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Women in Engineering II
38

Women in Engineering II

Women in Engineering II

(OP)
Since the first post on this is closed, I decided to begin a new post.

This is a dated but interesting report that I'm working my way through. As I read through it, I see improvements that can be made to benefit women as well as men.

Women in Engineering: An Untapped Resource

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC
NSPE-CO, Central Chapter
Dinner program: http://nspe-co.org/events.php

RE: Women in Engineering II

4
The first report was sponsored by outfits that wanted to be seen as supportive of women, or at least not hostile to them. ... aside from sex-based wage discrimination, of course.

The second report says US demographics are changing. Duh.



Why is it important to anyone that the m/f ratio in engineering, or any trade, should match the m/f ratio in the general population? ... especially given that there are behavioral and physiological differences between the sexes?


Dated example:
You are too young to remember this, but when McDonalds was new, they hired only teenage boys as staff. They guaranteed that a customer would be greeted at the window within something like ten seconds, and it mostly happened that way, because the manager was yelling at anyone who was immobile, and there was always a line of unemployed teenage boys at the back door waiting for someone to be fired so they could have a job, that typically paid twice minimum wage to start. And someone was replaced on nearly every shift, so the survivors literally ran from station to station, fetching orders and such, and sweating so much that they really didn't need to salt the french fries.

Then the world changed. When McDonalds started hiring girls, they had to rebuild the buildings, so there would be wider aisles internally, to accommodate the much larger staff moving slowly around, or standing and waiting for something to happen. When's the last time you saw a teenage girl sweat? Right; never.



Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Women in Engineering II

I don't think that anyone is necessarily arguing the ratio should be exactly 50:50, but there's no obvious reason why it should be 75:25, particularly since girls have historically done better in science and math before getting into high school and ratio is 60:40 in the physical and life sciences. Even outside of STEM, certain countries have demonstrated that the gender ratio in the US for politicians is unusually weighted.

Note, also, women with math degrees actually outnumber men with math degrees in STEM workers. The biggest factor appears to be that nearly 60% of women with STEM degrees and working in STEM have degrees in physical and life sciences. So, given that physics and math are not an impediment for women, that makes the enormous disparity engineering and computer science degrees all the more peculiar.

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RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote (IRstuff)


...that the gender ratio in the US for politicians is unusually weighted.

I think we are in the process of seeing this change significantly.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Women in Engineering II

I would be disappointed at anyone who set quotas, as having a diverse workforce has it's own reward. In the world of ideas, no one has all the good or bad ideas.
It takes only one person to come up with a new idea, but several people to vet that idea.

What I see, and not to be critical, but more and more engineers are from a non-farm background, not just female, but also male. This is somewhat concerning, in that the farm background I feel makes a better start for engineers. But from that perspective, fewer farm girls, in the past, work on farm equipment.

The reason I have given this thought is that my daughter states she wants to be an engineer, but does not seem to interested in seeing how things work. And it makes me ponder.

RE: Women in Engineering II

Cranky, this goes beyond farm background to a basic interest in how things function.
By and large kids today don't play with physical toys where you build things or make simple machines.
How may electrical engineers over 50 started building Heathkits when they were young?
The same goes for other disciplines.
When I was a kid if we wanted to play we had to build it first.
Everything from simple structures to later, minibikes.
Get a group of kids and let them take stuff apart and put it back together. They will learn lots.
We don't all need to be master mechanics to be good engineers, but we do need an intuitive sense whether something is realistic or not before we do the calculations.
Every good engineer that I have ever worked with was good at estimating things.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, Plymouth Tube

RE: Women in Engineering II

I came from a non-farm background and was really the only person in my extended family (I include in this grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, siblings and 1st cousins) to ever attend engineering school. My father never even finished high school, however, he did run, to help make ends meet, a small engine repair business so while I was still at home I got to help him work on lawn mowers, chainsaws, outboard motors, etc. He also had a full set of metal working tools including a lathe, drill press, welders (both gas and electric), hydraulic press, etc, so he also got involved in all sorts of other more general repair type jobs. He was also a pretty decent carpenter and cabinet maker, although I never got too much into his woodworking projects as I tended to stick with the mechanical stuff. And for the record, his 'day job' was working as a diesel mechanic and heavy equipment operator for the State of Michigan.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Women in Engineering II

I'm 57, but Heathkits were pretty much before my time.
The way kids play is changing, but then again, engineering is, too, so maybe spending hours on computer games is actually more useful (to an engineering degree) than spending hours throwing hay bales around.

RE: Women in Engineering II

Well, I'm 70 and back in the days, I built several Heathkits, including a Shortwave Radio...



...a VTVM (which I still have and still works)...



...and finally our first Color TV...



I also still have (and it still works) a Knight Kit Tube Tester that I built when I was in high school...



And before you ask, I still have a need for a tube tester as one of my hobbies are radios the 'glow-in-the-dark', my best one being a 1965 Hammarlund HQ-180AC general coverage receiver (AKA shortwave radio):

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Women in Engineering II

My son will be 16 this summer. He's capable with basic tools at a level probably 100x that of his peers as a result of projects that we've done together, or the times I've dragged him into things as a 2nd pair of hands, but he has no interest in building anything. And I get it- why would he bother, when the electronic world inside his computer games already provides him with a nearly limitless toolbox at no cost? He has no problems in the physical world that he would need to build something to solve. In his games there are no materials to buy, or scrounge- no safety rules to follow, no need to clean up afterward. He did spec, buy the parts for, and assemble his own gaming machine. Whenever he encountered a problem, there was a Youtube video explaining what you had to do to fix it.

That's with a parent who lives for solving problems in the physical world. Most of his peers have parents who couldn't be bothered to spend five minutes to figure out why the electric lawnmower stopped working- they throw it out and buy another one.

You'd think this would mean that the kids lucky enough to have the interest, inclination and opportunity to solve problems in the physical world combined with the ability in math and science to do an engineering degree would have the world as their oyster. Regrettably it isn't so, and hasn't been for a long, long time. I was one of very few mechanically capable kids in my chem eng class in university and that was decades ago already, before "helicopter parenting" and all that rubbish.

RE: Women in Engineering II

There will be more women engineers when more women graduate from engineering colleges and enter the work force. And that is and has been happening over the decades. When I graduated in 1969, we had 6 women in an engineering school of over 1100. When the article was published in 1992 less than 1% of engineers were women with 20 years of experience. No doubt there were few women enginering managers and roll models for other potential women engineering candidates.

While in college, I met many brilliant women majoring in math, chemistry and physics in my classes. I asked more than a few of them why they weren't planning to be engineers and suggested that they would make considerably more money to start after graduation. A graduate with BS in Chem E would start at over 40% more than a grduate with BS in Chemistry at that time. But I couldn't persaude them to change. I think it was mainly a fear of entering an almost all male world.

RE: Women in Engineering II

Interesting point. Nevertheless, those that entered non-engineering science careers followed trailblazers in those fields as well; it just appears that they were more amenable to change than engineering.

Let's not forget that barely 70 years ago, Crick and Watson became famous, supposedly partly on the back of unpublished work from Rosalind Franklin.

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RE: Women in Engineering II

Supposedly?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.

RE: Women in Engineering II

Odd that the presence of women (or lack thereof) in certain areas of the workforce generates a lot of attention, while relatively little interest is shown in men occupying roles that were traditionally held by women such as nursing.

Maui

RE: Women in Engineering II

Do we really think that there's substantial discrimination that prevents men from exceeding their 14% share of the RN workforce (https://www.ncsbn.org/workforce.htm), particularly since foreign trained 23% of foreign-trained LPNs/LVNs are male.

What's interesting and telling, is that despite their low share of the market, male RNs make more money than female RNs. One cannot show that women engineers make more than male engineers.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Women in Engineering II

IR, I never said anything about discrimination. I said that I simply find it odd. Perhaps if objective, non-biased studies were performed to determine what motivates each gender to enter a certain career field while avoiding others we would have a better understanding behind what we observe in the workplace regarding the distribution in occupations for each gender. From my own point of view I can understand why many women would not find the occupation of engineering an attractive career choice. For example, they would have to work with us. smile

RE: Women in Engineering II

Here's someone who recently took a stab at the question in the Wall Street Journal:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-do-women-shun-ste...

A portion of the article:
Why do relatively few women work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics? University of Washington lecturer Stuart Reges —in a provocative essay, “Why Women Don’t Code”—suggests that women’s verbal and analytical skills lead to career choices outside STEM. Mr. Reges’s critics say he is making women feel inferior by implying they aren’t interested in tech. I’m a female engineering professor with decades of experience as well as a background in the humanities and social sciences, so perhaps I can lend some perspective to the controversy.
I’ve observed that women tend to choose disciplines other than STEM, often for the reasons Mr. Reges mentions. Yet his argument is incomplete. An important but often neglected factor is the attitudes of undergraduate professors. Not STEM professors, but professors in the humanities and social sciences.

Professors have profound influence over students’ career choices. I’m sometimes flabbergasted at the level of bias and antagonism toward STEM from professors outside scientific fields. I’ve heard it all: STEM is only for those who enjoy “rote” work. Engineering is not creative. There’s only one right answer. You’ll live your life in a cubicle. It’s dehumanizing. You’ll never talk to anyone. And, of course, it’s sexist. All this from professors whose only substantive experience with STEM is a forced march through a single statistics course in college, if that.

The article points out that there are also good and bad bosses in the workplace and that bias happens all the time, especially in fields like nursing.

Oakley's final paragraph sums it up:
I have experienced bias in my career, but I also would not be where I am today without the strong support of many wonderful men. Women are vitally important to STEM. Professors outside these disciplines should stop mischaracterizing to poach the best students, who are often women. And it’s time for everyone to step back, take a breath, and acknowledge that good and bad bosses and co-workers exist everywhere.


And another short article by the same author:
https://www.siliconrepublic.com/innovation/barbara...

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RE: Women in Engineering II

JAE, that is interesting. I didn't know that the humanities often bashed STEM disciplines in that way. That could certainly influence the choices a college student might make.

RE: Women in Engineering II

Maui I didn't know that either - I might still be a little wary of the assertion but the writer seems to convey that she has seen this and knows it occurs.

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RE: Women in Engineering II

Maui,

I think that the discussions that have been going on demonstrate that objective study is nearly impossible at this stage in history. People don't really know what motivates them until much therapy and analysis have been performed. Certainly, people have convinced themselves to go a particular way, only to realize years or decade later that they actually were kowtowing to parental or societal desires.

Moreover, while we retain feelings generated by random events, we might not recall the specific events themselves; this is supposedly the root cause of certain discrepancies in the health of African-American that's being laid on the effect of pervasive discrimination on mental and physical health.

Men, if we believe that they are ostensibly the power class, ought not have the same concern applied to those of the underclass, whether they're women or blacks. This morning, there was a new bit about men claiming discrimination because they're excluded from certain women's groups and even "Ladies Nights." If this were a truly gender neutral world, that argument might hold water, but it's not, and won't be, for some time to come.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Women in Engineering II

In the real world, most people can make decisions without facts.

Engineers tend to be more fact based, weather needing most, or all the facts to make a decision.

And there are a few people who despite having all the facts can't make a decision.

And while I have no information on the gender breakdown of this, I seem to hear more from one gender than the other.
My takeaway from all of this is that I run in to more of one gender than the other (could it just be a nature thing).

Or said another way, things may not be what they appear.
Some people maybe wired differently and be more of followers, some leaders, and those who follow their own paths.



RE: Women in Engineering II

2
I don't think that there is any decision ability breakdown on gender. I think there are breakdowns in environments. A guy can be aggressive and decisive and be looked at as in charge. There are less than flattering remarks often made about women who do the same. Any differences, I believe are trained in by the environment. I can't accept the belief in there are differences in ability when at every level in the educational system, women perform men and now outnumber men substantially in university enrollment.

There are issues ,too, of not getting assigned the prime projects which allow for learning and growth. If you aren't properly mentored, supported, and given opportunities, your career will be very stunted. Biases play heavily in my opinion into that.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.

RE: Women in Engineering II

Pam,
Interesting article. Note that it's not based on published results, but on preliminary evidence...

I would be the first to suggest the cause is the lack of participation in family life by men. I'm among the guilty.
It's hard to rationalize the "caught off guard" part, though. The amount of home and family duties carried out by men and women has been studied for decades and always found disparate.

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.
STF

RE: Women in Engineering II

This is encouraging; https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2018/08/2... 39% increase in women taking AP Computer Science Exam bringing them up to a smidge over 28% participation rate.

Of course, the bad news is that it makes getting into a CS program in college all that much more competitive.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Women in Engineering II

(OP)

Quote (HamburgerHelper)

I think there are breakdowns in environments. A guy can be aggressive and decisive and be looked at as in charge. There are less than flattering remarks often made about women who do the same.

That's part of the problem. I've experienced it often. I've talked with several female engineers over the summer who experienced the same treatment often. Many men are taken aback by a strong woman. A female EE about 20 years my senior has been telling me that for about 10 years. A lot of men do not like nor want strong, smart, educated women. I don't understand why but they have their reasons and it's their right to have that attitude. It is not proper to use that attitude against any woman.

Some of the work environment that needs to change to benefit women I see as benefitting men, too. A more flexible, family friendly work environment would benefit men as much as women.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC
NSPE-CO, Central Chapter
Dinner program: http://nspe-co.org/events.php

RE: Women in Engineering II

"Many men are taken aback by a strong woman."

That speaks volumes about where gender equality is. I certainly have noticed that most of the female leads or program managers don't get the respect that a comparable male would get; the capital "B" label is often bandied about, but a guy would simply be "tough" and "in-charge."

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Women in Engineering II

Pam,
I feel bad that I haven't been participating in this thread as much as I'd like to. I feel like I have a lot to say, hopefully some of it useful, but also reluctant, because it's like talking about co-workers behind their backs. Normally I get by with vague references to people I work with, and move on to the question or concern to be discussed. On this subject, it's different because I would want to draw out my observations more specifically, but it would be obvious to the person involved who I'm talking about. While I believe I can justify anything I would say, good or bad, that doesn't mean I should be talking about it openly with a bunch of strangers. I see Eng-Tips on many of my co-workers' screens, and while few of them realize I'm "Sparweb" yet, some do, and there's no reason for me to keep that a secret from the rest.

So just in very vague terms, I've worked almost my entire 19-year career where >90% of my co-workers were men. Women, regardless of their technical background, were very rarely seen doing technical work, either in the design office, the shop, or the hangar, and if they got sidelined by family issues, well, that's the way it always is, right? In recent years, I was making protests about the hiring and training practices my employer was making, mistakes not specifically related to including women in the department, but if they were fixed, would make the department much less hostile to them anyway.
This suddenly changed when I moved to my current employer earlier this year, who is much more actively hiring not just women but a diversity, too. There are almost as many women in this engineering dept as men, and there are so many differences to what I've seen before I don't know where to begin. The whole atmosphere is different.

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.
STF

RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote (lacajun)

Some of the work environment that needs to change to benefit women I see as benefitting men, too. A more flexible, family friendly work environment would benefit men as much as women.

This is a great point.

RE: Women in Engineering II

(OP)
SparWeb, I understand your situation and don't feel any pressure to reveal something that is inappropriate to reveal. I am glad you're in a different work atmosphere and I hope it's positive. I've worked in mostly or all male environments. When women were present, they did technical work but were not going anywhere in their careers.

RickyTickyTavi, congrats on the upcoming bundle of joy! I'm glad you have 12 weeks paid paternal leave and do take full advantage of it. It matters for your family and changing the work culture for the better.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC
NSPE-CO, Central Chapter
Dinner program: http://nspe-co.org/events.php

RE: Women in Engineering II

3
If a man is aggressive or rude then he is often said to be a 'c***'. If a woman is aggressive or rude then she is often said to be a 'b****'. While the words might be somewhat gendered in their application, the intent of the words is exactly the same. I don't know anyone who has been affronted by a man at work and just thought that was okay because that man was 'taking charge', or some other nonsense. To be honest I find that assertion ridiculous, unless your office has some form of collective Stockholm syndrome to that man.

Behaviour is viewed based on what is 'normal' for an individual: if a normally placid person decides to start screaming this would be viewed as out of the ordinary and invoke a much different reaction compared to if a naturally aggressive person started screaming. Peoples' views of others are based on a benchmark or baseline of what they expect from those others, so perceptions need to be considered in a normalised framework (i.e. baseline +/- amplitude). This 'baseline' for men would tend to be on the more aggressive side, considering the impact of hormones like testosterone and oestrogen on behaviour. As such, the type of aggressive behaviour we are discussing will inevitably be seen as less out of the ordinary from most men because the baseline behaviour tends to be on the more aggressive side. The reaction will therefore differ.

In the above there is an important part which explains the inequality of perception: 'what they expect'. Going through life all of us have tended to see men as relatively more aggressive or assertive than women, overall, for various reasons (cultural, social, economic and, yes, biological reasons are all influences). This experience-based perception is applied to identifiable groups and results in bias. Likewise, such experience-based perceptions have shaped all sorts of interactions between human groups throughout history.

This inequality of perception can only go away when the experience base is eroded. The only thing we can do to erode that experience base is to deal with the 'nurture' side of things: social constructs, institutional discrimination, etc. The 'nature' side cannot go away, so some bias will always remain. Nonetheless, the better use of effort in the short-term is turning an inequality of perception to an advantage.

RE: Women in Engineering II

Pamela,

Thanks for that link at the top. I found it pretty interesting, but it was 25 years old. Do you think the stuff in that report still holds true today? If so, which stuff has changed and which hasn't?

I've found out personally very recently that the "children" issue has not been resolved at all in my field. My wife and I are both engineers, and I began running my own business in part so I could split the child duties 50/50 with her. She's recently been stricken with cancer, and is on disability now, so I'm doing all the childcare, homemaking, as well as taking care of her medical needs. Since we were piggybacking on her insurance, I put some feelers out with some of my client companies to see if I could work for them at reduced hours and reduced pay, to handle my home responsibilities and still get medical covered. The feedback was pretty stark. Basically, "nope." I could work 50 hours a week for them and hire a nanny, or I could not work for them at all. Cultural barrier. And it strikes me that every single mom in the country, and plenty of women who want to take a more active role in their families, run into that barrier.

I see the same thing in the employee profiles at my clients offices. Lots of younger women in their 20s doing very well with their careers. The numbers drop off steeply in their 30s.

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter. This seems to me like it might be one of the primary issues.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Women in Engineering II

And then, there's this: https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/many-job-ad...

So, in principle, and in practice, one could advertise jobs, but tailor the ads to exclude all sorts of undesirable segments, like women, or minorities.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Women in Engineering II

During employee orientation in a room of 150 or so, we were asked to list out put together of five things the company did right and five things the company could work on. The HR rep went around asking people to say what they put on the list. One girl in engineering said matter factly, "senior engineering is made up of enclusively white males." A lot of sighs were let out when she said that but it isn't like what she was saying wasn't likely an accurate representation. The HR rep replied "That is something we are working on to try to change." It put HR on the spot for a problem with no quick or easy fixes. I had to admire though how much gumption she had with only having been at the company for 6 months or less.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.

RE: Women in Engineering II

Here's a rather amusing story; Amazon's AI for sorting through job applications is SEXIST! Apparently, it was trained to find qualified applicants, based on previous hires, which were mostly male, and successfully figured out how to discriminate against women based on the training set. It figured out words and colleges on resumes that indicated the applicant was not like the training set.

https://www.pcmag.com/news/364315/amazon-shut-down...

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Women in Engineering II

I'm not a big fan of trumpeting "systemic sexism/racism!" all day every day like many other people seem to do. In my view, racism is fundamentally an act of the individual, and if a "system" is made of nonracist people then the system won't be racist itself. That's just a personal opinion, and others are welcome to hold different opinions.

This stuff, however:

Quote:

So, in principle, and in practice, one could advertise jobs, but tailor the ads to exclude all sorts of undesirable segments, like women, or minorities.

...where AIs or heuristics are allowing targeted ads within social media platforms, and that targeting is breaking down intentionally or not along gender/race lines, just freaking screams "systemic racism" to me. Ben Carson was right to go after Facebook for it.

Quote:

Here's a rather amusing story; Amazon's AI for sorting through job applications is SEXIST! Apparently, it was trained to find qualified applicants, based on previous hires, which were mostly male, and successfully figured out how to discriminate against women based on the training set. It figured out words and colleges on resumes that indicated the applicant was not like the training set.

Any nitwit who knows how neural networks operate should have been able to predict this. Neural Nets are blind learning machines, whose only job is to replicate predictions based on input data, without human judgment or reason. If you train an ANN against a set of data, it is going to try to reproduce that set of data as closely as possible. Train it on male resumes, get male hits. The programmers should have known better from the beginning. Makes me wonder what sort of talent they hired at Amazon that wouldn't pick up on that sooner.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Women in Engineering II

"if a "system" is made of nonracist people then the system won't be racist itself. "

You clearly argue the exact opposite 3 paragraphs later. If we all started perfectly non-racist and non-sexist as babies, we, like your neural nets, learn by example. We learn and assimilate the fact that 99% of the people currently in power are old, white men, and that taller Nordic types are the power players below them. We learn and assimilate that black and gay people are token participants in everyday life.

It's no different than watching one's weight; it's an ongoing and continual exercise to exercise and maintain the desired calorie counts. People mistake being vigilant as "trumpeting" but we don't claim that our continuing and constant battle against bad actors in our cyber lives as "trumpeting" some sort of PC behavior. Does anyone seriously doubt that Russia, China, etal, aren't engaged in cyber activities against American interests?

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RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote:

You clearly argue the exact opposite 3 paragraphs later.

Yep. Now that these non-human actors are in play, we can build a system out of non-human actors that exhibits systemic racism without realizing it. Prior, all the nodes in our systems were ultimately people.

That's my view, anyway.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Women in Engineering II

You miss my point, which is that even if you dropped a bunch of non-racist people into the current world, they would learn, just like the neural nets, by example, and become racist. So that "system" of non-racists would become racist and sexist. You would have to actively force this system to constantly reset itself to maintain any level of unbias.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Women in Engineering II

....in 2 words it is called "victimhood obsession"...

RE: Women in Engineering II

If you want to take that angle, anyone who is religious has a "don't sin obsession". Anyone who exercises has a "be healthy obsession".

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.

RE: Women in Engineering II

This has been the traditional tactic since time immemorial; attack, denigrate, and ridicule the victim, because men are obviously not responsible for their actions or are constantly being accused of rape by radical feminists, and demonstrate why women don't even tell their own families about such things.

This is precisely why only 35% of sexual assaults are even reported and why 1 in 6 women will get sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. These statistics are simply unacceptable in a civilized society.

Certainly, if my wife or daughter got attacked, I wouldn't be blaming them; I'd go find the SOB(s) responsible and beat the crap out of them and make sure they'll never even think about doing anything with their 5th appendage besides peeing ever again.


TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Women in Engineering II

Hamburgerhelper,since you mention religion - my thoughts exactly, political correctness is the "middle ages" of today ( inquisition included as I can see...)

RE: Women in Engineering II

( inquisition included as I can see...)

only if men never lie and never sexually assault women, which has been positively demonstrated with Weinstein, Lauer, etal, to be patently false.

Which is more likely, that a guilty man will lie about their crime, or that a woman would go through abuse, innuendo, etc., to lie about a fake attack?

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote:

Which is more likely, that a guilty man will lie about their crime, or that a woman would go through abuse, innuendo, etc., to lie about a fake attack?

I believe you mean the relief and sympathy.

Ask a group of men who are <40 and have "been around" quite a bit. A very common female excuse in recent decades for having been caught 1. cheating, 2. sleeping with someone others disapprove of, or 3. sleeping with someone they personally regret is "rape." THAT is why so many are unreported - bc they're simply not true. I personally experienced all three of the above btw and would recommend contacting the police before going after a "guilty" man. Even "good" girls make these ridiculous claims and from experience, involving the police quickly resolves the truth of the matter.

RE: Women in Engineering II

I used to believe brainwashing and fanaticism to be incompatible with engineering.Not always the case as it seems...

RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote:

You miss my point, which is that even if you dropped a bunch of non-racist people into the current world, they would learn, just like the neural nets, by example, and become racist. So that "system" of non-racists would become racist and sexist.

I've had this discussion before, and in the end, it all comes down to the interlocutors opinions on free will. If you believe that all people are neural net based robots who react to stimuli the same way the Amazon bot does, then your case is iron clad. I grant you this up front. I have a differing opinion of the nature of humanity.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Women in Engineering II

2
(OP)

Quote (LRJ)

the better use of effort in the short-term is turning an inequality of perception to an advantage.

My last director of engineering told me that I needed to "learn how to make being a woman work for me." My work was not speaking for itself and had not been for many years.

There are many forms of aggression and some do not belong in a professional setting, from what I consider to be highly educated people working in a professional setting. Evidently others agree because HR usually produces an employee handbook stating such behaviors are unacceptable. I thought as a small business owner I wouldn't have the need for an employee handbook. I was wrong and had to do it. People endlessly surprise me with crazy thoughts.

beej67, much of it, though dated, still applies. That was what struck me, as I read it. When I, as an older woman, have men 20 years my junior tell me that I have no business being an engineer or running my own company because I've taken "the" spot a man should have, that really sums it up. Just by getting the engineering degree I had taken "a" spot a man should have. As if that's the way life really works... Is there a lottery system to attend public institutions of higher learning? And what if no man fills that spot? Should I still go elsewhere? Men and women are doing things all the time in all aspects of life. Life is very dynamic not some rigid system of whatever their biases are. There are plenty of white, male owned companies that will not take on risky projects.

There are a lot of changes employers could make that would ease the burdens of life for their employees rather than make them continue in hardships. They don't, I suppose, because of greed. They're in the business to make as much money as possible and that means full-time employees making the money for them because they cannot do it alone, which is obvious to all. Some of the pieces that would make things better for women would also make things better for men, too. Families are units so when one has a hardship due to work the unit has hardship. I cannot see it any other way.

And I am very sorry your wife has cancer and hope she makes a full recovery. I hope your family supports you, too.

A friend attacked me recently blaming me for all of my career problems. He accused me, wrongly, of being arrogant and thinking less of him because he didn't get an engineering degree. I was floored by every accusation. I apologized but even that wasn't enough and wasn't deemed genuine. I was floored by that, too. I could do nothing right. Yet, the first time he broached the career problems years earlier, the example he used was a "sweet, young thing" doing great in sales. In my 50's, I'm not exactly young and some think I'm not sweet. He didn't even understand the adjectives he used in his example. Sex, with men, is a powerful motivator, whether they think they'll get sex from a sex kitten in sales or not. Some women, I know, use that to their advantage and they are fully aware that time is limited so they need to make the most of their time regardless of who they step on, too.

For the record, I will glove up and clean just about any toilet. I don't think arrogant people will do that or even come close to thinking it. I also don't discriminate against others for the education they get and I'm very tired of people doing it to me. It doesn't happen often but it does happen. We all make our choices and I am glad that others make theirs and invest in themselves through education.

Quote (IRstuff)

So, in principle, and in practice, one could advertise jobs, but tailor the ads to exclude all sorts of undesirable segments, like women, or minorities.

And that does happen.

As I've posted before, a man young enough to be my son refused to do business with me because he didn't think I could do the work. He "knew" how things worked. I was a front for a male owned engineering firm, which I would hire to "really" do the work because they could and I couldn't. It's just like the black owned engineering firms, which were his words. I was floored that he would say those things and surprised at his ignorance of how business does work. I don't care to do business with people like that.

Quote (beej67)

I'm not a big fan of trumpeting "systemic sexism/racism!" all day every day like many other people seem to do.

I don't either but sadly it is systemic and much of it hasn't been dealt with adequately because there are no adults in the room. I use "room" in a very broad sense.

Quote (vthomidis)

....in 2 words it is called "victimhood obsession"...

And while males are taking that exact tack now even though while males still have the bulk of the power, position, etc. A white male (ChemE) told me at work many years ago that they have the power, position, money, etc. and they're not about to give it up. They'll fight to keep it. So, as laws are made to level the playing field, they devise new, more subtle ways to discriminate against people. I thought that was quite the bold admission especially at work.

Quote (CWB1)

I believe you mean the relief and sympathy.

Many women, who come forward, receive death threats, costly relocation and security expenses, loss of employment, etc. Those far outweigh any relief and sympathy they may get. The last discussion, which was recent, I had with one of my childhood abusers was quite negative, threatening, and intimidating just like in childhood begging to be left alone. You learn not to speak because it will bring a heap of trouble on you! That was what they told me as a child. It would be my fault, not theirs. The culture then told me they were right and, sadly, it still does. Those men have voices and power I do not and I am not going to come forward to authorities and endure all of the problems that come with it. I avoid those men at all costs. And I don't need or want sympathy. I want change. I want better behavior from men.

Yes, it's a dangerous time for men. It's alwaysa been a dangerous time for women and will continue to be. We have always had to think of ways to avoid, work around, outsmart, etc. men because men don't respect women's boundaries or personhood. I've spent an inordinate amount of time trying to understand what happened to me for years during my childhood and why. More than one person called me crazy, as a young adult. The message was received and I got to work overcoming the problems of my family, culture, religious culture, etc. And do not misunderstand, I love men! I think men are great! But there are some men that I dislike a great deal and should.

Quote (vthomidis)

I used to believe brainwashing and fanaticism to be incompatible with engineering.

I saw the fallacies of that in engineering school.

*****************************************************************************************************

Dad told me once that he admired my ability to get knocked down and get back up, brush the dirt off, and get back on that horse. His delivery said more, really, than his words. His delivery implied that people had a right to knock me down. They do not. They do not even have the right to try and that is the genesis of laws.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC
NSPE-CO, Central Chapter
Dinner program: http://nspe-co.org/events.php

RE: Women in Engineering II

Thanks for taking the time to respond, Pamela. I really appreciate it.

Quote:

beej67, much of it, though dated, still applies. That was what struck me, as I read it. When I, as an older woman, have men 20 years my junior tell me that I have no business being an engineer or running my own company because I've taken "the" spot a man should have, that really sums it up.

Holy smokes. Wow.

That is completely outrageous, and I have never, ever run into anything like that in any workplace environment. While my environments are definitely male dominated, they've typically been about 20% to 25% women, and I've never even heard of anything like this. My wife was in construction for almost two decades and I've never heard of anything like that from her either. I've definitely heard stories, and there were occasions where we had some tough dinner table conversations about things that went on in her workplace, but never anything like that. That's astounding.

I googled you, and see you're in Denver. Did this happen there? Would you consider that sort of garbage to be common in places you've worked in/around/consulted for/etc?

Quote:

There are a lot of changes employers could make that would ease the burdens of life for their employees rather than make them continue in hardships. They don't, I suppose, because of greed. They're in the business to make as much money as possible and that means full-time employees making the money for them because they cannot do it alone, which is obvious to all. Some of the pieces that would make things better for women would also make things better for men, too. Families are units so when one has a hardship due to work the unit has hardship. I cannot see it any other way.

I really think big companies are missing the boat on this thing. I think it has to do with the salary mindset to begin with. I think if people were simply paid by how much they contribute, and the pay could easily fluctuate up or down, that people and businesses both could more easily adapt to changing circumstances, or to different employee's outside obligations. One of the boons of the "old" way of doing things - one breadwinner and one child rearer - is that it frees the employer up from having to worry about overburdening the employee. They don't have to worry about managing flexibility. I think whoever figures out a better business model to match the flexibility necessary for the next generation of employees who aren't monolithically within the (one breadwinner one child rearer) program is going to do well. But that will be a paradigm shift, and engineering businesses in particular are hesitant to shift paradigms.



Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Women in Engineering II

Back when I was working in 'hard engineering' (before my software days) in Michigan during the late 60's and the 70's, in our engineering department (we manufactured food and chemical processing machinery) there were no female engineers and only a couple of female draftsmen (I know that's not PC, but...). However the company did hire some females who did play a role in helping us sell equipment and I don't mean as salesmen (there I go again).

One young women in particular had a very outstanding appearance. Now don't get me wrong, she was a very competent secretary and no one ever had any complaints with either her work or even her deportment around the office. However, shortly after she was hired we had one of our semi-annual trade shows where we displayed our equipment and tended to wine & dine our prospective and current customers (remember this was the 60's and 70's). Well it seemed this secretary was included in the group that staffed our booth at the trade show. Now I'm not implying that anything untoward ever happened, but she did dress in a very different manner than any of us had ever seen her around the office and she was very friendly with everyone who walked into the booth. I know that other companies probably did the same thing, even going so far as the hiring 'professional' models to work their booths so at least our company 'kept it in the family' as it were, giving the job to an employee (trade show duty, while it could become a grind after awhile, was considered a perk by many people and those of us who went regularly were often the targets of envy around the office).

I guess the point I'm making is that hopefully we've come a long way. I do have to say that once I moved out to SoCal and started to work in the software industry, that first off, I was working with a lot more women, both as my peers and as my superiors (one of my best bosses ever was a female). And when I had my turn as a manager, short-lived though that might have been (I moved from sales management to a staff position in R&D after a couple of years) I had more than one female working for me, both in administration roles and in technical positions.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
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RE: Women in Engineering II

I wonder how regional that stuff is.

Like, for instance, the last time I did a project in Miami-Dade, we had to hire a permit expediter because they literally wouldn't speak English to you in the building department unless you were a smoking hot bikini model. It was wild. I've never seen anything like it, before or since. This was mid 2000s, and was apparently totally culturally accepted down there at the time. We ended up hiring a very attractive yet very professional and intelligent lady to get us past the barrier, but most of the other expediters I saw looked like strippers with a day job. There was one lady with a thigh length semi translucent sundress on, dark skin, and an obvious white thong on underneath it, pulling a wagon full of construction plans. I did not speak to her, so it would be wrong to judge how intelligent and professional an expediter she was by her appearance, but good gracious.

Never seen such a scene in my life.

Don't know if it's still like that. That was my only Miami project. From an ethical standpoint, I think we did our best as a company (this is my prior firm) to find a saddle point in the venn diagram between professionalism, cultural norms, and responsibility to our client, in who we selected as our expeditor and how we approached the project. Sometimes I think that's all you can do.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Women in Engineering II

Welcome back, Pam. I was starting to think that you had finally given up on us winky smile

"it all comes down to the interlocutors opinions on free will"

Not necessarily; there are a number of possible ways to configure the experiment and I wasn't particularly looking at just one generation of people.
> All children are born unbiased, and even when their own parents create an environment that's unbiased, unless they live in a cave, the sheer inundation of culture, even in supposedly unbiased children's shows like Barney, can seep in and contaminate those pure angels. Barney once had a segment in the 2002 time frame, discussing careers for the kids in the show; lo and behold, girls were nurses and teachers, boys were firefighters and chefs. It's so pervasive that my 3-yo already figured out that the "pink" aisle at Walmart was not for boys.
> It's often said that evil exists so that we can appreciate good. So that raises an interesting question about these unbiased people; are they unbiased because they choose to or because they've never had to make a decision based on bias? I think that in the former case, unless they live in a cave, their children will develop biases. In the latter case, they themselves will develop biases, simply because that's partly wired into the human brain. Family before tribe. tribe before nation, etc., are basic biases. We're all different colors, so unless these unbiased people are genetically programmed for blindness, they'll see the color differences and the brain starts to accumulate characteristics that are associated with the color differences. The same mental mechanism applies to foods; as hunter/gatherers, we've evolved the need to make associations tied to color, shape, texture, taste, and smell of foods that correlate to delicious, tolerable, bad, or dangerous. Because we live in a biased world, anything pure will get contaminated.
> An argument could be made that it should go the other way around; the pure should be able to cleanse the impure. But, we've seen historically, that people don't necessarily have good behavior unless someone forces them. We can see that democracy, ostensibly good, is fragile, easily abused, and is extraordinarily difficult to get started in most countries. Sexual equality is tantalizingly close, but never close enough to take root.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Women in Engineering II

Dealing with a 100 people .Getting inappropriate behavior by 10 of them .Then, ignoring the 90 and pointing out the 10 as if they were the total.
That's typical of any lot of persons who get comfortable in feeling discriminated upon and in playing the victim part.

RE: Women in Engineering II

I'm trying to understand your position vthomidis because I'm not sure I follow. Are you stating that because actual victims arent thinking about the "good men" that theyre subsequently playing the victim part?

RE: Women in Engineering II

JohnRBaker:
"...there were no female engineers and only a couple of female draftsmen (I know that's not PC, but...). However the company did hire some females who did play a role in helping us sell equipment and I don't mean as salesmen (there I go again)."

John-in the time it took you to type your callout recognizing that "men" is a problem, you could have thought for a sec and used a gender-neutral term-e.g., drafter and salesperson. Language matters-keep telling a little kid there are draftsmen and she starts to believe there are no females in drafting.

McSEpllc:
Meyer Briggs is falling into disfavor in some circles-I've take it several times, and I can tweak my results by being in a different mood. Just one of the articles I've seen on the topic:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/give-and-t...
I totally disagree that life expectations are a function of gender-I'm with the nurture not nature crowd on that.

I spent a large part of my career smacking my head into a wall, in hopes that the hole I made would make it a bit easier on the next woman to get past the wall.

RE: Women in Engineering II

"Then, ignoring the 90 and pointing out the 10 as if they were the total. That's typical of any lot of persons who get comfortable in feeling discriminated upon and in playing the victim part. "

Is this what Faux News is reporting, because no woman I know is taking that position.

Are you saying that women aren't discriminated against?

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Women in Engineering II

greenone, back in the 60's and 70's, absolutely no one was using terms like 'draftsperson' or 'salesperson' at least not in that part of the country where I was working. And while I might agree with you philosophically, at least back then, I can't recall anyone being particularly upset with the use of historically non-gender-neutral terms when there was no misogynistic intent in the context of their usage.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Women in Engineering II

No one was upset? Maybe not that you noticed.
How about the time I was at a railroad engineers meeting, and the keynote speaker opened with "Welcome, gentlemen...". When I approached him afterwards, he brushed me off with it was no big deal. His perception was I had no right or reason to be upset at being addressed as gentlemen. This was in the 70's.
I'm not trying to get you to drive a Delorean back to then, I'm just asking that you consider the impact of language today.

RE: Women in Engineering II

I did get tired to continue arguing.

My position has been stated in my previous posts : victimhood obsession, political correctness brainwashing, neomedievalism.
(i am not a native English speaker, therefore please excuse my poor vocabulary)
At the end of the day, if you gals (and you "supporting guys") believe that US society of the previous say 40 years has been so sexist, racist, chauvinist or whatever - you may know better than me.
In my corner of the globe (Greece), we have a better impression on the US.

Hope that some Martin Luther Queen will come along and fight for your rights...

RE: Women in Engineering II

greenone,
It was no big deal in the 70's because no one made it a big deal. Now, however, lots of folks want to butcher the English language by making everything non-gender. A move is underway even to remove gender from birth certificates. I for one am not buying any of it. Call me what you want, just call me to dinner.

RE: Women in Engineering II

Dinner time, come get it!

Good luck,
Latexman

To a ChE, the glass is always full - 1/2 air and 1/2 water.

RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote:

and the keynote speaker opened with "Welcome, gentlemen...". When I approached him afterwards, he brushed me off with it was no big deal. His perception was I had no right or reason to be upset at being addressed as gentlemen.

If this was in the US then he probably just thought you were rude as hell for calling him out on a faux-pas as most would. You might as well have called him out on minor grammar or spelling mistakes in his presentation while at it. In either case you come off as an arrogant ass most likely compensating for lack of ability otherwise.

Quote:

John-in the time it took you to type your callout recognizing that "men" is a problem, you could have thought for a sec and used a gender-neutral term-e.g., drafter and salesperson. Language matters-keep telling a little kid there are draftsmen and she starts to believe there are no females in drafting.

As every American child and I'm sure many foreign children are taught, words ending in "man" or "men" are gender neutral. Both my 60 year old copy of Webster's and the current online version define those words as "a person who..." My wife is a fireman as are two other women in her dept. Children dont recognize her uniform, but add turnout gear and they come running and recognize her as a "fireman" with no concept of what boys or girls can/cannot do. Tell them she's a "firefighter," "firewoman" or something otherwise and you'll get a confused stare from most preteens.

My father told me at an early age that you can either choose to live a happy life or a miserable one. If you go looking for misery or offense, there's no doubt you'll find it at every turn. In reality the US is pretty well free of racism, sexism, and discrimination, yet according to many we are hardly beyond slavery.

RE: Women in Engineering II

CWB1, I was generally agreeing with you, right up to your last sentence:

In reality the US is pretty well free of racism, sexism, and discrimination, yet according to many we are hardly beyond slavery.

I'm sorry, but I suspect that the people who fail to agree with you will be able to make a very good case for their position.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Women in Engineering II

Sure John, they can point out many ways in which specific groups are oppressed by a minority of folks in another group. I can then rebut with ways in which the oppressed groups knowingly do the same to their "oppressors" and they will defend it as balancing the scales. Tit for tat doesn't accomplish anything so is rather pointless. Much the same can be said for taking a militant approach toward reaching equilibrium, its counterproductive and chasing diminishing returns.

RE: Women in Engineering II

2
"they can point out many ways in which specific groups are oppressed by a minority of folks in another group"

And THAT makes "the US is pretty well free of racism, sexism, and discrimination?" Is DWB just mass hysteria in your view? Or that the fact that women have systematically been paid less for equal work not sexism?

" can then rebut with ways in which the oppressed groups knowingly do the same to their "oppressors" and they will defend it as balancing the scales."
Which examples of whites being oppressed by blacks can you cite?

The US government itself has had a history of discriminating against minorities and people of color. The Voting Rights Act is barely 53 years old, and it's pretty clear from what's been happening the US and elsewhere that not even 530 years is sufficient to weed out discrimination and racism. Korematsu's internment was not repudiated by the US Justice Department until 2011 and the Supreme Court in 2018. That means that US Government has held that it was within its right to summarily place their own citizens in concentration camps solely because the color of their skin. Despite helping the US expand to the Pacific by working on the Transcontinental Railroad, the US enacted the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, whose provisions were not fully abolished until 1965.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote:

And THAT makes "the US is pretty well free of racism, sexism, and discrimination?"

As good as its likely to get? Yes. I watch junior engineers chase perfection daily because they can't recognize "good enough," often taking 10 steps backward to end up at the same conclusion for no gain. In any large population of data there's going to be anomalies, just as in human nature there's always going to be hate and jealousy of others causing a minority of folks to do stupid things and cause issues. So long as those anomalies are a statistically rare occurrence then you often stand a better chance of causing more harm than good when proposing change. IME discussing these issues with friends and family an interesting observation regularly comes up, folks point out that those pushing for social justice change today are mostly older Americans whereas younger generations prefer to focus on improving our economy and regaining personal freedoms after decades of loss.

Quote:

Which examples of whites being oppressed by blacks can you cite?

The most relevant example for this forum that comes to mind are the various social welfare quotas that have favored minority education at the expense of other, better qualified candidates.

RE: Women in Engineering II

"at the expense of other, better qualified candidates"


And how did they get their better qualifications? Was it not through the status quo that favors whiter and more affluent children? And how did these oppressed minorities achieve this coup in power over their oppressors? Was it not actually that some of their oppressors recognized the inequity in the status quo and changed it? Certainly, prior to Obama, there was no black president and/or Congress that could have achieved such and upset in oppression, was there?

And, does anyone really forget that even decades after the Voting Rights Act, there's been a continued stream of racists in power, such as David Duke? Did racism suddenly disappear in the last 20 years? Did a avowed racist named Steve Bannon become an advisor to the current president?

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote (CWB1)


The most relevant example for this forum that comes to mind are the various social welfare quotas that have favored minority education at the expense of other, better qualified candidates.

And how are 'legacy' admissions any different? The result is exactly the same, yet very few people are suggesting that this is somehow a problem that needs to be addressed. Why is that?

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Women in Engineering II

IRstuff,
David Duke is a racist, but when has he been "in power"? And where did you get the idea that Bannon is an "avowed racist"? This rhetoric sounds very akin to Hillary Clinton's "deplorables" description of many of us, and look where it got her.

RE: Women in Engineering II

Well, David Duke was elected to the Louisiana legislature so he had at least some 'power'.

As for Steve Bannon... well in his own words:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/10/politics/steve-bann...

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Women in Engineering II

David duke was also rather close to being elected to the Senate or Governership in the early 90's I believe. He managed to get a majority of white voters to support him.

RE: Women in Engineering II

In that clip, he didn't call himself a racist or a xenophobe. He said other people call his audience that, and they should accept the insults as a badge of honor. Judge him however, but he did not "avow" that he is a racist.

RE: Women in Engineering II

If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Women in Engineering II

Bannon ran a white nationalist website; his actions are his avowal. He's certainly not by any stretch of anyone's imagination a multiculturalist.

"It’s been almost a Camp of the Saints invasion into Central and Western and then Northern Europe."

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Women in Engineering II

Whatever you think of Bannon, as far as I know he is not an avowed racist. You may think that he has demonstrated that he is a racist, but you don't avow by action, you avow by words. Maybe I'm just being pedantic, and Bannon doesn't need me to defend him, but I am a bit sick of the derogatory rhetoric (racist, misogynistic, jingoistic, homophobic, redneck, etc.) being thrown around indiscriminately. Not to speak of time honored words like patriotism and nationalism being given new meanings with the intention to demean.

RE: Women in Engineering II

I'm not aware of anyone trying to give new meaning to the word "Patriotism". However, it's the word "Nationalism" which is problematic. That word has a long history of being used by isolationists, national socialists, racists, etc during some of the darkest days of our democracy and its recent reintroduction into the political debate does not bode well for the future of the nation. Trust me, there's only ONE person who's trying to change the meaning of the word "Nationalism" and he's NOT doing it for the benefit of our country, but as a nod and a wink to groups who until recently knew better then to show themselves but who are now being emboldened, the results of which we all witnessed over the last 10 days, starting with a guy in Kentucky who decided to look for black people to kill at a Kroger store because he couldn't get into a predominantly black church, which appears to have been his original target, then to a 'mass bomber' and finally to a anti-Semite who kills 11 people while they were in prayer, all because he was convinced that Jews were helping to bring 'invaders' into our country that were going to kill "his people", which we can only imagine what he meant by that.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Women in Engineering II

"Trust me", you are blaming the wrong person.

RE: Women in Engineering II

3

Quote:

And how did they get their better qualifications? Was it not through the status quo that favors whiter and more affluent children?

Funny, you're supposedly beating the drum against systemic racism while openly supporting systemic racism. A poor white kid should be treated no differently than a poor black kid when it comes to being awarded govt grants/scholarships/aid/etc plain and simple. The question of who gets aid should be the one who has done the best in school previously. As it stands now, we have many C-D students with free rides while A students struggle or cant afford to attend.

Quote:

However, it's the word "Nationalism" which is problematic.

"Democrat" has the same problem, yet its rare that folks discuss that problem despite being associated with a political party that's been openly supported and staffed by white supremacy groups/members for more than a century now.

Contrary to the extreme left's baloney, Bannon actually has been an ardent patriot in the same way the POTUS has been. He preaches supporting our allies overseas but only from a strong "America first" standpoint. There's nothing racist about that, basic first aid teaches that before you can care for others you must care for yourself....put on your own oxygen mask before helping others....etc. The only folks he's encouraging to show themselves and act are other patriots who have quietly stood by and watched our jobs and security disappear overseas while our rights disappear at home. Its nationalism as properly defined, not nationalism as twisted by some socialist politician or "journalist." I'd also offer that nationalism is a job requirement of every elected and appointed official which Bannon was.

RE: Women in Engineering II

"Funny, you're supposedly beating the drum against systemic racism while openly supporting systemic racism."

That's only if one actually believes that the status quo isn't stacked against non-affluent, non-whites and non-males, but the evidence is to the contrary; white males of any background still get the better jobs and better pay. White females do better than non-white females. To say that we should ignore that fact is to permanently bake in the systemic racism that already exists.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote (IRstuff)

That's only if one actually believes that the status quo isn't stacked against non-affluent, non-whites and non-males, but the evidence is to the contrary; white males of any background still get the better jobs and better pay

IRstuff, the obvious logical inconsistency in your argument is that Asians earn and have always earned considerably more than whites. Are you also saying that there is systemic racism against non-Asians? And if we are now excluding certain races from our arguments for the purpose of making an assertion, can we also say that the status quo is stacked against Blacks in favour of Hispanics?

RE: Women in Engineering II

And your argument is that blacks and Hispanics make less because they choose to, as do women, because if they are not being discriminated against, then the only explanation is that they want it so?

Or, if we're going there, they make less because they're not capable of earning more?

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Women in Engineering II

IRstuff,
I think it is obviously the latter. The people, whatever the colour, who are less capable, earn less.

RE: Women in Engineering II

Seen from Europe (so, from Venus) this kind of graphs looks like it's from another dimension.
I know Golden retriever is a race, I did not know the other ones.
I did not know Apu makes more than the rest of us. He is Asian, right? India is in Asia last time I checked. But Indians come in all colors.
(troll mode off)
Seriously this kind of data may be eloquent but only if filtered for one category of jobs.

Question (ref. title of the thread), who is the "household head"? :P

RE: Women in Engineering II

We recently lost a co-worker who was an extremely talented Engineer.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), through its Philadelphia chapter has established a scholarship in honor of Debbie Kennoy who passed away on September 29, 2018. Debbie had represented Arkema Inc. at ASHRAE for over 20 years and was highly respected for her knowledge and willingness to help other members. The scholarship is going to be earmarked to support women in engineering from the Philadelphia area, a great tribute to Debbie. More information can be found here.

Founded in 1894, ASHRAE is a global society that works to advance human well-being through sustainable technology. They focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability within the industry.

Good luck,
Latexman

To a ChE, the glass is always full - 1/2 air and 1/2 water.

RE: Women in Engineering II

"I think it is obviously the latter. The people, whatever the colour, who are less capable, earn less."

So, there it is, the entirety of the blacks and Hispanics in the US are less capable than the whites and Asians, since the medians are lower? By extension, since the same argument could be applied to women, they must likewise be less capable.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Women in Engineering II

2

Quote (IRstuff)

And your argument is that blacks and Hispanics make less because they choose to, as do women, because if they are not being discriminated against, then the only explanation is that they want it so?

No, my point is that there are many reasons why there would be disparities in income between races or sex. But it seems to be in vogue at the moment that the 'evil white man' is the one and only reason why there are disparities. Focusing so heavily and dogmatically on this one theory, which has so many logical contradictions, makes everyone blinded from finding the actual reasons and alleviating the problem.

For example, the proportion of single parent families and its correspondence to racial disparities in income lines up far better than the 'evil white man' theory (https://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/bar/107-chil...). It is a more consistent indication of whether a family will be in poverty and it also explains why Asians would earn more than whites. Having a stable and solid family foundation with stable mother and father role models will increase a child's chance to have a stable education and career. Being a single parent raising a child by yourself will dramatically increase your chance of falling into poverty no matter what race you are, and this has multi-generational effects. But this is just one of many contributing reasons why there would be disparities, and the solution to this is far more complicated than blaming the 40 year old white man doing his 9 till 5 office job.

RE: Women in Engineering II

Do you think single parent families could be in fact propagated by disproportionate incarceration of minorities for crimes committed at similar rates among the majority? - Could those affects be multi-generational?

RE: Women in Engineering II

(OP)
beej67, it did, indeed, happen here. One instance was in Boulder. I thought starting my own business would garner me a bit more respect, as if my work record, education, and licensure wouldn't, but it didn't. What I've heard as a woman business owner has been as interesting as being a direct employee.

Everywhere I have worked has been difficult because of some men. Not all but some. They were relentless enough to make life miserable. They really made me feel unwelcome. In some cases, I felt as though I wasn't welcome in the human species.

I realize not all women endure what I have but quite a number of us do. Again, I don't have percentages on it but I know I am far from alone. I am glad some women don't have that to contend with at work. I suspect, for me, a lot of my troubles have been because I am single. A lot of men will not put married women through hardships because they don't want to have an angry husband on their backs. Sad to say, it makes a difference.

I've never been cool or popular so I don't understand why the hardships unless they perceive me as a threat. That is what one female quasi-manager told me years ago, while I endured a severe test, with a gang of five men. Yes, you read it right, a gang of five men.

I'm talking to other women in STEM. They've experienced what I have.

Again, I love men but some really do a grave disservice to your gender.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC
NSPE-CO, Central Chapter
Dinner program: http://nspe-co.org/events.php

RE: Women in Engineering II

(OP)
Irstuff, I’m close and some I’ve already written off. There are only so many hours in the day. I was diagnosed with sibo and had more bad days. I can’t subject people to my crankiness on those days. But, I’m feeling much better and also working diligently to catch up. Now that I feel better I can see how very ill I was.

Greenone, I’m not too impressed with any personality profiling because moods shift so much and so many variables influence mood in all of us.

Thank you for helping to make things a bit easier for the next woman. We all have that responsibility to the younger people.

I never got upset about how I was addressed. What bothered me was the treatment because it was over the top. I don’t think most men would have stood for it either. And, to have been brushed off as you were was not even common courtesy let alone professional courtesy. Integrity and leadership don't act in ways that don't acknowledge someone's humanity.

*********************************************************************

After doing a lot of research, listening to people who have done the work of government or whatever, digging into history, digging into definitions, reading government processes, etc., I have a much different understanding of life than I did previously. Even old dogs can learn new tricks; I am proof.

I realize no one in this forum knows me, which adds to a lot of supposition. Rest assured I do not arise daily looking for offenses, ill treatment, gloom, doom, etc. That’s a terrible way to live life and there are more important aspects of life to chase and expect. I was always one to have a good time.

I take each person as they present themselves to me. I work diligently to not let others’ negative biases influence my own experiences with the objects of their ire. I do that personally as well as professionally. I’ve told more than one person that I don’t care to hear the negative because I want to form my own opinions. I’ve told more than one person that I don’t see the negative traits in others that they see.

Some acquaintances and friends have called me snowflake implying weakness. I assure you I am far from weak. I don’t expect or seek confrontation but I will certainly end one, after more than one fair warning has been given. That always surprises the people who are belligerent and start fights. Enforcement of boundaries is always a surprise to them because they’re so used to obliterating or ignoring the boundaries of others.

One white, male manager told me that I didn’t need to get paid as much as the male engineers because I was a woman. I wasn’t the bread winner supporting a wife and kids. A lot of them had working wives, as did the white, male manager that imparted his reasoning to me. So much for free market capitalism.

All of us have areas that need reflection and correction. I’ve not set myself up as the oracle of anything. Over the last several years and especially the last two years, I have come to realize that platitudes are just that, platitudes. People utter them as though they are oracles, with their full humanity on display.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC
NSPE-CO, Central Chapter
Dinner program: http://nspe-co.org/events.php

RE: Women in Engineering II

"But it seems to be in vogue at the moment that the 'evil white man' is the one and only reason why there are disparities. Focusing so heavily and dogmatically on this one theory, which has so many logical contradictions, makes everyone blinded from finding the actual reasons and alleviating the problem."

Well, perhaps for some, but the bottom line is Occam's Razor, white men are at the top of the pyramid, and the simplest explanation is that they clawed their way to the top and whether consciously or not, they have a vested interest in keeping the status quo. The history of the US is chock full of examples of this. To deny this is to simply ignore history and the fact that people in power, of any stripe, tend to want to stay there. I think that this attack on vogueness is simply a realization that those that are out of power actually had figured it out and are now vocalizing it more and louder than ever before.

This argument is eerily similar to the arguments against climate change, it's not the evil humans, it's the cows, the volcanoes, or the solar constant is changing but we simply can't detect it or the data is fudged.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote:

That's only if one actually believes that the status quo isn't stacked against non-affluent, non-whites and non-males...

No, you're quite literally defending racism as quid-pro-quo. I'm sorry, but there is no defense or excuse for racism, period. Supremacists defend it in much the same manner - "helping" others by holding back those "bad" others. Take two kids of different races that are both from broken homes with few financial means. They BOTH deserve an EQUAL opportunity to be judged on THEIR merits with NO consideration of race, religion, or anything beyond their scholastic achievements. Anything less than that is simply racist.

RE: Women in Engineering II

"They BOTH deserve an EQUAL opportunity"

No disagreement, but they haven't had equal opportunity, ever, and certainly, they don't have it now; every test of racial and gender bias has shown that there are large disparities in opportunity, even when tested with resumes where only the name is changed.

The percentage of the population that agrees with white supremacy is at least 8%, possibly higher, given that 31% believe in that "white European heritage" needs to be protected.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Women in Engineering II

I think both in India and China, there are more women in engineering compared to other countries and they seldom meet with any discrimination-may be because promotions are on the basis of seniority, most of the time. I studied Engineering more than 50 years back and our batch had only couple of young women as students. But when I went to my college for a talk after 12 years of graduation, 30 % of the hall was packed with women. Today Iam told women % is more than men in most of the engineering colleges. Recently I found managers of steel fabrication shops ( part of transformer factories) of two factories -one in India, my earlier company!) and in China are women engineers. Operation Director of largest transmission Company (may be one of the largest in the world) of India is a lady. Rocket division of Indian Space agency is headed by a lady engineer.( ex my college)

RE: Women in Engineering II

In most of my experience with women program managers, they rarely been given their due respect. They've often been treated with derision, particularly from older men.

Aside from pure biases, there are simple "comfort" factors that will tend to select for commonality with the person making the decision. Men like to be working with other men, because of the "hey, didja catch the game last night?" are easy conversation starters with common experiences/culture. So, even if there are zero racist/sexist biases, people are simply less comfortable with strangers with strange cultures and non-shared experiences. If we were to magically make everyone un-racist, there would be little change in the status quo, because of the comfort factors.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote:

No one was upset? Maybe not that you noticed.
How about the time I was at a railroad engineers meeting, and the keynote speaker opened with "Welcome, gentlemen...". When I approached him afterwards, he brushed me off with it was no big deal. His perception was I had no right or reason to be upset at being addressed as gentlemen. This was in the 70's.
I'm not trying to get you to drive a Delorean back to then, I'm just asking that you consider the impact of language today.

I have a funny(?) water cooler story to share.

One of my family members is a relatively successful female fiction author, with an advanced degree from a well known private northern school with an internationally recognized football team. (enough clues) She is very liberal, both by my own read and her own pretty staunch admission, and in her late 30s. She returned to her alma mater to do an hour long talk in front of the literature students there, about her experiences as an author, the act of writing, and such. She talked for about 45 minutes about the topic of writing, to a relatively attentive audience. When she was done, she opened the floor for questions by saying "Do you ladies and gentlemen have any questions?"

The first response was, "Don't you think you should rephrase that so as not to offend or exclude those who identify as nonbinary?"

So she said, "Okay, you (F)ers, got any questions?"

The sponsoring professor did admit that that was a more gender neutral way to address the audience.

Not sure what lesson we learn from this, exactly, but it seems to me that what constitutes "offensive speech" is a very sliding scale, and even people who are doing their best to not offend are getting worn out by what's going on with today's growing "culture of offense." There has to be some threshold, somewhere, where we just say "tough it out." I'm not saying I know what that threshold is, but I know it's nonzero.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Women in Engineering II

I'm still trying to figure out which football team you are talking about.

RE: Women in Engineering II

Boston College is first on my mind.

Good luck,
Latexman

To a ChE, the glass is always full - 1/2 air and 1/2 water.

RE: Women in Engineering II

I was thinking of Notre Dame...

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Women in Engineering II

Could be ND, I tend to associate Indiana with the mid-West, but that's me.

Good luck,
Latexman

To a ChE, the glass is always full - 1/2 air and 1/2 water.

RE: Women in Engineering II

Since beej67 appears to be located in Georgia (at least that's what E-Tips is reporting), therefore, Indiana would qualify as a "northern" local.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Women in Engineering II

Boo Notre Dame!

/Purdue Graduate.

Anyway, discussing beej67's story, I'm inclined to agree - to an extent. My personal opinion is that the student might be correct, however he or she probably needs to learn a better way of having people change behavior. Language to me is pretty dynamic and subject to change; so while the english language may have had nouns that were perceived as gender-neutral; they are no longer perceived that way by many, which may constitute a change in language. I'm not one to get upset at a persons use of gender-nouns; and in the scheme things, I think what the student did was bit "nit-picky".

RE: Women in Engineering II

It sounded to me to be an attempt to publicly ding an invited speaker; there's ALWAYS one of those in a crowd, looking to show how smart or better they are. It likely had zero to do with actual sympathy or empathy with the genders in question.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
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RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote:

No disagreement, but they haven't had equal opportunity...

Actually you are disagreeing with me. You're saying that its perfectly acceptable to discriminate against an individual based upon a stereotype. I'm saying that's never acceptable, plain and simple with no buts, ifs, or other nonsense.

RE: Women in Engineering II

beej's story is "only" the modern equivalent of the previous post; diversity has (seemingly) no limit. "you're all individuals"

so instead of being polite with "ladies and gentleman", the question boils down to "do you have any questions?" or ( to give meaning to "you") "I now throw it open to the audience, do you have any questions ?"

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

RE: Women in Engineering II

3
Let's go back to this one, because there's an issue of disjointed realities when this topic is discussed.

Quote (IRStuff)

Or that the fact that women have systematically been paid less for equal work not sexism?

There's a huge trend in the media to talk about 22 cents on the dollar, and then slip "equal work" in the back door of the discussion when "equal work" does not fit the 22% figure, statistically.

Obama's department of labor did a pretty exhaustive multivariate analysis on the gender wage gap in 2009. Link:

https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/public-policy/hr-pub...

After controlling for the confounders for which they had data, which would include "equal work," the wage gap shrunk to between 4% and 7%. Those confounders included choice of profession, choice to have kids, how many kids, how many years people take off of their professional careers to do other things (which may include children, or taking care of the elderly), whether you're a single parent, whether your household is a two income household, and such. It did not include things like personality type, or how aggressively the different genders tend to negotiate salaries, or how often they switch employers to chase a better paycheck, because they didn't have data for those. But each of those impacts salary as well.

So the salary impact of those things (personality typing, negotiation, etc) as well as workplace sexism, all must fit within that band of 4% to 7% differential.

If we're going to speak honestly about the gender wage gap, we need to acknowledge up front that sexism likely does play a part, but that the media is grossly overstating that part. And that analysis is almost a decade old. The band may have shrunk further.

There's also some touchy math we'd have to do regarding the male variability hypothesis, which was a thing that sexists used (very improperly) to justify sexim for a while, but non-sexists are finding unbiased evidence for in modern studies. So for instance, the median scores across genders on the ASVAB are basically the same, but the male bell curve is flatter, with more males appearing on both tails of the graph. (more smarter males, more dumber males) This wouldn't matter at all for the "22 cents on the dollar" math if the income distribution were linear, because the high and low variabilities in men would average out. But income distribution is not linear, and that nonlinearity is increasing, with a higher share of the income being increasingly concentrated in the bank accounts at the right hand side of the bell curve. So that's going to skew the numbers some. I can't say how much, maybe not a lot, but it's worth mentioning. It would probably take an actuary to unravel how significant that effect is, honestly.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Women in Engineering II

Bottom line from the report- "Statistical analysis that includes those variables has produced results that
collectively account for between 65.1 and 76.4 percent of a raw gender wage gap of 20.4 percent, and
thereby leave an adjusted gender wage gap that is between 4.8 and 7.1 percent. "

https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/public-policy/hr-pub...

I tend to see/ hear the 20% gap reported more than the 6% figure.

Probably never know the truth but there has been a big change in industry over the last 30 years, something to celebrate.

Still much to do but I suspect based on my 20 year old daughters attitude the up and comers will take their place and not complain about any mistreatment real or imagined.

Which is how such matters should be resolved.

IMHO

RE: Women in Engineering II

2
"Which is how such matters should be resolved.

So, if they get harassed or assaulted, they should "not complain about any mistreatment real or imagined?"

The implication is that they will not put up with it and will take whatever steps are necessary to correct the situation.

One should not automatically default to a victim mentality. It is not a healthy or productive lifestyle.

Nor is constantly being in virtue signalling mode.

RE: Women in Engineering II

(OP)
Wage gap, I never made as much as my male counterparts. I mentioned this a manager once and was told that I didn't need to earn what they earned, since I was female, unmarried, and no kids. The men were married and had kids and needed to earn more than me. So much for free markets.

I listened to a social scientist and a financier discuss the economy recently. Both said we like to work and deal with people that look like us. That homogeneity is dominate in finance and it's not healthy.

I don't think some men understand the work, upheaval, complaining, disruptions, etc. that women and others have to produce to effect change. I don't know any woman that really views herself as a victim even though she has certainly been. Often I didn't respond to any offenses. Women, more often than not, just tolerate discrimination and poor treatment and keep doing their jobs. That's my observation of the women I've worked with and others I know. I've tried to effect change, when problems got too severe. You have no idea how difficult that is. Most people thought I was very easy to work with. I learned trying to effect change for the severest problems that if one party is not interested, it won't happen. A plant manager once told a group of us how we looked and the most problematic engineers didn't care one durn bit. There was nothing I could do to change those relationships and HR was useless. Some of those men had been to "play nice with others" training 3-4 times and it hadn't worked. The trainer recognized them and knew how many times they had been through his training. He's a good trainer. And some white men are claiming victimhood and joining support groups, too. Women and others don't carry that mantra alone now.

Speaking for myself, I never anticipate any man discriminating against me because of my gender. Yet, it has happened and more than once. Again, if a man will tell me that by getting the engineering degree that I have taken a spot a man should have, who is being discriminated against? If my business, per that same man, should belong to a man, who is being discriminated against?

When I talk to people and hear stuff like that, they reveal how little they truly understand about how life works. I know because I've been guilty of it myself.

If you have integrity, you will want to treat people as your equal because you see their value, too. I suppose kindness will produce the same treatment of others.

Recently, someone used the term "narcissistic arrogance," which I think fits in a lot of ways today. We really need to get over ourselves and learn some humility. It matters greatly.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC
NSPE-CO, Central Chapter
Dinner program: http://nspe-co.org/events.php

RE: Women in Engineering II

I think the whole notion of "victimhood" is a combination of deflection and denial, not that different than accusing a rape victim of wearing provocative clothing, so women are sexually harassed because they wear "victimhood."

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote:

was told that I didn't need to earn what they earned, since I was female, unmarried, and no kids.

That's actually not an uncommon belief. In the military I often saw myself or other single soldiers tasked with holiday, weekend, or other undesireable duty hours/locations because we were single and didnt have family concerns. In the civilian world I've heard it several times planning layoffs - lay off the single folks first, they dont have families to consider. In both worlds I've seen a serious tendency for folks with family to get progressed through the ranks faster, and several sham marriages between parties in the same office(s) to effect that end. By far the worst IMHO tho was a manager when I worked in Indiana (they'll kill you with the Bible says this quiet Christian) that told me I needed to "stop living in sin if I wanted to do well" within the company.

Quote:

Again, if a man will tell me that by getting the engineering degree that I have taken a spot a man should have, who is being discriminated against?

Not to defend this one, but I do have one possible bone to pick with it. In my field I have noticed many engineering grads coming out of college wanting to be in non-engineering roles, usually some form of project management. I have also witnessed quite a few folks hired to fulfill an EO quota, only one of which actually engineered anything. While I do not have a sexist, racist, or other discriminatory bone in my body, I have stated my belief on several occasions that an engineering degree does not make an engineer nor is an engineer someone who only holds project management responsibilities. I've worked with enough highly educated PMPs to find that a bit insulting to them and a waste of an engineering position. IMHO, if an engineer isnt willing to learn to be a proper engineer then yes, they have taken a spot someone else should have.

OTOH, if you were in a proper engineering slot and actually engineering (or at least attempting to learn to) then my apologies, there's no excuse for that garbage.

RE: Women in Engineering II

With a brief look at the OP's business website, one would not need to adorn one's posts with CYA statements... one could just delete the sidetracked part in the middle and leave it at that.
The first part about considering family status in promotions or layoffs is well taken, however, and something that I might consider myself, if I were in that position. However, I still don't see how the gender of the engineer facing such a promotion or layoff would factor into that part of the decision.

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.
STF

RE: Women in Engineering II

My post wasn't CYA'ing anything, simply trying to take the gender out of both situations and see other considerations in case anything could've been misconstrued. As a species we are great at many things but terrible at communicating. In the later case, yes, there are many folks in engineering slots who shouldn't be in them because they have no interest in engineering. Those folks want a secretary's job at an engineer's salary, not a profession requiring regular & difficult work. In the former, yes, guys hear the same nonsense about family too. My wife and I were almost thirty before living together, which we did for six(?) years before getting married and are still considering kids. I've heard my fair share about things which are nobody's business, and having worked with many senior engineers who "coasted" the last decade prior to retirement I don't agree with giving anyone preference on layoffs, income, or otherwise unless its deserved by current merit.

RE: Women in Engineering II

(OP)
IRStuff, interesting take on it. I may email you separately about that one.

CWB1, I got the engineering degree to do engineering and I love engineering. I really enjoyed engineering education, too. I love to learn.

I worked with a number of male and female engineers that got an engineering degree because it is a great stepping stone to other careers, such as project management, purchasing, law, medicine, etc. Many of them were very open about their plans, which I didn't and still don't have a problem with. They had the mental horsepower and funds to get an engineering degree and they should be able to do so. Higher education is not a lottery system.

I still do engineering and I still love engineering. But, I also, running my own company, have found I enjoy negotiating contracts, planning business, etc. I enjoy meeting others in the business world. Running my own business has opened my eyes a lot to how dynamic the world really is. I wouldn't have seen it any other way; I'm not smart enough and was too focused on plant work, as a direct employee.

I've had to pull holiday/weekend duty because I am single. I get that and don't mind pulling my fair share. I don't mind giving someone else a break. That's being thoughtful and kind, which I think should be a requirement for the human species. Tying my gender and marital status to career and pay are not that, in my mind.

I no longer consider myself a Christian so Bible people can say what they want; I don't buy it. I've learned way too much to ever believe it. And, all of my Christian friends walked away from me due to Lyme disease. I've been through it all completely alone. It was brutal. I've had a hard life but the rest of it has been a cakewalk compared to Lyme disease. When I survey my life and what I've been through, I find it amusing for people to call me weak and other things. If they only knew...

SparWeb, IMHO, you missed the point of the middle stuff and it wasn't CYA but an expression of thoughts based upon a previous post. smile

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC
NSPE-CO, Central Chapter
Dinner program: http://nspe-co.org/events.php

RE: Women in Engineering II

It did sound like an attempt to create a link between gender and the too-common desire to study engineering with only management interests. I've seen my share of PM's who didn't become good engineers before attempting to manage projects, so maybe CWB's comments touched that nerve.

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.
STF

RE: Women in Engineering II

I am not trying to create stereotypes but I would rather a female document things than a male. Not that there aren't good guys but there are a few that just freewheel and I am left wondering if they know someone is going to inherent their mess after them. I really believe there are some male engineers that hardly ever double check or run through something with a highlighter and are hardly bothered by mistakes and typos. I haven't run into a female engineer like that.

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If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.

RE: Women in Engineering II

That would be an interesting question; how much of stereotyping is due to cultural influences and familial environments? Certainly, it's been noted that Asians, who had been stereotyped as eating healthy and being thin, are showing more and more signs of obesity: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC44103...

It used to be that because women were "taught" to be housewives, they had a certain skill set and mentality for detail work. However, that's gone by the wayside in most demographics, so it certainly bears re-visiting to see if the stereotype still holds up.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Women in Engineering II

One thing that tends to crop up in this discussion space, is the idea that male humans have personality predilections which cause them to gravitate toward "things" and female humans have personality predilections which cause them to gravitate towards "people." And that some of the employment gap in STEM fields may be due to this predilection of interests. In other words, yes there are women who are interested in "things," but there are more men interested in "things," so this skews the representation. This was one of the things Damore brought up in the memo that got him trashed.

This is a pretty comprehensive academic paper on the topic:

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/James_Rounds/...

This doesn't mean there isn't sexism in the workplace. But it does indicate that the gender gap in STEM is multivariate, with many factors in play, and you can't simply point at the gap as proof of sexism.

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RE: Women in Engineering II

Going way back to this...

Quote:

Do you think single parent families could be in fact propagated by disproportionate incarceration of minorities for crimes committed at similar rates among the majority? - Could those affects be multi-generational?

...I personally think so. I don't beat on the "systemic racism" or the "white privilege" drum very much, as I think both concepts are very overplayed and often media contrived to stoke outrage. But looking at the numbers I've seen in terms of disproportionate sentencing, I definitely think something is going on in this space that we might call "systemic racism" or "white privilege" depending on how we define those terms. Most (but probably not all) of what gets assigned "white privilege" by the media is actually wealth privilege. Because wealth is just as heritable as genes are, that's why they call it "inheritance." Plus there's issues of wealthy folks having better child rearing environments, which lead to better outcomes, which are another kind of wealth heritability. And since single parents don't have the time to pursue professional careers that two parent households have, they don't have as much money, don't have the ability to regulate their kids behaviors, etc. And if the kids do get into trouble, they're less likely to have independent legal representation, which is probably partly at fault for the disproportionate trends in sentencing. There also could be racism in play here as well, outside of the wealth issue.

So the whole thing is a feedback loop, where poorer and potentially blacker kids get tied up more in the legal system, which exacerbates the single parenting problem. Single parenting rates doubled in the US from 1960 through the early 1990s across all racial demographics, but the AA demographic started higher, so its doubling pushed them way up. Nearing 50% last time I looked. I think at least part of this is drug war related.

These are purely my opinions based on numbers I've seen, and I don't intend to spend a huge amount of time in argument over them. I would love to not have a real job, because I could try and do some analysis on the thing, which would take quite a bit of time.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Women in Engineering II

Men and women are indeed different. That's beside the point however. Presumably only those people who have an interest in engineering graduate from engineering schools, and employers should be let off the hook insofar as their demographics generally track those of the graduating classes over the average age of their workforce. Anything beyond that is an issue for education system, not the employers. I say this as a former hiring manager at an engineering firm constantly pushed by HR to hire more women. I eventually learned to keep track of the demographics of the resumes they provided when I needed talent to show them that my department's demographics were a reflection of what they gave me to choose from. They in turn responded that they could only give me resumes of people who submitted them. Duh. As long as the graduating class of engineers is primarily male, engineering companies will be primarily male.

RE: Women in Engineering II

While RodRice has a point, it's not quite as simple as that. There is also the factors of supply & demand. What I mean is that if there was an environment where it was more attractive for female engineers to work and succeed in industry, that this could increase the interest in getting a technical education by young women graduating from high school. I know that there is a bit of the chicken & egg conundrum here, but if there is no effort to at least promote the chance of changing the status quo then nothing is ever going to be any different going forward.

Note that in my 49+ year engineering career, I've worked in situations where I've had female co-workers, female subordinates and female superiors, and at no time have I ever considered any of these individuals as not being competent or not being able to hold-up their end of the log.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
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RE: Women in Engineering II

JohnRBaker, We very aggressively put forward our female engineers as role models and worked continuously with our feeder colleges encouraging them to seek increased diversity in their graduating class. What else would you have had us do? There comes a point where you simply can't keep portraying women as victims. There's simply no way around the need for more women to take the initiative and pursue engineering as a career before the impression of engineering as a man's world is changed.

RE: Women in Engineering II

I don't think the current supply is as lopsided as all that in engineering. While the women graduating as engineers today are no longer considered to be trailblazer, deciding to apply to a specific company might still be trailblazing, particularly given the aforementioned issue with resume screening, either automated, or through headhunters.

There's credible evidence that more women than ever are majoring in STEM, and more women are majoring in engineering; Berkeley and Stanford both reported that gender parity exists at the introductory programming class level. What is not clear is what happens between getting that sheepskin at the podium and mid-career, where women seemingly have disappeared from the engineering workforce. At my company, a significant number of women originally hired in as engineers wound up in program management, so while still STEM, they aren't engineers anymore.

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RE: Women in Engineering II

While being "role models" is certainly one aspect, one needs to see them in action before rendering a judgement. It's been my observation that people, regardless of gender, might be good at doing something, but suck at selling that same thing to others.

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RE: Women in Engineering II

I'm not saying the we have to portray women as "victims", just that we have to look to what future are we willing to accept.

As for me personally, we have three sons and despite my life-long career in engineering, including the fact that this has provided for a solid middle-to-upper-middle-class lifestyle, including the ability to retire comfortably, the two older sons chose careers as chefs (one has now moved-up to the corporate executive level). Our youngest son did go into technology but not via a formal education. Instead he started to work at IT jobs while still in high school and has just continued to learn on the job and by gaining certification from places like Apple and Microsoft. Now he's not into computer software or anything like that, but rather on the hardware/configuration/networking side of the business. That being said, we do have five granddaughters. Note that only one has graduated from high school so far and she opted to not go to college and instead got an entry-level position working on the management side of a large restaurant/hotel/entertainment company (her father is the corporate executive and she's sort of grown-up in the company). Of the other four, two are in high school, one's in junior high and the youngest has just started school. Now two of these girls, the one in junior high and one of the high schooler's are very high achievers (the 13 year old has never had a grade less than an A and the other has a near perfect record). Both of these granddaughters have expressed interest in a technical education. We have been encouraging them even to the point of exploring the possibility of then attending my alma mater under their legacy program (they would qualify for in-state tuition despite being out-of-state residents).

Anyway, I would like to think that if any of our granddaughters do decide to pursue a technical education, that they will be able to find rewarding positions commensurate with the effort that they will need to expend getting those technical degrees.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Women in Engineering II

One of my children has a mental deficiency that puts her outside the bounds of this discussion. My other two children both attended college, a son for Mechanical Engineering and a daughter for Psychology. My son is now the lead engineer for a product at a startup where he's responsible for all disciplines including electrical, mechanical, software, and manufacturing. My daughter is now a Major in the USAF serving in the surveillance wings and both she and her wife have been identified as leadership material due to their ability to motivate teamwork and inspire loyalty (I'm confident both will attain the rank of Colonel before retiring and one may even make General).

RE: Women in Engineering II

(OP)
IRStuff, does your thought about seeing role models in action apply to men as well? Just curious and not in a contentious way.

In the meantime, I am awaiting a meeting with a female engineer whose career was stymied because she advocated for women up and down the ranks of a major outfit. She was directly told that her career had topped out because of her advocacy for women. She had not accomplished near what her original goals were and management made sure she wouldn't reach them. She did a career change and loves what she does now. Who knew that advocacy for your underrepresented group would be so hazardous to a career?

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC
NSPE-CO, Central Chapter
Dinner program: http://nspe-co.org/events.php

RE: Women in Engineering II

Yes, my comment applies to anyone, anywhere. I've seen people who are brilliant at what they do, but they kind of suck at presenting their results.

The other side of the advocacy coin are some women who take advantage of their protected status. One SENIOR engineer was hired after getting glowing reviews from her previous company and coworkers, but it turned out that she couldn't really engineer her way out of a wet paper shift-register; I, as a junior in college, knew more than she did. We tried to get rid of her, but she would then play the discrimination card. I ran across her again at a different company years later, and she was just the same, put on subcontractor management, because her design/systems skills were still pitiful.

Of course, some men do similar crap. My first realtor was a really nice and sweet person, and her husband worked at the same company as me. Then, one day, he got injured, filed for workmen's comp, and filed for divorce, and asked for alimony from his ex-wife, claiming unemployability. This was 35 yrs ago, so men weren't really supposed to do that sort of thing, regardless of whether they had cause.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Women in Engineering II

(OP)
IRStuff, yeah, it really seems best to me to take each person individually and analyze their behaviors for what they are. I'm sure we've seen all kinds of people in our long careers and lives. smile

I had a bad experience with a young professional in another field, i.e., dentistry. What a mess he is! Absolute mess! I expected more from someone so highly educated but that was futile.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC
NSPE-CO, Central Chapter
Dinner program: http://nspe-co.org/events.php

RE: Women in Engineering II

Today is the 4th-annual International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

One thing of note is the recent announcement that the British ExoMars rover will be named "Rosalind Franklin," a much belated honor for the person whose x-ray crystallography results for helical DNA preceded Watson's and Crick's.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Women in Engineering II

I stumbled into a very interesting blog post about the Damore Kerfuffle today:

https://www.scottaaronson.com/blog/?p=3389

It aggregates several opinions from women STEM PhDs, one in pure math and another in quantum computing, which were very critical of Google for firing Damore over his "women in STEM" memo.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Women in Engineering II

I think only one of the two women actually disagreed with the firing from my reading. However, both were responding only to Damore's memo, without referencing what Google's actual policy is. Neither fully agreed with Damore, and the second author's opinion was that Damore's proclamations were misplaced and non-authoritative. Moreover, the author clearly disagreed with Damore, specifically for his usage of sexist language and arguments.

Until the playing field is truly level, and all biases are truly removed can we then determine whether a 50/50 ratio is plausible. Damore was playing to his audience, with statements like, "We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism." Why is that necessary, given that he never established that sexism doesn't exist, nor that all gender differences are biological purely biological. He can't even prove that his supposed biological differences aren't a product of a patriarchal society's imprinting of men and women.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote:

Until the playing field is truly level, and all biases are truly removed can we then determine whether a 50/50 ratio is plausible.

Well this is the main problem. If you believe, as I tend to, that the nordic countries have a more level playing field with fewer biases than we do, then the evidence indicates that evening the playing field would move the ratio further away from 50/50, instead of towards 50/50.

Good article on the subject:

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/0...

So this idea that "The ratio is due to the patriarchy" doesn't hold water at all. It's patently false. In test cases worldwide, "less patriarchy" creates more STEM gap.


Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Women in Engineering II

" the nordic countries have a more level playing field with fewer biases than we do"

I think they have imposed a different layer of biases, as exemplified in a documentary mentioned elsewhere; it was pretty clear that while they had no overt discrimination, they paradoxically felt a stronger affinity to gender roles.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Women in Engineering II

It's this passage from the article that seems to capture the effect:

Quote:

The upshot of this research is neither especially feminist nor especially sad: It’s not that gender equality discourages girls from pursuing science. It’s that it allows them not to if they’re not interested.

So while I don't think there's much association between social patriarchy and enrollment in STEM education, as beej67 puts it, I think I do see how social instability in each society can. I think they are saying that, male or female, why bother with the discipline of a technical career that you don't really want if you can earn a living making ice sculptures? I'm not sure I completely agree with that position, but it does touch a nerve.

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.
STF

RE: Women in Engineering II

But, he doesn't explain why, only that they exist; moreover, he seemingly makes the same mistake many people do, equating correlation with causality.

He also makes the point that at the junior high level, there is almost no difference in either aptitude or interest; the divergence occurs later, which suggests some sort of socio-cultural effect, which he dismisses. There may indeed not be, but it's irrelevant to whether biases and and discrimination exist in the US, because they do exist. Otherwise, we'd likewise have claim that blacks are genetically predisposed to not be interested in STEM, as well. And maybe they aren't, but we're nowhere close to having a society without biases and discrimination in the US.

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RE: Women in Engineering II

Not side tracking but how come the medical field is not tied in with STEM? There were a lot of classes that I had that had included people that were pre-med and the gender ratio amongst pre-meds was pretty even. It is hard to argue that the ability isn't there just from how rigorous the training processes is to become a medical doctor. Maybe, they were just smarter than me and they realized that medicine is a better field than engineering.



Link

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If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.

RE: Women in Engineering II

Probably because it's associated by extension to nursing. While it's rigorous, in everyday practice, there's that not much actual science or math, although there might be some technology, but even then, it's as a user and not as a developer or designer.

Moreover, my spouse, who is a doctor, would argue that it's at a better field, particularly at the family practice end.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
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RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote:

I think they have imposed a different layer of biases, as exemplified in a documentary mentioned elsewhere; it was pretty clear that while they had no overt discrimination, they paradoxically felt a stronger affinity to gender roles.

That's an interesting theory, but it doesn't explain what's going on at the other end of the graph. The countries with the highest female STEM participation are middle eastern countries with hijabs and polygamy and clitoral mutilation.

If you apply Occam's Razor, the simplest cleanest explanation is that in places where your income is the least tied to your occupation, women choose STEM the least. When the money doesn't matter, they largely choose professions that have to do with people instead of things, on a statistical basis. Because of scientifically measurable biological differences in the statistical distributions of personality traits. Not because of "society" or whatever.

It's a choice thing. Women choose STEM more when the money gives them more incentive, and would choose STEM less if the money didn't matter.

Quote:

Probably because it's associated by extension to nursing. While it's rigorous, in everyday practice, there's that not much actual science or math, although there might be some technology, but even then, it's as a user and not as a developer or designer.

Oh come on. Nursing is just as STEM related as engineering sales is. It's more science related than many straight engineering positions. The reason they don't put nursing in STEM, is because the underlying gist of the entire category of STEM is "professional fields about things," as opposed to people. Medicine and nursing get thrown out because they're scientific fields about people. They literally drew the lines around what counts as "STEM" based on gender interest tropes.




Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Women in Engineering II

(OP)

Quote (beej67)

The countries with the highest female STEM participation are middle eastern countries with hijabs and polygamy and clitoral mutilation.

I put that sentence into a search engine and found nothing to support it; I found opinion pieces that do not support it but I don't consider those valid. We all have opinions. May I impose upon you to provide a reputable source for that statement? Thx!

Some of you may find the movie On the Basis of Sex interesting as well as educational. It's very well done. As a reminder, I've heard some of what's in that movie by men 20 years my junior. To me, that's a sad statement to make given our right to vote is now 100 years old.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC
NSPE-CO, Central Chapter
Dinner program: http://nspe-co.org/events.php

RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote (beej67)


The countries with the highest female STEM participation are middle eastern countries...

Quote (lacajun)


I put that sentence into a search engine and found nothing to support it...

This does:
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/0...
Algeria
Tunisia
UAE
Turkey

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.
STF

RE: Women in Engineering II

I don't think that chart has any predictive power... just reporting stats as they chose them and finding a trend.
"Past performance is no guarantee of future results"

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.
STF

RE: Women in Engineering II

The Scandinavian outliers have generous social welfare systems, so women don't need to strive so hard to achieve their desired lifestyles. In the oppressive Islamic countries, STEM seems the only way out, so that's where discrimination comes in. I prefer somewhere in between, like the US and Australia.

RE: Women in Engineering II

I don't think that the ratios as being indicative of what you might expect. A lot of the countries with equality suffer badly from brain drain. Those that stay can have a job if they want it. Those that have the gumption to leave the country can easily make 3-4 times as much in a year. I suspect but I don't have proof that men are more likely to work abroad in general. 75% of H1B visas are for males.



In the midwest of the U.S., you can get paid pretty handsomely for some job. Especially, if you take the cost of living into account. If you can do the job and even if you can't, someone will give you the job. Compare that to metros with way too many STEM graduates.

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If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.

RE: Women in Engineering II

Thanks SparWeb. I linked that article earlier, but I think the link may have gotten lost in the shuffle.

I'm surprised Pamela didn't find it on her google search. When I drop "The countries with the highest female STEM participation are middle eastern countries" into Google, it's the second hit. This could quite possibly be an artifact of how Google tailors people's search results to their political biases. When I put that phrase into google, this is my second hit:

https://www.wgrz.com/article/news/nation-world/why...

which states:

Quote (article)

"Suggested stories are selected by computer algorithms based on your past activity on Google," the company says.

In other words, we are so far down the rabbit hole in 2019 that a thread full of totally rational people can have extreme disagreements about a topic purely because Google is feeding us all different starting data, and we're all equally and properly applying logic to a different set of givens. This is a major problem with the divisiveness of modern discourse, by the way. Imagine how nasty this very discussion would be if it were among non-engineers.

Back on topic. The Atlantic article references this study:

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/09567...

The graph from the Atlantic article is less than ideal, because they don't label the Y axis at all (which by the way is the gender gap ratio) and they don't show an R^2 for the trendline. But presuming the data pool is reasonably well correlated linearly, as the study suggests, we see two important things:

1) Seven of the top eight countries in the world in terms of women in STEM are Muslim, and the outlier in that group is Vietnam. (which, fun fact, is surprisingly close to 0% Muslim)
2) Six of the bottom seven countries in the world in terms of women in STEM are European socialist democracies with high gender equality. The outlier in this group is Chile.
2b) If we widen the bottom group to 15 countries, 12 are European social democracies, and only one (Qatar) is Muslim.

While I understand the thinking behind this:

Quote (IRStuff)

Until the playing field is truly level, and all biases are truly removed can we then determine whether a 50/50 ratio is plausible.

...the bias argument simply doesn't fit the data. From the study's abstract:

Quote (abstract)

A mediation analysis suggested that life-quality pressures in less gender-equal countries promote girls’ and women’s engagement with STEM subjects.

Which is similar to this phrase from hokie66:

Quote (hokie66)

The Scandinavian outliers have generous social welfare systems, so women don't need to strive so hard to achieve their desired lifestyles

Which is another way of saying this:

Quote (beej67)

If you apply Occam's Razor, the simplest cleanest explanation is that in places where your income is the least tied to your occupation, women choose STEM the least. When the money doesn't matter, they largely choose professions that have to do with people instead of things, on a statistical basis. Because of scientifically measurable biological differences in the statistical distributions of personality traits. Not because of "society" or whatever.

It's a choice thing. Women choose STEM more when the money gives them more incentive, and would choose STEM less if the money didn't matter.

That's of course not to say "all." My wife is an engineer, and my best female friend was an engineer, before she decided to become a housemom instead. I also know four other women from my university days with engineering degrees. Only one is an engineer, and she is a talented one. Several are housemoms who never even began down the engineering path. The housemoms could have certainly been great engineers if they chose to do so, but I doubt they chose housemom due to sexism in the workplace. Most of them were never even exposed to the workplace. Now I will grant those are all anecdotes, not data, but the data is above and seems to match up.

Now I happen to think there is some cultural stuff going on, but not on a "society at large" level, but rather at a business level. And not necessarily with sexism either. I'm incredibly fortunate that I run my own business. My wife is currently dying of cancer, and we have two small children, so the uncertainty of that situation caused me to explore entering the job market recently. What I discovered, basically, was that there were zero engineering firms willing to work with a single parent's schedule. If I went back to work for a big firm, I would be earning money to pay a nanny, instead of raising my kids myself. This trap I find myself in, is the same trap that all single parents find themselves in, and 80% of single parents are women. So that has got to figure in the STEM gap somewhere. In fact, it may very well figure into not only our STEM gap domestically, but also the STEM gap in the graph, because there are very, very few single moms in Muslim countries and quite a lot of single moms in Scandinavia. Quite honestly I'm surprised the researchers didn't pick up on this possible confounder.

Look at this:



Holy crap, it even explains the Chile outlyer, and why Costa Rica is in there with the Nordic countries.

Someone should do a study on this.

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RE: Women in Engineering II

That graph is perhaps a bit misleading, since there are other cultural issues mentioned in the Yale article, namely that "out of wedlock" is not synonymous with "single parent" as shown in the other graph from the same article. It shows that less than 20% of all children live with only a single parent; the two graphs are not necessarily consistent with each other, since one describing births only.


https://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sites/default/files/im...

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RE: Women in Engineering II

This is very true IRStuff. I had a hard time finding graphs that showed Chile and Costa Rica, which were shown on the scatter plot from the prior study. When I found that one it was a "eurika."

What we'd really need, is a good data set specifically of single female parent ratio that included the same countries in the APS study. I'm not even sure that data is available for Middle Eastern countries. Ideally we'd also need single male parent ratio as a confounder.

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RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote (beej67)

purely because Google is feeding us all different starting data...

Lesson: stop relying on Google to find everything for you. blllttt

As for the rest, about single parents and stuff... I can't sort out all the variables. A lot of moving parts. I think I see what you're saying, but the logic doesn't seem complete. Perhaps because even the level of confusion you've thrown upon it is still over-simplified?

I would grant that the inflexibility of many workplaces will be a factor motivating women to leave the workforce once they have children. The difficulty with that is showing how much that's a contributing factor, instead of just inducing it, like we have. And trying to make comparable data from different countries on the same subject... swimming in uncertainty again.

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.
STF

RE: Women in Engineering II

I found this today:
Gapminder

Which is packed with information (seems to be mostly stuff published by the UN or its many child agencies).
Data can be exported and/or plotted in any combination. Lots of statistics related to gender equality, so any of you looking for facts to support your theory, go right ahead!

(we'll be checking on your claims, tho)

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.
STF

RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote:

As for the rest, about single parents and stuff... I can't sort out all the variables. A lot of moving parts.

Yep.

Sorting out variables in systems with a lot of moving parts is almost literally the point of a multivariate analysis. All I'm saying is that I don't think the multivariate analyses in this space are as robust as they need to be, and the above is one variable that is very likely significant. Further, anyone claiming "women in STEM" is a bivariate problem, whether they're blaming "sexism" or "women's choice" or whatever else, is a snake oil salesman. If rational people were to discuss this problem, they'd need to put all the causes on the table, establish a truly robust data set, and do the math properly.

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RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote (beej67)

they'd need to put all the causes on the table, establish a truly robust data set, and do the math properly.

Except that's impossible. Don't give up just because of that. Not all things that people believe strongly are actually based in robust data.
Rather than throw up our hands because there's no hard data, instead we can figure out where our stance is going to be, based on what we think is the right choice.
I've already decided what I think is right, personally, so I need to teach myself how to act in a way consistent with my beliefs. Looking at data like the articles you posted and the other stuff like Gapminder can inform me of the causes of disparity (if I don't get confused in the process) so that hopefully I can be aware of the consequences of my own actions. And I think it helps.

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.
STF

RE: Women in Engineering II

(OP)
I'm not sure why I didn't find that article either. If memory serves, other articles came up about enrollment being down across the board. It's hard for me to conceive that a patriarchal, theocracy that has such beliefs would allow women to outdo the men. I'll have to research it more.

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RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote (lacajun)

It's hard for me to conceive that a patriarchal, theocracy that has such beliefs would allow women to outdo the men.

If I postulate that maybe the subjugation of women in certain countries may be exaggerated as a story for the pleasure of the western audience, rather than a factual situation, would you be inclined to consider the possibility? The research you do may refute what I'm saying, of course, so let me know what you find.

Also... a woman doesn't have to "outdo" a man to receive an education... it's not winners and losers... IMO, this is more economic where the wealth of social classes in such societies determine the number of opportunities available, not so much gender.

I try to take note where the statistics report "education" rather than "profession" or "years of experience working in a profession". That chart I posted earlier is a good example. "STEM graduates" is says. That's only worth so much. I still do suspect that there are many women, perhaps most women the world over, who get an education (engineering and otherwise) but don't fulfill it once the family arrives. So when I see statistics that report only "education", I suspect they are missing the part of the story 10 years after school, when the most men are still in engineering and the women are less. There is such a long way to go.

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.
STF

RE: Women in Engineering II

(OP)
SparWeb, I am willing to consider that possibility. However, even within Christendom, another patriarchal religion, men don't want women to outdo them and they don't want women to know things only men should know. I've heard it more than once. A man once stated he wouldn't date me because I knew things only men should know. Well, some men don't know how to change a tire on a car. I do because of necessity.

I agree about "winners" and "losers" but only to a point. You and I have a different way of thinking about some things. Others do not and, for them, education does represent a situation of one "outdoing" another. In my experience, gender amplifies it.

As an example, because I have a MS in engineering, some people including engineers feel I have outdone them. Getting it had nothing to do with anyone else especially people I didn't/don't know. That's unrealistic thinking on their part but that's what they engage in mentally. Because I got my MS from Pitt, some believe I have outdone them. Again, that's unrealistic thinking but that's what they believe and it comes out in speech and treatment. So, I don't think education can be divorced from the "outdoing" a man piece. Gender amplifies it. I've seen it in various interactions.

I suspect some percentage of women leave engineering once kids come. My sister left engineering for that reason. Many do want to work outside the home and find it increasingly difficult to do that because of the male attitudes and behaviors. After years, it's just old and tiring. I think Corporate America would be better served to work more with families. It would benefit the mother, father, the kids, and the corporation.

I hope you are not diminishing the problems in your own mind with your train of thought.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC
NSPE-CO, Central Chapter
Dinner program: http://nspe-co.org/events.php

RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote:

Except that's impossible. Don't give up just because of that. Not all things that people believe strongly are actually based in robust data.

Well then we're at an impasse. That's the problem.

If Pamela and I both attempt to intuit the underlying causes of the STEM gap, I'm going to conclude that it is at least partially due to the fact that 80% of single parents are women, and single parents of both genders are almost literally excluded from STEM jobs due to the time constraints wrapped up in them. I conclude this because of my experience as a business owner soon to be single parent, and the fact that in decades working at larger firms I never once saw the sorts of things Pamela is talking about, neither in the presence of women nor behind closed doors with ornery old men. On the flip side, Pamela is going to conclude that (at least most of) the thing is due to sexism because of the giant laundry list of sexist things she's seen, and has spoken about in this thread, and I have no legitimate ground by which I can tell her she didn't experience those things. I'm sure she did experience them, and if I had experienced those things I would absolutely come to the same conclusions she has.

So what's the answer?

The problem with defaulting to lived experience as the foundation of a theory, be it my theory or her theory or anybody else's theory, is that each lived experience is only one data point. The worse thing in the public dialogue, is that human beings are psychologically trapped into binary thinking, so we tend to think that these two theories (or others) are mutually exclusive when they technically aren't. Pamela and I could both be right. The actual question, if framed properly, should be more like this:

What percentage of the STEM gap is attributable to each of the following factors:

  • Sexism against women
  • Social Pressures
  • Measurable personality trait differences at the population level in terms of interest (the people/things divide)
  • The Work Life Balance in STEM jobs is garbage and women often value life over work more than men (we might call this a "corporate culture" issue, and a good case could be made that it's damaging men)
  • Single parenting isn't evenly distributed (work/life balance sub-issue, but it raises the question - would the STEM gap shrink if courts gave custody to men more often?)
  • Women are more likely than men to become caregivers to sick or elderly family members (work/life balance sub-issue)
  • Technical capability (I only include this because I'd like to mention that this one is proven to be basically 0%, in good, peer reviewed journals - both genders are equally technically capable at the mean)
  • Male Variability Hypothesis (only applicable at the tails, and the tails probably don't matter that much unless the discussion is CEOs instead of project managers)
Some percentage of the STEM gap is probably due to each of those things, some more than others. And some of those things aren't technically "problems" at all.

And some of them flow from social pressures in the opposite direction. For instance, at a statistical level, men and women seek different things in choosing a mate / life partner. Men tend to skew towards appearance, and women tend to skew towards earning capacity, in their mate preferences. That's solid, peer reviewed science, and it's not a function of culture, because they controlled for that. It shows up in all cultures equally. What that means, is that men at a population level are going to seek a different work/life balance than women, because that's literally part of attracting a mate. And they're doing it because that's literally what women want. So the Social Pressures bullet swings both ways.



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RE: Women in Engineering II

There are gaps in technical capability but those are not the result of differences in ability. If you never had a mentor, your skills will advance slower. If you never got the special assignment because your skills weren't adequate , you won't get exposure required to be the expert. If weren't considered the expert or go-to-person on something, you weren't given the chance to stick out. If you didn't stick out, you won't get promoted. If you didn't get promoted, you will never get put in a position of influence. At that point, it can be easy to make the assumption that whatever group is just not as dedicated, capable, interested ,ect. After all that, there will be a large technical gap created between the person who was afforded certain opportunities and those that weren't. I don't think opportunities should be distributed equally or such but it is very easy for technical gaps to be created indirectly. Maybe, I am just interpreting technical capability differently but just being smart is not enough for someone to turn into a technical expert or director or whatever. No one just becomes technically capable.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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RE: Women in Engineering II

I have issue that they really controlled for anything, since it was strictly an opinion poll, which means that the respondent potentially answers what they think they should answer, rather than with how they actually behave, and that there may be gender differences in how they respond, as well.

I'm really having trouble with the " Men tend to skew towards appearance, and women tend to skew towards earning capacity" given that I had/have a high earnings capacity, but didn't attract girls, or women, for that matter. Most of the women I met were interested in the dark, handsome, bad boys, who were most likely to wind up in jail.

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RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote (lacajun)

As an example, because I have a MS in engineering, some people including engineers feel I have outdone them. Getting it had nothing to do with anyone else especially people I didn't/don't know. That's unrealistic thinking on their part but that's what they engage in mentally. Because I got my MS from Pitt, some believe I have outdone them. Again, that's unrealistic thinking but that's what they believe and it comes out in speech and treatment. So, I don't think education can be divorced from the "outdoing" a man piece. Gender amplifies it. I've seen it in various interactions.

As soon as I read it coming back to me I knew I didn't believe it either. Sorry Pam, I seem to be debating as much with my own self than the others. Working it out rhetorically rather than just figuring it out clearly before I start typing.

Case in point; I got back from a long business trip to China, where I encountered many people with university degrees. Most considered themselves very lucky to have the degree because it set them up for their career very directly. I said some things to one person about the value of education, expressing a common "american" attitude that experience is the better teacher, before seeing their shocked expression and realizing that I had better shut my mouth. They don't see it like I do at all.

Then there's the recent US scandal about parents bribing officials to secure places in prestigious universities...

So I take back my musings about education and status. To many people, it can mean EVERYTHING.

No one believes the theory except the one who developed it. Everyone believes the experiment except the one who ran it.
STF

RE: Women in Engineering II

Back to the old numbers game. Off the top of your head how many male composers of classical music can you name? (I'm guessing sixty) Female? (Four) What is the structural reason why there is this imbalance, it can scarcely be due to physical requirements? Or is it innate? If I do the same with novelists there is a much smaller mismatch.

Cheers

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RE: Women in Engineering II

"What is the structural reason why there is this imbalance, it can scarcely be due to physical requirements? Or is it innate? If I do the same with novelists there is a much smaller mismatch."

The simplest answer is that the bulk of classical music played are from male composers. Who decides what music to play; is that not mostly white males? If you don't get played, you're not going to be known and possibly not continue.

The obvious difference with novelists is that they go directly to the reader and the reader decides, albeit, the novels have to get published first. Even then, almost all genres of novels had a majority of male authors, and only in the last 30 yrs have some genres gotten to parity or even majority female. But, some genres are still heavily dominated by men: spy/politics, adventure, fantasy/Sci-fi, and suspense. https://pudding.cool/2017/06/best-sellers/

The other difference is that classical music is heavily dominated by "classical" music, namely Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, etc., making it hard for any composer of any gender to get airtime.

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RE: Women in Engineering II

'Who decides what music to play; is that not mostly white males? "

Well, do some research and tell me. Why would white males give a monkeys' who wrote a piece of music, any more than white publishers and literary agents choosing which book to print?



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RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote:

Who decides what music to play; is that not mostly white males?

IME most wives would disagree, particularly on longer drives. Mine wont even begin to suffer my outlaw country the majority of the time.

RE: Women in Engineering II

'Who decides what music to play; is that not mostly white males? "

Seriously, was there even a remote doubt; does anyone actually think that there isn't a gender gap in conductors and music directors? There are almost ZERO female conductors, and conductors have a major say in what gets played; concert masters have somewhat better numbers. I couldn't find the statistics for radio stations, but I wouldn't have much doubt that the statistics are comparable. This means that radio and live performances are mostly dictated by males. So, on a long drive, the classical music that's available to be heard is mostly selected by men, mostly composed by men, and mostly played by men.

https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/latest/ge...

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RE: Women in Engineering II

Yes, when we're driving, I have to skip-over all of my Janice Joplin, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger although she will tolerate my Buddy Holly and Elvis. Of course, I've had to include on my iPod her Michael Bublé and Susan Boyle.

Years ago, before my iPod, we had a Cadillac with a so-called 'juke-box' system where you would load a 12-CD cartridge in a unit in the trunk. We bought an extra cartridge so that I had mine and she had hers, and we would switch-off during long trips. Now I have an iPod Plus buried in the center console with a 1,000+ tunes on it.

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RE: Women in Engineering II

Rather than try to guess why it's so, how about asking the musicians themselves where the gender gap comes from?

https://www.cbcmusic.ca/posts/12744/janna-sailor-a...
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/headlines/...

About halfway down this article asks "where are the women?" but doesn't actually analyze the question:
https://bachtrack.com/classical-music-statistics-2...

They must have received some feedback about the missing info. They made up for it several years later, here:
https://bachtrack.com/classical-music-statistics-2...

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STF

RE: Women in Engineering II

"As I said, there may be an innate difference in women's minds on average, when it comes to composing,"

And yet, there is a less of an INNATE difference in Swedish composers 37% vs. 16% in the US; must be all the blondes.

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RE: Women in Engineering II

Just did a quick computation, based on the published schedule from now to October, for the RSP Orchestra - There are 53 separate works being played, of which 10 have female (or mostly female) composers. So, closer to 19% than 37%.

edit: here is the link to RSP website: https://www.konserthuset.se/en/royal-stockholm-phi...

I'm not sure that classical music shows current trends, as a lot of the playlist for any orchestra will have dead white European males in the majority. I.e. the long tail of history works against female composers - they have to compete against several hundred years of bias built into the play list. Contemporary music might be a better gage of who can make money at the composing racket...though authoring music and making money from it are two completely separate things, and I just don't care enough to go mucking about in that data.

Bestselling authors, male vs. female, seem to have climbed since the '70s, and hover near 50/50 parity today, according to the chart here:
https://pudding.cool/2017/06/best-sellers/

But other sources say the price of books written by females vs. males is generally lower - https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/may/01/book...

RE: Women in Engineering II

While the best sellers list is one thing, further down in that link are genre by gender, which shows that while the best seller list might be balanced in gender, the genres are almost completely non-overlapping; romance novels appear to be carrying the bulk for female authors, and the 2010 listing only shows 3 women in the top 10, and only 1 is non-romance.

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RE: Women in Engineering II

No.
To pick on one profession which is traditionally seen as female, you could take nursing, where overtime in some workplaces is mandatory.
The practice continues today, even though the risks have been well understood for a long time.
https://www.amsn.org/practice-resources/position-s...

Ridiculously long working hours is not, in practice, a gender issue, when all professions do this to some of their workers somewhere, be they male, female, or a mix.
Want other examples?
Paramedics
Plant maintenance
Linesmen
Farmers
Firemen
Taxi driver
Restaurant manager

Pick a male/female ratio and fit that to a career choice, whichever one you need to suit your argument, and you can find a work/life balance that's out of whack.

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RE: Women in Engineering II

As I understand it, in the US, firemen and paramedics typically works 3 days on/4 days off, and paid as such. They, and police, often use overtime to boost earnings for pension calculations.

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RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote (GregLocock)

Back to the old numbers game. Off the top of your head how many male composers of classical music can you name? (I'm guessing sixty) Female? (Four) What is the structural reason why there is this imbalance, it can scarcely be due to physical requirements? Or is it innate? If I do the same with novelists there is a much smaller mismatch.

Classical music is a wretchedly terrible metric to enter into this conversation, because most of it was composed in prior centuries. We know for a fact that the socioeconomics in prior centuries were very heavily weighted against women doing things like composing classical music. We could call that 'sexism' or we could call that 'the reality of the 18th century,' but whatever we do call it, it's obvious that it's not currently applicable, which makes the discussion moot. If you're going to use this metric at all, you need to limit yourself to classical music composers within the last 20 or 30 years, and that nukes your data pool. The discussion is basically not worth having.

Now, if we expand the discussion to all current music, we may still see some gender gap. Some of that gender gap might be due to sexism, and some of it might be due to "male variability hypothesis," although I won't take a position on either. I'm not sure MVH applies to creativity. I'm not even sure how creativity would be objectively measured to make the case. MVH is most solid when you look at things like ASVAB scores, which are specifically tailored to more workplace specific traits.

Which brings up another weird thought I've been tooling on for about a year. Is there a gender gap in things like personality or charisma? If so, does it skew towards women? I think it might be possible. (I think a lot of women would emphatically support that idea, quite honestly) If that's the case, and the slow march of AI and automation continues to consume all the professional jobs for which ASVAB style Male Variability Hypothesis applies, then we could see ourselves shift in the next 50 years away from a technocratic, intelligence based economy and more towards a creative one, where the robots do basically all the math. What sort of gender gaps are going to be in that new world? Probably not a popular thing to ponder on an engineering forum.

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RE: Women in Engineering II

One thing that hasn't been fully covered here is the actual environment, i.e., is the discipline's environment conducive to encouraging women to stay the course. One study would suggest that it's not the case, at least, for physics: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01303-6...

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RE: Women in Engineering II

I'd wager that if that survey was given to a group of females in any undergrad program 3/4 of them would also claim to have been harassed.

Its called being young, and not something I see as reflective of the workplace or industry.

RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote:

In a survey of women pursuing US undergraduate degrees in physics...

It appears they're talking about undergrad students, who typically range from 18-22'ish.

RE: Women in Engineering II

But, the harassment isn't solely from fellow students; their professors are not in the 18-22 age group. Moreover, the professors carry a tremendous level of influence on future endeavors; a nasty professor or faculty advisor could easily dissuade someone from pursuing an otherwise plausible career.

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RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote:

We also specified that these actions may have come from other students, high school teachers, instructors, or professors. We did not, however, ask students to explicitly report who perpetrated these actions.

Ultimately this seems more a shock and outrage piece than an overly scientific study.

RE: Women in Engineering II

Useless, in other words.

RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote:

Of the 455 people who responded, 338 reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment, including gender harassment — such as being ignored because of their sex or gender, or being told inappropriate jokes — unwanted sexual attention or a combination thereof during the previous two years.

By those definitions I've been harassed countless times since childhood by both men and women.

No, its not ok for anyone to be harassed in any significantly harmful sense nor is it the norm.

RE: Women in Engineering II

I'd like to read that study (but probably won't pay $50 for it). Actual study:

https://www.nap.edu/catalog/24994/sexual-harassmen...

In particular, I'd like to know what their definitions of "sexist hostility" and "crude behavior" and such are, to suss out sampling bias. I imagine there may be many activities that would be flagged by this study that women would report as sexist, and men wouldn't report as sexist, even if the activity itself was identical. If so, the graphs may simply reflect differing definitions of what counts as harassment among the sexes themselves. Or they could reflect a cultural norm among men to not report such activities.

It also bears mentioning that the graphs are meaningless unless they give a baseline - meaning we need to see the data for both men and women. Only showing it for women is a data visualization trick that makes the reader presume that for men the bars are all at zero.

I'm not saying this isn't a problem, but I'm definitely saying that these links don't do a good job of presenting that problem fairly. The Nature article is semi-scientific clickbait, which is an unfortunate recent trend with that publication.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Women in Engineering II

(OP)

Quote (SparWeb)

Working it out rhetorically rather than just figuring it out clearly before I start typing.

That's perfectly normal. Many of us do that. smile How else can we work out ideas sometimes? Dialogue is good, don't ya' think?

Quote (CWB1)

By those definitions I've been harassed countless times since childhood by both men and women.

Who knew you were such a stud muffin? smile

Compositepro, I experienced that often working in plants. Some managers understand and give comp time whereas others don't. It's a mixed bad.

There are differences between men and women that are indisputable. However, there are a lot of aspects in common and I believe those are the points of discussion that many women would like to work out.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC
NSPE-CO, Central Chapter
Dinner program: http://nspe-co.org/events.php

RE: Women in Engineering II

Quote (lacajun)


Quote (CWB1)


By those definitions I've been harassed countless times since childhood by both men and women.
Who knew you were such a stud muffin? smile

How do you think people would react if a guy made a similar comment to a woman who talked about being sexually harassed in the workplace?

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