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ACM Blames the PC For Driving Women Away From Computer Science

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the how-you-slice-and-dice-the-factors dept.

Education 329

theodp (442580) writes "Over at the Communications of the ACM, a new article — Computing's Narrow Focus May Hinder Women's Participation — suggests that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs should shoulder some of the blame for the dearth of women at Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter and other tech companies. From the article: "Valerie Barr, chair of ACM's Council on Women in Computing (ACM-W), believes the retreat [of women from CS programs] was caused partly by the growth of personal computers. 'The students who graduated in 1984 were the last group to start college before there was personal computing. So if you were interested in bioinformatics, or computational economics, or quantitative anthropology, you really needed to be part of the computer science world. After personal computers, that wasn't true any more.'" So, does TIME's 1982 Machine of the Year deserve the bad rap? By the way, the ACM's Annual Report discusses its participation in an alliance which has helped convince Congress that there ought to be a federal law making CS a "core subject" for girls and boys: "Under the guidance of the Education Policy Committee, ACM continued its efforts to reshape the U.S. education system to see real computer science exist and count as a core graduation credit in U.S. high schools. Working with the CSTA, the National Center for Women and Information Technology, NSF, Microsoft, and Google, ACM helped launch a new public/private partnership under the leadership of Code.org to strengthen high school level computing courses, improve teacher training, engage states in bringing computer science into their core curriculum guidelines, and encourage more explicit federal recognition of computer science as a key discipline in STEM discussions.""

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Colorful language in titles of /. posts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47742905)

Coming 3.. 2.. 1..

The problem, as always... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47742911)

boils down to a general lack of self-confidence in women. From the article:

"Boys fall in love with computers as machines; girls see them as tools to do something else," said Barbara Ericson, a senior research scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology who tracks the AP exam. "Then girls think, Ãmaybe I don't belong because I don't love them like the boys do.Ã(TM)"

Whether that lack of self-confidence is instilled by society, is somehow genetically innate to females, or a combination of the two, *that* is what is behind the lack of women in STEM fields. We need to work on ways to improve our self confidence and the rest will follow.

The problem, as always... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47742969)

We need to work on ways to improve our self confidence and the rest will follow.

Well start by stopping the blame white males and society excuses for women's alleged lack if self-confidence. Look in the mirror and they'd see the problem staring back.

Re:The problem, as always... (5, Funny)

Smallpond (221300) | about 4 months ago | (#47743111)

We can't even solve the problem of Unicode on /.

Re:The problem, as always... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743597)

It wouldn't be hard to solve, but given the current state of affairs: no dice.

Re:The problem, as always... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743371)

I don't have self-confidence for two cents and I'm in CS. Any other theories?

Re:The problem, as always... (4, Interesting)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 4 months ago | (#47743601)

Same. My lack of self confidence is what caused me to spent all my time with my c-64 instead of people.

Do they? (4, Insightful)

rbarreira (836272) | about 4 months ago | (#47742927)

"With computing, the social element isn't always evident. They ask, 'how am I going to make a difference in the world with a computer science degree?'"

I've never heard someone saying a sentence like this in high school (girls or boys). Anyone?

Re:Do they? (2)

khasim (1285) | about 4 months ago | (#47743063)

I've never heard someone saying a sentence like this in high school (girls or boys). Anyone?

Not me, either. If anything that would happen in college, wouldn't it?

Anyway, from TFA (by the way, is it really displaying as grey text on a white background):

NCWIT senior research scientist Catherine Ashcraft cites the 2008 Harvard Business Review study "The Athena Factor," which found that "56% of technical women leave their private sector jobs by mid-career," she said. "But 75% continue to work full-time, and approximately half of these continue to work in technical occupations.

Check my math, okay?
100 tech women
56% leave the private sector (56 in this example)
75% of the 56 continue to work full time (42 in this example)
~50% of 42 continue in tech (21 in this example)

So that 21 plus the 44 that did not change is 65. So only 35% of women in tech leave tech in mid-career. 65% are in tech and stay in tech full time.

What's the percentage of men who leave tech in mid-career? How does that compare to the 35% for women?

In her position as a professor of computer science at Union College, Barr found contextualizing computer science classes led to an increase in female enrollment.

I don't mean to sound mercenary here, but isn't "money" a major motivating factor? Paying the mortgage and such?

Re:Do they? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 4 months ago | (#47743091)

Check my math, okay?
100 tech women
56% leave the private sector (56 in this example)
75% of the 56 continue to work full time (42 in this example)
~50% of 42 continue in tech (21 in this example)

So that 21 plus the 44 that did not change is 65. So only 35% of women in tech leave tech in mid-career. 65% are in tech and stay in tech full time.

Well, there is also a dearth of women studying mathematics.

Re:Do they? (4, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 4 months ago | (#47743457)

Babies happen.

Many women who become moms stay at home on hiatus before returning to work. IT is a fast moving target, so being left behind for a short while is enough to make it too troublesome to return to the same career. Some will chose an entirely different job that better suits their work/family life. Another percentage of those moms stay at home as a "stay at home mother"; which BTW is a full-time job in of itself with bread winning father providing the financials.

Re:Do they? (2)

timelorde (7880) | about 4 months ago | (#47743557)

Check my math, okay?

You've gone too far. You should have stopped when the answer was 42.

Re:Do they? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743487)

"With computing, the social element isn't always evident. They ask, 'how am I going to make a difference in the world with a computer science degree?'"

I've never heard someone saying a sentence like this in high school (girls or boys). Anyone?

These feminists cunt should rather ask themselves how they going to make a difference with women's study degree.

So... (4, Interesting)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 4 months ago | (#47742943)

So women stopped studying computer science because they didn't have to anymore? That certainly sounds like a crime against humanity.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743009)

Yeah, I don't get how that precluded women from the field either?

what is computer science nowadays? (1)

Kkloe (2751395) | about 4 months ago | (#47743119)

I bet back in the days computer science was more of an high engineering education than it is now
that before computer science was for people to be researches in other fields and use computer as a help tool, where now you dont need to go computer science as you can take single courses of math lab or other appropriate language for that field
now computer science is more to learn to program and as now playing games on pc, xbox etc has been a more a normal thing for girls to do than before, the upswing for women in TODAYS computer science will be when the ones born around 2000 will start studying in colleges/universitys

Re:what is computer science nowadays? (1, Redundant)

digsbo (1292334) | about 4 months ago | (#47743475)

I bet back in the days computer science was more of an high engineering education than it is now

No, it was math. It was engineering for a little while in the 90s. Now it's like accounting - mostly applied software engineering, unless it's a top school.

why can the world (3, Interesting)

ganjadude (952775) | about 4 months ago | (#47742977)

simply not accept that men and women are different, and like different things? this is getting really creepy how obsessed some people are these days with other peoples lives.

Re:why can the world (4, Insightful)

toejam13 (958243) | about 4 months ago | (#47743107)

But why do they like different career paths? Is it that there is a biological difference that guides men and women to different career choices, or is there some social prodding that causes men and women to self regulate?

On the flip side, there have been few articles that talk about why men often avoid female dominated jobs such as primary school teaching, nursing, housekeeping, secretarial / office management, social working, accounting and the like. Often, it turns out to be self-regulating. Remember the movie Meet the Fockers and how Ben Stiller's character was given so much crap for being a male nurse? Yet male nurses are in high demand because they can lift heavier patients and better restrain unruly patients.

Re:why can the world (2, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 4 months ago | (#47743129)

why men often avoid female dominated jobs such as primary school teaching

Because the pay is terrible, and you can't support a family as a primary school teacher?

Re:why can the world (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743351)

That's kind of a crock of shit. My mom is a primary school teacher. At a middle class school in the suburbs, she brought home a very generous salary, followed by a sizeable lifetime pension after retirement. This myth that all these poor teachers are living in poverty needs to end.

Re:why can the world (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 4 months ago | (#47743403)

a few questions

how long ago was your mom a teacher? and how long was she a teacher?

I can tell you that there are current grads that are trying to get teaching jobs, most these jobs for a first year student are under 27K a year ( granted thats with 3 months off) but still, in NY, you cant live on that

Re:why can the world (2)

digsbo (1292334) | about 4 months ago | (#47743493)

Those are fair questions. There is no question the people in teaching in my area (Philly suburbs) have done very well in pay due to people arguing that there is some kind of across the board national problem with teacher pay. A teacher with 20 years experience probably makes as much per hour as a software engineer with 30 years experience, but has better benefits and retirement. I think you're looking at about $80-$85K for a 180 day school year year w/ master's degree (which was paid for by the employer, and can be passed by a carrot) and 20 years experience in MANY of the districts in the region.

Re:why can the world (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743637)

My girlfriend is a teacher in a medium sized city adjacent to a larger one. Her class is about 70% immigrant and she make $56k/year and has 16 years of experience. Owns her own house (in a very expensive socal neighborhood) and internationally travels 3 months out of the year. Her father was also a teacher and has a very nice house nearby.

Re:why can the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743573)

>Because the pay is terrible, and you can't support a family as a primary school teacher?

Chef, mechanic, certain skilled trades are male dominated and have poor pay.

Re:why can the world (4, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | about 4 months ago | (#47743135)

why do we need to care why the differences are there? cant we just accept that there are difference and stop trying to "fix" the non problem?

Re:why can the world (1, Interesting)

bistromath007 (1253428) | about 4 months ago | (#47743185)

I think the whole issue is that depending on what the reason is, it is a problem. What's really wrong on both sides of it is that people tend to just assume it is our isn't a problematic reason, without actually getting one anywhere but their ass.

Re:why can the world (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743263)

Please repost your question in English.

Re:why can the world (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 4 months ago | (#47743329)

i have no idea what you said but i gather you said

its a problem because...its a problem

My response to that is no, its not

Re:why can the world (1)

bistromath007 (1253428) | about 4 months ago | (#47743503)

Excessive use of ganja appears to be negatively affecting your reading comprehension.

Re:why can the world (5, Insightful)

toejam13 (958243) | about 4 months ago | (#47743407)

If there is a social cause, then society can work to undo it. If it is a biological cause, then we can stop wasting time and effort thinking it is a social cause.

Had my mom been born a decade later or in a more progressive area, she probably would have pursued a career as a chemist. But my grandmother wouldn't allow it and many of her peers discouraged her. She became a nurse instead. She still has some regret over the decision decades later.

In her case, she wasn't so meek as to dismiss being a chemist from the start. She actually stuck her neck out only to be swatted down. But I bet that many women of her era would have convinced themselves that being a chemist was a foolish notion and wouldn't have pursued it at all. That's social self-regulation. That should be eliminated.

Re:why can the world (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743603)

> why do we need to care why the differences are there? cant we just accept that there are difference and stop trying to "fix" the non problem?

Because it looks like evidence against the feminist argument that men and women are equal, that women can do "men's" jobs and they deserve equal pay for such work. This is not an admonishment, I totally agree that that's a valid goal to pursue.

However, it seems to me that the best way to prove you can accomplish something is to accomplish it. If there are roadblocks in the way of women joining CS/STEM, they need to overcome them. Asking to have them removed will not work. Break through that wall, and the culture will follow - it can't happen the other way around.

Re:why can the world (5, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 4 months ago | (#47743143)

But why do they like different career paths?

I'm going to posit that women are smarter about accepting abusive work conditions than men are. 90-hour weeks where you sleep at your desk and get free Mountain Dew and a game of pinball in a few times during a death march is an abusive situation.

What I really don't get is why some women want so badly to put other women in these situations when they're already winning. I guess what we need is more women entrepreneurs, to run companies sanely. Or men to grow a pair and tell their masters to kiss off so that tech work environments can become places where women would feel welcome.

Yeah, smoke on that one - when you work unpaid overtime you're being hostile towards women.

Re:why can the world (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743223)

This gets really old... "Oh, I hate this job where I work with people that like the same things as me and I do the same thing I would do at home - except I get paid for it." I know people that work the kind of hours you are talking about and not one of them does it because they think they would get fired if they didn't.
They all do it because they like the work they do and it is interesting to them. I work those hours sometimes but not because there is someone behind me with a whip. It's interesting work. I've done the same kind of stuff since I was 10 or 11. The only difference now is that I get paid.
So again, shut up.

Re:why can the world (4, Insightful)

Zynder (2773551) | about 4 months ago | (#47743303)

Why should he shut up? I hate going to my job but it pays so damned good. For every one of your type, there are 10 of us. I mean I wanted to be a goddamned astronaut but it just didn't work out that way so now we do what we must to get by. You should applaud people like me and Bill. You aren't paying us to sit at home and mooch off of the system. Instead we go to a job we might hate but it beats scrubbing your toilets for $20/wk.

Re:why can the world (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743379)

I'll take 90-hour weeks over teaching screaming kids.

Re:why can the world (5, Interesting)

poity (465672) | about 4 months ago | (#47743423)

Perhaps women have the luxury and privilege of not losing attractiveness when working low-paying jobs. Perhaps men are the victims of a society that forces them to over-work and be over-competitive because women ultimately select whose genes are passed on and whose are not. Perhaps this competitiveness is why men will take on more hard jobs, fight for more raises, and suffer the abuses.

Is female materialism driving men into high wage jobs? Maybe there should be a federal law to address this...

CS Core Curriculum? (4, Insightful)

Langalf (557561) | about 4 months ago | (#47742985)

Please, please, teach them something besides how to code in Java. A little theory would be nice. Some basic understanding of what a computer actually does with that code they type in. Some idea of how algorithms are turned into programs. Please?

Re:CS Core Curriculum? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47743361)

HTDP2e to the rescue?

Uh huh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47742995)

Funny, I blame organizations like the ACM far more than I do the people who brought the technology into the mainstream. I wish my fellow women would stop trying to blame others for our own collective disinterest in early personal computing.

There was nothing stopping us from being part of the early popularization efforts of personal computing except an unwillingness to tackle the competitive nature of the early business scene, and even less of a willingness to become labeled as tomboys then guys who were willing to be branded as nerds, back when that label was just as much a guarantee of being socially ostracized for men.

Every time I read an article like this, it smacks of sour grapes and head-up-ass syndrome. You won't stop being a victim if you keep acting like one, and you won't make anything better by showing just how large our collective inferiority complex is. If only the ACM still did something of sincere value we might not have to dwell on this now. Thanks, Valerie Barr, now try solving the problem instead of pointing fingers. If other women and men hadn't thought to actually act, we'd still be in the kitchen now.

The guilt! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47742997)

The guilt, the guilt!! Oh noooooes, what are we to do?! It's all our fault that women don't want to be in CS. We must atone for our sins and force them into all things computer science. They will turn around and thank us and hopefully forgive the rest of the community for our egregious crimes against humanity. Mercy MERCY!!

mass hysteria? (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 4 months ago | (#47743007)

I give up. This is some sort of mass hysteria.

Re:mass hysteria? (1, Flamebait)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#47743065)

Why? Is it mostly fat chicks in the ACM-W? 'cause I never heard anyone come up with harebrained shit like that anywhere else.

Re:mass hysteria? (0)

Zynder (2773551) | about 4 months ago | (#47743321)

What does the size of one's ass have to do with one's ability to spout off stupid shit?

Re:mass hysteria? (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#47743433)

Was a reference to mass hysteria.

Re:mass hysteria? (1)

Zynder (2773551) | about 4 months ago | (#47743449)

The mass in my head is very dense :)

the ACM is trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743023)

Compilers don't have emotions. You can't fool a compiler with sophistry, charm it with your charisma, or threaten it with your strength. The only way to get a compiler to do what you want is to know what the hell you are doing.

There's a term for this.

In 1984... (3, Informative)

Gavin Scott (15916) | about 4 months ago | (#47743039)

"So if you were interested in bioinformatics, or computational economics, or quantitative anthropology, you really needed to be part of the computer science world."

These weren't even things in 1984.

Computers were not so pervasive that you were missing out on much if you didn't know anything about them.

G.

Re:In 1984... (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47743383)

These weren't even things in 1984.

People working with Smalltalk machines and Lisp workstations at that time would probably disagree. But then again, only a chosen few could afford those.

Re:In 1984... (2)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 4 months ago | (#47743591)

"So if you were interested in bioinformatics, or computational economics, or quantitative anthropology, you really needed to be part of the computer science world."

These weren't even things in 1984.

It depends on what you mean by "weren't even things." If you mean that most people didn't know about them, well, that's still true. If you mean that NO ONE -- even at research labs and in grad school projects, etc. -- was doing this stuff, well, you're wrong. Even if you just do some searches in Google Books restricting sources to 1984 or earlier, you'll find the use of the term "bioinformatics" going back to the early 1970s (the first shared protein databases go back to the early 70s, and gene sequencing software to the late 70s), and entire books devoted to mathematical programming and computational modeling in economics from the 1970s.

As for "quantitative anthropology," there are a few sources out there that mention applying quantitative methods back then, but I doubt there was as much computer use as in, say, economics. On the other hand, I know a number of people who did their doctoral dissertations in the humanities in the 1960s and early 1970s who were making use of computers to try things similar to what we'd called "digital humanities" today. And I've read papers in the humanities using computer-aided analysis going back to at least the early 1960s. Perhaps it was the "space race" era or something that influenced those projects, but computers were around particularly at universities.

Computers were not so pervasive that you were missing out on much if you didn't know anything about them.

I'd absolutely agree with that. But there's a difference between saying that "you weren't missing out on much" and "those ideas/fields didn't exist" (and sometimes made significant use of computers) in 1984.

Re:In 1984... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47743619)

As for "quantitative anthropology," there are a few sources out there that mention applying quantitative methods back then, but I doubt there was as much computer use as in, say, economics. On the other hand, I know a number of people who did their doctoral dissertations in the humanities in the 1960s and early 1970s who were making use of computers to try things similar to what we'd called "digital humanities" today. And I've read papers in the humanities using computer-aided analysis going back to at least the early 1960s. Perhaps it was the "space race" era or something that influenced those projects, but computers were around particularly at universities.

One word: SNOBOL. :-)

Know what that sounds like? (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#47743061)

It sounds like some jocks complaining that they didn't wanna hang with the uncool geek crowd and now they're relegated to polishing the cars of those eggheads.

What about nursing?? (3, Insightful)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about 4 months ago | (#47743069)

How come there aren't any people complaining that there are VASTLY more women in nursing than men. Surely we need to make sure that core nursing classes are a core subject for both men and women right?

Re:What about nursing?? (0)

Smallpond (221300) | about 4 months ago | (#47743179)

Because women who want go into medicine end up nurses instead of doctors. This is the result of stereotypes, peer pressure and a largely male establishment.

Re:What about nursing?? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743231)

Because women who want go into medicine end up nurses instead of doctors. This is the result of stereotypes, peer pressure and a largely male establishment.

So what you are saying is if a field is male dominated, it is because of men and we need to change it. If a field is female dominated, it is still because of men. Is there anything that is not a man's fault?

Re:What about nursing?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743471)

When all of the male-dominated fields are vastly higher paid than the female-dominated fields, I don't think it is the women keeping it that way.

Re:What about nursing?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743311)

According to this data chart [kff.org] , about 30% of physicians are female. According to this article [onlinenursingdegrees.org] , its about 23.1%. But then it goes on to note that nurses are 94.5% female. And this study [nih.gov] indicates that physician assistants ("PA"s, in layman's terms kinda halfway between a nurse and a doctor) are now 60+% of the field.

So mid-20 to 30 percent for doctors,
60 percent for PAs,
and a whopping 94.5% for nurses,
and you're crying foul that "the man" is holding women down? Must be news to those 230,000 female M.D.s!

By your hideous gender equality standards, we should be kicking out female nurse applicants until we get a nice 50/50 gender balance going. In other words, cutting the field by 90%! Hope you don't get sick...

Ever-increasing proportion of female physicians (1)

Guppy (12314) | about 4 months ago | (#47743649)

According to this data chart [kff.org], about 30% of physicians are female.

As time go on, this will even out. While the ranks of older physicians are male-dominated, females make up just slightly under half the medical school class in the US. In parts of Europe, they already make up the majority:

women make up 54 percent of physicians below the age of 35 in Britain, 58 percent in France and almost 64 percent in Spain, according to the latest figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03... [nytimes.com]

Re:What about nursing?? (1)

Zynder (2773551) | about 4 months ago | (#47743331)

That is a great explanation for the conspiracy types but seriously, do you actually believe that?

Re:What about nursing?? (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | about 4 months ago | (#47743369)

I know tons of female doctors... Most recent my doctor is a woman and the one before that was a man who had a female intern who I saw more than him. Women tend to like medicine in general, but while they are found equally in nursing and as doctors men are rarely nurses. A lot of this goes to society. Men are distrusted in occupations like nursing, teaching (elementary mostly), and secretarial fields. All fields long dominated by women because they were the only jobs available for women.

Re:What about nursing?? (3, Informative)

Guppy (12314) | about 4 months ago | (#47743509)

Because women who want go into medicine end up nurses instead of doctors. This is the result of stereotypes, peer pressure and a largely male establishment.

In 2011-2012, women represented 47.0% of entering students entering medical school, and it's been hovering at just below half (around 47-49%) for the past decade. This value has also been approximately proportional to the gender mix of applicants, which was 47.3% female in 2011-2012.

Source: https://www.aamc.org/download/... [aamc.org]

Re:What about nursing?? (2)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#47743551)

..or maybe nursing offers a social and psychological environment more suited to them. It's not that women are corralled into it, it's that they want it.

Men who try on nursing often find that long term exposure to 'female space' politics is toxic to their sanity and productivity. While both men and women have their own set of group work dynamics, the problem is that feminism demonizes the existence of men's while praising the existence of women's. In fact, it goes out of its way to justify "make history, her story", turning male spaces into female ones. ....and feminists wonder why they're labeled hypocrites?

Re:What about nursing?? (1)

tommeke100 (755660) | about 4 months ago | (#47743617)

I don't think that's true.
In Belgium at least in the 90s med school was populated by more women than men (I'd say 2/3rd).
I would actually argue that where intelligent scientifically inclined men tend to choose engineering, the women tend to choose med school.

Med school is harder than nursing school as well. I'm sure the women that are smart enough to go for med school won't just settle for nurse. And respect is due for nurses as well, it's a tough job.

Men in education and healthcare? (2)

trout007 (975317) | about 4 months ago | (#47743087)

Where is the push to get men to become primary school teachers? Half of students are male shouldn't the same be true of the teachers?

Same for healthcare. With the exception of doctors most healthcare is dominated by women yet men are a large number of patients.

Re:Men in education and healthcare? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743189)

Naw. Men don't want to be primary school teachers because they know in 15 years some stupid twat will be convinced that regression hypnotherapy is real, be brainwashed by some anti male feminist lesbian quack that she was raped by her 3rd grade teacher and ruin his life. Not worth it. Let the women talk their male students into boning them.

Re:Men in education and healthcare? (1)

Zynder (2773551) | about 4 months ago | (#47743347)

I bet you're a lonely guy. Bitter, much?

Re:Men in education and healthcare? (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#47743575)

Does it really matter if he is? The question is whether he's telling the truth. The fact is, school systems have become quite toxic to men. There used to be a lot more of them, and now they're leaving for a reason.

Re:Men in education and healthcare? (1)

Smallpond (221300) | about 4 months ago | (#47743277)

2013 Mean salaries

  • Primary school teacher $54,740
  • Computer programmer $92,820
  • Doctor, internal medicine $188,440
  • RN $68,910

There's also a gap in garbage collectors. Nobody is concerned about those jobs because they are low-end jobs.

Re: Men in education and healthcare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743465)

Teachers can have good benefits unions and can be very hard to fire

Re:Men in education and healthcare? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743477)

Considering no state requires teachers to teach more than half the days of the year, the pay is pretty good. My wife teaches first grade and she leaves home at 7:45 am and is back home by 2:30 pm. That's less than half the time I spend at work as developer, and she only has to teach 170 (180 minus ten vacation/sick days that she always takes) days per year. I worked nearly twice that many days last year.

"Computing's Narrow Focus"? (2)

Animats (122034) | about 4 months ago | (#47743141)

"Computing's Narrow Focus"? Get a degree in petroleum geology or structural engineering if you want a narrow focus. Or pick the wrong field in biology. I know a woman who got a PhD in an area of microbiology that turned out to be a dead end. She ended up managing a coffee shop.

Re:"Computing's Narrow Focus"? (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | about 4 months ago | (#47743197)

"Computing's Narrow Focus"? Get a degree in petroleum geology or structural engineering if you want a narrow focus. Or pick the wrong field in biology. I know a woman who got a PhD in an area of microbiology that turned out to be a dead end. She ended up managing a coffee shop.

It's certainly true that my not-far-post-1984 CS degree was focused pretty much on computing itself; computer architecture, automata, algorithmic complexity, database internals. Not so much on applications; the article suggests that pre-1984 there was more focus on what you can do with computers. I'm not so sure this particular explanation holds up, because the drop in women in CS is mirrored by a drop in women in business computing, which by definition remained focused on applications.

To throw out my own hypothesis, the PC revolution also caused a huge increase in the number of prospective majors in the field. Overwhelmed departments responded with "weed-out" classes and restrictive admissions policies; this may have had a disparate impact on women.

Re:"Computing's Narrow Focus"? (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47743435)

It's certainly true that my not-far-post-1984 CS degree was focused pretty much on computing itself; computer architecture, automata, algorithmic complexity, database internals. Not so much on applications; the article suggests that pre-1984 there was more focus on what you can do with computers.

I must have missed something because when I look at Knuth and Dijkstra, they apparently expect you to already understand how to apply the stuff, and they did so in the 1970s. Was there actually any change in this respect, in the CS field proper?

Re:"Computing's Narrow Focus"? (1)

Carewolf (581105) | about 4 months ago | (#47743285)

"Computing's Narrow Focus"? Get a degree in petroleum geology or structural engineering if you want a narrow focus. Or pick the wrong field in biology. I know a woman who got a PhD in an area of microbiology that turned out to be a dead end. She ended up managing a coffee shop.

The last has probably nothing to do with her choice of subject. Most biology students end up as unskilled workers. I have several friends who have studied biology, and the job market for them while big is way too small for the sheer number of biologists educated.

Re:"Computing's Narrow Focus"? (1)

digsbo (1292334) | about 4 months ago | (#47743515)

I have several friends who have studied biology, and the job market for them while big is way too small for the sheer number of biologists educated.

Advanced degrees (well, really, PhD), or BS only?

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc (2)

russotto (537200) | about 4 months ago | (#47743161)

It's certainly true that the first drop in female enrollment happened shortly after the PC came on the scene (the second drop happened after the dot-com crash). I'm not sure that's sufficient evidence to blame the PC (my post title is a formal fallacy, after all), but at least it has better support than the prevalent "smelly misogynistic nerd" theory.

Here's a thought, lets ask actual women (5, Interesting)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about 4 months ago | (#47743183)

Yknow, like Susan "HedgeMage" Sons? She certainly had some choice words [linuxjournal.com] about this entire tempest in a teacup.

Also it's worth pointing out that computer science degrees are something like 10% of all degrees conferred in the US, and women utterly *dominate* every single aspect of education from K12 through college, even earning nearly 2/3rds of all bachelors degrees. I would think the fact men are barely over 1/3rd of college graduates in the first place is a bit of a bigger problem than what major women choose.

Valerie and the ACM said what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743191)

I think it's because PC's don't come in pink and powder blue -- Hey Valerie I think you are clueless -- maybe it's because most women I've met find PC's boring at least for a career path. There are some career paths that women are not attracted too and the same goes for men. Most men don't want to go into daycare is that Kids R Kids fault?

BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743193)

Bioinformatics didn't exi in 1984 and I'd bet some of the other quoted specialties. What a crock of shit.

Re:BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743221)

Oops should be exist above not exi

Re:BS (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47743451)

Yeah, bioinformatics didn't exist in 1984 because GenBank was first released in 1982...hey, wait a minute!

Sexist education? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743205)

"which has helped convince Congress that there ought to be a federal law making CS a "core subject" for girls and boys..."

When discussing how a particular gender has been supposedly alienated from education, how about we not make sexist comments like this suggesting that we actually separate boys from girls in the education system, since that couldn't be farther from the truth.

Equality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743239)

Welcome to America, where women are forced to become men.

Ignoring the subject will end this nonsense (1)

osiaq (2495684) | about 4 months ago | (#47743251)

Along with all stupid "transsexuals in IT", "women in IT" and "extraterrestrials in IT"

Let me get this straight (3, Funny)

poity (465672) | about 4 months ago | (#47743269)

So, basically, because personal computers made CS more accessible, and men took advantage of this access in greater numbers than women which resulted in the imbalance we see today, it is therefore the fault of personal computers that this imbalance exists.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743315)

It's the fault of everybody if there's few women interested in learning computer science, is what I get from this.

Dear lord, please grant me the power to punch people over the internet...

many women are project mgmt or qa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743343)

Maybe they aren't programmers but pts of women are in related technical positions like project management, QA, design or buainess-side jobs like social media, marketing, sales. It takes all kinds...

We need more women in STEM why? (2)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | about 4 months ago | (#47743387)

Just the other day we had a story about how american tech companies only want the top 1-10% of available tech workers in the US and everyone else they hire is a visa worker... This suggests that maybe 1 in 10 STEM workers in the US actually can get a job in the US in tech... So for the love of god we need more women to enter this often dead end field why? So more women can remain unemployed, underemployed, and otherwise in debt?

As fundamental as computers are today I can sort of understand a certain level of computer competency/literacy is probably a good thing... But this drive to force more women into STEM seems a bit silly to me... If they want to sure, if not that's fine....

Again with blaming others (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743389)

When are we going to see an article that blames the person making a decision being held responsible for the repercussions of their actions vs blaming everything on men? Slashdot is turning into Jezebel.

Re:Again with blaming others (1)

graffic (1419591) | about 4 months ago | (#47743447)

Good point.

ACM Awards - Academy of Country Music (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 4 months ago | (#47743425)

My wife watches those country music awards shows

We don't know (3, Insightful)

Livius (318358) | about 4 months ago | (#47743431)

I think the biggest problem is that people aren't willing to just admit we don't now why computer science has the male-female imbalance that it does.

There are differences between men and women in terms of temperament and aptitudes, but those differences are small and don't seem to explain it.

There are aspects of the culture in computer science that are inconvenient for parents, and usually wives expect husbands to make compromises (which not all men and not all women are happy about). That doesn't seem enough to explain it either.

There is certainly no lack of encouragement and support for women in the profession, so it's not that any of that is lacking.

We don't know, and that means we don't know what the solution is, or even if there is a problem in need of a solution.

I'm surprise ACM didn't blame yahoo 10 years ago. (0)

Freeman-Jo (580965) | about 4 months ago | (#47743445)

Maybe next year ACM will blame Tesla and Samsung. In the US, female population is like 3-to-1 against male. Most of the tech company ACM pointed out are US tech companies, I'm confuse why would any group thinks tech companies should give special privilege or attention to the majority of the 75% population that have no interest in this field. When I was in high school, I don't see any one outside of my family give a crap about what field I interested in. And when I was in high school, I think majority of the male students only interest in female students and vice-versa. Even clubs like jeopardy or math and science were mostly comprised of male students like 9-to-1 if that club even had a female members. I don't think it was because they had any prejudice against female students, I was sure that they would welcome any female student to join the club. What I saw was many of the female students spent their lunch and after school hours at the gym watching basketball players instead. Not sure if they are the g/f of those players, fans or would be. But most of them didn't even care about basketball to begin with. There weren't even google or facebook back then. Most of those tech employees would be around my age (25-40). Suddenly now people think it's a problem and them to be blame? For the record I'm not working for any of those named companies. I played basketball and did some body building back in the junior high, then got bore and quit before high school. Did some programming in HS, but realized I didn't want that type of job. It would be fun doing that once in a while, but not spending 8-10 hours a day at the desk coding 6 days a week. Things that would become some what popular, I did that at least 3-5 years ahead. And I realized those weren't for me. What concerned me is that just about any dependent study groups, government or journalist/bloggers(can't very tell them apart any more), they weren't blaming parents. Why is that? Parents are the most influential people for any male and female since their birth. And it's their job to give their kids guidance. Students spend maybe 6-7 hours a day at school. And more at home, if they spend less at home that's the parents fault also. Yet, the tech industry is to blame?

Loud and clear (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 months ago | (#47743491)

"Valerie Barr, chair of ACM's Council on Women in Computing (ACM-W), believes the retreat [of women from CS programs] was caused partly by the growth of personal computers."

So, it sounds like women don't go into computer science because they don't like computers.

Alright, that makes sense. I don't like pig shit so I didn't become a hog farmer.

You've got to be kidding me? (2, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#47743495)

The social justice warrior push into tech is getting brazen. The article goes to the edge of suggesting that women are smarter than men, but then says when the applied knowledge gets specific enough, they fall behind? The problem is that the best way to measure mastery of knowledge is to measure how well it is applied to open ended problems. If most women are dropping out at that point, it means they can't hack it. If the majority of high performing employees at places like google are male, that suggests a problem with how the schools measure performance more than anything else. It's not like google isn't rolling out the red carpet for them, and if they were truly better, google would snap them up in an instant and have a female majority by now. Do women earn more credits and get better grades? Probably, but these days, high schools and colleges are bending over backwards to give women the fast track, so I wouldn't trust any of the statistics they present. In fact, the whole article reeks of political think tank style 'research.'

Lucy Sanders, CEO and co-founder of the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), noted that compared to universities, "corporations are all different, and they're all very private."

I think this unintentionally presents the real motivations behind this whole piece: The justification of more regulation from the feminist lobby.

There are many theories. One asserts that prejudice against women's abilities throws barriers in their way; a related perspective suggests women are less likely to enter technical fields because they expect such barriers.

If this is even true, I wonder why they expect to find such barriers? Maybe because the media, school system, and society have beaten it into their heads they they're victims of the evil 'patriarchy' keeping them out of everything?

"Boys fall in love with computers as machines; girls see them as tools to do something else,"

Exactly true. I would say this is so with all technology, not just computers. However, it takes passion to stay afloat in these fields. You can't just get a degree and then expect to operate as a drone for the rest of your career if you want to move beyond the internship. Perhaps this is the reason why women drop out of the highly competitive applied fields. Hell, most men can't hack those positions either. It's one thing to be motivated by general ideas as the article suggests, but tech people have to have the ability to break those down into individual steps and then build something that executes them.

If anything, the ubiquity of an open, relatively cheap platform like the PC grants the majority of the population the opportunity to learn computing skills at nearly all levels in a meritocratic environment. Other than the cost of the hardware and an internet connection, there is no boundary, except motivation and interest. Sex has nothing to do with it. It doesn't surprise me that SJWs have a problem with such open meritocracy: it provides objective measurement of individual achievement, which is a big emotional hiccup for those who want to believe we're all intrinsically equally capable, yet 'oppressed' by class warfare.

Mines, oil rigs, trash collectors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743549)

What hinders women's progress when it comes to:

> Working in a mine?
> Working in an oil rig?
> Working in a war zone?
> Working as a trash collector?

Women do almost none of these jobs. Why aren't there fucking articles bitching about that too?

EDIT: captcha: "matron"

Lewlz!

Institutional repression. (0, Troll)

Berkyjay (1225604) | about 4 months ago | (#47743577)

How about we consider the thousands of years that women have been subjugated as the real reason. It just recently became acceptable for a women to pursue interests that were traditionally male dominated. I remember as a kid, my best friends sister would love hanging out with us when we played video games and worked with the old IBM PC. But her dad was constantly telling her to get back to her Barbies and leave the boys alone. Weeding out this kind of institutional repression takes generations. The big tech companies can try as best they can to lure more women into the field, but as long as there are fathers out there frowning upon their daughters not doing little girl things, the less women there will be who take an interest in tech.

gender bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743599)

... be part of the computer science world.

So the IT industry in general has pushed women out of computing? My sister manages a book-keeping business and is frequently looking for part-time staff. The reason it's so frequent is that females employees, even working part-time, place doing a day's work as their 3rd or 4th priority. It's obvious a woman will choose her children over her employer, since many parents don't have family support nearby. So jobs with long hours, which interfere with child-care responsibilities are unsuitable for many women. The advantage of low-skilled jobs being that most of them have very rigid hours. But it's troubling that so many women take a contractual obligation so lightly. My sister calls it "shoe money": Women want to earn money purely to spend on personal luxuries, which like the employer who supplies it, can be forsaken at any time.

I do wonder how much of it is a cultural problem since most of the men in town earn very good money: That affects single women who demand pampering from all men, and married women who are forbidden to spend their husband's money on themselves.

Tech Companies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47743605)

Sorry but Facebook and Twitter are not tech companies.

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