>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.
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.
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?
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.