Teaching the students isn’t the same as changing the culture: Dear Microsoft: absolutely not. by Monica Byrne

June 30, 2017 at 7:00 am 3 comments

A powerful blog post from Monica Byrne with an important point. I blogged a while back that teaching women computer science doesn’t change how the industry might treat them.  Monica is saying something similar, but with a sharper point. I know I’ve heard from CS teachers who are worried about attracting more women into computing.  Are we putting them into a unpleasant situation by encouraging them to go into the computing industry?

Then—gotcha!—they’re shown a statistic that only 6.7% of women graduate with STEM degrees. They look crushed. The tagline? “Change the world. Stay in STEM.”

Are you f***ing kidding me?

Microsoft, where’s your ad campaign telling adult male scientists not to rape their colleagues in the field? Where’s the campaign telling them not to steal or take credit for women’s work? Or not to serially sexually harass their students? Not to discriminate against them? Not to ignore, dismiss, or fail to promote them at the same rate as men? Not to publish their work at a statistically significant lower rate?

Source: Dear Microsoft: absolutely not. | monica byrne

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ysabel bombardiere  |  June 30, 2017 at 11:28 am

    I’m uncomfortable with teachers and others pushing girls to be in Engineering jobs. I’m an engineer, I loved my field of study and it’s profession but I will not encourage my daughter or any girl to be an engineers without explaining to her how my experience has been and why so many women decide to leave the profession. I teach CS on a GWC club and we are prepating this girls to be entrepreneurs. We provide skills on how to navigate a world that is biased toward their sex. We cannot change that, but we can understand the value of being a woman. We give them tools to explore their vocations, interests and hobbies. We share all our learned lessons and wisdom and use the GWC lessons among others lessons plans to empower be resourceful and confident young women. I thing CS provides tools to women to start their own company, have flexible schedules, control over their career , and seek upscale skills that allow them to have options and not to take the first job or stay in a job that they are mistreated, because they can make their own money on the side. I think this is the only way to help girls to gain equity.

  • 2. rademi  |  June 30, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    I think you have to grant people the responsibility to make their own choices.

    The real issue, here, is probably: how do you inform people that some corporate cultures include unpleasant people? (Perhaps as unpleasant as some of the people they’ve encountered in the educational system, perhaps worse?)

  • 3. sylviakmartinez  |  June 30, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    This is a yes/and conversation. Yes we have to support girls in STEM AND we have to make sure corporations get the message. We have to stop lying to kids with mindless cheerleading AND we have to enlist their help to make future engineers and corporate citizens care about making the world a better place.

    I wrote more about this here: Let’s Stop Lying to Girls about STEM Careers http://sylviamartinez.com/lets-stop-lying-to-girls-about-stem-careers/


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