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Offline Mac

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Workplace diversity?
« on: May 30, 2014, 04:55:38 PM »
I read an article in USA today talking about the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley. Several companies I've worked for over the years have said much the same thing, that diversity in the workplace is important.

What I don't seem to grasp is why having a diverse workforce is better than having a able and competent workforce.

Sure, it's great to have all manner of smart and capable people working together, but is it really that much worse if they all, or most of them, are from similar backgrounds with regards to race, sex and/or upbringing.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for hiring whoever is best qualified for the job no matter who he or she may be, but is a diverse worlforce better than a competent one?

I can see how someone in a hiring position can discriminate racially or sexually, but thats not what I'm asking.

What say you O masses of STOners? Help me understand.
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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2014, 05:06:48 PM »
Well if you are hiring on the basis of being "diverse" instead of bringing in the best and brightest then you are already discriminating.

Offline I'm NOT Carl

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2014, 05:40:25 PM »
From a company standpoint, you want the folks who can do the work for the least amount of money. It shouldn't make any difference what race, color, creed someone is. The coworkers and management need that person to be able to be a part of the team.

We have two steps in hiring folks. The first is can the answer the technical questions without falling on their sword. That's generally with one of the senior admins (Kevin or me) on the phone. Second is an in person team interview. More technical questions, but also to do a personality check.

We don't care about anything but can he do the job and does he fit with the team dynamic.

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Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2014, 05:51:54 PM »
.... but is a diverse workforce better than a competent one?...

This is your question. And my answer would be; it could be both.

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Offline cultureslayer

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2014, 06:13:20 PM »
You know what pisses me right the fuck off?  People that think I'm there to fill a quota or diversity requirement.  You can be an engineer and have a vagina at the same time!  WTF, who would have guessed?  I have had to deal with more people trying to fuck me over and end my career before it's even begun than most guys will have to deal with in a lifetime, and unfortunately there's no end in sight.  There's lots of push to encourage women to enter STEM programs at universities, but almost no support for them to ensure they are given a fair chance unless they know where to look and who to talk with.  That's why there is a lack of women in silicon valley.
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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2014, 06:15:10 PM »
I miss Shah.

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Offline coucours grad

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2014, 06:17:29 PM »
You know what pisses me right the fuck off?  People that think I'm there to fill a quota or diversity requirement.  You can be an engineer and have a vagina at the same time!  WTF, who would have guessed?  I have had to deal with more people trying to fuck me over and end my career before it's even begun than most guys will have to deal with in a lifetime, and unfortunately there's no end in sight.  There's lots of push to encourage women to enter STEM programs at universities, but almost no support for them to ensure they are given a fair chance unless they know where to look and who to talk with.  That's why there is a lack of women in silicon valley.

Women Engineers, like women shooters, tend to be sharper and more competent then male counterparts for that very reason.
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Offline cultureslayer

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2014, 06:24:04 PM »
Women Engineers, like women shooters, tend to be sharper and more competent then male counterparts for that very reason.
That, and the misogynist asshole professors are slowly dying off and being replaced with younger, more open minded academics that understand women can and do function just fine outside the kitchen.   :twofinger:
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Offline Mac

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2014, 06:32:45 PM »
But still, you rarely see many women in technical professions.

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Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2014, 06:36:33 PM »
But still, you rarely see many women in technical professions.

And why do you think that is? Are the women incompetent or is it something else?
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Offline Mac

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2014, 06:37:52 PM »
I don't know, the women I've worked with are quite competent.

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Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2014, 06:38:48 PM »
Then what's wrong with diversity?
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Offline Mac

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2014, 06:39:43 PM »
Or is it just that white males are more interested in a career in tech than others?
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Offline Mac

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2014, 06:46:44 PM »
Then what's wrong with diversity?

Nothing, unless it's at the cost of hiring the best person.

What I'm driving at is, is it better to have a competent workforce that isn't as diverse or hiring a diverse one that isn't as competent.
Because it seems when I've been to diversity training, the message is diversity is good despite a possible loss of competency.
And if the hiring pool is predominately white males, statistically you'll have more white males at the top of the hiring list.
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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2014, 06:54:27 PM »
IMHO you're dancing around the real issue. Forced diversity. I don't agree with it in any way, form or fashion. But you cannot deny that competent non-white males don't always get the position because they're not white males.
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Offline Mac

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2014, 08:29:54 PM »
IMHO you're dancing around the real issue. Forced diversity. I don't agree with it in any way, form or fashion. But you cannot deny that competent non-white males don't always get the position because they're not white males.


Discrimination may always exist, but my point is that if the people wanting are mostly white males wanting the tech jobs, them most of the workforce will be white males.

The article I mentioned in my first post complained there wasn't enough diversity in Silicon Valley.
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Offline Scratch

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2014, 08:37:50 PM »
I read an article in USA today talking about the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley.


...and from the article:

Quote
At its heart, there are two reasons for the mismatch, experts say. The first is pipeline. White and Asian men are much more likely to have access and take advantage of technical schooling that leads to jobs at tech firms than historically disadvantaged minorities.

"Women and underrepresented minorities have been denied access to resources and opportunities that would allow them to enter and succeed in computer science," said Coleen Carrigan, an anthropologist who researches high-tech cultures.

Students coming from high schools where computer science, and especially AP computer science, isn't taught, start out with a tremendous disadvantage. That's something Londa Schiebinger, a professor of the history of science at Stanford University, has learned from her students.

"Computer science education rewards students with early exposure to computers and fails to nurture those who are new to them and apprehensive," Carrigan said.

Finally, high tech isn't a very welcoming place if you don't fit in, Carrigan said.


http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/05/29/silicon-valley-tech-diversity-hiring-women-minorities/9735713/

Offline cultureslayer

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2014, 10:34:19 PM »
Article nails it.  People will say that girls and minorities should go into STEM careers, but they won't do anything to help them.  Because everyone tried to force them to be girls or thugs, they start out behind and professors ignore them because they think they are dumb.  It's infuriating, and even after you have worked your ass off to catch up there are still people that will assume you aren't good enough just because you aren't a white male.

And if you have any sort of disability other that mild Asperger's forget about it.  All the Aspie comp sci/engineering people can't seem to deal with it.
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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2014, 10:48:42 PM »
Article nails it.  People will say that girls and minorities should go into STEM careers, but they won't do anything to help them.  Because everyone tried to force them to be girls or thugs, they start out behind and professors ignore them because they think they are dumb.  It's infuriating, and even after you have worked your ass off to catch up there are still people that will assume you aren't good enough just because you aren't a white male.

And if you have any sort of disability other that mild Asperger's forget about it.  All the Aspie comp sci/engineering people can't seem to deal with it.

Too help you sleep at night there ARE folks out there that know the talent and seek you out.

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Offline bluepoof

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2014, 11:13:54 PM »
I've worked in tech in Silicon Valley for 15 years, both as an engineer and as an engineering project manager.  I've worked for a small startup, a small startup that became a medium sized company and then acquired, and two ginormous companies.

So, anecdotally....

Ethnicity: At my first couple of companies my engineering coworkers were usually white.  At the ginormous companies there were quite a few Asians also, plus whole teams of Indian contractors (I only met a couple of contractors that weren't Indian).  Of the literally thousands of people I worked with in all of 15 years, only two were black (both were in project management, also, not programming). 

Sex: I've never had a female manager; I believe I've worked alongside three my entire career (and one was in project management, which tends to have more women in it than straight up engineering).

Age:  The vast majority of people I've worked with have been between 25-45.  Apple was a standout in my career for having both college grads and people close to retirement age (there are less-than-noble reasons for both, I fear, but at least those people did exist!).

I have a lot of conflicting thoughts about the problem in general.  It's an issue I've thought a lot about, ever since college (I know I've mentioned that my graduating thesis in 1999 was about women in Computer Science).  I think there's a lot of chicken-and-egg going on...there aren't a lot of women and minorities in tech in Silicon Valley because there aren't a lot of women and minorities in tech in Silicon Valley.  People tend to hire other people like them.  This was blatant in my project management team at Apple, where the hiring manager was a metrosexual (but hetero) white man in his mid 30s and, by the time I left the team, almost every single person he'd hired was a metrosexual white man in his mid 30s.  We used to joke that they had bromances, they were all so similar.  I don't think he did it intentionally (or at least, any exclusion wasn't done consciously) but it was incredibly blatant. 

Offline I'm NOT Carl

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2014, 09:21:05 AM »
On the operations side, about a third of the dept is female,

46 female
85 male

At the manager and above level it's about 50/50. Project managers, product support, and incident management are almost exclusively female. Application level folks (dba, web apps, etc) are about a third female. System level folks (me), have 1 female Windows admin and the rest (22) male.


For more fun, Title IX is pushing towards requiring equal participation in classes. If the college is 60% female (and most are), then STEM classes must have 60% female participation.

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Offline bluepoof

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2014, 10:27:45 AM »
Wow, Carl, that's awesome!  1/3 female in a tech setting (especially ops) is amazing. That's really encouraging and, I suspect, very unusual. :lol:

I'm unclear how "STEM classes must have 60% female participation".  :headscratch: If women don't sign up for a class, they don't sign up for a class.  How does "must" fit in?  Are they going to force women to attend classes they're not interested in? I honestly don't get that. The only thing I was able to find on the topic were conservative websites saying that Obama is going to cap the number of STEM graduates overall in order to force a percentage of women (i.e. limiting the number of men in courses).  Those articles were all from 2012 (right before the election, go figure) and stated that it would happen in 2013.  I'm not aware of any such quotas in place...

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2014, 11:19:51 AM »
I don't know if anything's been done about it, but there are several sites where the organization is saying it needs to start using Title IX to change from providing opportunities for women to enforcing quotas. Similar to college sports.

I'm not at my computer but I'll see if I can find them when I get on later.

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Offline bluepoof

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2014, 11:40:49 AM »
I'm not at my computer but I'll see if I can find them when I get on later.

I'd be interested in that.  Like I said, I was only able to find political-leaning blogs talking about the White House's "proposed changes" to impose quotas à la college sports, but no actual news reports or company press releases on the topic. 

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2014, 02:37:53 PM »
On a social level, discriminating against minorities not only hurts those minorities but hurts society as a whole. Hence the positive discrimination drive.

Employing people must be about employing the best or the cheapest. Certain minorities, depending on the country, have not had the best start-poor schooling, poor parents, whatever. This does not make them potentially bad employees, the company just needs to spend money on training them up. But, they will be cheap. At first, at least.

On the whole, emplying diverse people will strengthen a company. After all, inclusion strengthens a country-as does immigration.
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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2014, 04:08:23 PM »
The biggest reason to hire a diverse workforce is to get different sets of experiences and points of view. I have two anecdotes in mind to illustrate this.

1. I was listening to NPR the other day and they were interviewing Arielle Zuckerberg about women in CS. She was working with a team on a new app that would allow people to share data by bumping their phones in their pockets. She pointed out that they would lose half their potential customer base because women don't carry their phones in their pockets. None of the men had thought about this drawback.

2. I was reading a NY Times article about women in STEM fields. One if the stories in article told about a woman who  was at a conference where a young guy was presenting a new app that would allow people to find porn more easily. All of the women walked out.

When everyone in a group is similar in background, then big blind spots can develop in the corporate culture. Maybe if there had been a few women or even older married men around the company in the 2nd example, someone might have pointed out that presenting a porn app at a major conference might not be appropriate.

This question was actually something that I was pondering recently, as I was on a hiring committee for a new physics professor in my department. Our top candidate was our long-time adjunct, who happens to be a woman. She will actually be our 4th woman physicist. We also have two male physics professors. I wondered if we shouldn't go with one of the other candidates to even things out. We did hire her, in the end, because she was the best.


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Offline bluepoof

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2014, 04:19:38 PM »
Maybe if there had been a few women or even older married men around the company in the 2nd example, someone might have pointed out that presenting a porn app at a major conference might not be appropriate.

Unfortunately, in comparable situations that I've either been involved in or have had friends involved in, the people pointing out the inappropriateness (generally women) are ridiculed as prudish, bitchy, or man-haters.  There's huge social pressure to be "the cool girl" who is always OK with the boy's club culture in tech.

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2014, 04:25:45 PM »
Oh, another huge reason why getting women and older engineers (either sex) involved in STEM/CS is tricky out here is the incredibly pervasive culture of working impossible hours.  This is obviously a generalization, but younger men are far more likely to be willing/able to work 10+ hours a day, 7 days a week.  The biggest reason I left Apple when Kira was born was because I saw all of my coworkers -- even those with small children -- working from 7am until 7 or 8pm every weekday, plus we were expected to answer email all weekend.  My boss had a full-time nanny for his 3-year-old twins because he wasn't home enough to be any help to his wife.  I knew that that would be expected of me, too, and it wasn't what I wanted for my family.  I had a couple of 40+ year old coworkers (men) leave for pretty much the same reason; they never saw their kids.

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2014, 04:33:00 PM »
I get flack from my childless co-workers when I choose parental duties over work stuff too. I tell them to stick it. 


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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2014, 04:34:13 PM »


Unfortunately, in comparable situations that I've either been involved in or have had friends involved in, the people pointing out the inappropriateness (generally women) are ridiculed as prudish, bitchy, or man-haters.  There's huge social pressure to be "the cool girl" who is always OK with the boy's club culture in tech.

I can usually play that one, but even I have limits.


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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #31 on: June 01, 2014, 12:07:58 AM »
I get flack from my childless co-workers when I choose parental duties over work stuff too. I tell them to stick it. 

Agreed that that's the right prioritization!  I just didn't think I could tell them to stick it literally every single day, weekday or weekend.  Apple is an amazing company but they know that people line up to work there, so they have no trouble making unreasonable demands. :(

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #32 on: June 01, 2014, 12:26:04 AM »
The question of diversity is directly linked to innovation.

Want innovation?  Add diversity, conflict and tension.  Get people thinking...differently.

Want status quo and mega-predictability?  Go the other direction.  Get people..."doing".  Thinkers gets fired.





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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #33 on: June 02, 2014, 08:56:05 AM »
Wow, Carl, that's awesome!  1/3 female in a tech setting (especially ops) is amazing. That's really encouraging and, I suspect, very unusual. :lol:

I'm unclear how "STEM classes must have 60% female participation".  :headscratch: If women don't sign up for a class, they don't sign up for a class.  How does "must" fit in?  Are they going to force women to attend classes they're not interested in? I honestly don't get that. The only thing I was able to find on the topic were conservative websites saying that Obama is going to cap the number of STEM graduates overall in order to force a percentage of women (i.e. limiting the number of men in courses).  Those articles were all from 2012 (right before the election, go figure) and stated that it would happen in 2013.  I'm not aware of any such quotas in place...


Yea, I've stumbled on the conservative sites as well. It's hard not to when searching. The bad part of that of course is that the sites all seem to focus on one specific part of the three prongs to ensure compliance.

The National Women's Law Center wants to apply the Sports interpretations/clarifications to STEM.:

http://www.nwlc.org/resource/next-generation-title-ix-stem-science-technology-engineering-and-math

http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120909/news/709099921/

Quote
Under the test, schools can prove compliance by showing a history and continuing practice of expanding athletic opportunities for girls, by proving the interests of both sexes are being met, or by making sure percentages of girls and boys participating in sports are proportional to percentages of girls and boys enrolled at the school.


http://writ.news.findlaw.com/grossman/20100427.html

Quote
First, it can show that it provides athletic opportunities to men and women that are substantially proportionate to their overall enrollment. Second, it can show that it is engaged in a continuing practice of program expansion with respect to the underrepresented sex (which is almost always women). Third, it can show that it has fully and effectively accommodated the interests and abilities of the members of the underrepresented sex.


The Title IX 1979 Interpretation and the 1996 Clarification.

Now both the 1979 interpretation and 1996 clarifications were specifically targeted towards the sports programs but organizations like the NWLC want to apply those same clarifications, etc to other aspects of Education like STEM.

I think the conservative sites are spinning up to be dramatic when they could just point out that while there are three tests to ensure compliance, many colleges and high schools, when the numbers aren't where pro-women organizations feel they should be, to avoid lawsuits fall back to test three; proportional representation. And they drop sports programs to at least try to be compliant. Even doing that isn't bringing them to 100% compliance.

So it's not that the government is forcing proportional compliance, it's that it's the easiest and cheapest way to ensure compliance.

The conservative sites see this and see the push to apply the Title IX interpretations to STEM by organizations like the NWLC and believe (based on experience over the past several decades) that STEM will also be affected by proportional representation (quotas).

One issue is there aren't many organizations that advocate for men.

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Offline chornbe

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #34 on: June 02, 2014, 09:25:58 AM »
Well if you are hiring on the basis of being "diverse" instead of bringing in the best and brightest then you are already discriminating.

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #35 on: June 02, 2014, 09:38:24 AM »
Interesting articles

Looong!
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/magazine/why-are-there-still-so-few-women-in-science.html


I thought this was interesting especially in revealing how the different genders think.

Quote
The most powerful determinant of whether a woman goes on in science might be whether anyone encourages her to go on. My freshman year at Yale, I earned a 32 on my first physics midterm. My parents urged me to switch majors. All they wanted was that I be able to earn a living until I married a man who could support me, and physics seemed unlikely to accomplish either goal.


She went to see her teacher to drop the course and he basically told her to quit worrying about the others and just do your best.

Quote
...I told him that one reason I didn’t go to graduate school was that I compared myself with him and judged my talents wanting. After all, I’d had such a difficult time solving the problem he had challenged me to solve.

He looked puzzled. “But you solved it.”

“Yeah,” I said. “At the end I really understood what I was doing. But it took me such a long time.”

“But that’s just how it is,” he said. “You don’t see it until you do, and then you wonder why you didn’t see it all along.”


...

Quote
I finally came straight out and asked what he thought of my project. How did it compare with all the other undergraduate research projects he must have supervised?

His eyebrows lifted, as if to express the mathematical symbol for puzzlement. Actually, he hadn’t supervised more than two or three undergraduates in his entire career. “It’s very unusual for any undergraduate to do an independent project in mathematics,” he said. “By that measure, I would have to say that what you did was exceptional.”

“Exceptional?” I echoed. Then why had he never told me?

The question took him aback. I asked if he ever specifically encouraged any undergraduates to go on for Ph.D.’s; after all, he was now the director of undergraduate studies. But he said he never encouraged anyone to go on in math. “It’s a very hard life,” he told me. “You need to enjoy it. There’s a lot of pressure being a mathematician. The life, the culture, it’s very hard.”


And even more along the same lines of how there are differences in how the two sexes think:

Quote
“Women need more positive reinforcement, and men need more negative reinforcement. Men wildly overestimate their learning abilities, their earning abilities. Women say, ‘Oh, I’m not good, I won’t earn much, whatever you want to give me is O.K.’ ”


The male professors know the men overestimate their abilities and don't offer encouragement. Hell, men already think they're the best. :) But women are the other way around and need to be encouraged.

Still reading it though, it is long :)

Quote
Shorter
http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2014/05/29/317024113/googles-white-male-heavy-staff-underlines-techs-diversity-problem


Short article but lots of comments :)

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #36 on: June 02, 2014, 10:39:22 AM »
The male professors know the men overestimate their abilities and don't offer encouragement. Hell, men already think they're the best. :) But women are the other way around and need to be encouraged.

That has definitely been my experience in the Silicon Valley workplace as well.  I'm not exaggerating when I say that every single female engineer I've talked to about imposter syndrome believes that she has it.  To be fair, I've also met two male engineers who have confessed to it...though I sincerely believe that one of them was just saying so in order to appear more approachable to the women in the conversation. ;) 

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #37 on: June 02, 2014, 11:07:38 AM »
Poof, do you think the imposter syndrome mindset is learned or something they're born with?
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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #38 on: June 02, 2014, 11:09:35 AM »
The cover story for last month's Atlantic Magazine had a great article on this topic. It's called The Confidence Gap.


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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #39 on: June 02, 2014, 11:45:59 AM »
The male professors know the men overestimate their abilities and don't offer encouragement. Hell, men already think they're the best. :) But women are the other way around and need to be encouraged.

That has definitely been my experience in the Silicon Valley workplace as well.  I'm not exaggerating when I say that every single female engineer I've talked to about imposter syndrome believes that she has it.  To be fair, I've also met two male engineers who have confessed to it...though I sincerely believe that one of them was just saying so in order to appear more approachable to the women in the conversation. ;)

It's a tough call I think. There were times back when I was a mid level unix admin and promoted to senior unix admin (with a good chunk of pay) and felt like I would be discovered. But it just had me go head down, grab a couple (or more than a couple) of sysadmin books, and really work to be better at the job was just given. I still felt somewhat like an imposter even when I applied as a Senior Unix Admin at IBM. After getting the job, I felt a lot better about my skills. I'm comfortably at Senior level now (although we're pushing to absorb engineering since they're so useless).

I do know that I don't know it all but I also spend time working on other things, in part because I enjoy it (and have for 35 years I think), but in part to stay fresh. I'm currently studying for my Red Hat CSA and CE certifications. Not because I need them, but because I'm a Solaris admin in a company where Red Hat is the direction we're going (in part because Oracle won't even sell us equipment any more). Last year I went to a Redhat performance tuning class because it's one of my specialties. Years ago I got my Sun certification just to prove to myself that I knew what I was doing. I got my Cisco certification to be more knowledgeable about networking. Now I'm doing the Red Hat one to make sure I am well rounded with Red Hat, especially since we're doing Linux Clustering (what a nightmare).

It may lead back to the comment though. If I'm promoted or in a position where I might be underqualified (at least to me), I'll do what I can to learn the job to justify my position. It sounds like it might be the other way for women.

What do you do to fix that though? Do women "man up"? :)  Are managers expected to constantly encourage the female workers that work for them? And how does that work for the guys? I've ranted about the lack of appreciation for the job I do even though I know that's how it works, even some of the comments said I should essentially suck it up, I knew that was how it worked. So how does that work for the ladies in IT? Should managers be more appreciative? If so, should they also be more appreciative to the guys as well, even though our self-worth is already higher than it should be. :D

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #40 on: June 02, 2014, 12:07:33 PM »
Imagine the staff meeting for that conversation.

"Okay everyone. I wanted to bring you all together to let you know of a new policy. Studies have shown that many women feel like imposters in their jobs and that women in general need encouragement to advance. The new policy will ensure managers are more encouraging to the women who work for them. That same study shows that men don't need encouragement to advance and that in fact, men tend to think they're better than they are. The new policy addresses this. Men will only get encouragement when they do something spectacular and you'll only get a coupon for Starbucks.

You guys already think you're the best. We don't need to encourage you any more than you already are :) "

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #41 on: June 02, 2014, 12:39:44 PM »
It may lead back to the comment though. If I'm promoted or in a position where I might be underqualified (at least to me), I'll do what I can to learn the job to justify my position. It sounds like it might be the other way for women.


Women who feel they're underqualified for a position, even if they are eminently suitable for it, won't even apply for the position or accept promotion if offered it.  The basic thought pattern, as I understand it goes like this:

People will see right away that I'm not perfect for a job and will reject me.  Why should I bother applying if I know I'll be rejected?

A few quotes from The Atlantic

Quote from: The Confidence Gap
Talking with Ehrlinger, we were reminded of something Hewlett-Packard discovered several years ago, when it was trying to figure out how to get more women into top management positions. A review of personnel records found that women working at HP applied for a promotion only when they believed they met 100 percent of the qualifications listed for the job. Men were happy to apply when they thought they could meet 60 percent of the job requirements. At HP, and in study after study, the data confirm what we instinctively know. Underqualified and underprepared men don’t think twice about leaning in. Overqualified and overprepared, too many women still hold back. Women feel confident only when they are perfect. Or practically perfect.


Quote from: The Confidence Gap
For some clues about the role that nurture plays in the confidence gap, let’s look to a few formative places: the elementary-school classroom, the playground, and the sports field. School is where many girls are first rewarded for being good, instead of energetic, rambunctious, or even pushy. But while being a “good girl” may pay off in the classroom, it doesn’t prepare us very well for the real world. As Carol Dweck, a Stanford psychology professor and the author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, put it to us: “If life were one long grade school, women would be the undisputed rulers of the world.”

It’s easier for young girls than for young boys to behave: As is well established, they start elementary school with a developmental edge in some key areas. They have longer attention spans, more-advanced verbal and fine-motor skills, and greater social adeptness. They generally don’t charge through the halls like wild animals, or get into fights during recess. Soon they learn that they are most valuable, and most in favor, when they do things the right way: neatly and quietly. “Girls seem to be more easily socialized,” Dweck says. “They get a lot of praise for being perfect.” In turn, they begin to crave the approval they get for being good. There’s certainly no harm intended by overworked, overstressed teachers (or parents). Who doesn’t want a kid who works hard and doesn’t cause a lot of trouble?
What doomed the women was not their actual ability to do well on the tests. They were as able as the men were. What held them back was the choice not to try.

And yet the result is that many girls learn to avoid taking risks and making mistakes. This is to their detriment: many psychologists now believe that risk taking, failure, and perseverance are essential to confidence-building. Boys, meanwhile, tend to absorb more scolding and punishment, and in the process, they learn to take failure in stride. “When we observed in grade school classrooms, we saw that boys got eight times more criticism than girls for their conduct,” Dweck writes in Mindset. Complicating matters, she told us, girls and boys get different patterns of feedback. “Boys’ mistakes are attributed to a lack of effort,” she says, while “girls come to see mistakes as a reflection of their deeper qualities.”


Imagine the staff meeting for that conversation.

"Okay everyone. I wanted to bring you all together to let you know of a new policy. Studies have shown that many women feel like imposters in their jobs and that women in general need encouragement to advance. The new policy will ensure managers are more encouraging to the women who work for them. That same study shows that men don't need encouragement to advance and that in fact, men tend to think they're better than they are. The new policy addresses this. Men will only get encouragement when they do something spectacular and you'll only get a coupon for Starbucks.

You guys already think you're the best. We don't need to encourage you any more than you already are :) "

Carl


Sounds good to me. :rolf:
« Last Edit: June 02, 2014, 12:54:47 PM by jadziadax8 »
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Offline cultureslayer

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #42 on: June 02, 2014, 01:22:19 PM »
Poof, do you think the imposter syndrome mindset is learned or something they're born with?
I think it's learned, but I had an exceptionally screwed up and excessively religious upbringing so I'm not the best data point.  Only in the last couple years have I been able to finally enjoy grad school and feel like I belong here ( it helps to have a great advisor after the first two that weren't and the department has quit trying to throw me out).

I'm not looking forward to applying for jobs and doing interviews, but I do plan on applying for ones that are a reach, but it's amazing to see that men apply to jobs when they only meet 60% of the qualifications.
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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #43 on: June 02, 2014, 01:41:51 PM »
Poof, do you think the imposter syndrome mindset is learned or something they're born with?
I think it's learned, but I had an exceptionally screwed up and excessively religious upbringing so I'm not the best data point.  Only in the last couple years have I been able to finally enjoy grad school and feel like I belong here ( it helps to have a great advisor after the first two that weren't and the department has quit trying to throw me out).

I'm not looking forward to applying for jobs and doing interviews, but I do plan on applying for ones that are a reach, but it's amazing to see that men apply to jobs when they only meet 60% of the qualifications.

But I've been told over and over that I need to 'reach for the stars'. That I'll "grow into the position". It's meant to be a stepping stone. Once I'm 80% good at a job, it's time to move on to something more challenging or I'll stagnate. And if I fail at it, I step back, reevaluate what I failed at, identify what I can fix and try again. That's "The Peter Principle". Folks rise to their highest level of incompetence. There wouldn't be a "Peter Principle" if guys only applied if they were 100% qualified.

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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #44 on: June 02, 2014, 01:49:08 PM »
But I've been told over and over that I need to 'reach for the stars'. That I'll "grow into the position". It's meant to be a stepping stone. Once I'm 80% good at a job, it's time to move on to something more challenging or I'll stagnate. And if I fail at it, I step back, reevaluate what I failed at, identify what I can fix and try again. That's "The Peter Principle". Folks rise to their highest level of incompetence. There wouldn't be a "Peter Principle" if guys only applied if they were 100% qualified.

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So this last post begs two questions:

Who's Peter? or Whose Peter?
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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #45 on: June 02, 2014, 01:53:27 PM »
Poof, do you think the imposter syndrome mindset is learned or something they're born with?
I think it's learned, but I had an exceptionally screwed up and excessively religious upbringing so I'm not the best data point.  Only in the last couple years have I been able to finally enjoy grad school and feel like I belong here ( it helps to have a great advisor after the first two that weren't and the department has quit trying to throw me out).

I'm not looking forward to applying for jobs and doing interviews, but I do plan on applying for ones that are a reach, but it's amazing to see that men apply to jobs when they only meet 60% of the qualifications.

But I've been told over and over that I need to 'reach for the stars'. That I'll "grow into the position". It's meant to be a stepping stone. Once I'm 80% good at a job, it's time to move on to something more challenging or I'll stagnate. And if I fail at it, I step back, reevaluate what I failed at, identify what I can fix and try again. That's "The Peter Principle". Folks rise to their highest level of incompetence. There wouldn't be a "Peter Principle" if guys only applied if they were 100% qualified.

Carl
As women, all we get is a bunch of BS about work life balance.  No one thinks women really want to advance their careers, they're just waiting until they can find a guy to knock them up.  :(  No one has ever told me to "reach for the stars" (and I've been to plenty of the career couseling presentation on campus and talked with people), only that I should leave grad school and go find a husband (yes, that was said once and implied by other misogynist assholes as well).
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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #46 on: June 02, 2014, 02:06:36 PM »
Poof, do you think the imposter syndrome mindset is learned or something they're born with?
I think it's learned, but I had an exceptionally screwed up and excessively religious upbringing so I'm not the best data point.  Only in the last couple years have I been able to finally enjoy grad school and feel like I belong here ( it helps to have a great advisor after the first two that weren't and the department has quit trying to throw me out).

I'm not looking forward to applying for jobs and doing interviews, but I do plan on applying for ones that are a reach, but it's amazing to see that men apply to jobs when they only meet 60% of the qualifications.

But I've been told over and over that I need to 'reach for the stars'. That I'll "grow into the position". It's meant to be a stepping stone. Once I'm 80% good at a job, it's time to move on to something more challenging or I'll stagnate. And if I fail at it, I step back, reevaluate what I failed at, identify what I can fix and try again. That's "The Peter Principle". Folks rise to their highest level of incompetence. There wouldn't be a "Peter Principle" if guys only applied if they were 100% qualified.

Carl
As women, all we get is a bunch of BS about work life balance.  No one thinks women really want to advance their careers, they're just waiting until they can find a guy to knock them up.  :(  No one has ever told me to "reach for the stars" (and I've been to plenty of the career couseling presentation on campus and talked with people), only that I should leave grad school and go find a husband (yes, that was said once and implied by other misogynist assholes as well).

And humorously, over the past 5 years or so, I've been pestered about work-life balance. Generally when I hit around 60 hours for a work week. I've learned though and have made sure to never submit more than 59 hours :)

Yea, I've been mostly told that I'll "grow into the position" when I'm suddenly thrust into something new. It's to the point that I've changed jobs many many times because the position is repetitive and boring. I've only been at this position for almost 7 years because I'm having fun.

I will say that I've been discouraged from doing some of the things I do, especially during lunch or at home. I changed our spreadsheet inventory into a database into a nice editable system that does quite a lot of cool things. And I'm constantly told that "it's not official so don't think it'll be recognized by management", "since you're the only one writing the application, if you leave (or die on that crotch rocket), the application will not receive any further updates", etc... But I still work on the app and if I decide to move on, I'll take my code, leaving a copy here of course, and see if it's helpful at the next place. Heck, it's already 100% helpful to me in learning how to code web applications :)

Carl
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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #47 on: June 02, 2014, 02:32:48 PM »

As women, all we get is a bunch of BS about work life balance.  No one thinks women really want to advance their careers, they're just waiting until they can find a guy to knock them up.  :(  No one has ever told me to "reach for the stars" (and I've been to plenty of the career couseling presentation on campus and talked with people), only that I should leave grad school and go find a husband (yes, that was said once and implied by other misogynist assholes as well).

Being cautioned about work-life balance is not tantamount to being accused of manhunting. It's a legitimate concern for working women. I put off having a child until after I had tenure. In the state of IL you must work 6 consecutive semesters to be eligible for tenure, by state law. One of my co-workers got pregnant her first year and had to negotiate with the administration so she could take off a semester and not have to start the process over again. I decided not to worry about that and kept taking the little pills a while longer.

As I have stated before, I have gotten flack from my childless co-workers for work-family conflicts. I have had to learn how to stand firm when it comes to making these decisions, but also be considerate of their concerns, which are often quite legitimate.

I'm sorry you have had to deal with misogynist assholes. I'm glad to hear you've finally found a place at grad school where you can be happy. I think that's the most any of us can hope for - finding the right place to be.

On a side note, I am planning on starting a women in science club at my school next year. We are getting quite a few female engineering majors, and they are looking for mentors. They also want to do outreach stuff for girls in the community. I think that is one of the best opportunities I've had fall into my lap in quite some time when it comes to getting more women into STEM careers.


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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #48 on: June 02, 2014, 03:20:06 PM »
I made the choice to not have children a long time ago, so the work life balance talks usually sound more like people telling me I'll change my mind or people telling me (at the time) to suck it up and quit being sick if I wanted to be in grad school (if only it had been that simple).

I don't mind if others have children, as long as they don't expect me to pick up their slack constantly and refuse to reciprocate when I want to go do something fun.  I can't see you being that type of person.
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Re: Workplace diversity?
« Reply #49 on: June 02, 2014, 03:40:20 PM »

I made the choice to not have children a long time ago, so the work life balance talks usually sound more like people telling me I'll change my mind

And knowing that about you, I had already figured that that was what you heard when people talk about work-life balance.

I don't mind if others have children, as long as they don't expect me to pick up their slack constantly and refuse to reciprocate when I want to go do something fun.  I can't see you being that type of person.

Sadly, if I need to leave work for family reasons, it's usually not fun. More often it's sticky, smelly or rashy. *sigh*

But this is all getting a bit off-track. Mac, have we answered your original question to your satisfaction?


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