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Google Engineer's Leaked 'Gender Diversity' Essay Draws Massive Response (medium.com) 1122

An anonymous reader writes: An engineer at Google's Mountain View headquarters circulated a 3,400-word essay internally that argued a "moral bias" exists at Google that's "shaming dissenters" and silencing their voices against "encroaching extremist and authoritarian policies." It attributes the gender gap in technology to biology-based differences in abilities (such as "speaking up" and "leading") and different personality traits (including "neuroticism"). Its suggested remedies include "Stop alienating conservatives" (calling it "non-inclusive" and "bad business because conservatives tend to be higher in conscientiousness"), and it also suggests as a solution to "de-emphasize empathy" (which "causes us to focus on anecdotes, favor individuals similar to us, and harbor other irrational and dangerous biases").

As the essay leaked over the weekend, former Google engineer Yonatan Zunger identified its anonymous author as "not someone senior," saying the author didn't seem to understand gender -- or engineering -- or what's going to happen next. "Essentially, engineering is all about cooperation, collaboration, and empathy for both your colleagues and your customers. If someone told you that engineering was a field where you could get away with not dealing with people or feelings, then I'm very sorry to tell you that you have been lied to... It's true that women are socialized to be better at paying attention to people's emotional needs and so on -- this is something that makes them better engineers, not worse ones... You need to learn the difference between 'I think we should adopt Go as our primary language' and 'I think one-third of my colleagues are either biologically unsuited to do their jobs, or if not are exceptions and should be suspected of such until they can prove otherwise to each and every person's satisfaction.'"

The leaked internal essay is now being discussed in literally dozens of news outlets. Click through for some official responses, including leaked reactions from Google's VP of Engineering, from Google's new VP of Diversity, Integrity & Governance -- and from Slashdot's readers.
Google's new VP of Diversity, Integrity & Governance -- who started just a few weeks ago -- responded internally that the document "advanced incorrect assumptions about gender," saying it's not a viewpoint Google endorses or encourages, and adding that "Changing a culture is hard, and it's often uncomfortable."

Zunger seemed to agree in part, writing sympathetically that "One very important true statement which this manifesto makes is that male gender roles remain highly inflexible, and that this is a bug, not a feature. In fact, I suspect that this is the core bug which prompted everything else within this manifesto to be written."

Google VP of Engineering Ari Balogh also responded internally that "we want to continue fostering an environment where it's safe to engage in challenging conversations in a thoughtful way. But, in the process of doing that, we cannot allow stereotyping and harmful assumptions to play any part. One of the aspects of the post that troubled me deeply was the bias inherent in suggesting that most women, or men, feel or act a certain way. That is stereotyping, and it is harmful."

Long-time Slashdot reader Lauren Weinstein believes that leaking the internal memo to the outside world was a major breach of trust that will do more damage. But he also links to an earlier essay which argues "The men of computer science and the computer industry are misogynous jerks. Not all of them of course. Likely not even the majority. But enough to thoroughly poison the well."

Google Engineer's Leaked 'Gender Diversity' Essay Draws Massive Response

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 06, 2017 @03:28PM (#54951321)

    Talk about a useless position.

    • by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @04:05PM (#54951495) Homepage
      for real. to completely dismiss his well thought out, sourced, and reasonable essay just goes to show that diversity and integrity are not what they are after, but groupthink is what they want
      • No kidding. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr@ma[ ]om ['c.c' in gap]> on Sunday August 06, 2017 @05:31PM (#54952001) Journal

        I'm expecting that the author will be hounded out of his job by the end of next week, and Google will have a major witch hunt against anyone who fails to denounce him angrily enough.

        Then, he'll sue for wrongful termination, google will settle for a mid six-figure sum and get a gag order.

        -jcr

  • Buckle up (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cyber-vandal ( 148830 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @03:32PM (#54951343) Homepage

    It's going to be a bumpy ride

    • Sunday night popcorn!

      woohoo!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by labnet ( 457441 )

      Release the hounds!

      Social Justice Diversity Warriors have to be some of the least tolerant people on the planet.

    • Re:Buckle up (Score:5, Insightful)

      by elrous0 ( 869638 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @04:36PM (#54951671)

      This stuff has gotten so silly at this point that it's hardly even worth attacking anymore. It would be pure comic gold if it weren't so Orwellian and real people weren't losing their jobs and even facing actual jail time over this insane bullshit.

      I just hope the people who designed the bridge I drive over every day didn't think that "engineering is all about cooperation, collaboration, and empathy for both your colleagues and your customers."

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I just hope the people who designed the bridge I drive over every day didn't think that "engineering is all about cooperation, collaboration, and empathy for both your colleagues and your customers."

        I hate to break it to you, but unless 'the bridge you drive over every day' is little more than a couple of planks, then there was more than one person involved in its design, and its design involved cooperation and collaboration. Sorry.

        • Re:Buckle up (Score:5, Insightful)

          by elrous0 ( 869638 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @05:02PM (#54951829)

          Well, then I hope at least one person on that team realized that engineering also involves things like mathematics, metallurgy, wind resonance, modeling, etc.--not just feelings.

          • Re: Buckle up (Score:5, Interesting)

            by rbrander ( 73222 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @05:15PM (#54951897) Homepage

            Speaking for structural engineers, that's college stuff. EVERYBODY on the team knows it. Budgets, schedules, coordination of six contractors, placating government inspectors...that's the "project management" piece, which is adult-hard. And women are often better at.

            It doesn't matter if the design is correct if the rebar isn't inspected correctly because the site engineer had a shouting match with the inspection company foreman. Because he was a dick.

            • Re: Buckle up (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 06, 2017 @06:01PM (#54952209)

              Speaking for structural engineers, that's college stuff. EVERYBODY on the team knows it. Budgets, schedules, coordination of six contractors, placating government inspectors...that's the "project management" piece, which is adult-hard. And women are often better at.

              Why the flying fuck is it not sexist and dismissive to say women are better at something than men, but if you say men are better at some things than women, you risk losing your job and dozens of news outlets tear apart your reasoning?

              The hypocrisy and indoctrination is at levels the Catholic church would be proud of.

      • Re:Buckle up (Score:5, Interesting)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@ w o r l d 3 . net> on Sunday August 06, 2017 @05:10PM (#54951869) Homepage Journal

        It's worth talking about precisely because people are losing their jobs or facing other consequences.

        I just hope the people who designed the bridge I drive over every day didn't think that "engineering is all about cooperation, collaboration, and empathy for both your colleagues and your customers."

        I sure hope they did! I am an engineer, electronic and software, and a bit of mechanical stuff. Cooperation and collaboration are key to building a good, reliable product because when they break down is when mistakes happen. The wrong material gets used, the contractor building the thing doesn't understand what is required for structural integrity etc.

        That's exactly what happened with the infamous Hyatt Regency walkway.

        As for empathy, I find it much easier to deal with other human beings, from explaining complex ideas to them (something essential for engineers) to getting them to do what I want and work well with me if I can understand their mindset and how they view things.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I just hope the people who designed the bridge I drive over every day didn't think that "engineering is all about cooperation, collaboration, and empathy for both your colleagues and your customers."

        Jesus fucking H. Christ on a bike I do!

        No one is capable of designing a large bridge single handed which means it can only get done with huge amounts of cooperation and collaboration. And yes empathy for your colleagues too because cooperation and collaboration is awfully hard without them. This is partly becaus

  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Sunday August 06, 2017 @03:34PM (#54951349)

    Includes what is purported to be an internal survey at Google:

    http://voxday.blogspot.ca/2017... [blogspot.ca]

  • by BitterOak ( 537666 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @03:41PM (#54951373)
    Those that are criticizing the essay seem to be missing the points it makes. Primary among them is that males and females have different interests and therefore tend to pursue different careers which could account for a lot of the so-called gender gaps in the tech sector. And the author is right, there are relationships between personality traits and political leanings. Jordan Peterson [wikipedia.org] has written a lot about this and his YouTube videos are well worth watching. He makes the case that the notion of equity or equality of outcome in all sectors is a dangerous one. It doesn't mean females can't be good engineers, rather than few females might be going into engineering cause they have different interests and hiring so you always have 50% male and 50% female may not lead to the best outcomes.
    • by mellon ( 7048 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @03:53PM (#54951423) Homepage

      That's what the author said, but I don't think there's much truth to it. Yes, a lot of us are socialized to want competition, but is it really what we want, or just what we were taught to want? I rode that bandwagon into my thirties before I realized what a lousy ride it was, and then I got off. I'm much happier since. In point of fact life would be better for all of us if it were not only not encouraged, but not acceptable to work more than a seven hour work day.

      If you think about it, doing so is actually depriving other people of the opportunity to excel, assuming that those extra hours are productive, and just causing damage if they aren't.

      • is it really what we want, or just what we were taught to want?

        For answers, you can look to nature, human and otherwise.

        Consider school. Every child knows exactly where they fit into the class pecking order. The only way to change your rank in that pecking order is through competition--sometimes non-violent, but sometimes violent.

        This tendency didn't start with school children. The animal kingdom is full of examples of animals that observe a similar pecking order, from birds (from which it was named) to many mammals.

        It's really hard to argue that we are only competitiv

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          The animal kingdom is full of counter examples too. Many animals live in herds or packs with a very flat structure, often with no leaders at all. The strongest bird doesn't take point or handle navigate, it's a group effort and they rotate.

          It's also interesting that animals often behave very differently in captivity or when raised by other species (it's rare but it happens). That confirms that much of their behaviour is learned, and what genetic components exist can be overridden. Good thing too, as we expe

      • by kick6 ( 1081615 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @04:48PM (#54951737) Homepage

        That's what the author said, but I don't think there's much truth to it. Yes, a lot of us are socialized to want competition, but is it really what we want, or just what we were taught to want? I rode that bandwagon into my thirties before I realized what a lousy ride it was, and then I got off. I'm much happier since.

        Into your 30s, and you don't have kids, obvoiously, which is sad. If you'd ever seen the way little girls and little boys play together you'd understand that it has very little to do with nurture. Little boy play is competitive, little girl play is cooperative and egalitarian. And that's in mixed households where you can't even say that the toy choice forced it upon them.

        • by syzler ( 748241 ) <david.syzdek@net> on Sunday August 06, 2017 @05:34PM (#54952027)

          I agree. My wife and I have 16 month old fraternal twins. One girl and one boy. We also have two older sons and an older daughter.

          The twins are always (due to their age) in the same play environment, wether it be the play room, living room, their bed room, or in the back yard. She gravitates towards dolls, picture books of people, and wants to be held/cuddled a lot. He gravitates towards cars, dump trucks/loaders, blocks, picture books of trucks and construction sites, and only wants to be held if it involves tumbling, tossing, and spinning. This is not to say they don't have significant similarities, however there are also significant differences, especially in how they choose to play when by themselves. As I said, they are always in the same play environment where they can choose for themselves which toys they want.

          So from my limited observation, little boys and little girls appear to have different play patterns which then will not surprise me if when they are adults they have different interests.

          • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @06:26PM (#54952347) Journal
            Clearly your parenting skills are to be called into question. Please report to the nearest University and report yourself for required SJW retraining on how to ensure your son only plays with dolls and your daughter will only play with shovels. /sarc
          • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday August 07, 2017 @05:55AM (#54954777) Journal

            The twins are always (due to their age) in the same play environment, wether it be the play room, living room, their bed room, or in the back yard. She gravitates towards dolls, picture books of people, and wants to be held/cuddled a lot. He gravitates towards cars, dump trucks/loaders, blocks, picture books of trucks and construction sites, and only wants to be held if it involves tumbling, tossing, and spinning

            And in the picture books that they read, are there the same number of male and female protagonists? If you look at the packaging for the trucks that he likes to play with, are they showing pictures of boys or girls or both playing with them, (or driving real ones)? In the TV that he watches, how many show girls in physically active roles? Very young children are particularly sensitive to picking up biases from their surroundings. Being in the same environment means nothing if that same environment is full of subconscious visual clues about gender roles.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Agreed. A problem with these arguments for absolute equity is they shun any arguments against (like the essay) and anyone criticizing is committing career suicide. That's not my idea of free speech. We are being shamed into agreeing or at best remaining silent.
      Of course men and women have different interests. Should we put blinders on and pretend to believe something that contradicts our own senses? That creates a disconnect within our own selves, not a healthy thing, and doesn't solve anything.
      I have

    • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @04:34PM (#54951647)

      Indeed. "Equal opportunity" means a woman can become an engineer, a scientist or a pilot by bringing about as much talent and as much dedication to the table as a man. I know quite a few female engineers and scientists. None of them said they ever faced discrimination on a level that mattered to their career-choice. But most of them have stories of women that decided to study something easier when faced with what it actually takes to get though such an education path. Ask a female engineer or scientist in the hard sciences why there are so few women in engineering and the hard sciences and you will hear things that would get a man burned at the stake if he dared to utter them.

      So, while equal opportunity is a good thing, enforcing equal numbers in such a situation is about the worst thing you can do. It will kill a technological society. As does denying clearly observable statistical facts.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      The idea of equality of outcome is a straw man. You won't find many people defending it, because as you say it's silly and outright harmful.

      The issue here boils down to if there is something inherent to being female that makes a person less interested in technology, or if the interest is there but there are other reasons why women don't pursue it as a career as often. The latter isn't all about misogyny either, it's way more complex than that.

      The essay actually comes close to realizing it at one point. It m

  • by mattwarden ( 699984 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @03:50PM (#54951411)

    One point where the author is spot on is the overwhelming efforts to silence any other viewpoints. Loom no further than the response to this memo. On twitter, a prominent tech entrepreneur said he thinks the real problem isn't the memo's content but that the author thought it was okay to share it at a place like Google. Isn't that exactly the point the author makes?

    I also found interesting his point about how we feel differently about seeking 50-50 gender representation in manual labor occupations and work related deaths.

    These topics are worthy of discussion. The "we must get girls to code" push always seemed worthy of skepticism. But there is no real debate in this area, and raising questions gets you labeled unfairly and possibly fired.

    One thing is for sure: this guy's career is over. He will be doxxed by some news org who apparently does remember how to do investigative journalism when it comes to random civilians expressing a politically incorrect opinion. And the pitchforks will come out from the SJWs and no company -- certainly google -- wants to get mixed up in that PR nightmare. Game over, bro. Hope it was worth it.

    • by Tailhook ( 98486 )

      One thing is for sure: this guy's career is over.

      Indeed. The heinous thoughtcrime offender is doomed.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bongey ( 974911 )
      He was doxxed by the VP of diversity, she released his name in her response, which was released to the press. What is the point of using calling someone out in a memo to all employees? The VP is guilty of harassment .
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      One point where the author is spot on is the overwhelming efforts to silence any other viewpoints

      Ehhhh. How long should someone waste other people's time banging on old, tired and deunked [*] arguments that also happen to insult a good chunk of the workforce? Not all arguments and points of view are valid. Everyone has the right to be a complete moron, but if you're going to be a big enough moron, yeah you can STFU or GTFO.

      [*]This guy doesn't seem to know what he's talking about, frankly. He has at most a v

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I also found interesting his point about how we feel differently about seeking 50-50 gender representation in manual labor occupations and work related deaths.

      That bit just demonstrates that he doesn't understand the issue at all, or is making a deliberate straw man.

      The goal is not to force people to become engineers, which he actually suggests is happening at one point. The goal is to help people do the things they want to do.

      And as such, it's much easier to do that with attractive jobs in tech than it is for unattractive jobs collecting refuse or caring for the elderly. That doesn't mean there aren't efforts to make it happen (women's participation in construct

      • When universities and companies put forth exclusive "Girls can Code" events, or hold open slots for women, then yes - here is an effort to force people to become engineers. When programs are set up exclusively for one group - and not offtered for others - it is discrimination with a final result expected: equality of outcome.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 06, 2017 @04:00PM (#54951467)

    Google VP of Engineering Ari Balogh "One of the aspects of the post that troubled me deeply was the bias inherent in suggesting that most women, or men, feel or act a certain way. That is stereotyping, and it is harmful."

    Feminist idiot Lauren Weinstein : "The men of computer science and the computer industry are misogynous jerks. "

    Deal with the sexist feminists, realise that when people use factual arguments to prove them wrong, they are not being sexist.

    Men and women are different and enjoy doing different things. FACT.

  • Sweet FSM (Score:4, Insightful)

    by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @04:10PM (#54951513) Homepage

    This is the sort of thing that lands in history books as an example of the backwardness of previous generations.

  • by ytene ( 4376651 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @04:39PM (#54951695)
    This forum is blessed with a simply *massive* brains trust, with technical skills and experience contributed regardless of age, ethnicity or gender. Unless a contributor selects a user name which explicitly identifies them by age, gender or background, the way that Slashdot operates actually promotes equality. In other words, as Slashdot shows, equality is possible, it just needs to be implemented thoughtfully...

    Having read the email/document that forms the subject of this article, one of the things I observe is that the document itself discusses both conscious and subconscious bias as it can be applied in a workplace [and for this post I'll group together *all* forms of bias, not merely gender bias].

    So let's think about this for a moment. Most of us probably work for organisations which claim [publicly at least] to be a meritocracy. But how objective are the performance review procedures? [ Or recruitment, for that matter? ] Here are a few points to consider:-

    If your recruitment process gives hiring managers application forms with the age and/or name of the candidate included, then your organisation has an open door for selection bias.

    If your appraisal process includes a ranking process that is susceptible to tactical voting ["I'll give your promotion candidate the nod if you do the same for me", then your organisation has an issue with performance review bias.

    If your organisation allows a single manager - *any* single manager - to make recruitment, promotion and/or disciplinary decisions in isolation, then your organisation is at risk of allowing "individual bias" to harm your employees.

    Creating a truly neutral, inclusive and meritocratic workplace is *HARD*. It requires leadership, sponsorship [from the top], honesty, integrity and commitment. But it also requires something that large, modern organisations have gradually sacrificed. As individuals are pushed ever harder, as we move into more and more of a "performance culture", acts of mutual support and inclusiveness are not merely not helpful for the giver, but they are detrimental - they help someone else to succeed to the giver's loss.

    These two things, then, are not mutually exclusive, but they are rarely found in the same organisation in full and effective health.

    I'm concerned at the way that the author of the original piece chose to express their views. I do not believe that the author did themselves or their suggestions any favours. I also worry that some of the issues a rooted far more deeply, insidiously and tenaciously than we might yet be willing to accept.
  • by brennz ( 715237 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @05:18PM (#54951921)

    To circulate, agree with, or repeat crimethink is volunteering to unperson

    DoublePlus Love,

    Danielle Brown
    Commissar of GoodThink
    ThinkPol, Google Corp

  • by dskoll ( 99328 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @05:37PM (#54952045) Homepage

    That was an interesting essay. Based on some of the reported reactions, I was expecting an alt-right anti-women screed. But the essay was IMO thoughtful and fairly well-considered. I don't necessarily agree with parts of it or even most of it, but I do think the motivations of the author were not harmful.

  • by Theovon ( 109752 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @06:01PM (#54952207)

    As long as ultra-liberals make views like in this essay taboo to express, then these ideas will simply be driven under ground, and people who hold those views will just feel unfairly suppressed. I think it’s a problem that people who hold these views feel the need to express them anonymously, because they know that the reaction will just be one of unmitigated vitriol. Seriously, if that Google employee openly expressed those views, they would just be fired.

    Now that this anonymous essay is out, this is an opportunity to critique it carefully. For instance, there are indeed lots of people who think that men and women and people of difference “races” have such significantly different intelligences that it’s okay to utilize stereotypes as part of hiring decisions and such. Well, now we can take this opportunity to revisit the scientific evidence. Surely there ARE differences, but what differences are genetic, and what are the result of culture and socialization? And for any of these differences, what impact do they have (statistically) on engineering talent? And how much does “talent” matter when combined with hard-earned skills?

    We do not want to turn gender and racial equality into dogma. First, we should be completely honest and open about scientific research on this matter. Let’s say it became taboo to talk about skin color. Then if you really liked the skin tone of some person of African descent, then you might risk backlash from just complementing someone. Or more neutrally, if you’re trying to make someone look really good in their clothing, then we need the ability to be matter-of-fact about it; the color of your skin, hair, and eyes and the shape of your body do have a real impact on what clothing styles are best for you. Or biologically, it’s important to recognize the relationship between melanin content and sun exposure.

    But establishing that diferences do exist an it’s okay to talk about them, what impact do those differences have on things like job effectiveness? Let’s say we unfroze a population of early humans from 500K years ago. They were not quite as intellectually advanced as us, but they had language and other characteristics that we would recognize as human. How should the be treated? Should they be enslaved? Or just relegated to the menial jobs? What if one wanted to study engineering—should we stop them? Why? And what harm would it cause you if one of them went to college, got a degree, and got hired? White men vary in engieering talent VASTLY and are not hired on the basis of simply being white men, so why should a woman, a black man, or a Neanderthal be excluded simply on the basis of one of these labels? And why the hell would you care to try to force people to be judged on those bases?

    Although I haven’t met any neanderthals, I have met people with mental disabilities who were capable enough at math and engineering skills that they could hold down an engineering job and be *productive*, without “special treatment.” And of course, I have known lots of downright brilliant people who were female and/or with skin color darker than a norwegian. Are they less common than brilliant white men? If so, that’s interesting for the anthropologists, but not something that HR people should worry themselves with. BESIDES, even if there were some genetic bias that made them “10% less likely to be at skill level Z,” or something like that, the artificial prejudices from our society’s past have a FAR greater impact. We have a long way to go to get those people up to parity with their true underlying abilities. And the longer we take to do that, the longer we keep shooting ourselves in the foot for not benefitting from their ability to contribute.

    I believe a lot of the criticism that women and minorities face often comes from confirmation bias. People make mistakes in their jobs or are sloppy. For some reason, when white men make mistakes, t

  • by thecombatwombat ( 571826 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @06:04PM (#54952233)

    I've been in tech in some way for almost twenty years now, from programming and IT heavy classes in high school through today. The way I see it, we bred this attitude, and should all have a little compassion for this writer.

    In the late 90s and early 2000s, I never heard anyone suggest the all male or nearly all male CS and IT classes I was in were full of sexist men keeping the women out. Just the opposite, I constantly heard they were full of loser boys, women weren't there because they had better ways to spend their time. These guys were nerds, and were on the fringes where they belonged. (The notion that "nerd" and "geek" were positive words was just barely beginning to become a thing.)

    Fast forward 15-20 years, and that time they thought they were outcasts? They're now being told that no, quite the opposite, they were being privileged jerks. That whole time they thought they were being ostracized, they were actually gender bullies who now must take responsibility for all the women they've been keeping out of the field. The shift should be enough to make anyone's head spin, but It was a slow burn with no clear demarcation. It's easy to miss. It's not surprising some people who've been in this system feel unhappy, betrayed, angry, or a number of other things.

    Twenty years may seem like a long time, but what other profession has changed so fast? "Changing a culture is hard, and it's often uncomfortable." Indeed.

    I'm not saying this guy is right. I'm not even saying he's wrong. I'm saying we shouldn't be surprised quite a few of him exist. I'm surprised there aren't a lot more.

    • Sure, I can somewhat sympathize with him - right up until the point when he wrote the letter. That was the point when he became an active player in bringing a large swath of his coworkers down.

      I mean, is this guy's experience that different from any of ours? We're mostly comp sci or engineering majors of some sort. Sure, being a CS major wasn't outlandishly cool, but really, was there a major at your school that was really considered cool? Yeah, a lot of people may have flocked to psychology or busin
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by thadtheman ( 4911885 )

        But, sure, I'll give you that society doesn't exactly hold IT-related interests on a platter. But what does that mean really? Some jokes in movies and TV shows about nerds? Maybe women don't flock to us? How many times do you really experience an active outward action where someone belittled you for being in CS/engineering? A few jerks here and there? Those are the people he should be mad at - the people who actively picked on him and made him supposedly worthy of our compassion.

        A "few" jokes? Listen to those jokes. Some are how "geeky" nerds are but most are how nerds get mentally and physically assaulted. I've known one person who actually committed suicide because of it. Right after Columbine, I heard many stories about such treatment resulting in suicide attempts.

        Hell to show everyone he is not a total nerd Woz shelled out shit load of cash to pay for the US festival.

  • by microbox ( 704317 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @07:37PM (#54952825)

    One of the aspects of the post that troubled me deeply was the bias inherent in suggesting that most women, or men, feel or act a certain way. That is stereotyping, and it is harmful

    Statistical trends between men and women are science. Stick to your search engine snapper-head.

  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @10:29PM (#54953601) Journal

    I really don't care if there's an ideological echo chamber at Google. I'd guess he's probably right, but if it pisses him off so badly, he doesn't have to work there either.

    However, we can't be hypocrites.

    If we are ok with Google stomping its ideology into its employees, then we should be equally ok with other ideologues pushing their private causes onto their employees, or inviting them to leave if they don't like it, such as Chik Fil A.

    If it's ok for Google, it should be ok for Hobby Lobby, no?

  • by rbrander ( 73222 ) on Monday August 07, 2017 @12:34AM (#54953963) Homepage

    Here's a funny thing: Medicine, Law, and Engineering were also fields that were over 90% male - women had to "break in". And don't imagine they didn't have to push past a lot of sexism and belittling and interrupting.

    There was one woman in my 50-man engineering class of 1980; I saw the first woman hired as P.Eng. in my workplace in 1993. By the time I left, five of my last six bosses had been women (2003-2017), and in two cases, THEIR bosses had been women; I'd say they're now a third of the shop. I think this generation has to put up with much less prejudice and belittling (from their women boss, for sure).

    Medicine and Law have been half women for a while now.

    Then there's IT. Happens I also got a CompSci degree, 1985. A third of my class were women and it was widely assumed it would hit 50% by 1990 or so. And it WAS doing pretty well in the 1990s, then the female participation rate plummeted after the dot-bomb and has never really recovered.

    The driving force here, I think, is not poisonous culture, but money. Medicine and Law were rapidly integrated because they are the best-paid jobs in society, and women kept pushing, hard; they had cause. Engineering is mostly better-paid than IT, at least the actual coding jobs.

    It's the same as that thing about women not going in to drywall; obviously the best-paid, relative to work pain, jobs will be the most attractive. Coding has become way less attractive lately. Oh, and it's not a licensed profession, like medicine, law, engineering...that may have something to do with both its attractiveness and stability, too.

...though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"

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