zelticgar

The Diversity Pipeline

118 posts in this topic

 

4 hours ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:
4 hours ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:
  Quote

” I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership. Many of these differences are small and there’s significant overlap between men and women, so you can’t say anything about an individual given these population level distributions.


He's being perfectly reasonable. The problem here is that everyone is assuming he's saying that women shouldn't be engineers and that they are too stupid and frail to do it. But thats far from what hes saying. He actually would like more women in tech, and makes suggestions for how to make it easier to get them in. He wants more freedom of thought and discussion and less of a left wing echo chamber
 

The thing is he's not being reasonable. He's taking a fact: there are average biological differences between males and females, and he's misusing the fact to draw conclusions that are not supported by the fact. There has been no evidence to show that abilities in intellectual endeavours differ between men and women on the basis of biology. And gender differences in preferences are so confused by environmental differences from birth (nurture) that if there is any biological component I think (based on no data, but just a hunch) it would probably only account for there perhaps being a 45/55 split in certain career choices, not an 80/20 split.

And that's the thing. If as a society we want more women in STEM careers (and I think we need it) then things actually have to change with how we actually raise boys and girls from birth. It's pointless to try to influence the subject and career choices of girls when they hit high school. Parents should be encouraged to expose their children to a wide range of experiences regardless of sex and let them gravitate to what appeals to them. Perhaps after several generations of more enlightened parenting by the vast majority of the population we might be able to isolate out and identify whether there are any true biological differences in gender preferences for career choices.

Personally I don't think there are enough men in early childhood education and similar careers, and I would like that balance to change just as much as I'd like a lot more women in STEM and in senior management and on boards of directors.

 

3 hours ago, Kalbear said:

That is one of the things he said, yes. He also said that women are more prone to anxiety (without citation), more cooperative (without citation), more desirous of artistic positions (without citation), and less likely to want leadership positions (without citation). As I've said elsewhere, he does have a couple of decent points, but at that point it is basically saying 'other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?"

Whether or not that's true I'm dumbfounded that being cooperative is being promoted as a negative element for getting into engineering or advancing up the ranks of a big company. Personally I think business needs more cooperative attitudes at senior levels for companies to operate better, treat its staff better and get better productivity and efficiency. Organisations tend to work a lot better when the people within it are working cooperatively and collaboratively (try playing on a sports team where no one cooperates). So for the sake of argument, assuming it's true that the population set [women] is more cooperative than the population set [men], then this is actually a reason to seek a much greater proportion of women in positions of leadership and influence in a company than to justify a status quo of male domination.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sure you think the diversity pipeline is a good thing, but those seals always fail and all of a sudden your drinking water is just full of women and asians and all kind of other diversities 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

 

...

Whether or not that's true I'm dumbfounded that being cooperative is being promoted as a negative element for getting into engineering or advancing up the ranks of a big company. Personally I think business needs more cooperative attitudes at senior levels for companies to operate better, treat its staff better and get better productivity and efficiency. Organisations tend to work a lot better when the people within it are working cooperatively and collaboratively (try playing on a sports team where no one cooperates). So for the sake of argument, assuming it's true that the population set [women] is more cooperative than the population set [men], then this is actually a reason to seek a much greater proportion of women in positions of leadership and influence in a company than to justify a status quo of male domination.

There is an interesting underlying issue. The whole argument not only hinges on biological issues, but also on the assumption that the current way (software) engineers, managers* etc work is optimal and natural. The argument ignores the way job requirements and expectations have been shaped to conform to cultural gender roles.

*but of course also nurses, teachers in more general society

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

On 2.7.2017 at 10:22 PM, Happy Ent said:

There are at least three arguments brought to the table in favour of “fixing” the “problem.”

1. Argument from volume of applicants. There simply aren’t enough homo sapiens going into STEM fields. Doubling the number of CS majors would give us twice as many CS majors. If we could do that by attracting as many women as men, by merely removing some easily-removed obstacles, then this is a cost-efficient way of doing it.

2. Argument from signalled discrimination. One of the many explanations for the gender difference in recruitment, retention, and graduation of CS majors (and similar phenomena in the work force) is that there might be discrimination at play. This would be bad in itself, and worth fixing. Therefore, it makes sense to investigate the issue, so as to address an injustice.

3. Argument from power. (This is a very new argument, and did not exist when the debate began in the 1980s.) CS wields extreme power. If you believe in the explanations of identity politics, then the interests of Group X are exclusively represented by each member of Group X. Hence you need women in CS.

My own biases are that my ideology makes me strongly reject 3 (because I reject essentialism), and feel strong aversion to “fixing people” (because I find that abhorrent). The willingness of many of by benevolent colleagues to lure women into CS by pretending it is something that it isn’t is deeply disturbing to me; it’s immoral and dishonest. I have difficulties overcoming these biases. 

I reject 1. If this was the case, capitalism would solve it by offering far better salaries and work conditions to STEM graduates (capitalism probably solves it by outsourcing IT to India or elsewhere). When I studied physics in the 1990s there was a trend for theoretical physics PhDs to join consulting firms like McKinsey after their PhD. So clearly, there were too many physics PhDs because (disregarding potentially interesting research those guys might have done for their theses) it is a colossal waste to train someone in a comparably esoteric subject like quantum field theory and then let him do consulting (something with virtually no intellectual/scientific and highly dubious societal value (better: consequences) that could as well be done by people with lower degrees in economics). Of course employers always want more people to choose from because than they can pay them less.

I accept 2 to some extent. I hesitate because it is not really clear to me why this should be a problem mainly/only in male dominated fields like engineering and not in female-dominated fields like some sections of education, psychology and some sections of medicine. It seems to presuppose that CS or some other parts of STEM (certainly not most biology or geology, I guess) are "higher status", so it is only worth to suspect discrimination there but not in education or vet med. Again, the curious thing here are the local differences. How could some gender+subject differences completely flip in 20-30 years (veterinary med) and others (like CS in the last 10-15 years) experience a rollback after some development towards a more balanced gender participation.

I am not sure I understand 3. CS wields "extreme power" compared to law, finance, politics, genetics, nuclear physics, certain other fields of engineering? This might be true but it is not at all clear to me. Does the Apple CEO (or some of their senior developers) wield more power than the respective person at Daimler, Boeing or Siemens? More than some hedgefond sociopath? More than a Supreme Court Judge or Chancellor Merkel?

But this is beside the point. Most people in a field are low or middle level "grunts", not senior researchers or CEOs. You pointed out yourself that a lot of IT/CS work is boring drudgery and not very attractive per se. Disregarding the pay, these are not really jobs with a high social status. If someone can become a small town GP or veterinary (especially in countries without expensive med school) or a judge or a headmistress (all of which have IMO higher social status than someone doing CS gruntwork) why should she rather go into CS?

Edited by Jo498

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

17 hours ago, Kalbear said:

I've read it. I stand by what I stated. It doesn't matter if he says 'not all women', either, because he's making the case that women have to prove that they are not neurotic in order to function.

His overall point is that one of the reasons you don't see many women in higher powered, higher stress level jobs is due to innate general preferences. He's not saying they cannot do those jobs, he's saying than in general there is a  preference to take other paths, and that any differences we might see in gender numbers are no entirely due to discrimination. Again he's not saying women cannot do the job, that is the line that has been rolled out by the media as a way to discredit him.

 

Quote

It also doesn't explain, really, anything. Women aren't nearly as underrepresented in law or in medicine, which are considered far more high-stress and risky practices. 

The problem is that Law and Medicine are very different fields to working alone on computers, and not all areas of law and medicine are stressful. They also have a more human element to them. 

https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/miscellaneous/are-there-sex-and-gender-differences-in-science-and-technology

"One large part of the gap is down to the distribution of skills. Women who have high mathematical skills are more likely than men to also have high verbal skills, opening up a number of extra options the men at that level don’t have. Those with high verbal skills tend to take these options. "

"We found gender differences in interests to vary largely by STEM field, with the largest gender differences in interests favoring men observed in engineering disciplines (d = 0.83–1.21), and in contrast, gender differences in interests favoring women in social sciences and medical services (d = −0.33 and −0.40, respectively). Importantly, the gender composition (percentages of women) in STEM fields reflects these gender differences in interests."

 

Quote

What I will jump down his throat for is implying that this is the only reason for women to be paid less or treated worse, or that this is a good thing (which is what he states when he talks about rating things entirely based on what is good for Google). 

Can you please state where he says this is the ONLY reason women are paid worse or treated badly?
Can you please show me where he says that this is a good thing? 
 

17 hours ago, Kalbear said:

When he says that the primary reason that women aren't doing as well as men is because of biology and that this is in general a good thing for Google, that is going to get you fired. And not because of regressive left - it's because he has created the definition of a hostile work environment for 25% of the workforce at Google. That is a major, major problem. There are ways to ask certain questions he raised without also saying 'and women are biologically less suited for high-stress jobs nor do they want them'. He failed not because of his ideas, but because he raised them in an incredibly bad and legally poor way. 

"Differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we
don't have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership."

Show me where he says its the primary reason? 

Ok I will cede that he used clumsy language in a couple of occasions, but what that has really shown is that the vast majority of the media has ignored everything he said and focussed on those words in order to shut down what he is saying and paint it as a sexist diatribe. The manifesto is titled 'Googles Idealogical Echo Chamber' and its proved that the echo chamber exists outside of Google as well. 

Edited by Channel4s-JonSnow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is all just crazy - as a general rule (accepting that everyone is an individual) women are better at emotions, patience and dealing with people, whilst men are more pragmatic, aggressive and better at dealing with technological things. Any society that finds such obvious truths difficult to admit is deluded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I only encountered this today, so I was not aware of it when a posted here a few days ago, but as so often "Scott Alexander" has a very valuable comment I cannot hope to add anything to. He has lots of data/links that confirm some stuff (like veterinarians vs. programmers etc.) I wrote above unsystematically. He also cites studies and data for a pretty good explanation (gender differences in preferences, interests and personality, not capabilities seem to be the cause).

http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/08/07/contra-grant-on-exaggerated-differences/

Edited by Jo498

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Jo498 said:

I only encountered this today, so I was not aware of it when a posted here a few days ago, but as so often "Scott Alexander" has a very valuable comment I cannot hope to add anything to (only that he has lots of data/links that confirm some stuff I wrote above unsystematically):

http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/08/07/contra-grant-on-exaggerated-differences/

Great post thanks 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/08/2017 at 10:32 AM, Jo498 said:

But this is beside the point. Most people in a field are low or middle level "grunts", not senior researchers or CEOs. You pointed out yourself that a lot of IT/CS work is boring drudgery and not very attractive per se. Disregarding the pay, these are not really jobs with a high social status. If someone can become a small town GP or veterinary (especially in countries without expensive med school) or a judge or a headmistress (all of which have IMO higher social status than someone doing CS gruntwork) why should she rather go into CS?

With respect to perceived attractiveness, there has been a notable shift. In the 90s, a software carreer was a social sin, and (for males) a clear evolutionary dead-end. This changed somewhat, and today teenage whizkids in TV show routinely do “app development” and are perceived as cool. But at the same time we saw simultaneously a notable drop in attractiveness for women. I have not the faintest idea of how to explain that (nor what political signals one would send by formulating or committing to an opinion in this matter.) I find it very puzzling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm late to the discussion of the Google memo, mainly because it all felt like a tribal clickbait storm.   Why did this guy think this was an appropriate forum or he was an appropriate expert for his manifesto?  While it's reasonable to acknowledge population differences between genders (biological/social, actual/assumed) as a reason for skewed candidate pools, his purported biological differences lacked any support I could see  and, even if accurate, would look like unhelpful stereotypes to women who actually are software engineers. 

While this guy was taking all the limelight, Marianne Bertrand, et al, published a new paper looking at why women MBA holders earn less and are underrepresented in the highest paid roles.  NYTimes summary  The central conclusion is that women are well represented in high paid careers where time commitment is limited or flexible but underrepresented in high paid careers where it is valuable to be able to commit intense amounts of time to projects for a sustained period.  Women with children are especially more likely to opt out of these, particularly in their 30s, and miss the subsequent earning opportunity.  

Some of these careers might legitimately need that level of intensity while others may be carrying an unnecessary legacy culture, e.g. closing a big acquisition deal vs. face-time in the office when nothing is happening.  But the call for cultural flexibility might be tough: on one hand it seems like some cultures should change to drop pointless face-time expectations to avoid losing key talent to the "mom track" (aren't law firms already improving on this; or just claiming they are?), but on the other hand it seems unlikely that people who are more committed to their careers and work longer hours won't or shouldn't be more successful and higher paid, all else equal. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Iskaral Pust said:

I'm late to the discussion of the Google memo, mainly because it all felt like a tribal clickbait storm.   Why did this guy think this was an appropriate forum or he was an appropriate expert for his manifesto?  While it's reasonable to acknowledge population differences between genders (biological/social, actual/assumed) as a reason for skewed candidate pools, his purported biological differences lacked any support I could see  and, even if accurate, would look like unhelpful stereotypes to women who actually are software engineers. 

While this guy was taking all the limelight, Marianne Bertrand, et al, published a new paper looking at why women MBA holders earn less and are underrepresented in the highest paid roles.  NYTimes summary  The central conclusion is that women are well represented in high paid careers where time commitment is limited or flexible but underrepresented in high paid careers where it is valuable to be able to commit intense amounts of time to projects for a sustained period.  Women with children are especially more likely to opt out of these, particularly in their 30s, and miss the subsequent earning opportunity.  

Some of these careers might legitimately need that level of intensity while others may be carrying an unnecessary legacy culture, e.g. closing a big acquisition deal vs. face-time in the office when nothing is happening.  But the call for cultural flexibility might be tough: on one hand it seems like some cultures should change to drop pointless face-time expectations to avoid losing key talent to the "mom track" (aren't law firms already improving on this; or just claiming they are?), but on the other hand it seems unlikely that people who are more committed to their careers and work longer hours won't or shouldn't be more successful and higher paid, all else equal. 

In answer to the first part, as far as I'm aware he submitted an article to an internal discussion group at google with the hope that some big thinkers would be able to dispute his thinking. Instead nobody replied and the post ended up going viral and being leaked outside of the company. It was only at that point did google take steps and fire him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/10/2017 at 10:27 PM, r'hllor's red lobster said:

sure you think the diversity pipeline is a good thing, but those seals always fail and all of a sudden your drinking water is just full of women and asians and all kind of other diversities 

What kind of seals are you using?  I've found that harbor seals and even elephant seals have high fidelity rates, whilst sea lions and lepoard seals are more likely to stray from the reservation, fuck up the risk board, and seek help online.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, larrytheimp said:

What kind of seals are you using?  I've found that harbor seals and even elephant seals have high fidelity rates, whilst sea lions and lepoard seals are more likely to stray from the reservation, fuck up the risk board, and seek help online.

now i need to diversify the seals in my pipeline? smdh 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

I'm late to the discussion of the Google memo, mainly because it all felt like a tribal clickbait storm.   Why did this guy think this was an appropriate forum or he was an appropriate expert for his manifesto?  While it's reasonable to acknowledge population differences between genders (biological/social, actual/assumed) as a reason for skewed candidate pools, his purported biological differences lacked any support I could see  and, even if accurate, would look like unhelpful stereotypes to women who actually are software engineers. 

While this guy was taking all the limelight, Marianne Bertrand, et al, published a new paper looking at why women MBA holders earn less and are underrepresented in the highest paid roles.  NYTimes summary  The central conclusion is that women are well represented in high paid careers where time commitment is limited or flexible but underrepresented in high paid careers where it is valuable to be able to commit intense amounts of time to projects for a sustained period.  Women with children are especially more likely to opt out of these, particularly in their 30s, and miss the subsequent earning opportunity.  

Some of these careers might legitimately need that level of intensity while others may be carrying an unnecessary legacy culture, e.g. closing a big acquisition deal vs. face-time in the office when nothing is happening.  But the call for cultural flexibility might be tough: on one hand it seems like some cultures should change to drop pointless face-time expectations to avoid losing key talent to the "mom track" (aren't law firms already improving on this; or just claiming they are?), but on the other hand it seems unlikely that people who are more committed to their careers and work longer hours won't or shouldn't be more successful and higher paid, all else equal. 

I have a fundamental issue with conflating these two things, even if you didn't intend to here. Arguably working longer hours is a sign of less competence or less efficiency. People should be evaluated on results, not hours worked.

If I can get shit done in half the time as someone else and take 2 afternoons off a week to play golf, then overall I'm more valuable to the organisation than someone pulling 60hr weeks. So I should get paid more for the 30hrs of work I do than the 60hrs that they do.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

I have a fundamental issue with conflating these two things, even if you didn't intend to here. Arguably working longer hours is a sign of less competence or less efficiency. People should be evaluated on results, not hours worked.

If I can get shit done in half the time as someone else and take 2 afternoons off a week to play golf, then overall I'm more valuable to the organisation than someone pulling 60hr weeks. So I should get paid more for the 30hrs of work I do than the 60hrs that they do.

 

hell yeah labor theory of value baby

eta: ;)

Edited by r'hllor's red lobster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

I'm late to the discussion of the Google memo, mainly because it all felt like a tribal clickbait storm.   Why did this guy think this was an appropriate forum or he was an appropriate expert for his manifesto?

 

Well flip that round, why on earth are people like Damore forced to do mandatory anti-discrimination and  "micro-aggression" training when it goes against the science ? That was his problem and he posted it to the relevant boards in google for discussion (they are weird like that) where it received little fuss or furore. Then someone leaked it and destroyed his career.

 

20 hours ago, Iskaral Pust said:

The central conclusion is that women are well represented in high paid careers where time commitment is limited or flexible but underrepresented in high paid careers where it is valuable to be able to commit intense amounts of time to projects for a sustained period.....

 

Which is exactly what Damore says in the memo; he recommends that Google think about picking up flexi-time if they are serious about increasing diversity. Did you read it or did you read the media's distorted characterization of his "screed" ? Because its actually fairly nuanced and well-measured and according to the analyses by Jonathan Haidt (which HE posted above) the science in the memo is pretty damn solid. Infact this is the best criticism of the memo I have read so far and they spend most of their time side-stepping the research and focusing on the moral implications.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyway I believe the memo was largely inspired by this lecture from Professor Haidt on the differences between Liberals and Conservatives and I strongly recommend everybody makes time to watch it and decide for yourselves. If you don't have alot of time then one of the highlights (and the most relevant one here) happens from  about 54 minutes in when he talks about well-supported topics in science  that are blindspots for most liberals.

Edited by Sheep the Evicted

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now