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Anorak | Is it necessary to be dim to write on feminism for the Guardian?

Is it necessary to be dim to write on feminism for the Guardian?

by | 2nd, October 2012

WE’VE another of those interminable pieces about how there just aren’t that many women in the tech industry. The actual reason goes entirely unmentioned: which is that, on average, men and women are different.

Simon Baron Cohen has proven this quite conclusively. In The Guardian itself no less. Programming and tinkering with engineering stuff requires a certain cast of mind if it is to be done successfully. This particular type of mind is more common in men than it is in women.

No, this does not mean that no women have it: it does not mean that women who do are unfeminine. It just means that if we select those from the total population who have this mental skill set we’re going to end up selecting more men than women. Baron Cohen points out that it is exactly this very same mental difference which leads to the very much higher rates of autism among males than among females. And it’s not some conspiracy by the patriarchs, it’s just a simple fact of the way human beings are built.

So far so normal for The G, ignoring the real world when discussing how things ought to be. Then we get this real stupidity:

Why is it that, while women make up 49% of the UK labour force, they account for just 17% of IT and telecom professionals? What’s more, the promotion and visibility of Marissa Mayer, the recently promoted Yahoo chief executive, and Sheryl Sandberg, the number two at Facebook, comes as the number of women in the industry in the UK at least has been falling over the past 10 years. Why?

Sheryl Sandberg is an economist with an MBA. She’s the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook: the one who is meant to make sure that payroll gets met, that the accounts add up, that the health care insurance premiums have been paid. She’s no more an IT and telecom professional than I am because I’m using the internet to file this little screed.

40 years ago there were just as many women in banking as there are now. Except 40 years ago they were all secretaries. Now they’re bankers. Using Sandberg as an example of women in tech is like using the example of those secretaries in banking. Just simple and complete nonsense.



Posted: 2nd, October 2012 | In: Money Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink