Thursday, August 10, 2017

Your Neurotic Ladybrains Can't Handle High-Stress Jobs!

I haven't had time to wade through the MoRAss that is now-fired Google employee James Damore's manifestbro, but a cursory scan of the document reveals this little tidbit of absolute bullshit:

Women, on average, have more:

Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance).This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs.

Lower number of women is high stress jobs, eh? Let's look at the statistics for nurses, who perform some of the most high-stress jobs there are, involving triage, exposure to trauma victims and decedents, the possibility of assault, exposure to pathogens... you get the drift- approximately 91% of nurses in the United States are women. Now, I understand that the average tech-bro is under a lot of stress, but that's nothing compared to the pressure that a nurse at, say, Lincoln Medical Center or Bellvue Hospital faces.

Something weird happens when these alt-right tech bros run up against women in STEM fields, something I posted about five months ago... sexism is rampant in Silicon Valley, and people who should know better are taken in by sexist evo-psych bafflegab.

Of course, the firing of Damore isn't merely due to his manifesto, the fact that he lied about his academic credentials plays into the matter as well. I'm sure he'll blame some woman for this deception, because feminism hurts mendacity.


mikey said...

A couple of quick points. Most importantly, for people who haven't spent any significant time in Silicon Valley, you're buying into a convenient stereotype that is utterly inaccurate. Are there assholes in the valley? Oh my yes. But can you find similar assholes in similar numbers in, say, Yonkers or Milwaukee or Chicago or Yonkers? Without question.

I lived and worked in Silicon valley for three decades. Almost every company I worked for had more women than men, and MUCH more diversity than you'll find anywhere else. From the various gender-identities to the bizarre hair and tattoos to many unusual lifestyle and entertainment choices, Silicon Valley actually IS a meritocracy that rewards skills and dedication while gleefully overlooking the kinds of human variations that would prevent many people from EVER being hired at all. Now, this meritocracy is grossly overstated by many, and it is nowhere near as profound as some would claim, but it is unusual by American standards and quite a joy for the people who experience it.

If you want to find assholes and idiots you can, and it's true that the great big companies have struggled with diversity hiring (I doubt you can find many women coders who don't have a job - there needs to be more), but those great big companies don't make the valley, they are an outgrowth of valley culture. The valley is all the small outfits, startups and profitable establishments both. Since I left Polaroid in 1990, I have mostly worked for companies with about 100 employees, and I can assure you, women are a HUGE part of those operations top to bottom.

So this guy's a dick. Call him a bro if you want, but if you play the game that he somehow represents Silicon Valley people and culture, I dare you to come out and spend a year immersed in that culture. You'll discover that this is clickbait, agenda driven exaggeration. And it might well have a good outcome, driving these big companies to expand their diversity hiring programs even more (assuming they can find qualified diversity candidates - remember they're in HUGE demand everywhere), but it is most certainly NOT the lived experience of Silicon Valley any more than working at Google or Facebook is the typical job here...

mikey said...

If you walk into a tech company, the first thing you'll notice is that almost nobody is white. Very shortly after that, the second thing you'll notice is the surprising number of women. The third thing you'll notice is that about a third of the people (of any gender) look like freaks and derelicts.

I worked for a data integration software company a while back. Because of my responsibilities, I worked very closely with the IT Director. We got along quite well, but to this day I have NO idea what their gender actually was. But they were DAMN good at keeping very large scales systems in the data center and in the cloud humming along. And they were paid VERY well.

On that note, I worked at a company from '95 to 2000 with about 150 employees doing tech services for the software distribution industry. I was the highest paid employee, but only a few dollars behind, the second highest paid employee was our General Manager, a person named Debbie. Before that I worked in a similar business with about 20 employees. We had two sales professionals. Some months I made the most money. Other times Linda did. Nobody else cared or noticed, because everybody got paid really well...

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Thanks for the insider view of the industry, mikey. The news media tends to lionize the Zuckerbergs and Thiels of the world, skewing the view of the tech field.