Women in engineering

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Women in engineering

Postby Damo » 21 Oct 2012, 16:59

Call for 'minimum number of female staff' in tech firms

Shadow business minister Chi Onwurah said employing a minimum number of women should become a key criteria in awarding government contracts to science, engineering and tech companies, in an attempt to increase gender diversity in a traditionally male-dominated environment.


It is not an official labour policy. Not yet.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens ... firms.html
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Re: Women in engineering

Postby Podori » 21 Oct 2012, 23:55

Damo wrote:
Call for 'minimum number of female staff' in tech firms

Shadow business minister Chi Onwurah said employing a minimum number of women should become a key criteria in awarding government contracts to science, engineering and tech companies, in an attempt to increase gender diversity in a traditionally male-dominated environment.


It is not an official labour policy. Not yet.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens ... firms.html


Chi Onwurah is an unnecessary person, to put it mildly. That she sits in the shadow business portfolio tells you why I am not a Labour voter.
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Re: Women in engineering

Postby Gavin » 22 Oct 2012, 00:04

If they bring that one in it's surely going to destroy the competitiveness of British industry for good. Such breathtaking sexism from these social engineers. People should be employed for their skills in the job and that's all. If fewer women are interested in, and excelling at, engineering (I mean real engineering): tough. No, great. Viva la différence.
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Re: Women in engineering

Postby Elliott » 22 Oct 2012, 00:16

Gavin wrote:these social engineers

Rather amusing.
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Re: Women in engineering

Postby Podori » 22 Oct 2012, 00:22

Gavin wrote:If they bring that one in it's surely going to destroy the competitiveness of British industry for good. Such breathtaking sexism from these social engineers. People should be employed for their skills in the job and that's all. If fewer women are interested in, and excelling at, engineering (I mean real engineering): tough. No, great. Viva la différence.


Except that goes against Chi Onwurah's political philosophy. As a woman with no skills herself, she uses her perch to browbeat productive people into hiring other semi-skilled women.

She'd be a cleaner if the Labour Party were not around to make her an MP.
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Re: Women in engineering

Postby Gavin » 21 Feb 2013, 14:40

The BBC Radio 4 programme The World at One was wringing its hands just now over the crisis, in its view, that "not enough" women are going into engineering here in the UK.

There will be an extended report on the BBC Newsnight programme this evening. Only ten per cent of workers in the sector are female and after years of the government and employers actively campaigning to get women interested, this has resulted in a rise of only one per cent.

It seemed quite correct to WATO that the aim should be exact "equality" - I presume 50/50 or maybe even better, women should have an 80/20 majority? Then we'd really be getting somewhere... They were pained by the current situation. The teenage girls interviewed said they equated engineering with grease and grime and blue overalls, but they were not criticised for this (of course, much engineering, especially electronic engineering, requires a clinically clean environment). That they thought this was deemed to be someone else's fault, and it was also someone else's fault, somehow, somewhere, that not "enough" women were going into this profession.

Hm, I think I can help out a bit here... it's a bit of a radical idea, but I'm going to go out on a limb... Could it be.. dare I say.. that men and women are different (and not just different shapes)? Oops! I'm sorry that slipped out there. I whispered it.

Could it be that, generally (obviously) women are not as inclined towards engineering, and that this is fine? Could it be disgraceful that these social engineers (to use the expression again) are trying to force circles into squares and make people do things they are simply not interested in doing? I think so.

Everybody knows engineering exists and if they are interested in it they find out about it. Not only are women not being discriminated against, but they are being "courted" (to use an ironic expression) to work in the sector. It is grossly sexist of these people to force them in there if they do not want to do it.

So I think this is an example of hard evidence in the world supporting the obvious common sense knowledge that men and women are different. I love that difference and I strongly dislike these people who try to deny it. It's becoming harder for them, just as it's becoming harder for the BBC to deny the ghettoisation of London.

If they go ahead and create one of their equality quota rules on this then that will damage the British economy even more, because the idea of such positive discrimination is to recruit people who are inadequate for the job.

Also I will add what a disgrace it is that we do not have more straight men in fashion and hairdressing. Not enough women in refuse collection, either. These terrible unfairnesses must be addressed immediately!
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Re: Women in engineering

Postby Andreas » 21 Feb 2013, 19:23

You might recall that the former president of Harvard University, Lawrence (Larry) Summers, dared to express this idea publicly in 2005 (that intrinsic differences between men and women account for the smaller number of women in science and engineering fields). He was attacked, forced to apologize, and ultimately stepped down.
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Re: Women in engineering

Postby Heather » 21 Feb 2013, 21:06

Regulars know that I went to university for engineering. I can go on at length about this topic! And I will, but slowly, because unlike my former female classmates, I'm taking advantage of my fertile years, and writing essays with a small child and another on the way takes quite a bit of time.

I can guarantee that women aren't in engineering because they don't want to be. That was clear to me from the moment I set foot on campus (no, I wasn't an affirmative action placement). Discrimination has nothing to do with it, and actually, men really like having women around! Well, pleasant non-butch women, anyway.

I have loads more to say, and I'll be back later.
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Re: Women in engineering

Postby Gavin » 25 Apr 2013, 12:50

Nigel Farage is speaking the BBC's World at One at the moment, which is refreshing, but they just got cut off then when they were trying to do a report on women in engineering (again!). This time they were trying to work out why there are not many women programmers. Only 17 per cent of the IT workforce is female - and most of them are in sales.

Again they are determined to avoid the elephant in the room that the majority of women are simply not interested in this subject, not given to it. I predict confidently that no matter how many "incentives" they mount, this will not change, because they are trying to change human nature.

They have now put the article back on again and they are interviewing a transexual - I suppose it's the closest they could find. It's amazing the contortions people will go to in order to avoid the obvious, such is their devotion to PC dogma! How unfair and sexist, also, to try to force women into something they don't want to do.

They then had Lesley Cowley on, who is the Chief Executive of UK domain registry Nominet. She spoke some PC waffle, but then she is a bureaucrat, she is not a programmer! She doesn't even work in IT herself, if we're honest. The BBC is funny.
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Re: Women in engineering

Postby Gavin » 25 Apr 2013, 13:08

I look forward to your further comments as and when, Heather, as you are obviously an exception to this "rule", and a feminine one, if I may say so, which is even rarer.

I've been in programming for over ten years and I have met dozens of programmers and only perhaps two were female. The women would mostly be doing account handling or jobs like that. They would not be doing programming. Not because they "didn't know what it entailed". On the contrary, because they saw what it entailed! Most were simply not interested any more than most men are in hair-dressing.

Will these progressives not rest until we are all neutral clones of each other?
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Re: Women in engineering

Postby Heather » 25 Apr 2013, 15:39

I'll write at length about this later, but I wanted to quickly address the point about why there aren't many female programmers. It's not merely a lack of interest, although that plays a part; rather it's that men and women think in different ways and the female mind is particularly unsuited to certain types of engineering, such as programming and its cousin electrical engineering. I'll explain more in the coming days.
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Re: Women in engineering

Postby Paul » 25 Apr 2013, 22:05

What women are in engineering at all, as in traditional mechanical engineering? Ok, I will concede there must be some but I haven't met a single one. It's too dirty, too heavy, too dangerous, too hot, too cold, too sharp, too fast, etc. I don't know of one woman who fully understands geometric form, structure, load, stress .... and then with aesthetics overlying.

I watched a BBC clip recently on YouTube, about blacksmithing. The woman of the three or four trainees couldn't do it. It was too heavy and too hot and she was inherently nervous. She looked dangerous just with a one pound hammer in her hand and that was before anything had been heated up.

It sounds terrible and insulting, but it's a fact.
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Re: Women in engineering

Postby Heather » 25 Apr 2013, 23:09

I know two women who are mechanical engineers, but they have nice safe desk jobs while their male colleagues do the heavy lifting. Do they fully understand all the things Paul cited? Based on my experience and observations, I really doubt it. In 5 or 10 years they're going to wonder why they're not making as much as the men and start agitating for women's rights.
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Re: Women in engineering

Postby Gavin » 26 Apr 2013, 07:59

Paul makes sounds points, of course, as does Heather!

Regarding programming in particular, I can tell you that is a job that requires great concentration upon small details (every character of the code). You need to be able to think microscopically and macroscopically at the same time. You'll be working on a small module of code that needs to fit into the application as a whole, so you need, to some degree, to hold both models in your mind. Six thousands lines of code is not uncommon in the projects I've worked on and they're just web apps.

I've often sat for four or five hours over a single issue. You have to be extremely determined. You're curious as to why it won't work, you usually get there in the end and learn something new! It is extremely technical. It is quite solitary. It's creative but it is not to do with nurturing. You are not chatting away in English, you're talking "computer" which is entirely rational and only rational. It'll do what you say and only what you say.

This is why you often find that men who are very good at code have poor social skills. To be honest I can only just do the job! I'm rational, I think, and I like it, but I'm not a natural. I like conversation too. Thus it works out quite well for me as a teacher too - I've taught hundreds of people how to program (ActionScript, which is very similar to Java) and women have often been sent by companies for training. They are not a minority in the class (maybe that is telling). I have never been trained by anyone, I learned it all myself.

I observed the way the womens' brains worked. It all seemed a bit pointless to them, they usually didn't take to the programming concepts (though all would mark me highly). The message would get through but they wouldn't then want to run with it. They were just doing it because they had to do it, and the company was probably only sending them because they couldn't sack them.

Programming is continual problem solving. As I say it is creative (you make something - a working application which itself solves a problem), which is very satisfying. But it is also a job of cool, hard logic and as such is simply not suitable for most women - I am pleased to say.

What a wonderful thing it is that men and women are different. They complement each other (or should and would in a non-feminist world). But how horrible and sexist it is when people try to push circles into squares.
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Re: Women in engineering

Postby Heather » 26 Apr 2013, 12:41

I agree with all of that, Gavin, and would add that women who go for programming and the other types of engineering that require a more masculine brain are usually the ones with the most issues. That type of thinking requires a drive that most women lack by nature (after all, being hyper-focused on technical problem-solving for hours at a time is hardly the way to go about raising a family, running a household, and strengthening community bonds), but women can occasionally find that drive through psychological issues, like a burning hatred of men or an unusually strong thirst to prove she can "keep up with the boys."

Also, I've found that the best engineers, no matter what the discipline, are the ones who taught themselves programming at a very young age. If I were running the admissions office of a prestigious engineering college, I'd make that an unofficial requirement.
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