Fixing the Gender ratio in tech

Jul 18, 2019 35 Comments

I fully understand and accept the problem but I feel that the way we are tackling this at the moment is not correct.

All I see in the name of WIT is millions of $$ spent on fancy beach side conference vacations, expensive travel and swags, reserved ticket for women in Google IO and certain unreasonable initiatives like 35% or more women at L5 and above at Uber. However, these initiatives only benefit woman who are already in tech so I don't understand how this will help fix the ratio.

I went to study CS in a pretty good school and in a class of 130 students, there were only 7 girls. I have heard similar ratios in other top tech schools around the world. When top of the funnel is broken in such a horrible way, we can never have a better ratio at the bottom of the funnel unless a lot of males drop out or change careers. So the real fix we need to do is at the top.

So I propose the following:
1. In-class coding bootcamp for all female high school students. The curriculum should be designed in a way that it is task oriented and fun to keep them engaged.
2. Coding competitions for high school females with massive prize money and other incentives like beach vacations etc. similar to Topcoder Open.
3. Engaging tech celebrities in visiting high schools and motivating girls to take up a tech careers.
4. Shutting down all bottom of the funnel initiatives I mentioned at the beginning for woman who are already in tech and instead pumping those resources in 1, 2 and 3.

Looking for genuine opinions, please no trolls or hate speeches. If there is enough constructive feedback, I will try to reach out with a more elaborate proposal to the following companies:
@Google @Facebook @Uber @Amazon @LinkedIn @Netflix @Apple

TC: 500k+


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TOP 35 Comments
  • Amazon / Eng bLif00
    Why are you so obsessed with reaching parity. As long as there equal opportunity, I don't see a problem. Women are just less inclined to the field on average.
    Jul 18, 2019 8
    • Amazon kavalan
      I do understand economics, but I’m not naive enough to think we have perfect markets, either.
      Jul 19, 2019
    • New bPBq71
      actually @bLif00, it is often the case that when formerly male-dominated fields become women-dominated the average wage goes down. It is called the "feminization of an industry". You can read about it in labor economics journals.
      Sep 22, 2019
  • Bank of America / Data

    Bank of America Data

    The Walt Disney Company
    On the off chance you're not a troll...

    Your proposals are garbage because high school isn't where the pipeline starts leaking.

    The pipeline starts leaking in college. Math, CS and, most engineering departments are openly hostile to women. Want to know where quantitatively gifted women are? Biology, pre-med, biological engineering, industrial engineering, statistics, and STEM education. A plurality of female data scientists I know are math teachers that escaped that particular hell.

    The pipeline almost completely dries out past senior IC. Mediocre men actively sabotage advancement.

    Uber is doing the right thing, shockingly enough.
    Jul 18, 2019 3
    • No, I am not a troll. I am responsible citizen of Uber and Tech in general with loads of female colleagues who are my very good friends and I have had the chance to report to very senior female leaders in top organizations over the past decade. I discussed this proposal with a very senior female individual (who does not participate in WIT) but believes that we need to fix this problem and she really liked the idea and backs me to pursue it. Only certain woman who enjoy the perks seems to not favor it.
      And BTW, I provided stats to show why the pipeline leaks at high school. The ratio of females in CS classes on day 1 is simply not good enough and I do not agree with your hostile sentiment specifically in CS major. Why or how is CS different from other depts.?
      Jul 18, 2019
    • Bank of America / Data

      Bank of America Data

      The Walt Disney Company
      In this thread: males who are too lazy to do a simple Google search and are grossly insincere.

      Good job, y'all. 🤦‍♀️
      Jul 18, 2019
  • Giving more benefits to women in the tech industries help the younger women to feel motivated to study CS. The problem of having fewer women in the science/tech field is due to society norm. Girls are expected to look beautiful and become house wives. In Japan, women just stay at home and rely on men’s income.

    We should help women to build confidence and know they do not have to depend on men.
    Jul 18, 2019 3
    • From an Indian colleague:
      About 70 years after India's independence, the caste system which initially was provisioned in the constitution to provide privileges to some under privileged minorities and help them grow is now brutally abused. They have had their fare share of growth and now it is just an easier route to get to places which for others would be more difficult to obtain. I see WIT in its current form headed in that direction.
      Jul 18, 2019
    • Comcast onlytroll
      @ uber It will never come to that, thanks to US labor law. These gender quotas are unofficial, it will just take one lawsuit to set a precedence. The laws are unlikely to change - it can’t just apply to tech companies. There are fewer female Republican senators than men named John. The army isn’t 50-50..
      Jul 19, 2019
  • Facebook / Eng lkj630
    teach men to treat their peers with respect. The funnel is bullshit.
    Jul 19, 2019 3
  • New NXNL06
    A disproportionate share of the best engineers I've ever worked with have been women, probably because they have to be twice as good to get half as far, and most would rather drop out than put up with that. Can't say I blame them. I've seen countless mediocre men get promoted over extremely competent women, too.

    From what I've read and seen it's not really a pipeline issue. We could probably encourage more women to go into tech, but when so many exit the field because they're sick of bro culture, it's a wasted effort. More has to be done to stamp out that toxic culture, as it is what is driving women out of tech and discouraging young women from entering.
    Jul 26, 2019 8
    • Amazon @€
      @meoww "until proven"? Everyone has to prove themselves. No one is entitled, its our job to prove ourself. People who don't prove themself don't fit in this competitive world.
      Jul 26, 2019
    • New / Strategy Mnyk48
      Hit the nail on the head with this one.
      Aug 18, 2019
  • Amazon qpmz
    No use of these women in tech initiatives. You can't force an interest on someone. In long run it would hurt the companies.

    I see these initiatives effecting the quality of product negatively. Worked under a few women SDMs and had very bad experience and ended up switching teams and company.
    It's very uncomfortable to work with someone who lacks vision, tech skills, interest.

    Women in tech is highly overhyped. Some managers even reduce the hiring bar to meet these women in tech initiative targets. Due to this I see lot of women in tech who lacks passion. Haven't met any women SDE with very good tech skills yet and who is passionate towards their job.

    So, interest and passion are something that can't be forced or attracted through money solely. Just educate all the women and allow them to follow their passion.
    Jul 19, 2019 0
  • Amazon kavalan
    If there’s no one “like you” visible in an industry, you’re less likely to see yourself there, either.

    Team culture is also remarkably different in organizations with more balance and women in leadership. I will choose a company or team that has this because it’s an indicator that it’s going to be a reasonable place to work.
    Jul 18, 2019 1
    • Amazon y33tcode
      This is kinda BS because there are plenty of roles that people don't even know about growing up, so how can they visualize themselves there either? Work doesn't work that way.
      Aug 18, 2019
  • Axon axon
    Why do you want to "fix" what's natural?
    Jul 19, 2019 0
  • Blackbaud / Other azrj51
    South Carolina recently started a program called SC Codes which is supposed to help high schoolers or anyone in SC learn to code. It’s not specific to women but should help narrow the gap. I’m looking forward to seeing how it progresses.
    Jul 18, 2019 0


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