    #1924

    Dylan J. Tulloch
    Participant

    @adelina The wage gap has been repeatedly debunked and dismissed. If you would like to know why, try this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WykFCDLhUjs

    It’s a couple years old, but gets the point across.

    #1925

    Adelina Branescu
    Participant

    @dylan I know what you mean when you say the wage gap has been dismissed. When I say wage gap, I’m not talking about women being payed less for the same job same hours because there isn’t enough real evidence to prove that. I’m talking about women repeatedly working in lower paying jobs, working less hours, and on average making less than men. While that may seem like it was their “choice”, it still reflects an issue occurring in society. http://www.epi.org/publication/what-is-the-gender-pay-gap-and-is-it-real/ Take a look at this.

    #1926

    Anonymous

    I think you look at people too linearly, there is clear data to support the fact that people don’t go into careers solely based on monetary gain. Therefore a logical jump can be made to the idea that people may not hire solely based on monetary gain.

    Also you ignore the fact that women simply aren’t going into the field of stem, most likely due to discrimination if anything. I’m actually interested if you can find data or create a reasoning against the idea that women are harassed, especially when compared with the male harassment rates.

    Also I would like to hear your arguments against the quotas, if we assume that there is discrimination or reason to not enter the field, since women are clearly not doing entering stem (and actions require rational behind them, even if subconscious). So would it not make sense to have a necessary evil until the numbers match a more even representation of both everyone? Yet an issue I have is when do we stop? It seems hard to quantifiable judge a problem to be resolved? I think a middle area is needed that is both in line with hiring based on skill and qualifications, mixed with measures to help people who otherwise may not want to do stem. Yet where or when do we stop/draw the line.

    As someone interested in certain aspects of stem I can tell you how its discouraging sometimes to look at the dropout rates and the overestimation of fields like coding, animation (not stem I know), ect. Coupled with statistical evidence that women would, at least on paper, seem to do worse in these fields (in terms of being hired), it would be even more discouraging to try to major in stem. In essence the way I see it this could be interpreted as a feed back loop. So the question I pose, and to move the conversation away from some of the extremities of the video Dylan shared (which was a little over the top at points), is how do we judge success in the measures we take to solve this issue? And how do we judge when the measures we wish to take may be going too far?

    #1927

    Adelina Branescu
    Participant

    @dylan “How does the cultural steering of girls away from math and science affect occupational choice?

    In college, girls are less likely to major in STEM subjects than men and are less likely to major in STEM than in other subjects. Yet STEM majors are associated with the highest earnings. But even though they are not studying the subjects that lead to the most lucrative jobs, women’s level of education continues to increase. Today, women earn more than half of all associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and Ph.D.s (although in this last category, they make up only 51 percent of recipients).

    One obstacle to increasing women’s share of employment in lucrative fields is the attrition rate of highly qualified women working in science, engineering, and technology (SET) fields. One study found that as many as half of highly qualified female SET professionals left their jobs because of hostile work environments and job pressures at odds with traditionally gendered domestic roles (Hewlett et al. 2008). Yet the gender wage gap persists even among recent graduates (Gould and Kroeger 2016).”

    What is the gender pay gap and is it real?: The complete guide to how women are paid less than men and why it can’t be explained away

    Sometimes, when you see a group of people in society repeatedly not succeeding in a certain area, you have to ask yourself, what is going wrong in society that is causing this, and what can we do to fix it? Personally, I think that instilling quotas for women in tech will help solve multiple issues. And, as @Marzia said, these companies are choosing to do this themselves. I support them.

    #1930

    Dylan J. Tulloch
    Participant

    @adelina If gender is something that can be determined solely by how someone feels or on a whim, then why should government regulate through quotas? Then someone can simply lie about their gender to get ahead. This has happened with people lying about their race to take advantage of affirmative action, so why not in business?

    #1934

    Dylan J. Tulloch
    Participant

    If no one answers, I will assume that this is since I am right and thus I will claim victory. Huzzah for the straight white protestant man!

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