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  1. #181
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I am not sure it does affect STEM careers disproportionately.
    Neither am I. In which case it cannot account for the variance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I don't even know where to start with that, entropie. I will just say that I find it pretty ridiculous to say that women just want to have fun, and that's why they don't get into IT. Especially since you go on to describe "fun" things you've done with your IT buddies and gosh, there weren't any women involved, so surely they just want to do woman things.
    It does have value in an illustrative sense though. The problem is not that IT is full of Gausses (if only!), it's that it's full of entropies. Full of "nerds" with ill-conceived notions about what women can and can't do, are and are not interested in. Men with precious little understanding of themselves, let alone that mythical creature who bears the name "woman". Not all of them, of course (see above) but the vast majority, I would say, think you have no business being there.

    The older ones just patronise you and refuse to give you meaningful work. The younger ones either dismiss you or try to sabotage you, if they think you're a threat. Almost all of them exclude you, even the ones who then try to hit on you.

    I had a meeting with my boss before I left the last company I worked at, where he told me that one of his guys had complained that he felt "intimidated" by me. Here's me, one of only 2 women surrounded by a bunch of burly, stinky, sexist, foul-mouthed blokes, and I'm the one who is "intimidating". Translation: he was worried I could do his job better than he could, and in fact, I could, (it really wasn't difficult since he was a major obstruction in the dept with what a female colleague described as "a Napoleon complex".) Instead of laughing this worm out of his office, he took his concerns seriously. He took seriously the fact that an older man with 16 yrs at the company, the self-declared "guru" of the dept, was so threatened by a younger woman, barely in the door, that he refused her the system access she needed to the job she was employed to do. It would be funny, were it not genuinely incapacitating.

    Personally, I didn't get into IT because I don't have the specific aptitudes it takes to excel in the field. I don't know if that's innate to my brain or if I could have had more mathematical/technical aptitude in a different cultural context. I guess there's no way to know. But as long as I can remember I've had trouble understanding math and spatial stuff, and no trouble at all understanding ELA-oriented stuff.
    I think this is a major misunderstanding that women suffer from (and men, who are given to be more confident in this field whether they have natural aptitude or not - just look at entropie - do not). I worked hard on my sister to get her into IT. She was good at the humanities but terrified of math. She had shitty teachers who undermined her confidence and told her she'd never amount to anything. She became a secretary. She was treated badly, sexually harassed and paid a pittance. Eventually she relented and took a job in IT support. She was still treated like crap, and sufffered discrimination, but the pay was slightly better. She continued not to believe in herself. I pushed her to push herself. She thought she couldn't compete with nerdy IT guys, now, she manages them, and she finally acknowledges what I've known all along - she's smarter than any of them.

    Time and again, what emerges is that women lack confidence to ask for more for themselves - they don't push themselves forward for promotion, they don't negotiate hard for starting salaries, and they don't ask for pay rises in anything like the same numbers that men do. Why is that? Do women 'naturally' lack confidence? Of course not. It's because they are told they don't deserve any better and that to be pushy is "manly" and unattractive. We really need to move past this bullshit already. :bang head:
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  2. #182
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I am not sure it does affect STEM careers disproportionately.
    Neither am I. In which case it cannot account for the variance.
    Did you post this article to account for the low numbers of women in STEM fields? Since you included no comments with your link, I can only guess. The OP was about women specifically in IT. The article doesn't explain the discrepancy between women in IT vs. other STEM fields either, but lists "work/life balance" issues as one factor in the underrepresentation of women in STEM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    The problem is not that IT is full of Gausses (if only!), it's that it's full of entropies. Full of "nerds" with ill-conceived notions about what women can and can't do, are and are not interested in. Men with precious little understanding of themselves, let alone that mythical creature who bears the name "woman". Not all of them, of course (see above) but the vast majority, I would say, think you have no business being there.

    The older ones just patronise you and refuse to give you meaningful work. The younger ones either dismiss you or try to sabotage you, if they think you're a threat. Almost all of them exclude you, even the ones who then try to hit on you.
    If this is indeed the situation in IT, it is quite different from physics and engineering. Still doesn't account for the sharp decline in computer science 15-20 years ago, or the low representation of women in all three fields.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    I pushed her to push herself. She thought she couldn't compete with nerdy IT guys, now, she manages them, and she finally acknowledges what I've known all along - she's smarter than any of them.
    Good for your sister, and you, but pusing people one way is little better than pushing them the other. For generations, sons have been pushed to be a doctor/lawyer, follow in their father's footsteps. or otherwise bend their career to their family's wishes, regardless of their own. Yes, anyone might be able to succeed in any field with enough motivation and hard work, but the fact remains that we are differently talented. There is no shame in being guided by your gifts and interests. The big exception is when you just can't support yourself that way and have to choose based on compensation. (I have a male friend I have had to push in this respect.) IT careers are particularly good for this. This does, however, put one in a situation of working to live - obviously better than scraping by or having to depend on others.

    Throughout my education and career in a STEM field, I have noticed that many of my colleagues (and myself) fall more into the category of living to work. We love what we do, and especially during grad school years, give it a priority in our lives that most careers do not require. This sounds quite demanding, even oppressive, but it is neither because we really do enjoy what we do. If girls just want to have fun, they can find plenty of it in STEM. To tie in with some of your comments below, though, many women don't seem to feel they have permission to be "selfish" this way - to immerse themselves in an area of interest so completely, that everything else takes a back seat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    Time and again, what emerges is that women lack confidence to ask for more for themselves - they don't push themselves forward for promotion, they don't negotiate hard for starting salaries, and they don't ask for pay rises in anything like the same numbers that men do. Why is that? Do women 'naturally' lack confidence? Of course not. It's because they are told they don't deserve any better and that to be pushy is "manly" and unattractive. We really need to move past this bullshit already. :bang head:
    All true, in STEM, and elsewhere. I find at least in physics and engineering that there is more objectivity and less interpersonal drama surrounding such issues. I also find that men are more likely to see everything in terms of salary, while women take a more nuanced view of value, advancement, and compensation.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  3. #183
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    I've asked my gf about the matter and she said that the fact of woman becoming nerds could be a problem as well. So while you will always be considered a bit different in society when you go for STEM fields, this could be a hinderance for most woman, cause they abide more to society or group dynamics. So this would be my stereotype theory as well, added with my gf theory that woman will have to develop the guts to become nerds.

    Furthermore she adviced me to not talkj about this topic no more, cause she says its a rather sensitive topic and attracts a lot of people who want to argue about it and vent their frustrations. Since she thinks that I am not diplomatic she advised me to stop talking about it.
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  4. #184
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Did you post this article to account for the low numbers of women in STEM fields? Since you included no comments with your link, I can only guess. The OP was about women specifically in IT. The article doesn't explain the discrepancy between women in IT vs. other STEM fields either, but lists "work/life balance" issues as one factor in the underrepresentation of women in STEM.
    Gah. I have such problems making myself understood to you, it seems. Perhaps I am too terse.
    If "work/life balance issues" are common to many occupations (including those which have a higher proportion of women), then they ought to be discounted as a significant factor in terms of the low numbers of women in STEM in general, and specifically, the declining numbers in IT. As such, I wouldn't necessarily endorse the speculative conclusions of that report. I just posted it as another reference.

    pusing people one way is little better than pushing them the other.
    I don't agree with that. I think pushing someone to develop their potential for their own benefit is infinitely preferable to pushing someone to fulfil a family tradition / to live vicariously through their accomplishments. Just worlds apart, really.

    Throughout my education and career in a STEM field, I have noticed that many of my colleagues (and myself) fall more into the category of living to work. We love what we do, and especially during grad school years, give it a priority in our lives that most careers do not require. This sounds quite demanding, even oppressive, but it is neither because we really do enjoy what we do. If girls just want to have fun, they can find plenty of it in STEM. To tie in with some of your comments below, though, many women don't seem to feel they have permission to be "selfish" this way - to immerse themselves in an area of interest so completely, that everything else takes a back seat.
    I can totally imagine that. And would ideally love a job that absorbed me in that way. Something in bioinformatics, perhaps. But I haven't been fortunate / driven enough to make that happen.
    All true, in STEM, and elsewhere. I find at least in physics and engineering that there is more objectivity and less interpersonal drama surrounding such issues. I also find that men are more likely to see everything in terms of salary, while women take a more nuanced view of value, advancement, and compensation.
    The vast majority of IT contractors are mercenary animals. I used to be less so, but there's no way I would work in this industry for the love of it - genuinely worthwhile projects are like hen's teeth. I don't know anyone who does (beyond graduate interns). I fantasise about leaving it all the time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  5. #185
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    Gah. I have such problems making myself understood to you, it seems. Perhaps I am too terse.
    Perhaps. You seemed to take issue with my reiterating a point made in the article, without having criticised it directly yourself. I do think the work/family issue does impact many STEM fields more than other careers, but it is just a hunch so far. The closest I can come is the "living to work" mentality I described. People in other fields can certainly be workaholics, but more in the sense of time spent in the office rather than an all-encompassing commitment to the content of a field. It is almost more a matter of divided attention, even divided loyalties, rather than just divided hours. I have been asking myself these questions for years now, though, with no real answers yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    I don't agree with that. I think pushing someone to develop their potential for their own benefit is infinitely preferable to pushing someone to fulfil a family tradition / to live vicariously through their accomplishments. Just worlds apart, really.
    Many of those families pushing sons into specific careers think they are doing it for their own good as well. It sounds like your sister really needed the push, but it would be bad to go overboard on the other side and push women into STEM who aren't suited for it. There are plenty of other worthwhile careers for both men and women.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  6. #186
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Perhaps. You seemed to take issue with my reiterating a point made in the article, without having criticised it directly yourself.
    I wasn't taking issue, you misunderstand me completely. I was simply drilling down to see if you had any insight into why it might be so.
    When you said :
    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I am not sure it does affect STEM careers disproportionately. I am aware of it also affecting women in law, finance, even academia..
    I assumed we were on the same page.
    Then you seemed to contradict yourself:
    I do think the work/family issue does impact many STEM fields more than other careers, but it is just a hunch so far.
    Perhaps you will appreciate how this might be confusing?

    My own view is that this is not really a significant factor (to account for the anomaly in IT) and to concentrate on it, therefore, is to miss the core of the problem. I'm not saying it's not an important issue in the broader context of helping women flourish in the workplace and achieve genuine equality. Of course it is. Perhaps THE most important issue. But with this thread, I'm mainly focused on singling out the unique issues in this field (with its specific anomalous patterns and requirements), and so my methodology is to proceed via a process of elimination.
    Make sense?
    Many of those families pushing sons into specific careers think they are doing it for their own good as well. It sounds like your sister really needed the push, but it would be bad to go overboard on the other side and push women into STEM who aren't suited for it. There are plenty of other worthwhile careers for both men and women.
    Agreed. In fact, she (ENFP) isn't ideally suited to it (I did push her in other directions too). She also tries to push me (to be a writer amongst other things). But pushing me is like trying to push the proverbial immovable object.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  7. #187
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    I wasn't taking issue, you misunderstand me completely. I was simply drilling down to see if you had any insight into why it might be so.
    When you said :

    I assumed we were on the same page.
    Then you seemed to contradict yourself:

    Perhaps you will appreciate how this might be confusing?
    I can see how you might be confused if you were expecting a definitive conclusion from me on the topic. I do not have the answer to this one, though, and can make no conclusion. Both my comments were thus speculative in nature. When I wrote "I am not sure it affects STEM careers disproportionately", I meant exactly that: I am not sure. My gut feel is that it does, and the authors of your reference also mention it as a factor, but I have no evidence one way or the other. I do know that it affects women in other careers as well.

    To speculate some more, I suspect work/family issues affect women in professional level STEM careers more than others (research scientists vs. manufacturing technicians). Also, I think the effects of stereotyping, cultural gender biases, and other societal expectations are quite significant and will be much more difficult to override than many people credit.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  8. #188
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Same reason why men shun interior design.

    Anyways. Albeit not recommended, people are free to twist facts to suit their theories.

  9. #189
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    The correct answer is no. Even when I went to (an all-girls) school I didn't have access to the same technology-focused curriculum that the boys in the adjoining school had. The girls were taught home economics, the boys were taught metal-working and CAD.
    Well, I don´t know when this happened, but surely I´ve never seen anything similar happening during my primary and middle school years - something like 15 to 20 years ago.

    I succeeded in spite of people trying to hold me back at every turn and despite having NO ONE to encourage my enthusiasms. And it is only a partial success (I am 100% certain I would have faced fewer challenges and been allowed to achieve more if I were not female) and I am extraordinarily single-minded and bright.
    I would say that most people are not encouraged towards developing their talents. People born in poor or working class families? No encouragment. People whose attitudes are different than what their parents want from them? No encouragment. I don´t think you should think that "boys" are encouraged towards doing anything specific, it certainly was not the case with me and any of my working or middle class friends. Some of the upper class ones were pushed a little bit more, but that´s already a small % of the total population.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  10. #190
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I can see how you might be confused if you were expecting a definitive conclusion from me on the topic.
    The only confusion is yours : you directly contradicted yourself.

    To speculate some more, I suspect work/family issues affect women in professional level STEM careers more than others (research scientists vs. manufacturing technicians).
    I'm not speculating when I say there is no reason that they should disproportionately affect careers in IT.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    Albeit not recommended, people are free to twist facts to suit their theories.
    What does this have to do with anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Well, I don´t know when this happened, but surely I´ve never seen anything similar happening during my primary and middle school years - something like 15 to 20 years ago.
    Did you attend a girls' school too?
    Our schools have some scope to set their own curriculum within the national guidelines, and there are still assumptions about divergent gender interests which prevail. http://www.genderandeducation.com/re...es/curriculum/
    That said, it's still better for girls to be educated separately from boys.
    I don´t think you should think that "boys" are encouraged towards doing anything specific, it certainly was not the case with me and any of my working or middle class friends.
    I don't think that and don't know why you think I do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

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