Saturday, May 2, 2015
dennis: RESPONDING TO 'AWAKENED HUSBAND'
(Note from Mark Remond: Awakened Husband’s comment to SERVING MS. BROWN, PT. 2, has elicited strong responses from other readers. Now dennis adds his response.)
Comment from ‘Awakened Husband’: “You mentioned this is a software company. Do women do the technical I.T. work, and are there women programmers? This is interesting because historically, the one strike against feminism has been that women do not seem to show any sincere interest in the physical sciences and technical disciplines. This makes women put themselves at a disadvantage when they go up against a male in this area, not to mention they come across as only wanting the big pay check and not really having any passion for the engineering side of things. Or is the company attitude along the lines of "Its not the engineering that makes the money, its the marketing and intellectual property structures", which of course would be dominated by women?”
i was amazed by the narrow-minded, ill-informed, misogynistic nature of your comments. Awakened husband, indeed! i will respond to each of your erroneous assertions as follows:
“You mentioned this is a software company. Do women do the technical I.T. work, and are there women programmers?”
Yes, it is a Woman-owned company, and Women fully participate in the daily work of this company, including programming, engineering, and IT work.
If Women haven’t participated more fully in the pas,t it’s largely due to their being steered into traditionally Female areas such as care-giving, soft sciences, etc. Men on the other hand have been driven to do work in engineering and technology. It’s patriarchy at work, preserving the male-dominated status quo by steering talented Women away from STEM fields. Our company partners with a local university to recruit Women into engineering and IT and to fully support them once they go down that academic path. We provide scholarships, grants, mentoring, and intern opportunities. Afterward we recruit Women into our ranks and support them when they join. Carol, our CEO, transformed our company from one run by a good-old-boy network to one where Women have opportunities in hi-tech. So, do we have Women programmers? Yes, we do and by many measures they outperform their male counterparts. How do we know? We have measures; the margin on Woman-run projects is higher; employee satisfaction on Woman-run projects and in Woman-run departments is higher. Women are seen as being more inclusive and this is by both men and Women.
“This is interesting because historically, the one strike against feminism has been that women do not seem to show any sincere interest in the physical sciences and technical disciplines.”
Strike against Feminism! You are kidding? Numerous studies have shown a pervasive attitude in society that has directed Women away from science and engineering into traditionally Female areas such a care-giving, homemaking, secretarial and administrative tasks. And i can argue, too, that men have been steered away from traditionally Female occupations such as homemaking by the same prejudicial thinking and by the fact that Female-dominated occupations traditionally pay less… And, guess what? When we sought to enhance the situation of our clerical and administrative staff when Carol first took over the company by raising salaries, we had a huge inrush of applications for these positions – from male applicants! This is good, of course, because it’s helping take down gender stereotypes. So, don’t tell me that Women aren’t interested when they have been systematically dissuaded and the same for men who otherwise might have desired to pursue a traditionally Female career.
“This makes women put themselves at a disadvantage when they go up against a male in this area, not to mention they come across as only wanting the big pay check and not really having any passion for the engineering side of things.”
Pure crap! Our experience – note some of our metrics, above – are that Women are at no disadvantage whatsoever – in fact, it may be the opposite. Women are seen as more effective leaders, as being more inclusive, and being more culturally sensitive. If you want a technical measure, surveys of our customers show us that usability is higher on Female-led projects. This is telling us that we need more Women in control of projects at a higher level. We’re positioning two high-performing Women – yes, they write software, oh my! – for roles as system architects who will be charged with driving things like standards, look and feel, usability, etc.
As far as “only wanting the big paycheck and not really having passion for the engineering side of things,” again, are you kidding? We work to earn our way in the world so our compensation is a part of any career choice. Science jobs pay well because of the skills required and limited number of graduates in these fields. We’re all Feminists here and realize that economic empowerment emancipates Women. In other words, Women don’t have to take orders from narrow-minded patriarchs if they have well paying careers. Is your “passion” going to keep you at your current company if your salary is suddenly cut in half?
“Or is the company attitude along the lines of ‘It’s not the engineering that makes the money, it’s the marketing and intellectual property structures,’ which of course would be dominated by women?”
It’s the job of a company to make money or contribute to its doing so across the board – we need to be good in all areas so I’m not quite sure what you are getting at. We actively recruit Women because they greatly help our business and because we have a strong Feminist philosophy. We believe that if Women are going to reach their full potential they are going to have to be economically independent, and this means they are going to need to fully participate in science, engineering, and IT. We’ve committed to helping them get there – to their benefit and ours.