Friday, February 24, 2017

It seems women still need a lot of help

Several years ago I attended a meeting at church that mixed us all up so we weren't sitting with our friends.  I was at a table with a middle age father and his middle school daughter.  Making small talk I was asking her about her school subjects and interests.  Her father quickly jumped in.  She loved math and science--had been her great love from the beginning--but the way math was being taught was so confusing she dropped out of the component around 8th or 9th grade for something else (don't recall what that was).  Even back in the 80s I was helping with special summer workshops for high school girls to direct them toward STEM (through the veterinary and agriculture departments at OSU). It was hard to get their attention as they fussed with their hair and make up and squealed while in little cliches.

If you read her advice carefully, it is to treat women in STEM differently so that you can pour them into the pipeline so they don't leave by the time they are ready for the top positions. 
"I think that every individual brings a different perspective to the table. It doesn't matter whether it's men or women. The more diverse group you have at the table, the more diverse the perspectives and the viewpoints, and that really helps one build solutions and products that reach a broader group. You're able to build a product that's more connected to the real world, because the real world is very diverse. Your organization and your team have to look as diverse as the real world."
". . . Most tech companies don't have a gender-diverse leadership. Even if we increase the pipeline, we lose a lot of women when they reach a certain stage in their career, due to a number of reasons. Companies need to look deeply within their culture to understand why that happens, and provide the mechanisms needed to retain and grow a diverse leadership team.
Women deal with life events differently, and most organizations don't provide the support they need to deal with life events and keep growing in their careers. There should be a way to get them back and engaged in the workforce."
On the one hand she wants diversity and different perspectives, on the other hand she says gender doesn't matter.  Which is it? A diverse team in which women have been taught since toddlerhood that their biology doesn't matter?  You can cut it off, rebuild a vagina, pump in some hormones, and you'll have a woman created from a man--who will wear a wig and lots of make-up and pretend to be a victim?

No comments: