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I completely disagree.

Tech is supposed to be meritocracy.

Anyone here who would discount other's because of perceived charity is shortsighted at best and ignorant asshole at worst.

All we are supposed to care about is can you code and/or help our business.

Being red/white/magenta or whatever gender or permutation there of shouldn't enter into the conversation if Tech is really the "meritocracy" it claims itself to be.

Obviously money won't necessarily hurt but anyone who has ever paid attention on HN or even to the Tech industry as a whole should know about "dumb money."

who cares how much you can raise if you can't figure out what to do with it




> Tech is supposed to be meritocracy.

You can't have a proper meritocracy if the prospective field don't have access to the same level of opportunities. Women get ostracised from I.T. fairly early on (i.e before education has finished).


> Women get ostracised from I.T. fairly early on

What evidence have you found that suggests that women are systematically ostracized from I.T.?


> What evidence have you found that suggests that women are systematically ostracized from I.T.?

It's pervasive in everything, even in the names of stuff. E.g. there's a recent programming language that calls its interpolated strings "G-Strings". That's the class name in the code. A method for finding out the length of the "G-String" was added, called "size", in addition to the existing one called "length". So...

    assert "----V----".size() == 9
The language designers who invented those names had a good old laugh at the pun in the mailing lists. But female programmers are often offended, and have a case for having that language (and related web framework) banned from their workplace, in favor of another.


And I'm supposed to hire anyone with that much of a stick up their ass, regardless of gender?


Where do you draw the line though?

We often say in the Perl world that objects that are ported to Moose "grow antlers." Arguably this is at least as female-hostile statement since only male moose grow antlers and therefore it establishes a male-normal perspective.


It's all anecdotal of course, but my female IT friends, both in uni and work, have to deal with not being made welcome, or being made too welcome.

If I got leared at and hit on all the time when I'm just trying to get shit done I'd feel like I wasn't welcome either.


The low numbers of women in I.T with CS majors, is indicative of this.

Are you just trying to enforce a burden of proof here? Or do you seriously not think that woman are ostracised in I.T?


There's a lot of Asian's in IT in the U.S., yet how many are CTO's or CEO's in Silicon Valley? Are Asian's ostracized from upper management?


I'm not sure what point you are driving to.

I was referring world wide, not just U.S.

I suspect, yes, in some countries asian's are ostracised from upper management.


>You can't have a proper meritocracy if the prospective field don't have access to the same level of opportunities.

Agreed but how do you define the same level of opportunities?

Suppose the opportunity is "work hard, every day, 12 hours every day from when you are 20 until you are 40 and then retire as a billionaire." There is nothing stopping women from taking that opportunity. But women who do lose something that men who take that opportunity do not lose, namely the ability to really have a family with kids of one's own.


> There is nothing stopping women from taking that opportunity.

There's societal misogyny. The number of women I've met who refuse to try to do something technical because they're female or blonde has long boggled my mind. That's probably not the tech industry's fault.

But it does mean there aren't the same level of opportunities. If someone whacks your shin with a crowbar before you do your figure skating, that just ain't a meritocracy, no matter how fair the judges are.


That's true. And anyone who doesn't believe that needs to read "Birth as an American Rite of Passage" by Robbie Davis-Floyd. What she covers will boggle the mind and challenge what folks think about gender issues generally.

>But it does mean there aren't the same level of opportunities. If someone whacks your shin with a crowbar before you do your figure skating, that just ain't a meritocracy, no matter how fair the judges are.

That's true too, but what I am getting at is that when we talk about women in technology startups (which is really the subject of the article and many discussions here on HN) I don't think that's what's really going on.

Rather I think that what is going on is that in the area of startups, the entry fee is much higher for women, and the lifestyle demands sacrifices of a sort that men don't have to make. The bigger question in my mind is how we solve that structural problem.


> The bigger question in my mind is how we solve that structural problem.

Agreed. But I don't think that's a battle worth fighting just in the tech industry. There are rights for women that can be fought for in general: better protections against sexual harassment, better requirements for maternity (and paternity) leaves, etc. (Google found me this: http://www.now.org/issues/wfw/empledge.html )

Tech could strive to be a leader here: an industry that's more friendly to women than any other. But it would be setting an example for the rest of the nation, rather than making it a purely tech-industry-specific issue.

This doesn't solve the essential issue of Sexist Men Exist, but really... the only way to solve that is, ironically, conversation.


What about a basic shift from a company-as-machine model to a company-as-ecosystem model? It seems to me that a standard company is a bit like a standard vegetable garden, highly ordered to the detriment of long- and even short-term productivity. A better approach might be to create companies where family life and work life don't have to be separate, where you can still put in that 130 hour work week from home, taking your 15 min coffee breaks to play with the kids? Maybe ensure that new parents back from maternity or paternity leave can bring their kids to work for the first year or two?

Those things you mention strike me as band-aids. Sure they'd help but wouldn't it be better to rethink the way we emphasize the separation of work and family and the separation of work and home?


> What about a basic shift from a company-as-machine model to a company-as-ecosystem model?

Replace "company" with "society" and you have a deal. If you want to start at the company level, that makes sense to me; I'd argue that most startups are, by necessity, run according to an ecosystem model.

> Those things you mention strike me as band-aids.

I am not, unfortunately, a political genius and my suggestions are not the best possible. If something better and actionable comes along, I am more than happy to back it.

But asking 300 million people, let alone 7 billion, to "rethink the way we" do anything is a fairly gargantuan task. Some of us have already changed our minds. Others will need convincing. Still others will not be convinced.




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