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Red Team, Blue Team: the Only Woman On the Team 247

Posted by timothy
from the perspective-shifting dept.
ancientribe writes "Cyber security pro Kerstyn Clover in this Dark Reading post shares some rare insight into what it's like to be a woman in the field. She ultimately found her way to her current post as a member of the incident response and forensics team at SecureState, despite the common societal hurdles women face today in the STEM field: 'I taught myself some coding and computer repair in probably the most painstaking ways possible, but my experiences growing up put me at a disadvantage that I am still working to overcome,' she writes."
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Red Team, Blue Team: the Only Woman On the Team

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  • Blah Blah Blah (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 30, 2014 @01:11PM (#46112241)

    Who cares. Women can do anything men can do, so why is this a big deal.

    Article Summary;

    "I am a woman, therefore I deserve special treatment. All men have it easy because they are men. I have statistics to prove that I deserve special consideration because there are less women then men in certain fields."

    • Re:Blah Blah Blah (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 30, 2014 @01:21PM (#46112347)

      Yeah, I kinda cringed at reading the article. From her being a "goth" in high school to discovering her calling though female characters on CSI and NCIS. It smacks of every other angry loser who entered a security-related career to validate their teenage angst by busting people. Another strong likelihood is that she grew up in a strict family, probably Catholic, and in her childhood rebelled only as much as her parents would let her. Like most of the type, she has likely transferred her notion of overbearing father figure onto the institution of security.

      That being said, females in the field have the potential to be more successful at social engineering/pen-testing due to their sexual charm (see: Russian KGB "Cardinals"), but me saying that would be sexist, so I won't.

      -- Ethanol-fueled

    • by lagomorpha2 (1376475) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @01:47PM (#46112613)

      "'I taught myself some coding and computer repair"

      Ah yes, that tough hurdle that few women, or indeed men, manage to accomplish.

    • Re:Blah Blah Blah (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 30, 2014 @02:23PM (#46112907)

      She never asked for special treatment.

      She told about her experiences and about her being discouraged by people who thought she shouldn't be doing what she's doing because she was a girl.

      The result of the article was that they were having an even to create awareness about the field, and to offer support to any girls who would like to help but might feel uncomfortable because they're girls too, and they might feel that girls aren't supposed to do these things.

      In my mind, this is some of the best kind of action to try and help women fairly get into the field. She's reaching out to girls who are already interested in the field, but nervous about how they might be perceived, and she's offering to support them. She's not pushing for special treatment, she's not pushing for special hiring practices. She's not even claiming things aren't fair.

      She's saying: "I'm a woman in this field, it was culturally hard for me to get into here because I'm a woman, but I'm enjoying it and I got to be pretty good at it. If you are interested in the field but are afraid to pursue it because you're a woman, we're hosting an event for men and women where you can learn about it, and drop me a line so I can give you some support."

      • Re:Blah Blah Blah (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Darinbob (1142669) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @04:46PM (#46114551)

        She never asked for special treatment.

        Yes but this is Slashdot, a mixture of misogyny and failure to read the actual articles.

      • She told about her experiences and about her being discouraged by people who thought she shouldn't be doing what she's doing because she was a girl.

        If you read the article, it seems more like she discouraged herself because she thought girls shouldn't be doing those kinds of things.

        Honestly though, is there anyone in this field who hasn't had some societal discouragement along the way? Either been called a geek or a nerd, or told they have no life? I've heard programmers tell themselves they have no life, because they are doing what they enjoy instead of going to parties or something.

        When I was a kid, my dad told me, "son, you can't let it affect

        • is there anyone in this field who hasn't had some societal discouragement along the way? Either been called a geek or a nerd, or told they have no life?

          In fact, just right now my own coworker called me a 'true nerd.' Why? Because I am wearing 31 decibels of noise cancelling goodness [amazon.com]. Does that make me a nerd? No, it means I like silence. He took a picture of me to post on facebook and show all his friends a 'true nerd.' Do I have to put up with unreasonable societal expectations and laughter just because of my headgear?

          That is a true story of discrimination against men in the workplace. Someday I will find another headgear wearing comrade, and know that

          • by icebike (68054)

            Do I have to put up with unreasonable societal expectations and laughter just because of my headgear?

            Well maybe you should have told him you wouldn't need to wear them if he had a single clue about proper office decorum and
            professional behavior in the work place. Wiping out your phone and snapping someones picture and posting it on facebook is rude at best
            horribly un professional, and could land you flat on your backside in some places I've worked.

    • Re:Blah Blah Blah (Score:4, Interesting)

      by operagost (62405) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @02:36PM (#46113015) Homepage Journal

      It takes a special kind of cognitive dissonance to claim women can do anything men can do, then ask for special treatment so that you can prove it.

      I wouldn't laud her her success as a female security professional-- because that's BS-- but because she has done so at the age of 21. That's the more impressive part.

    • Re:Blah Blah Blah (Score:5, Insightful)

      by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @02:42PM (#46113093)

      "I am a woman, therefore I deserve special treatment. All men have it easy because they are men. I have statistics to prove that I deserve special consideration because there are less women then men in certain fields."

      The statistics are that women make up nearly 52% of the general population. They make up 53% of all college graduates. Yet they make up an average of just 15% in STEM fields. On average, they make just $58,000 a year compared to $85,000 for men. And while on average, women have been improving their numbers in STEM fields, it's gone the other way in IT; Women received 29.6 percent of computer science B.A.â(TM)s in 1991, compared with 18.2 percent in 2010. Up here in Minnesota where I live, women make up less than 5% of senior IT positions.

      You say "Who cares" and that gets you a big +5, and that should be a big +500 indicator of why the problem is so huge. It's precisely because of attitudes like this. You should care. Right now, some black person out there might have the cure for cancer, but society will never get it because he didn't have the money to finish college. Right now, some woman out there has a solution in her head that'll take CPU performance to the next level because of a radical new way of thinking about the problem, but she went into nursing instead.

      Every time you create an inequality in society, we all lose out. You should care because putting the most qualified person in a position where they can do the most good, benefits all of us more than the unequal way things are done today.

      Do women deserve special consideration? No. Do women deserve equal consideration? Yes! Your post makes it plain exactly what's wrong with our industry: You've confused one for the other, and you don't even see it in your own comments. It's easy for a woman to see, but for a man, if this little microcosm on an internet forum is any indication, it's quite difficult. Nobody until now even pointed out the incongruency.

      • by operagost (62405)

        If women make up the minority in one field, then they make the majority in another.

        I'm not sure where we got this idea that even distribution among all possible occupations was optimal. 15% is a bit low, but not a red flag like, say, 1.5% would be. Is anyone super-concerned that most nurses and schoolteachers are still women? Or that most construction workers and truck drivers are still men?

        • Re:Blah Blah Blah (Score:5, Insightful)

          by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @03:12PM (#46113479)

          If women make up the minority in one field, then they make the majority in another.

          Yes, well... I suppose if Job A makes $100,000 a year and Job B makes $20,000 a year, if 50 people from Group A are in Job A, and 50 people from Group B are in Job B, then we have no reason to suggest that something could be amiss here.

          • You're obviously unaware of how much nurses make. Teacher's are well paid if you look at hourly and benefits. So, not quite the comparison your trying to make. I don't see how this is "Amis".
            • Teacher's are well paid if you look at hourly and benefits.

              Bullshit. Teachers start at $35,000 from a 5 year program (there's a year of student teaching that you have to pay for). That's not particularly amazing. Yes, you might work 10 months out of the year, and maybe only 7 hours of classtime a day, but you have to work well over 40 hours a week. You have to show up early and stay late every day. You have homework every night either correcting papers from today or planning lessons for tomorrow. Wors

        • If women make up the minority in one field, then they make the majority in another.

          That logic only holds if you consider every occupation a person has to be "a field". (And if you assume there's about the same # of women and men, which I'd say is close enough for the sake of discussion.)

          For example, consider a population where there are three groups of people: carpenters, plumbers, and stay-at-home parents. If you consider stay-at-home parenting to not be a "field", and the vast vast majority of women are

      • Care to spell out the laws that prohibit them from entering the field?

        And your hypothetical example of "OMG A PERSON IN THE RIGHT POSITION COULD BE DOING SOMETHING" is flat-out horrible. For one, if the girl with the most radical CPU idea went to nursing.... how do you even know she'd have come up with the idea in the first place? You make it sound like she invented it but was turned down - when in reality, the most qualified person could well be filling the role; because, well, she's a nurse and actually
        • Re:Blah Blah Blah (Score:4, Insightful)

          by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @03:10PM (#46113461)

          Care to spell out the laws that prohibit them from entering the field?

          I wasn't aware that the law was the only way someone could be discriminated against. Thanks for reminding me of that. I retract all previous statements. We licked that whole racist problem the day we made it illegal. Nothing to see here, move along.

          And your hypothetical example of "OMG A PERSON IN THE RIGHT POSITION COULD BE DOING SOMETHING" is flat-out horrible.

          Yes, I can understand how judging people on the basis of the abilities, instead of their sex organs, could be a confusing concept to some.

          Seriously, where does that point of yours even go? Have everyone master every single profession, just so we can be sure we're not missing on any talent?

          When we judge people only by the strength of their contributions, and give them equal opportunity to pursue the fields of their choice, then we have met our social obligation. But until our expectations of others are truly equal, any answer to this question will simply reflect our own prejudices.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            I wasn't aware that the law was the only way someone could be discriminated against. Thanks for reminding me of that. I retract all previous statements. We licked that whole racist problem the day we made it illegal. Nothing to see here, move along.

            While parts of society tend to pick up changes slower than the law (which, ideally, reflects the majority's view on topics), they eventually have to. That's how countries work; the majority will force the popular behaviors onto the minority. Nowadays, for example, it's fairly straightforward to record evidence of discrimination and then turn to a lawyer.

            Yes, I can understand how judging people on the basis of the abilities, instead of their sex organs, could be a confusing concept to some.

            Yes, I can understand how pointing out the flaws in your argument makes me a horrible, horrible person... instead of your argument being, well, over-dramati

          • When we judge people only by the strength of their contributions, and give them equal opportunity to pursue the fields of their choice, then we have met our social obligation.

            But until our expectations of others are truly equal, any answer to this question will simply reflect our own prejudices.

            In societies where there is the most gender equality where feminism is crammed down everyone's throats their whole life and where women have the most opportunity to pick whatever career they want, where the government provides universal free daycare, even a smaller percent of women choose STEM fields. Sweden spent like the last 50 years working really hard to educate their youth that men and women are exactly equal (except for a few physical differences.) And yet, men and women have increasingly gone into

      • by tlambert (566799)

        The statistics are that women make up nearly 52% of the general population. ... Yet they make up an average of just 15% in STEM fields. On average, they make just $58,000 a year compared to $85,000 for men.

        52% is close enough to half in the noise. Effectively, what you are saying with these two sentences is:

        $85,000 - $58,000 = $27,000
        100% - 15% = 85%
        85% - 15% = 70%
        $27,000 x 70% = $18,900

        So STEM jobs are worth, on average, and additional $18,900 per year. Looks like the people not going into STEM careers are picking the wrong major.

        • So STEM jobs are worth, on average, and additional $18,900 per year. Looks like the people not going into STEM careers are picking the wrong major.

          No, I think you misunderstand: Men in STEM fields make $18.900 more per year than wome in STEM fields.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Tom (822)

        Right now, some black person out there might have the cure for cancer, but society will never get it because he didn't have the money to finish college. Right now, some woman out there has a solution in her head that'll take CPU performance to the next level because of a radical new way of thinking about the problem, but she went into nursing instead.

        You had a point until that part of total bullshit.

        People don't get born with the cure to cancer embedded in their mind, waiting to be unleashed. If she went into nursing, she won't have that solution in her head, because coming up with that solution requires studying computer science and not health. And the guy who didn't finish college won't have the cure for cancer, because it requires tons of medical knowledge to figure it out.

        Your argument basically says "if I had bought a lottery ticket, I would be a m

        • Right now, some black person out there might have the cure for cancer, but society will never get it because he didn't have the money to finish college. Right now, some woman out there has a solution in her head that'll take CPU performance to the next level because of a radical new way of thinking about the problem, but she went into nursing instead.

          You had a point until that part of total bullshit.

          Sir, my point was that when we deny someone an opportunity, a door is closed. We'll never know for sure what the damage is, it's incalculable. But we can be assured that by doing something they don't love, they'll be less motivated and contribute less. They produce less, and thus society derives less benefit. When you multiply this by millions of people who are discriminated against, you can see that there's a significant loss of productivity. The example of a cure for cancer or a better CPU architecture wa

    • Re:Blah Blah Blah (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SirGarlon (845873) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @02:49PM (#46113175)

      I am a woman, therefore I deserve special treatment. All men have it easy because they are men.

      Have you stopped to consider how your workplace and career would be different if all your instructors, colleagues, and entire management chain were women? And, every time you pointed out that you should not be expected to think and behave exactly like them, they mocked and derided you for "demanding special treatment?"

      • I am a woman, therefore I deserve special treatment. All men have it easy because they are men.

        Have you stopped to consider how your workplace and career would be different if all your instructors, colleagues, and entire management chain were women? And, every time you pointed out that you should not be expected to think and behave exactly like them, they mocked and derided you for "demanding special treatment?"

        How exactly do men think? What is this pressure that forces women to think like men in the STEM fields?

        • by SirGarlon (845873)

          How exactly do men think?

          The research I've read indicates men are more overtly competitive, more direct in their speech and especially in how they give instructions and feedback, and are less sensitive to nonverbal cues than women. Men are inclined to see women as indecisive because they exhibit male dominance behaviors more weakly. But I'm not a psychologist, so unqualified to give a full answer. I believe the differences are cultural, not physiological, but that doesn't make them less real.

          What is this pr

    • by mcl630 (1839996)

      "I am a woman, therefore I deserve special treatment. All men have it easy because they are men. I have statistics to prove that I deserve special consideration because there are less women then men in certain fields."

      I read and re-read TFA. I can't find where she asked for anything, "special treatment" or otherwise.

    • Women can do anything men can do...

      WRONG.

      A woman cannot pee around a corner without using special equipment. Men for the win!

      Look, I know it's not much, but we have to work with what God gave us, you know? Men, be proud of your uniquely male corner-around-peeing ability, and the ease with which you can write your name in the snow. To the drum circle, boys!

  • Are we not counting Tex, or Griff's sister?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Every geek who is interested in programming taught themselves.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by i kan reed (749298)

      A universal claim backed by absolutely zero evidence? Why, I never.

      • A universal claim backed by absolutely zero evidence? Why, I never.

        Can you really call it anecdotal if I say that I taught myself? It's still a data point of one.

        However, I was a terrible programmer until I learned some of the core techniques and disciplines in college (we barely had computers at my high school in the 70's). I include logical and critical thinking, some of which I got from non-science courses. Liberal arts education is extraordinarily valuable.

        • A universal claim backed by absolutely zero evidence? Why, I never.

          Can you really call it anecdotal if I say that I taught myself?

          Yea, that's kinda the definition of 'anecdotal:' Something you claim but have no empirical data to back up.

        • by icebike (68054)

          However, I was a terrible programmer until I learned some of the core techniques and disciplines in college

          Everybody is a terrible programmer until they learn a better way. But those better ways are forced on them by bigger projects, almost universally on the job. Nobody comes out of a programming course ready to write the next inventory management system for a multi-national corporation.

          Every carpenter started as a terrible hack with a hammer in one hand and scrap wood in the other. The dog house was crap, but the kid was only 9.

          If a hammer and nails were never among the "toys" available, the spatula at Burg

        • by Zalbik (308903)

          Can you really call it anecdotal if I say that I taught myself?

          Yes, given that's exactly what an anecdote is. And evidence derived from such is precisely "anecdotal evidence".

          I include logical and critical thinking, some of which I got from non-science courses. Liberal arts education is extraordinarily valuable.

          Unfortunately apparently none of those courses were English courses. Learning what words mean is also extraordinarily valuable.

        • The universal claim was "EVERY geek who is interested in programming taught themselves."

          That's equivalent to saying that of all the geeks interested in programming, not a single one of them (didn't teach him/herself).

          Demonstrating that there exist at least one geek who taught himself programming does not prove the universal claim originally stated.

          • I guess all these self-taught programmers don't actually know basic logical principles.

            I mean, I taught myself a lot of what I know(only one language out of dozens through formal education), but there's no substitute for a lot of the academic knowledge I've gained through schooling(how to build thread safe constructs, big O notation, core common data structures, application of design patterns, engineering process principles, heuristic algorithms like a*, and those are just big categorical things off the top

    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Thursday January 30, 2014 @01:28PM (#46112415)

      The hurdles are real. If you are not doing what society approves of for your gender/race/age/etc then you will face more problems than if you are conforming to society's expectations.

      And you will have less support.

      Just because the hurdles will be intangible does not make the imaginary. Even the best of the best need a social structure in order to feed themselves and promote their work.

      • Society these days has no expect ions either way with women and computers, there have been lots of actors portraying quite capable females in computer / science roles (Bones for instance).

        In IT there are a lot of female developers, who work just as well as male counterparts.

        • by icebike (68054)

          I don't know personally deal with ions on computers, but I'm pretty sure there are computer jobs in chemistry that deal with ions.

          There are also a lot of computer jobs in the television industry.

          The sad part is those people living and learning life through TV shows.

      • The hurdles are real. If you are not doing what society approves of for your gender/race/age/etc then you will face more problems than if you are conforming to society's expectations.

        And where do you get this notion that "society" does not "approve" of women in STEM fields? I don't see any evidence of that, just the opposite. Yes, there are disproportionally more men in those fields, but "society" seems to be wringing their hands in distress about it, not smiling and nodding.

        Just as a demonstration, I Googled "women in STEM" and "men in STEM". The "women" search yielded a LOT more results (284K v. 201K for men), and 9 out of 10 of the "men" results turned out to be articles pointing

    • by lgw (121541)

      Every geek who is interested in programming taught themselves.

      True, but this has become rare among coders now that software development is the best paying and most prestigious "salary job" in many parts of the world.

      I recently did a batch of interviews for intern hiring (for coding), and something remarkable has changed in the US. For the first time in the past 20 years or so, there was a significant presence of self-taught geeks who didn't come through the traditional degree path - and all of them were women.

      It's a quite noticeable change from my perspective - not o

    • by icebike (68054)

      Every geek who is interested in programming taught themselves.

      Yes, I don't know why this was mentioned either.

      But perhaps its instructive that she thought this was somehow different for her, than it was for any other person learning to program.

      Maybe it is indicative of the root of the problem, and that problem is that young women learn very early to EXPECT to have knowledge handed to them instead of digging it out by themselves. Why is this?

      Give your daughters a soldering iron or chemistry set or microscope for Christmas. She's had enough princess dolls already. Gi

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Taught themselves what? Fixed point theory?

  • SecureState...ah, those guys. They don't seem to quite "get it." For example, they were hyping their services, in terms of benefits towards HIPAA compliance...on a LinkedIn group that was explicitly and specifically focused (and named) on NERC compliance. HIPAA is health care, NERC is power grid. Not only totally different compliance regimes, but totally different industries as well. And the regulations don't even share much commonality: HIPAA puts the main focus on privacy while NERC doesn't even men

    • by icebike (68054)

      Where were you really going with this ramble?

      Tech/computer specialists isn't something that is field specific. Any well rounded programmer/engineer can move from industry to industry with relative ease, in fact its pretty much a job requirement to be able to get in, get up to speed, and get productive. Its what we do.

      Are Database Administrators some how different in hospitals than in power plants?

      For any given sub-discipline, the job is largely the same everywhere.

      • by Shoten (260439)

        Where were you really going with this ramble?

        Tech/computer specialists isn't something that is field specific. Any well rounded programmer/engineer can move from industry to industry with relative ease, in fact its pretty much a job requirement to be able to get in, get up to speed, and get productive. Its what we do.

        Are Database Administrators some how different in hospitals than in power plants?

        For any given sub-discipline, the job is largely the same everywhere.

        When it comes to a predefined solution for compliance, portability is a major problem. You're confusing people with offerings. A chef can move between a steak house and a vegetarian restaurant with only minor training; the menu, however, cannot. This was like someone going to a Hindu place of worship and trying to serve prime rib. Would you be impressed?

        • by icebike (68054)

          This was like someone going to a Hindu place of worship and trying to serve prime rib. Would you be impressed?

          I would be impressed, and even more so f they pulled if off. Hindus aren't so ignorant to demand everyone else believe their beliefs, or live their life styles. You are more likely Steakhouses in India than Bacon in Saudi Arabia.

  • Looking forward to the posts from males dismissing her experience because it doesn't match what they believe about the industry and how it works.

    Well, not really.

    • by tylikcat (1578365)

      I hesitated a goodly while before reading the comments. Glad to see the most offensive stuff modded down, anyway.

  • by sureshot007 (1406703) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @01:28PM (#46112411)
    From the article: "I taught myself some coding and computer repair in probably the most painstaking ways possible, but my experiences growing up put me at a disadvantage that I am still working to overcome. Throughout college, I was secretly fighting tooth and nail to understand concepts, references, and information that my classmates knew from young ages. From what I can tell, this is not uncommon."

    I was a TA in college for intro CS classes, and I can tell you that not many kids understand this stuff right off the bat. Very few understood it by the end of the first semester. Most were just blindly typing and eventually, the monkeys typed Shakespeare. So, this woman not special. Nor is she special because she is a woman. In fact, I see nothing about her in this article that makes her any different from the thousands of others in the field.
    • by jader3rd (2222716) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @01:39PM (#46112545)
      I agree. I'm wondering what's so different from her 'most painstaking ways possible' than what the rest of those in her field did? It's very common for the majority of the students in the field to struggle to understand concepts, references and information. That's why we go to school; we don't go to school to be told things we already know.
      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        Some people go to school so that they can learn that the things they already know are actually wrong.

    • by MNNorske (2651341)
      You nailed it spot on. There were always a few students back in college who "got it." But, the vast majority of the students I helped in the lab struggled with the concepts. I even knew a fair number of students who had tinkered with computers for years before showing up in my labs and they were still clueless once we hit anything that took abstract thinking, which was pretty much the first class. I know I was one of those annoying people who seemed to get it right away, but part of that was simply beca
    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Ya, I was a TA and grader too in the 80s, and almost no one understood these concepts coming into college. There were certainly many students who mistakenly thought they knew all about it and who would sometimes verbalize their feelings that the classes were a waste of time for them, but they didn't know the concepts either. I'd say 1%-5% were really the sorts of students who really had an aptitude at programming and computer science, and didn't treat it as just a path to a job.

  • by gr4nf (1348501) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @01:30PM (#46112437)
    FTA:

    It's worth noting that a recent study found that only 16% of female characters in movies and TV are shown to hold a job in any STEM field.

    And what percentage of men in movies and TV are shown to hold a job of that kind? I'd be surprised if it was more than 20. No need to invalidate your claims by dropping useless statistics.

    In fact, I think movies and TV do a remarkable job of disproportionately representing women in fields dominated by men in reality.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Yeah, looking at shows that are specifically about people working in STEM careers, women seem to be well represented. "Criminal Minds" isn't about STEM, but the main computer geek is a woman. "Bones" is about a woman who solves crimes using science. She also has many other women work in the lab. Recently started watching "Numbers" on Netflix, and even though the main STEM protagonist isn't a woman, there are quite a few STEM working women. I would say that shows come pretty close to overcompensating, and
    • by tsqr (808554)

      The statistic isn't useless, just misstated. The study she's talking about (referred to here [itu.int]) actually found that out of all the STEM jobs shown in movies and TV shows, 16% of them were filled by females and 84% were filled by males. Not the same as saying 16% of female characters and 84% of male characters held STEM jobs. I'm suspicious, though, because the study also found that "No female protagonists or co leads are shown with STEM careers." I'm pretty sure that Emily Deschanel's character on Bones has a

      • I'm pretty sure that Emily Deschanel's character on Bones has a STEM job.

        Also, Amanda Tapping's character, Helen Magnus on Sanctuary. (I would also counter her role as Samantha Carter on Stargate: SG1 as both a co-lead* and a STEM job.) If you insist on "mainstream" TV shows, I would count Pauley Perrette's role as Abby Sciuto on NCIS as both a co-lead* and a STEM job.

        *These are shows with an ensemble cast, so there are multiple co-leads. Also, in both shows, there were episodes where Abby or Samantha were the central protagonsit (as was other episodes where other members of the

    • by T.E.D. (34228)

      It's worth noting that a recent study found that only 16% of female characters in movies and TV are shown to hold a job in any STEM field.

      And what percentage of men in movies and TV are shown to hold a job of that kind? I'd be surprised if it was more than 20.

      Not only that, but even the 16% TV does show is actually a vast overrepresentation of reality. Last year less than 10% [directemployers.org] of all college degrees conferred were for STEM disciplines. Since STEM jobs pretty much require a degree, and less than half the workforce has one, that means the long term trend here is probably for less than 5% of the general population to have such jobs. So gender aside, 16% is huge.

      Now its not unreasonable either. There are certain dramatic narrative imperatives at work here preventing

    • by argStyopa (232550)

      Quick quiz, what percentage of women are shown to be ditch diggers, janitors, coal miners, or other relatively shitty jobs? (Not meaning to deprecate these folks, I worked as a janitor for 4 years. It's hard work.)

      I mean, if you're going to insist on gender-equal representation on the sweet, white-collar consultancy-style jobs, let's make equally sure they have the crap jobs too.

  • News flash (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sl4shd0rk (755837)

    Yes, it's true. Some professions are dominated by men, some by women. Nature made it that way. People should be allowed to go into whatever profession they desire without being hindered by some asshole with a sexist complex (of either gender). If they can't cut it, they should be let go like anyone else without screaming "discrimination".

    That said, I think more men should be allowed to go backstage to compete at lingerie shows,

    • by CCarrot (1562079)

      Yes, it's true. Some professions are dominated by men, some by women. Nature made it that way. People should be allowed to go into whatever profession they desire without being hindered by some asshole with a sexist complex (of either gender). If they can't cut it, they should be let go like anyone else without screaming "discrimination".

      That said, I think more men should be allowed to go backstage to compete at lingerie shows,

      Oh honey, you and me both! Nuthin' sexier than a man in a g-string and baby doll, strutting down the catwalk...mmmm...

      On the serious side, though, I would like to point out that there are some professions that are gender-biased for no good physiological cause. Women as nurses, flight attendants or hairstylists, for example, or men as engineers, surgeons or STEM trades. These divisions have been established due to cultural biases, not physical ones, and sometimes those biases are the more subtly influenti

      • On the serious side, though, I would like to point out that there are some professions that are gender-biased for no good physiological cause. Women as nurses, flight attendants or hairstylists, for example, or men as engineers, surgeons or STEM trades. These divisions have been established due to cultural biases, not physical ones, and sometimes those biases are the more subtly influential of the two.

        I don't think you're going to resolve a nature/nurture debate just by asserting "nurture!"

        • by CCarrot (1562079)

          On the serious side, though, I would like to point out that there are some professions that are gender-biased for no good physiological cause. Women as nurses, flight attendants or hairstylists, for example, or men as engineers, surgeons or STEM trades. These divisions have been established due to cultural biases, not physical ones, and sometimes those biases are the more subtly influential of the two.

          I don't think you're going to resolve a nature/nurture debate just by asserting "nurture!"

          So to be clear, are you asserting that men are just naturally worse than women at being nurses, flight attendants and hairstylists? What, are their hands too big?

          It's been demonstrated that both men and women are fully able to perform at high levels in a broad variety of fields, given equal access to and interest in those fields. It's the 'interest in' part that tends to be curtailed by societal pressures, even as the 'access to' barriers are being challenged and overcome. Just as it takes a strong man t

  • her name isn't Alice. ;)

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @02:22PM (#46112901) Homepage Journal

    An anecdote: My wife works in an accounting department that was, until recently, all women.

    When they hired their first male accountant (a new college grad with absolutely no experience), he was given an office all to himself, despite the fact that my wife (a controller, no less) has been sharing an office with a temp worker for the past several years.

    Why did he get his own office, when she has more education, experience, and seniority? Because, as she put it, "all the other women here are scared of his dick."

    So yea, women being treated differently is an issue in the workplace, but don't try and bullshit me by saying men are the only ones engaging in discrimination.

  • This woman's argument is poorly made at best and (I think) intentionally disingenuous at worst. She makes allusions to gender bias without ever really making the statement directly (which is, I believe, because she can't). She makes claims about difficulties that essentially are not faced by a particular gender but rather EVERYONE - man, woman, child, parakeet etc. And then finishes with a lot of talk that vaguely centers around equality of outcome rather than equality of opportunity. Equality of outcome i
    • I partially disagree with you.

      First, equality of outcome tends to be a liberal vs. conservative, not a feminist vs. non-feminist, division in my experience.

      Secondly, I think just about every group afflicted with envy faces a temptation to use tactics and logic that, on their better days, they would eschew.

    • You can't spend thousands of years oppressing a group of people and then one day say "oh, we are all equal now by the way," expecting it to be true. There are lingering inequalities that can ONLY be rectified by temporarily overbalancing in the other direction. If you don't realize that then you are blinded by your own privilege.
      • by Vaphell (1489021)

        that's BS. You don't fix the past by counter-oppressing people who had nothing to do with anything but belong to the same abstract category as perceived oppressors of the past.
        Also last time i checked vast majority of men had equally shitty lives. Not everybody was a feudal lord, common men had to bust their asses in less than impressive conditions to survive and nobody ever asked them if they feel like going to war to die. In fact they got their voting rights only recently, as a compensation for their duty

  • omg (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tom (822) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @04:20PM (#46114263) Homepage Journal

    I taught myself some coding and computer repair in probably the most painstaking ways possible

    And you found yourself in the IRT. Frankly, that you got there is a miracle and has nothing to do with gender, but with the fact that if someone with half a clue put it together, he was looking for experts who know their stuff even when you wake them with an emergency at 4 am.

    I've been working in IT for almost 20 years. Yes, women are few. But I'll punch the next one who whines about widespread discrimination straight in the face, because it's a lie. Most nerds are too afraid to give them any shit, most managers are happy to find a woman in the field, and most of the rest frankly don't give a fuck if you're man, woman, transvestite or an alien from Betelgeuse, as long as you know what you're doing.

    If you want to complain about discrimination, there's dozens of jobs out there where even an outsider can see it still exists. IT isn't one of them.

  • by raymorris (2726007) on Thursday January 30, 2014 @04:42PM (#46114515)

    For any women, or me, interested in cyber-security, the Texas A&M system has some free, online, college credit courses at http://teex.com/ [teex.com]

  • Read this blog post [scientificamerican.com] which references actual studies and then tell me gender bias is not real. Can't read? I'll summarize it: send out a resume to a bunch of people. Sometimes use a male name, other times use a female name. Have the recipient rate the candidate and guess what? The resume with the male name scores higher in their estimation. When asked how much they would pay the candidate, the male is always valued higher. Even if the person evaluating the resume is a women.

    Many orchestras now perform blind

  • ... women just refuse to grow the obligatory neck-beard.

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