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Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the got-enough-of-the-other-kind-already dept.

Google 673

theodp (442580) writes "'Public school teachers,' reads the headline at Khan Academy (KA), 'introduce your students to coding and earn $1000 or more for your classroom!' Read the fine print, however, and you'll see that the Google-bankrolled offer is likely to ensure that girls, not boys, are going to be their Computer Science teachers' pets. 'Google wants public high school students, especially girls, to discover the magic of coding,' KA explains to teachers. 'You'll receive a $100 DonorsChoose.org gift code for every female student who completes the [JS 101: Drawing & Animation] course. When 4 or more female students complete it, we'll email you an additional $500 gift code as a thank-you for helping your students learn to code.' While 'one teacher cannot have more than 20 of the $100 gift codes activated on their DonorsChoose.org projects,' adds KA, 'if the teacher has more than 20 female students complete the curriculum, s/he will still be sent gift codes, and the teacher can use the additional gift codes on another teacher's DonorsChoose.org project.' So, is girls-are-golden-boys-are-worthless funding for teachers' projects incongruent with Khan Academy's other initiatives, such as its exclusive partnership with CollegeBoard to eliminate inequality among students studying for the SAT?"

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Sex discrimination. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712787)

How is this not sex discrimination? Or does the US not have such laws against discriminating based on gender?

Re:Sex discrimination. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712801)

this is google's money, not government money

Re:Sex discrimination. (2, Informative)

thaylin (555395) | about 8 months ago | (#46712899)

And that matters how? Sexual discrimination is not legal no matter if you are the government site or something else.

Re:Sex discrimination. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712923)

Don't worry, the powers that be have covered that unique case. Apparently, discrimination can only legally happen if it's against a "protected class" (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_class). So if you are a white straight male, or in some cases a male period, you are not a "protected class" and therefore discrimination cannot happen.

Disgusting.

Re:Sex discrimination. (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 8 months ago | (#46713091)

So if you are a white straight male, or in some cases a male period, you are not a "protected class"

Think of the male periods!

Re:Sex discrimination. (5, Informative)

CrankyFool (680025) | about 8 months ago | (#46713127)

You misunderstand the concept of a "protected class."

Employment law indicates that discrimination or harassment based on protected classifications is illegal. A protected classification is something like "gender," but not "being a woman." So if you discriminate against someone because she's a woman, that's illegal because you're discriminating based on a protected class (gender); and if you discriminate against someone because he's a man, that's ALSO illegal because you yet again are discriminating based on a protected class (gender).

Same thing about race, national origin, and a few other classifications (military service, in a few states sexual orientation, etc).

That doesn't mean, however, that you can't have a charity that focuses on one gender or race, or an organization focused on one gender (e.g. girl scouts or boy scouts); it also doesn't mean that an entity seeking to donate money must donate money equally to all genders -- protected classifications are an area in employment law, not every facet of life.

Re:Sex discrimination. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46713161)

Don't worry, the powers that be have covered that unique case. Apparently, discrimination can only legally happen if it's against a "protected class" (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_class). So if you are a white straight male, or in some cases a male period, you are not a "protected class" and therefore discrimination cannot happen.

Disgusting.

White makes are in two protected classes: whites and males. The law doesn't say you can't discriminate against women and minorities, it says you can't discriminate based on race or gender, so white males are just as protected as anyone else.

Re:Sex discrimination. (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 8 months ago | (#46712973)

Tell that to the Girl Scouts. Or the Boy Scouts for that matter. Mens rooms, ladies rooms. I don't know how history will judge us, but currently society is quite comfortable treating men and women separately.

Re:Sex discrimination. (1)

gsslay (807818) | about 8 months ago | (#46713099)

The key difference is between between separate treatment and unequal treatment.

Re:Sex discrimination. (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about 8 months ago | (#46713155)

Separate but equal was discredited a long time ago. Anyone who has ever seen the line for a mens vs a ladies room can immediately see that the situation is not equal. Boy scouts and girl scouts are not equal. Accepted norms of dress and appearance are not equal.

Hooters (3, Interesting)

srussia (884021) | about 8 months ago | (#46713179)

The key difference is between between separate treatment and unequal treatment.

The male waiters with man-boobs at Hooters definitely get unequal treatment.

Re:Sex discrimination. (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 8 months ago | (#46713141)

The girl scouts and boy scouts are private, and sometimes religious clubs, which have different rules then public businesses or the government, and even still the girl scouts have allowed transgender members.

Re:Sex discrimination. (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 8 months ago | (#46713085)

Sexual discrimination is not legal ...

Nonsense. Laws against discrimination are narrowly written, to protect specific classes of people, in specific circumstances. There is no general law against all discrimination.

Re:Sex discrimination. (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 8 months ago | (#46713189)

Yes, the protected class in these laws is gender, not women, meaning "Sexual discrimination is not legal"

Re:Sex discrimination. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712905)

Maybe you need to visit your HR representative and have them explain to you why that doesn't matter.

Re:Sex discrimination. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712907)

Even the government has to the right to discriminate against white males-- take a look at SBIR/STTR and small business programs.

Re:Sex discrimination. (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 months ago | (#46713045)

Even hardcore feminists start to disagree with "positive discrimination", i.e. preference of women to men when hiring. Because it defeats the goal of equality and equal treatment.

As long as it remains, the misogynists will have the argument that the woman only got her position because she's the "quote female", the woman that had to be hired to fulfill some kind of bullshit law. She can be successful, she can be not only good at her job, she can be better than any man in the role, yet still she's going to be the "quota woman".

If you want equality, start at being equal. Slap every HR idiot with the book of law if he doesn't hire you because you're a woman, but don't insist in getting a "woman quota". You're hurting the struggle for equal rights more than the HR idiot ever could.

Re:Sex discrimination. (4, Interesting)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 8 months ago | (#46713143)

As long as it remains, the misogynists will have the argument that

The misogynists will always have an argument because they're working from an unshakable personal assumption that they are superior because of their gender. There's really no point pandering to them since they'll just writch to another argument.

You're hurting the struggle for equal rights more than the HR idiot ever could.

Except, well, no. I wish I could find the citation for this, but my google-fu is weak today.

There was quite recently a big study done across academia on the relative qualifications (which in academis includes things nicely numeric like number of citations and number of publications in journals with a certain impact factor etc) which seemed to do all the right things controlling for the different gender ratios in different subjects etc.

End result: the US with it's huge positive discrimination drive has the situation where men and women appear to compete opn an equal footing.

For Europe which does not, women on aberage required substantially better records for the same job compared to men.

So while what you say would be 100% true if there wasn't massive discrimination, there is unfortunately, massive discrimination.

Re:Sex discrimination. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712943)

this is google's money, not government money

And?

You can't own a restaurant that says, "We don't serve crackers, but we do serve saltines" and your laundromat must be usable for both whites and colors.

Even sexism for the "right" reasons is still sexism.

Re:Sex discrimination. (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 8 months ago | (#46713089)

Discrimination by sex is allowed in more circumstances than race, religion, disability, etc.

Discrimination by age is even more permissible, but still forbidden in some circumstances.

For particulars, consult a lawyer familiar with the case law, and hope he's not lying to you to push his own personal agenda.

Re:Sex discrimination. (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 months ago | (#46712959)

Try, just TRY to offer any kind of job in a discriminatory way biased towards men. Yes, as a private company.

Equal opportunity laws already reach such an insane level around here that jobs that can only be done by a certain gender still have to be offered "gender neutral". Dare to show openly that you'd rather hire a man than a woman and be prepared to be sued into oblivion.

Re:Sex discrimination. (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 8 months ago | (#46713187)

Funny, I've worked in a bunch of different jobs since the 1980s, the stats ran like this:

Factory intern: lots of women, all in assembly. Repair techs were all ex-Navy and all male. Managers were all male. Out of 500 employees, there was one token male assembler and one token female manager.

Grocery stocker: all stockmen were male, all baggers were male, all managers and department heads were male, all cashiers and the office girl were female, except for one flamer... this is a major chain with hundreds of stores, they're all staffed basically this way.

First "real" job: hired as the 4th male in an all male software department, adjacent to 4 other males in electrical, serving a production floor that had 4 male engineers and techs, plus 2 women who did wire wrap. Later added one woman in QA, three more doing assembly, and a string of all male software interns.

Big company, R&D engineering, 30 people, 28 male engineers plus 2 "documentation specialists" who seemed like secretaries to me.

String of small companies, roughly 80 engineering like colleagues in total, one female.

If it's illegal, there's a whole lot of law breakin' goin' on.

Re:Sex discrimination. (5, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 8 months ago | (#46712925)

Help! Help! I'm being oppressed!

It might be worth determining why "sex discrimination" is an issue, and seeing whether the concept is a problem in this case for the same underlying problems, rather than simply jumping on it and implying it's wrong because it's discrimination.

In particular, we are NOT in a situation where men/boys feel they're unable, or that it's undesirable, to follow a career in the computing fields, and the policy above doesn't and will not change that. Should that change, should men genuinely end up being excluded and unable to enter a legitimate career field like this one, then we obviously need to re-examine the policies in question.

We often say "X is wrong" as shorthand for "X, when done with the effect of Y, is wrong". We say, for example, that kidnapping is wrong. That doesn't stop us from non-consensually grabbing suspected kidnappers off the street, handcuffing them, stuffing them in the back seat of a police car, and after following a lengthy legal process to make sure we got the right person, sticking them in an 8x8 cell they can't escape from. How is that not kidnapping? Well, it is kidnapping, but it's considered acceptable for a reason...

Re:Sex discrimination. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712965)

In particular, we are NOT in a situation where men/boys feel they're unable, or that it's undesirable, to follow a career in the computing fields, and the policy above doesn't and will not change that.

What difference does that make? All this does is give women more opportunities than men without addressing the actual issues: Why women apparently feel unable or unwilling to following a career in the computing fields. Will throwing money at them really solve the underlying issues? I think not.

Re:Sex discrimination. (4, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | about 8 months ago | (#46713137)

Why women apparently feel unable or unwilling to following a career in the computing fields.

Just look at the comments here in this "enlightened place."

Assholes abound.

--
BMO

Re:Sex discrimination. (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 8 months ago | (#46713001)

Wish I had mod points. Some people can't handle a world that is shades of grey.

Re:Sex discrimination. (-1)

u38cg (607297) | about 8 months ago | (#46713025)

OMG the poor menz who are better paid and 82% of CS graduates might not be quite as privilieged as they are now if this initiative succeeds. Seriously, tiny violin time people. Stop making excuses for your nasty, unpleasant industry. Just stop.

Re:Sex discrimination. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46713027)

How is this not sex discrimination? Or does the US not have such laws against discriminating based on gender?

It does, but it only works if the perceived discrimination is against a woman. Just like the US race discrimination laws only work for certain races and have been found by the courts as not applying to others.

Re:Sex discrimination. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46713059)

some people (Social Justice Warriortards) actually believe it's 100% impossible to discriminate against males || whites, because feelz > logic and because patriarchy, power and oppression.

Re:Sex discrimination. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46713087)

Society only cares about discrimination against women and minorities. The common belief in this country is when men due better than women it's due to discrimination, when women due better than men it's because there better, and men are antiquated, and if you have a problem with that you're a rape apologist.

Re:Sex discrimination. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46713119)

Sex discrimination is not bad. Sexism is bad. Sexism is specifically the societal bias towards men.

I believe GNOME is based in the US, and they run the Outreach Program for Women, so I guess the US has no applicable laws against gender discrimination.

If you wish, you're welcome to pony up some money to teach boys programming — no-one's trying to stop you. Google can do what they want with their money.

--
Greg K Nicholson

Re:Sex discrimination. (0, Troll)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 8 months ago | (#46713183)

Because we have this retarded idea that there aren't enough girls doing something because of discrimination. Maybe girls don't want to be mechanics, or computer programmers. Maybe they want to be customer service reps, PR reps, project managers (there are a LOT of women in project management--turns out they're decent at herding men), teachers, cashiers, waitresses, cheerleaders, etc.

In my school, a lot of guys played football, and a lot of guys played lacrosse; but a lot of girls played lacross, too. There's a lot of coed soccer. Offering girl's football tends to not get a lot of turn-out. Women love volleyball; men are into it, but more casually; and you will not find nearly as many men playing badminton because the physiological construction of the female pelvis allows for motions which make the game much easier.

To me it's like trying to encourage more girls to go down on other girls. Maybe girls don't like to do that. Maybe they'd rather suck dick. Oh sure there's a few, but did it ever occur to you that a LOT of girls just really prefer riding cocks? Maybe they just don't have whatever mental defect leads someone to become a computer programmer; or maybe it expresses itself as a tendency to date abusive boyfriends who give them black eyes and lock them in the house for weeks at a time.

Re:Sex discrimination. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46713205)

The point is moot -- one can offshore coding for pennies on the dollar with a code quality guarentee, or hire a H-1B with a globally recognized standard like a MCSD certificate for $16,000 a year that will be able to write 10,000 lines a day without issue.

Why even bother with getting people into programming? It is like meat packing or textiles... there is no way to make a living in this field.

This must be stopped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712791)

Such blatant sexism is simply not acceptable in todays society

Privilege (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712799)

Maybe I don't know 'privilege' when I see it. When I disagree with something like this, but am unable to voice my opinion when it comes up without risk of social ostracism or damaging my career, it sure doesn't feel like privilege to me.

Discrimination of girls is bad and unethical (4, Funny)

jopet (538074) | about 8 months ago | (#46712805)

So lets have some discrimination of boys to fix it!

Makes perfect sense.

Re:Discrimination of girls is bad and unethical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712855)

Some people think this is OK. Sort of like "you got yours, now I get mine".
However, sexism is still sexism.
Any group that isn't fighting ALL sexism are hypocrites.

Re:Discrimination of girls is bad and unethical (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 8 months ago | (#46713093)

Some people think this is OK. Sort of like "you got yours, now I get mine". However, sexism is still sexism. Any group that isn't fighting ALL sexism are hypocrites.

Also it ends up being counterproductive. If there are enough programs like this then schools will push girls that don't have the same ability or interest through them just to get the money. Then people will notice that "women coming into IT don't do so well" (unofficially of course) and that will end up being the initial assumption even for women who were interested, able, and would have taken that career without any cajoling.

Re:Discrimination of girls is bad and unethical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712871)

There are subtle but significant differences between discrimination and incentivizing a particular groups involvement in an activity. A lot of government and private sector businesses have programs and outreach that targets a specific group of individuals for assistance (poor people, gay people, drug users) and I'd hardly call that discrimination because its not. If the program disallowed boys from participating it'd be discrimination.

Re:Discrimination of girls is bad and unethical (5, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 8 months ago | (#46713023)

So a program that would pay basketball programs for having more white players would be okay? How about one for straight male fashion designers?
Sorry but this is discrimination in the form of incentives. I would rather see money spent on putting good tech teachers and technology in low performing schools so you help everyone in an area to have greater opportunities. I agree that teachers need to provide the same opportunities to everyone but putting a bounty on one group will by it's very nature cause that group to get preferential treatment.
I often wonder if the the cultural issues are more the women not going into tech at an early age vs men. Hopefully people like Jerry Ellsworth and Marissa Mayer cand help turn that around.

Re:Discrimination of girls is bad and unethical (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 months ago | (#46713079)

If the teacher can only hope to get paid if he teaches girls, it pretty much means boys are disallowed from participating.

Tell you what: Try to start a contest like that with the stakes reversed. I.e. get paid for boys and get jack for girls. Then watch the shitstorm.

Re:Discrimination of girls is bad and unethical (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 8 months ago | (#46713055)

Hey just as long as you are considered part of the Majority you are perfectly fine to be discriminated against.

However I think the real issue isn't as much of lack to trying to teach women how to code. But their particular interest in coding isn't there.

Women who major in computer science face pressure from other women.
Why do you want to go to Computer Science only guys do that?
Do you want to major in a degree where it is full of dorks?
Well I a majoring in a degree where I can directly help people. What are you doing with computer science, you will just be making money for yourself.

Sure a woman will get some negative feelings form guys. But they will get it from guys in any major where there will be straight guys there. High School and College age students are extremely keen on attracting a mate. If you are a women in a mostly male degree than these males will fight for your attention, by showing that they are alpha males in their field. This is often at the expense of making it seem like the female isn't as good, so the alpha male can come in and save the day.

Re:Discrimination of girls is bad and unethical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46713071)

I don't think you're sincere, but actually, yes.

If your car is veering off to the right and you want it to go straight forward, do you take your hands off the steering wheel, or do you grab it and turn it to the left?

--
Greg K Nicholson

The real lesson (1, Flamebait)

Christopher McGinnis (2906511) | about 8 months ago | (#46712807)

Teach girls coding, girls trick guys into doing coding for them.

Re:The real lesson (1, Insightful)

generic_screenname (2927777) | about 8 months ago | (#46712849)

Teach girls coding, girls trick guys into doing coding for them.

This kind of crap is why women don't want to work in IT.

Re:The real lesson (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712917)

All righty then! So much the less competition.

Re:The real lesson (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712935)

So, the girls get Google to fight their fight while the boys do it on their own, and you don't expect that to have any effect on the women?

Re:The real lesson (2)

MitchDev (2526834) | about 8 months ago | (#46713169)

It teaches that women are weaker, less capable, and less useful unless given something that man aren't (effectively punishing the male students for no good reason other than they were born male.)

Of course, try starting an official "United Caucasion College Fund"....

This country is so full of $#!+ with it's claims of "equailty" and non-discrimination....

Re:The real lesson (2)

thesandtiger (819476) | about 8 months ago | (#46712977)

Which is funny in a sad kind of way, because it leads to programs like this one. It's the circle of life, fueled by the angst of misogynists*.

There's a lot to criticize about the implementation of this program, but dipshits like the one we're talking about make it clear why some facets of the program have an appeal.

*Referring to the asshole we're referring to and his "women are tricky" as the misogynist.

Re:The real lesson (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712993)

No, it's the cheeto stains and generally bad hygiene

Re:The real lesson (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712999)

I see it happen at my college. I'm not sure what that says about the women or the men.

Re:The real lesson (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46713015)

Teach girls coding, girls trick guys into doing coding for them.

This kind of crap is why women don't want to work in IT.

Like it or not, there is a non-insignificant portion of the female population that do trick guys into doing their cs homework. Say maybe 15% or so. Should you use this fact as a basis to generalize all women. I'm thinking no, definitely not.

Re:The real lesson (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46713077)

This is the 'kind of crap' (to quote you) that my wife did in college to get through her class and she admits to it.

It would be inequal to provide equal rewards (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712835)

If the reward were equally spread amongst boys and girls, girls would simply continue to fall behind in such areas. There is already an inequality in schools in that subject. Schools also get special grant money for minorities and the disabled who attend their institution. This is no different.

Re:It would be inequal to provide equal rewards (4, Informative)

redmid17 (1217076) | about 8 months ago | (#46712989)

There's also a complete inequality in girls graduating high school, enrolling in college, and graduating college. I'm all for making sure that girls are given every opportunity to succeed and not prevented or discouraged from going down a path they want to try, but frankly there are many larger issues that need to be worked on before you started down this path? That said, it's Google's money to do with as they please. They clearly see some benefit to this and it doesn't mean that the money they donate here would have gone to equalizing the current gender gap in education or that they don't give money to that cause already.

Re:It would be inequal to provide equal rewards (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 8 months ago | (#46713021)

Why would girls continue to fall behind? The teachers have a limited number of students, and an even more limited number of students who want to code, if it was equal, then in most cases it should still bring the students up, especially since there is an unlimited number of codes.

Grant money for the disabled is to help care for their special needs. There is no grant that go directly to schools for minorities, however there is for the poor, which is used to offset the cost of their free lunch.

Re:It would be inequal to provide equal rewards (0)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 months ago | (#46713157)

Huh? Is there any kind of backup for that drivel? How the hell do girls fall behind in areas like coding if it's offered to them at the same conditions as it is to boys?

I can see the additional grant money for disabled, considering that they can require a lot more overhead, access help and additional/special teachers, but how the hell does this apply to girls? They're not cripples, sorry, "people with special needs" for crying out loud!

Re:It would be inequal to provide equal rewards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46713211)

Let's give incentives to teacher to ignore boys in areas where they are statically better. Equality, hooray!

All I can imagine, is me as a boy excited about programming trying to get teacher attention and trying to make question and being ignored. I'm feeling sick to my stomach...

I know why the $$$ incentive (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 8 months ago | (#46712841)

there are a lot of lonely rich nerds in the high tech & IT industry

Re:I know why the $$$ incentive (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 8 months ago | (#46712975)

If you're talking about marriage, I suppose you didn't read this article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02... [nytimes.com]

(And the headline is not following Betteridge's law)

Simple (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712893)

Just offer them a box full of shoes, and they will learn to code faster than you can say "hello world".

Re:Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46713011)

Why not a box of Visual Studio 2013 Professional?

clearly google wants women developers (5, Funny)

kcmastrpc (2818817) | about 8 months ago | (#46712901)

...so they can pay them less. amirite?

Boys vs. Girls (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712913)

I agree that girls and boys should be encouraged to learn computer programming. However penalizing boys because they are boys is not the way to do it. Favoring boys to the exclusion of girls was the norm for so many years that I cannot see why favoring girls to the exclusion of boys is something that is even considered. There is a problem with the number of girls who go into technical fields such as coding and engineering and that problem needs to be solved. However, looking at the problems of boys by looking at the number of boys who become criminals and antisocial actors shown by the number of men and boys incarcerated is a very large problem which needs to be addressed.

Why is that a problem? (5, Insightful)

walterbyrd (182728) | about 8 months ago | (#46712995)

> There is a problem with the number of girls who go into technical fields such as coding and engineering and that problem needs to be solved.

Why?

I know five nurses, all woman. Two of them earn over $100K a year. Very few men work as nurses. Is that a problem that needs to be solved?

Re:Why is that a problem? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46713107)

Is it a problem that needs to be solved? I would say yes.

I'd say your extrapolation of 'people you know' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46713139)

to a whole field is a problem for sure. it's weak and lazy thinking.

Re:Why is that a problem? (1, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 8 months ago | (#46713193)

know five nurses, all woman. Two of them earn over $100K a year. Very few men work as nurses. Is that a problem that needs to be solved?

Yes. Why do people keep asking this?

But it's probably best discussed on a healthcare related forum. Slashdot is a tech one so we concentrate on problems in the tech industry, because that's what we know and what we see.

You can ask about primary school teachers too if you wish. The answer is the same: yes.

But I'm never going to do anything about either of those because I have no connection to either segment.

Re:Why is that a problem? (0)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 8 months ago | (#46713213)

Very few men work as nurses. Is that a problem that needs to be solved?

I am willing to postulate the minority male student population at your local nursing school are, by and large, pleased with the disproportionate female>male ratio.

Don't you see the irony?

Young women will use this opportunity for a career in IT to bag more than their fair share of geeks.

Re:Boys vs. Girls (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about 8 months ago | (#46713101)

However penalizing boys

Absence of an incentive is not really a "penalty". They aren't excluding boys in any way, simply adding a little something extra for people who actually get girls to participate.

Re:Boys vs. Girls (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 months ago | (#46713195)

'scuse me, I might be from a different corner of the planet where we don't dump a metric ton of fabric on our females until you can't see them anymore, but unless you happen to be from such a place, how the hell were boys favored to the exclusion of girls by any institution when it came to programming?

If anything, the problem is parents/relatives/peer groups trying to press girls into traditional female roles, telling them that they can't do that or that they should busy themselves with more "girly" things. But that's hardly something a school or government can remedy. Or, rather, should. I'm no fan of handing over to a school or other institution what values my kids should learn. Even if that carries the risk that some idiot parents keeps telling their girls that their job is to be bare foot and pregnant.

Demagoguery that matters (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712915)

This is the first Slashdot submission I can think of that I could easily imagine being shouted by someone sweaty, impassioned, and highly charismatic to a crowd armed with pitchforks and torches.

Let's not stop with gender (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712927)

Teach an African to code = $100
Teach an Asian or Indian to code = $0

And indian girls also get $0 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712937)

Because, after all, we all know that is what an indian girl is worth.

Obligatory (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712941)

KHAAAAAAAAN!

Why would they do anything else? (0, Flamebait)

ixl (811473) | about 8 months ago | (#46712957)

No, seriously, why would anyone do anything else if the goal is gender parity in the industry?

Let's take gender out of the equation. Say you have a jar full of ten million marbles. 95% are green, 5% are yellow. 10000 marbles are added to the jar every year. Your goal is to make the jar 50% green, 50% yellow, and you can't take any marbles out of the jar. Changing the distribution of marbles added each year to 50/50 will never make the entire jar 50/50. The only way to solve the problem without removing existing marbles from the jar is to raise the distribution of marbles added to more than 50% yellow. Clearly the most effective solution problem is to only add yellow marbles to the jar at all.

Back in the real world: you either need to fire men who don't deserve it, hire equal numbers of men and women and wait a generation or two for enough people to retire, or try to hire more women than men. Because math.

Re:Why would they do anything else? (2)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | about 8 months ago | (#46713083)

Or... you know... hire the best person for the job, not set a goal of having a 50/50 distribution?

Humans are not marbles, we are all unique, all have our strengths and weaknesses, and different ways of thinking.

Hire the right person for the job in hand, don't hire people based on some magical need to have a particular distribution. I really don't get this desire...

Re:Why would they do anything else? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 8 months ago | (#46713125)

No, seriously, why would anyone do anything else if the goal is gender parity in the industry?

Let's take gender out of the equation. Say you have a jar full of ten million marbles. 95% are green, 5% are yellow. 10000 marbles are added to the jar every year. Your goal is to make the jar 50% green, 50% yellow, and you can't take any marbles out of the jar. Changing the distribution of marbles added each year to 50/50 will never make the entire jar 50/50. The only way to solve the problem without removing existing marbles from the jar is to raise the distribution of marbles added to more than 50% yellow. Clearly the most effective solution problem is to only add yellow marbles to the jar at all.

Back in the real world: you either need to fire men who don't deserve it, hire equal numbers of men and women and wait a generation or two for enough people to retire, or try to hire more women than men. Because math.

You could paint the green marbles yellow - oh wait keep those scissors away from me!

Re:Why would they do anything else? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46713145)

*This* is a rational argument. Mod parent up.

(Let's have a rational discussion, and not the usual masculine emotional nonsense whenever anyone mentions a woman.)

--
Greg K Nicholson

Re:Why would they do anything else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46713191)

Your goal is to make the jar 50% green, 50% yellow

But is it? For what purpose exactly? There is no point throwing money and resources at a group not interested in X to convince it to do X, when you have other group, actually interested in X and doing X right now.

It's amazing how nobody tries to achieve parity in garbage disposal services. It's always these cushy, well paying office jobs.

If ur not coding because you like it . . . (4, Insightful)

walterbyrd (182728) | about 8 months ago | (#46712961)

Then you are not going to be very productive anyway.

If you have to bribe people to code, they clearly do not enjoy coding.

Affirmative Action (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712967)

Affirmative Action [wikipedia.org] is one of many useful tools in equalising people where inequality exists. It's not always appropriate, but here it seems like it'd be beneficial (provided they can't game the system). Encouraging the participation of females in computer science is a good thing; having females choose another profession purely because they believe CS is a 'male thing' is sad.

The SAT comparison is beyond moronic, and I assume the poster is aware of that. Stop trying to create drama out of nothing - leave that to the professional media outlets, because you'll never beat them at their game.

Re:Affirmative Action (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 8 months ago | (#46713215)

Affirmative Action [wikipedia.org] is one of many useful tools in equalising people where inequality exists. It's not always appropriate, but here it seems like it'd be beneficial (provided they can't game the system). Encouraging the participation of females in computer science is a good thing; having females choose another profession purely because they believe CS is a 'male thing' is sad.

The SAT comparison is beyond moronic, and I assume the poster is aware of that. Stop trying to create drama out of nothing - leave that to the professional media outlets, because you'll never beat them at their game.

Are girls not being allowed to take computer science courses? No, as such that means affirmative action doesn't apply. While it might be laudable to encourage more girls to enter the field, active discrimination in the attempt should not be tolerated. What if, Google only paid if boys took the courses, under the guise to get more students to take computer science classes? Would you feel the same?

According to major tech firms, there is a shortage of qualified computer science graduates. Why wouldn't Google be supporting getting more kids into the field, regardless of gender, race, creed, etc.?

Why aren't there big incentives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46712969)

* To have women enter into:
- car/truck mechanics
- tradeswomen (electricians, plumbers, roofers etc.)
- name any other field typically more male?

* For men to become/work in
- hair stylists
- Elementary school teachers
- healthcare (not as doctors)
- name any other field dominated typically by women

Some times there are [we'll call them] 'natural' inclinations to certain fields for good reason. Encouragement and balance is good, but artificial over-correction ... I don't believe that's helpful. That said ... Google is a private company and can have at it, even though it smells discriminatory to me.

Re:Why aren't there big incentives (1)

s slash (3610799) | about 8 months ago | (#46713129)

Because none of the professions you're talking about are generally well paid. IT is abundant in jobs that are:

- Well paid
- Well respected
- Have no apparent attributes that make one gender likely more capable in the field than any other gender

And yet there's a massive gender gap in this industry. Nobody really knows why. I've worked alongside men, women, different races, different ages, and I can't honestly say I've noticed any particular group showed signs of being more capable than any other group. I've known terrible women programmers and awesome women programmers. I've known terrible men programmers and good ones. Races? Tougher, as I've worked alongside very few non-whites (is this gap being addressed too?) but the people I worked alongside who weren't white were good.

So we have a respected, well paid, career path, that is superficially accessible to all, and yet at least one identifiable group making up 50% of the population sees it as inaccessible, or avoids it for other reasons. We should be concerned.

Equality? How about sports? (4, Insightful)

Andover Chick (1859494) | about 8 months ago | (#46712971)

In school sports the boy's sports programs are granted a lot more money, even with Title 9. Do you think Ole Miss or Ohio State are as generous as the girls programs (including admissions) as they are with boys football? If benefactors want to pay girls more to learn programming then it is wonderful?

Re:Equality? How about sports? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 8 months ago | (#46713149)

In school sports the boy's sports programs are granted a lot more money, even with Title 9. Do you think Ole Miss or Ohio State are as generous as the girls programs (including admissions) as they are with boys football? If benefactors want to pay girls more to learn programming then it is wonderful?

Are you saying that colleges put more money into the sports programs of male tennis, swimming, track and field than they do for the women? Or are you confusing the cost of a football program with these other costs? Before claiming discrimination in college sports, one needs to look at the net cost of those various programs, not the total costs. While I have no doubt that there is still an imbalance, it isn't as great as it would appear on the surface.

As far as benefactors wanting to pay girls more to learn to program, would you fell the same if it were whites, or males, heterosexuals? If it would not be okay to discriminate against others by only funding these groups, why is it okay to do so for girls? While it is laudable to encourage more girls into computer science, it would seem that there are better solutions than outward discrimination.

Besides, why wouldn't Google want to encourage more kids all together?

an additional $500 gift code (2)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 8 months ago | (#46712983)

we'll email you an additional $500 gift code

What's a "gift code"? Is that some new term for virus?

Premise for a movie (5, Funny)

korbulon (2792438) | about 8 months ago | (#46713033)

A geeky guy suddenly find himself out of a jahb - victim of downsizing, outsourcing, H1B1-jeebies etc etc - and thinks up a plan to take advantage of this new program by dressing up as a woman and teaching inner-city girls all about the ins-and-outs of programming, and in the process learns a little bit about something called life.

"He taught them how to code, but they taught him how to live."

From the producers of Mrs Doubtfire and I Spit on Your Grave, this summer Paramount Pictures brings you a feel-good, down-on-your-luck, rags-to-riches, local-boy-make-good, shaggy-dog, fish-out-of-water, girl-meets-boy, boy-turns-into-girl story.

Michael Cera in Class Act.

Hold on... (1)

FRAKK2 (166082) | about 8 months ago | (#46713047)

So how come there isn't an outcry about lack of women , clearing away dustbins or working down the sewers?

Actually, this makes perfect sense. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46713053)

Bottom line: Incentives aren't needed to get boys interested in coding. They do it anyway. There is a viscious circle: coding is seen as a "boys' thing," and when girls attempt to enter the culture, they face numerous social barriers-- most notably from the coders themselves. As the vitrioloc comments to this news articele would indicate.

Khan Academy and Google are using financial incentives to try to break this cycle, and I applaud them for this effort.

Don't be evil? (2, Interesting)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 8 months ago | (#46713057)

I was always taught that discrimination was evil. Maybe Google has a different definition.

more lefttist injustice (-1, Troll)

callmetheraven (711291) | about 8 months ago | (#46713065)

Google is run by libtard scum, and it's libtard scum policy to persecute men, especially white men.

Politically correct sexism (5, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | about 8 months ago | (#46713069)

This is so flagrantly sexist that it's absurd. But luckily for Google, it's the politically correct form of sexism. It's been decreed that programming being male dominated is bad, and thus taking sexist action to fix it is okay.

This of course totally ignores that university education as a whole has become majority female, and many professions are becoming majority female that didn't used to be. That by and large we're doing a lousy job of educating boys is not considered a problem, so making that problem worse by trying to exclude them from one of the areas they still do well in is considered okay.

Sure, it's total BS. But it's PC BS, and that's good enough, right?

Girls are less capable and you're not doing enough (1)

PseudoCoder (1642383) | about 8 months ago | (#46713151)

That's what this kind of initiative says. The implication is that it's the teacher's faults boys are doing better than girls at programming and they need to deliberately do more to even the odds. Is the female graduation rate lower because they're dumber and need more help from teachers? Are the teachers actively discriminating against girls? Or is the disparity because there are less girls interested in this field for entirely different and varying reasons? A doctor that asks the patient detailed questions and tries to find the root cause and then prescribe a drug is usually more successful than the one who just asks what you're feeling and writes a prescription to see what happens. Can't help but wonder if they investigated the source and magnitude of the disparity before putting together a misguided initiative like this.

The reason the disparity between girls and boys... (1)

mapkon (2792089) | about 8 months ago | (#46713163)

..continues. It is projects and plans like this that perpetuate the fact that girls (and women in general) need help to square up with boys, without which, they will always play second fiddle. Do not get me wrong, I do understand that their is inequality between boys and girls, but I do not think that knee-jerk reactions like this are the solution to the problem. This should be discontinued -

Experience with KhanAcademy's Sandbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46713165)

Speaking as someone who's been coding for a few years, I can tell you that KhanAcademy has a lot of work to do, on their course material.

The syntax in their sandbox is actually different, from the syntax you would use OUT of the sandbox. It took me a lot of annoyance to figure out exactly what differences mattered, because the differences ARE NOT DOCUMENTED.

You can't void functions, and you have to declare them as variables in KA, or they don't work.

You can't say:

void myfunction(){
        stuff;
}

and you have to say

var myfunction = function(){
        stuff;
}

Also, it has a knockoff of Clippy from MS Word that pops up whenever you don't get done closing your parens fast enough, freezing your whole graphical interface, saying "Oh Noes! It looks like you're trying to blah blah blah" and yeah.

In closing, it's a great way to get introduced to how SYNTAX works, in general, but to actually learn JS, I think a lot of improvement is needed.

It is beneficial... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46713175)

More females in IT, more sex for male nerds.

Also (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46713197)

I'm beginning to think that people are worried that women would be better coders than men.

The female brain is more attentive to detail than the male brain. I've always thought women would make better coders, TBH.

Google is being bossy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46713219)

As usual, Google can fuck off.

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