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Jokes/Interweb Things Thread, BBC Viewpoint: More women needed in technology in Fun Stuff; Originally Posted by localzuk I have just had a thought about this. My response to the headline would be "why?". ...
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    witch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I have just had a thought about this. My response to the headline would be "why?". What does it matter if women don't go into tech related jobs? What does it matter if men don't go into 'social' type jobs?

    Is it actually providing society with a problem?
    It doesnt matter as long as we are sure that children are equally given all the options. Sadly though, this is not the case. It isnt even necessarily teacher or parents who direct children - peer pressure is a huge thing to overcome. My boys played with anything they wanted to - both had dolls and my little ponies and cars etc. They prefered the so-called boys toys, but, then again, so did my daughter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    As for the positive discrimination thing - I dont agree with it at all,
    I'm curious as to what you mean by that.

    I don't like it - I don't think anyone does. Those who benefit from it feel then that they have to overcompensate to prove they were worthy and not just selected as the token X. Everyone else thinks they might be discriminated against on the basis of X when, hell, discrimination on the basis of X is exactly what we are trying to prevent. Everyone says what we really want is the "best" person for the job.

    So what do they mean by that? If I say "5 A levels, 2 at A grade and one must be English", that is discrimination, positive discrimination on the basis of exam results. Few would have any problem with "positive discrimination" so far. If we have 100 candidates who meet that criteria and 20 places, what should we do? At post interview panel chats I've often heard the "well, how would they fit in" and I cringe. White middle class males were a good fit for the London Metropolitan Police in the 1980's, black, working class tattooed lesbian daughters of Welsh miners - not so much. "fit in" is a good example of where "best" can go horribly wrong.

    Even if we choose "best" on Academic achievement, we are unwittingly biasing any selection to more privileged. And is that "best"? Is every criteria measured by academic achievement? Somewhere we accept that there is discrimination, that for a job someone will be "positively discriminating" but we ignore that is quite arbitrary and it might as well be some demographic as anything else.

    I don't like "positive discrimination". No one should be discriminated for or against on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, disability, religion etc. But the fact that we see organisational demographics that grossly do not reflect the societal make up - that suggests that injustice is occurring often on a huge scale. I don't disagree with positive discrimination because I don't see any other way to address the issue and in the end the positive of the discrimination is a value judgement, as likely to decide "best for the job" as any other arbitrary criteria.

  3. #33

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    I find it interesting that the men on this seem to be arguing harder for positive discrimination than the women.

    We want everyone to be treated equally when applying for a job regardless of race, colour, creed or gender. If I thought I'd got a job because the deciding factor was my gender, I'd probably turn it down! I want to get a post because I'm the right person for the job, not because it'll increase the female head count.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    I want to get a post because I'm the right person for the job, not because it'll increase the female head count.
    So what exactly is "right for a job"? You are suggesting that increasing the female headcount couldn't possibly be a good criteria yet it might be as arbitrary as "well, we wanted more "biology graduates" when applied to (say) a marketing firm. "Well, I turned it down, I didn't want it because I increased the biologist headcount!"
    Last edited by pcstru; 15th October 2012 at 06:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post

    So what exactly is "right for a job"? You are suggesting that increasing the female headcount couldn't possibly be a good criteria yet it might be as arbitrary as "well, we wanted more "biology graduates" when applied to (say) a marketing firm. "Well, I turned it down, I didn't want it because I increased the biologist headcount!"
    I would hope that my ability to do the job and qualifications would be the deciding factor.

    I cannot think of a situation where being female would be an advantage... Especially in a management or technology role which are the ones we've been discussing.

    We ladies are all different, just like you blokes. Some of us have a stronger girly side than others. Recruiting us purely because it is socially acceptable for us to wear a skirt is completely wrong. If they are looking for stereo-typical feminine traits then a bloke might actually be the better candidate. You wouldn't reject a bloke for a caring role like a nurse for example.

    There are some roles that men are biologically ill equipped to do... Surrogate mother, brassiere model, ... But we really haven't been discussing those roles.

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    not just selected as the token X.
    Everywhere needs a token X. I'm awesome. [And currently ill... *cough*]

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    As you progress up the ladder skills such as leadership become more/most important. Is the reason why women are not "equally" represented at the top level because men are better leaders?

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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    I would hope that my ability to do the job and qualifications would be the deciding factor.
    "Ability to do the job" seems to be begging the question - how can anyone judge that before you do it? Qualifications - for what? Academic achievement is a good indication that you were good in a subject at school, college, university. Doesn't mean you will be any good in a work situation. There are plenty of company bosses out there who left school with no qualifications and proved that they don't matter the hard way.
    I cannot think of a situation where being female would be an advantage... Especially in a management or technology role which are the ones we've been discussing.
    I would readily agree that gender is not a factor in the ability to do (say) a technology role in the same way I agree that it should not be a factor in being a FTSE100 CEO. So when there is an imbalance in the numbers, that might suggest some discrimination is already afoot.
    [quote]
    There are some roles that men are biologically ill equipped to do... Surrogate mother, brassiere model, ... But we really haven't been discussing those roles.
    [quote]
    Sure. And the police and army benefit from being big strapping running, jumping, climbing tree type *lads*. You could say they are the "best for the job". So would that be a good thing - an all male "best ability to do the job" police force or army?

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    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    As you progress up the ladder skills such as leadership become more/most important. Is the reason why women are not "equally" represented at the top level because men are better leaders?
    No. It's because fewer women choose to stay in the work force for long enough to progress to those levels. These are women with highly paid jobs. They have the money behind them to decide to give themselves and their children the time they deserve

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    You seem to determined to prove that I, a mere woman, must be incorrect in my views on female promotion to the highest levels @pcstru

    Though you are equally determined to extend the argument to all types of job which is not what this thread is about.

    Please accept that as the only women to comment on this thread @witch and I both agree that there are other reasons to promote people than their gender. After considering all cvs and applications and interviewing those who look best on paper, an employer will decide who is likely to best be able to do this senior management role. Bolstering the numbers of females/blacks/gays/muslims at this level should not be the deciding factor and I would regard it as an insult.

    I am entitled to this view.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    No. It's because fewer women choose to stay in the work force for long enough to progress to those levels. These are women with highly paid jobs. They have the money behind them to decide to give themselves and their children the time they deserve
    But what makes one women leave for their children and another stay or not have children at all?

    To say all women are the same is about as ridiculous as saying men and women are the same, which is what we are doing by pitting men against women. I think it's safe to say men and women tend to have different qualities; men are generally better physically, women better socially. But then there is also a lot of crossover. Men can work in a nursery for example, but they tend to be feminine men and masculine women can do physical jobs better than an average man.

    To me these traits are genetic, no amount of positive discrimination, encouragement, or anything else is going to change this programming. Can we really be sure leadership does not sit on this masculine/feminine scale?

    Are the women who stay on at work or don't have children at all more masculine women? Is leadership a masculine quality? If a women progresses to a leadership position is the cause of this the fact she didn't have children, or is both the position and the fact she didn't have children down to a pre programmed trait?
    Last edited by j17sparky; 15th October 2012 at 08:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elsiegee40 View Post
    You seem to determined to prove that I, a mere woman, must be incorrect in my views on female promotion to the highest levels @pcstru
    I try and construct arguments that stand on their own feet. I don't believe I have referred to YOUR gender or said you MUST be incorrect. If you feel patronised - "a mere women" <gasp!> you should perhaps read what I actually wrote, not what you seem to think I wrote.
    Please accept that as the only women ...
    I'm afraid I don't do argument by authority.
    I am entitled to this view.
    Of Course you are! I never question someone's *right* to their opinion. I don't try and persuade people they do, or don't, like cheese either.

  13. #43

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    Much as I'm enjoying this, I have other fish to fry this evening and thus bow out.

    You too are entitled to your views pcstru. We'll have to agree to differ

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    To say that any specification for a job is some form of discrimination is disingenous to say the least, @pcstru.
    Like@elsiegee40, I want to be chosen for a job because I am the best candidate, regardless of anything except my ability to do the job. @j17sparky - what we are saying is that we need to make sure that girls and boys are given the same opportunities, the same chances and are not put off studying anything.
    If this is the case then any differences will be those that are indeed genetic, and not those imposed on people by society.
    As for men being better leaders - no, I don't think so

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    To say that any specification for a job is some form of discrimination is disingenous to say the least, @pcstru.
    The word "discrimination" in the wide (and I'd say original) sense, simply implies differentiation - exactly what we are trying to achieve when we put together any job specification. The specification defines the merits and helps us to avoid discriminating on factors that are not related to actual merit.

    I don't think it is disingenuous to use words in the correct way and I think the context I gave made it quite clear that "discrimination" was being used in that sense.

    I'd be interested if someone addressed the points I made on the issues around "best" - but people seem to want to keep using the term without much thought about what it really means.

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