Gender Bias: Is Your IT Group Guilty? - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Comments
Gender Bias: Is Your IT Group Guilty?
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
<<   <   Page 2 / 5   >   >>
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/26/2014 | 6:26:49 PM
Re: Tech Co vs. Tech Department
@Technocrati: I don't think you veered off course at all in the sense that all forms of bias are insidious and ultimatelly detrimental to the workplace and IMHO will limit the success of any company or organization. I wish I had a simple answer to this conundrum, I honestly think the only thing that will improve it is time, as our world becomes less and less homongenous we will start to see true color- and gender-blindess in the work place. Which generation will lead the way? Probably the one that follows the millennials...
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/26/2014 | 6:06:35 PM
Re: Tech Co vs. Tech Department
@Jeff: "Maybe it is the ability to multi-task which my wife would tell you only women can truly do and men simply can't do it.  I think she said that to me at a time when I was doing something else so I can be certain."

I have seen no scientific proof that your wife is correct, but the results of experiments conducted in my own home would be right in line with her astute observations. :)

In all seriousness, I have known many women to gravitate to jobs in male dominated fields that can be described as project manaagement or traffic management -- wheter in tech or in other industries. Does that reflect an innate ability to multitask? Are women just extra good at herding cats?
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/26/2014 | 5:58:24 PM
Re: Few female tech grads
@Susan: You nailed it: The issue goes deep into how society has been conveniently molding gender roles. That, I believe, is what needs to be changed first. The question is, how do you fix it?

I wish I had the answer to that question. So much of parenting is about personal choices, and I see some friends who raise their children in very gender neutral environments and others who are all about the girl and boy distinctions in clothing, toys, nursery decor, etc. pretty much from the moment the baby arrives.

I'm not a parent (except to two dogs and two cats). I'd love to hear more from the parents in our community here about their thoughts on the topic.
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/26/2014 | 4:55:58 PM
Re: Tech Co vs. Tech Department
@Jeff: Geography likely plays a huge role in this issue, both within and oustide the US. I'm in the Bay Area too and generally find men here to be far more enlightened than in many other places I've been.

On the flipside, many of the tech companies reporting the worst gender discrpencies are based here (although the numbers reflect their worldwide workforces), so I'm not really sure what to make of that.

 
Alison_Diana
IW Pick
100%
0%
Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
8/21/2014 | 10:52:35 AM
Re: Tech Co vs. Tech Department
First, I absolutely agree with you that acting as if all minorities are from the inner city or all women are feeble is insulting and wrong. That said, have you ever worked or socialized or been part of a team (a sports team, for example), that does nothing to accept or welcome you -- or even proactively works against you, for whatever reason? This is the type of 'comfort in the workplace' I was alluding to: Just as when women first joined police and fire departments, there were issues around Penthouse posters on lockers and R-rated, sexualized calendars on walls, the majority can sometimes shun or make a workplace uncomfortable to the 'different' person, even if it's not meant particularly coldly. So by ensuring new hires are welcomed (and this should be across the board, anyway) and not neglected by current employees, businesses make the workplace more comfortable because the 'diverse hire' is included.

Groups may or may not be necessary. I think, in the case of these multinational firms they have groups for everything and anything so having one for various members of the workplace population, such as women, makes sense. People can choose to join or not, so participation is not mandatory.
Alison_Diana
50%
50%
Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
8/19/2014 | 9:05:37 AM
Re: Tech Co vs. Tech Department
Eliminating the outsider is one thing some companies proactively try to do. As I mentioned in an earlier post, IBM for one makes sure managers interact closely with new hires to ensure they spend time with their peers, either as a group or on a one-on-one basis. They also have formal, company-sponsored groups to support women and minorities, both through networking and processes for complaints, etc. Granted, it's easier if you have thousands of employees but smaller companies too can eliminate crass, thoughtless talk and make a special effort to ensure minority and women feel comfortable in the workplace.
Susan Fourtané
IW Pick
100%
0%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Author
8/19/2014 | 1:23:02 AM
Re: Few female tech grads
SusanN, 

Yes, the issue certainly starts long before the first job interview. The way parents raise children is mostly what will determine the kind of men/women they will become at the workplace when having to interact with the opposite sex.

So, those men who don't accept women in tech positions most likely were boys who were taught by their parents that girls can't play with toy cars. The issue goes deep into how society has been conveniently molding gender roles. That, I believe, is what needs to be changed first. The question is, how do you do it? :/  

How funny. I had no interest in doll babies either. I was more interested in reading about and observing butterflies, the secret life of insects, conducting little science experiments (not with the butterflies), and investigating how things work. I liked spending time thinking. And people thought I was weird. :D 

-Susan 
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/18/2014 | 9:11:32 PM
Re: Tech Co vs. Tech Department
@Jeff: so now the question is how do we eliminate it?

I'd say we start by cloning you!

:)

Thanks for your enlightened perspective, I'm confident that there are other men in tech out there who "get it" and having more and more of these folks add their voices to the discussion is extremely important.

All of us have it within us to advocate for change and speak up when we see things that are unjust.

 
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/18/2014 | 7:30:36 PM
Re: Tech Co vs. Tech Department
@Jeff: I wholeheartedly agree with you in theory. However, in reality, for women trying to make their way in a male dominated field, being able to "work well and play well with others" sometimes takes on unpleasant meaning. I've heard countless stories from women who were the only females on their teams being subjected to all manner of offensive behavior from their male colleagues, rarely was it enough to file a harassment suit over -- or they chose not to for fear of permanent retribution in their careers -- but was enough to cause them to find a new job.

In an ideal world we would be rated on merit and I do hope someday what you're proposing becomes reality, and that we can be truly blind to gender, race, physical appearance, and all manner of other ways in which bias crops up in the workplace.
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/18/2014 | 7:26:37 PM
Re: Tech Co vs. Tech Department
@Technocrati: Yes, we have to pay attention not only to quantity but quality jobs for women in tech companies...Hiring more women for low-level positions would be like putting up new curtains on a broken window.
<<   <   Page 2 / 5   >   >>


2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Remote Work Tops SF, NYC for Most High-Paying Job Openings
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/20/2021
Slideshows
Blockchain Gets Real Across Industries
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  7/22/2021
Commentary
Seeking a Competitive Edge vs. Chasing Savings in the Cloud
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  7/19/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Monitoring Critical Cloud Workloads Report
In this report, our experts will discuss how to advance your ability to monitor critical workloads as they move about the various cloud platforms in your company.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll