Author Topic: Diversity in American tech companies  (Read 860 times)

rkbabang

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Re: Diversity in American tech companies
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2020, 08:52:06 AM »
Just wanted to add that my story is just an anecdote, but your story is as well (fareastwarriors's post).  Just because those people knew people doesn't mean that it was necessary for success, your story and mine shows that.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 08:55:01 AM by rkbabang »


cubsfan

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Re: Diversity in American tech companies
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2020, 10:56:55 AM »
Likely every career is a little different. After 30 years in sales - it all about ability and results. You might get in with a connection, but if you
don't produce you are out fast, like 6 months. Doesn't matter what color or sex or religion you are, it's definitely a meritocracy - you make money
for the company - or you are gone fast. Very difficult to hide revenue production.  I'd imagine government and academics are the other end of the spectrum.

Cigarbutt

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Re: Diversity in American tech companies
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2020, 12:14:19 PM »
On a professional level, I trained and worked in a field dominated by men (about 90 to 95%) and the main reasons for that are historical path dependency, passive resistance and some discrimination. Itís slowly changing and Iím OK with the direction of the change but it has been far too slow.

One of my daughters is entering a field (technology related) dominated by men. The main reasons for that are historical path dependency, passive resistance and some discrimination. Itís slowly changing and Iím OK with the direction of the change but it has been far too slow.

I donít like nonspecific reverse discrimination or cabbage-brain ideological solutions but the university where my daughter goes has some policies in place to deal with the side effects related to historical path dependency, passive resistance and some discrimination. Some would suggest that the university is trying to change the Ďnaturalí course of history but things really started to happen after somebody fighting feminism who felt women had no place in that school broke into classes in 1989 and shot 14 women dead.

Because you did something yesterday does not mean you should do it today and that often has very little to do with effort or merit. Diversity (racial or otherwise, technology or otherwise) is not a goal by itself but one should at least think about the artificial barriers.

Sure artificial barriers should be identified and torn down.  I don't think anyone reasonable opposes that.  But at the same time, strongly encouraging young girls to go into fields of study that they might not find as enjoyable as other fields just so the college and future employers can feel good about their gender statistics at the expense of her happiness isn't preferable either.
Fair enough.
I would add though that there are "invisible" barriers. If involved or interested in the hiring process, Google (in the process of recruiting employees) has realized (and may be trying to optimize this aspect) that there are implicit (in the sense that you may not realize you have biases) biases when selecting candidates (biases based on race, gender or whatever). A fascinating aspect is that women also tend to discriminate against women (not to same extent) and racial groups may also discriminate against their own clan.
I understand that someone like you would have "succeeded" (school, work etc) under pretty much any circumstances but it seems that artificial or implicit barriers may constitute an incremental and sufficient difference for those who are more average.
I've come across some work showing that unrecognized biases are perhaps the most insidious in a way and there are solutions. For classical music performers, auditions of new members are often done with a veil in order for the decision makers to focus on the end result (music played) and not on the person playing. Selection results have been spectacularly different with this approach.

Castanza

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Re: Diversity in American tech companies
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2020, 02:18:55 PM »
Discrimination works both ways. There are plenty of fields dominated by women. Nursing and elementary school education to name a few. Is this due to discrimination? Or is this due to the other gender not seeking out that field? Probably a bit of both, but I do think that mix of ďreasonsĒ is a sliding scale that changes with time.

What I find appalling is the rise in extreme feminism in todayís culture. I think itís sad that young boys (who have had zero impact on the world) are being told things like ďmen caused all the issues in societyĒ and seeing their young female classmates wear shirts (and being told) that say things like ďthe future is female!Ē. Not sure that would go over well the other way around. I guess thatís a bit off topic so Iíll leave it at that.

In the end I wish society would actually follow what MLK said....

But as we see everywhere else, the pendulum swings with Increasing momentum from one extreme to the other.

rkbabang

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Re: Diversity in American tech companies
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2020, 04:51:03 PM »
When my son was touring colleges we went to look at NHTI in New Hampshire, when we got to the dental hygienists program building they had pictures on the wall of every graduating class going back all the way to the late 1950s. And there had to be about 3 or 4 males total to graduate from the program in 60 or so years. The tour guide  even mentioned that the first boy to graduate the program was in 1990s (he said the year but I don't remember).  What is it about being a dental hygienist that keeps men away?  There are certainly more male nurses and even grade-school teachers than male dental hygienists.  Some fields just seem to be attractive to one gender or another for some reason.

Cigarbutt

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Re: Diversity in American tech companies
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2020, 05:50:54 PM »
Differences (racial or gender) may explain uneven or disproportionate distributions and that's OK if the result reflects true intrinsic preferences, abilities etc
However, if you look at the graph below which I interpret as a return to the mean (% of women enrollment in dentistry), I doubt that the rise to 50% happened because girls were somehow forced to become dentists. It wonder if a changing culture and fading barriers may have something to do with it.

rukawa

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Re: Diversity in American tech companies
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2020, 05:55:14 PM »
On a professional level, I trained and worked in a field dominated by men (about 90 to 95%) and the main reasons for that are historical path dependency, passive resistance and some discrimination. Itís slowly changing and Iím OK with the direction of the change but it has been far too slow.

One of my daughters is entering a field (technology related) dominated by men. The main reasons for that are historical path dependency, passive resistance and some discrimination. Itís slowly changing and Iím OK with the direction of the change but it has been far too slow.

I donít like nonspecific reverse discrimination or cabbage-brain ideological solutions but the university where my daughter goes has some policies in place to deal with the side effects related to historical path dependency, passive resistance and some discrimination. Some would suggest that the university is trying to change the Ďnaturalí course of history but things really started to happen after somebody fighting feminism who felt women had no place in that school broke into classes in 1989 and shot 14 women dead.

Because you did something yesterday does not mean you should do it today and that often has very little to do with effort or merit. Diversity (racial or otherwise, technology or otherwise) is not a goal by itself but one should at least think about the artificial barriers.

I don't really disagree with an intelligent approach to this. Thomas Sowell has a pretty excellent book called "Myths of Black Education". He made the point that many of these outreach programs where run by white liberals whose idea of a disadvantaged youth was a poor black kid living in the inner city who went to bad schools who did badly in school. Many of these outreach programs were targeted to finding these type of kids and typically they did horribly in university.

Sowell's point was that there was a large number of very smart black kids who could have been recruited and easily filled a slots. He was challenged on this by a colleague at a university and basically went out and found these kids. His point is that it wasn't that hard if you really were interested in finding them and many of them would have enormously benefited from these programs. I do agree with what people on here have said...your networks does limit you and your awareness of the world around you. Outreach efforts if done similar to how athletic recruitment works...could be a very good approach.

Sowell himself thought blond hair was mythical went he was a kid because he had never seen a person with blond hair. His relatives send him to NY and connected him with a kid called Eddie Mapp who knew how the school system worked. If he had never met that person and his relatives didn't know of the guy...Sowell's life would have been wildly different. Who you know and the environment you are in can matter hugely.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 05:58:52 PM by rukawa »

Gregmal

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Re: Diversity in American tech companies
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2020, 05:56:42 PM »
If we really want to promote diversity and discourage nepotism, perhaps looking at the disproportionate representation of Jewish people in real estate would help....I kid, I kid.

Castanza

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Re: Diversity in American tech companies
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2020, 06:21:32 PM »
Differences (racial or gender) may explain uneven or disproportionate distributions and that's OK if the result reflects true intrinsic preferences, abilities etc
However, if you look at the graph below which I interpret as a return to the mean (% of women enrollment in dentistry), I doubt that the rise to 50% happened because girls were somehow forced to become dentists. It wonder if a changing culture and fading barriers may have something to do with it.


I wouldnít say barriers. But I do think interests amount genders are changing and thatís why youíre beginning to see more women in STEM. Go back 50 years and female peers would scoff at the idea of a girl liking mathematics, sports or the like. I donít buy into the it was all societal pressure. Youíre peers are often one of the largest influences in your decision making. Like I said, itís a mixed bag of inputs and outputs.

Everyone wants to point to some systemic institutional pressure for changes or lack thereof. Perhaps some things just change naturally?

Perhaps this is all attributed to money and lucrative careers? I know a few guys who became nurses because of the flexible schedule, job security, and solid pay. Not to mention they would be around young women their age lol

rkbabang

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Re: Diversity in American tech companies
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2020, 06:28:20 PM »
Differences (racial or gender) may explain uneven or disproportionate distributions and that's OK if the result reflects true intrinsic preferences, abilities etc
However, if you look at the graph below which I interpret as a return to the mean (% of women enrollment in dentistry), I doubt that the rise to 50% happened because girls were somehow forced to become dentists. It wonder if a changing culture and fading barriers may have something to do with it.



I agree with everything you said. If you look at that graph it starts increasing in the late 1960s which is around the time that removing obstacles for advancement for women and minorities became an important mainstream issue in society.  We have come a long way from that point in our history.  There are undoubtedly still some obstacles left and things like unconscious biases etc, but the answer isn't enforced quotas and social justice grandstanding.