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 4 months ago.

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    Max Shiffman


    That last thing is really dumb, a lack of a response does not indicate correctness, I would like you to prove your claim. Just because someone doesn’t respond or give a decent response does not inherently prove you correct. You also responded to Adelina at 12 am, I would hope most people are asleep not on hpmunc at 12.

    Also I believe your understanding of gender is misguided and the fact that you lament your victory because of your gender and race proves to some effect the point against you. They give no weight to your argument and simply make it cumbersome. I have neither time nor energy to respond to your claim from 12 am but i’ll try to anyway.

    Your undercutting real problems in the workforce and display an unsurprising lack of empathy. Some things I disagree with, a quota being one of them. But from a man I know supports gun laws for self defense (which requires a belief that self defense is commonly required, which means you have at least a little bit of cynicism within you), you seem to display a positive attitude towards conditions for women in the work force.

    I have had literal conversations with you about this, I think we even did a podcast once about the wage gap, and we came to the conclusion that it is due to a difference in job wages not wages in each job depending on gender. Tech is one of, if not the highest paying job market in America. When people feel discouraged and doubt they even have a chance to succeed they are (wait for this, its groundbreaking) less likely to work in those fields. Why try if you know your gonna fail.

    Lets take gender out of this, because for some reasons this seems to be what holds you up on the issue. Model UN has a quota for new members. There are a select number of slots reserved for freshman (and maybe new members of higher grades?). Now imagine a world without this, whats the point of even trying out for RUMUN? Most people who are upperclassmen will get in, maybe one or two freshmen get in. The fact is it wouldn’t even be worth the time to try out. Now imagine the time to try out is replaced with a 4 year degree costing thousands of dollars. If you don’t think there is any chance of success due to harassment, then why even try? Its reasons like that the wage gap exists, because people may be scared or discouraged from participating in high paying jobs

    Quotas don’t make sense, why shouldn’t hiring be done based on skill? Because there is discrimination that’s why. So I wonder when and how we determine that the quotas have done their job. Its a hard question but one that should be answered.

    No I know you probably will deny most of this, but humor me. Lets say everything I say about discrimination is true. How do we fix it? Try to find a solution instead of just claiming victory, your victory is hollow and achieves nothing. This is a club about getting things done not just bragging. Am I only saying all this because this comment could be recorded forever unlike an offhanded comment? Maybe… Did I not spell or grammar check this? Definitely. Should you try coming up with a solution to a problem I know your aware of because we’ve talked about in the past? Eh at this point who cares, but I did write all this in response to one offhanded sentence you made, so it would be nice.

    If you want to read more on the subject before responding I have a link to a list of articles I have compiled here: http://bit.ly/IqT6zt
    his link is for Dylan, but if anyone wants they can read them too


    Dylan J. Tulloch

    @max I think that we both agree that quotas should be abandoned by the government for one reason or another, however, there is a wage gap for a reason. For example, a 2015 US Bureau of Labor survey found that on average women work 7.8 hours a day while men work 8.2 hours a day. It is not that women are payed less for equal work, it is that as a whole, women work fewer hours, tend to go into lower paying jobs on their own choice and not coercion, resulting in them making less money on average.
    But anyway, you ask for a solution to this discrimination issue assuming that their is discrimination. To that I would like to introduce to you the wonderful idea of free market capitalism, ie. the government backs out of telling business who to hire and how much to pay them and instead allows the invisible hand of the free market that also affects workers to resolve any discrimination. This works because while there are definitely some people still who are flamboyant sexists or racists today, their business will suffer from not doing what is best for the company over time. For example, if women could legally be payed 79 cents on the dollar for exactly the same work as a man and that was the assumed standard, men would never be hired again. This is since the most important thing to a truly successful business is money, not gender or defending the glorious patriarchy.
    I understand the point of the model UN analogy their, and it works for the most part, however, there is a reason that freshmen get this handicap. This is so that the club can exist after 2 or 3 years of having no reservations for freshmen. Companies on the other hand have a nearly limitless pool of people willing or capable to do a job and need to find who is best. Plus, gender is not something that one can choose or change while being a freshman takes only a year to get through.
    Additionally, my last comment was facetious. I put it up there because then it shows on the website that there has been new activity under this field. I could have put anything, I just felt like what I put would be enough to motivate (or trigger) someone enough to respond.
    Finally, I am not quite sure what my relevancy my stance on gun rights has to do with the idea that government should step off of yet another encroachment into the private sector. If you wish to explain this, I will be delighted to have a friendly (hostile) conversation (one-sided yelled rant). The parentheses are kind of a joke (fact in 16 hours of posting).
    PS. You did misspell a couple words in there. Not in a noticeable way, but more so using the wrong your as opposed to you’re for example.


    Max Shiffman

    At this point its too much effort to not have this conversation in person. I would implore someone else to continue it too. Find me sometime in person and I would continue this debate. Also I can see the reason for you using “motivation” but more subtle ways would be greatly appreciated in the future since I think the method you use takes away from debate.

    PS: Also I am well aware of my your you’re issue, its something I just do out of ease when texting (since that’s what this conversation basically is). Moving my hand all the way to the ‘ key is far too much work so I often skip it. I should probably work to fix this.


    Dylan J. Tulloch

    Ok, Abendessen heute, Freitag der 27. Okt.


    Ben Giacalone

    Right now, men overwhelm women in the tech industry. Quotas are thus seen as a necessary evil to bring up the level of women, expected to be removed after that goal is reached. But are they the best way to do this? And can they do more harm than good?

    Women and Computer Science
    I like to use the diversity breakdown of the AP CompSci exam as a way to gauge interest in the subject by demographic. Even if someone didn’t have time to take the full course, the test is “easy” enough for anyone who likes computer science to get a decent score. Historically, men have outnumbered women about 8:2. The addition of Computer Science Principles, a course with less of a focus on programming, brings this ratio to about 7:3. This tells me that the biggest problem isn’t that women are being turned away from tech jobs, but rather culturally, women are not being exposed to tech, and therefore a general interest in it is significantly diminished.

    The Effect of a Quota
    Yes, a quota will increase the number of women in tech. However, it would do so without addressing the root cause of this inequality, lack of interest. As such, when companies hire, they may not hire the best people. Using the most optimistic stat, the 7:3 ratio, if 100 people in the US meet the skill criteria for a job, 70 of these people will be men and 30 will be women. If the company needed to hire 80 people and had to satisfy the quota, they would hire 40 men and 40 women. Since there are only 30 skilled women in this example, they would need to hire people with less skill over those with the right amount.

    Another big reason to oppose quotas is the social effect it has in the workplace. As stated in the article, men are uncomfortable with people being hired solely because of their gender. Creating a quota creates a sense that women are naturally inferior to men in computer science, and thus need additional help in securing a job. It feels like men who are devoted to the topic are being passed over in favor of women who may have a passing interest. Now, this sentiment does not reflect reality, but the existence of a quota brings forth this feeling. As such, a quota will actually increase toxicity towards women in this field.

    Is There a Better Way?
    The best solutions are ones that increase women’s interest in compsci at an early age. This giant gender gap will only truly be closed once we, as a culture, normalize women in tech.

    Companies can encourage the presence of women in tech through things like ads. Many companies already have increased the number of women shown in their ads greatly, which should reinforce the face that women are welcome in tech naturally.

    Schools can make computer science education more important, or even mandatory. By making it a requirement, women get more exposure at an early age, and thus are more likely to go into computer science. As someone who is in a lot of STEM clubs, I’ve noticed that clubs like Physics and Chem league have much more gender equality than clubs like Robotics, Video Game Development, and Science Bowl (~50-50 compared to ~2:10). The former subjects have much more of an in-school focus than the latter ones, and have greater gender equality.

    TL;DR: Quotas do not solve the core problem of gender inequality in tech, and can actually strongly backfire. Thus, it should not be used in place of other, better solutions.

    • This reply was modified 4 months ago by  Ben Giacalone. Reason: Messed up formatting
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