Everyone is talking about it. Surely you have heard or read by now that a cowardly anonymous Google employee decided to publish ten pages of poorly argued justification for brogrammer culture and the continuation of sexism by any means necessary. He argues that women in tech should be relegated to positions requiring such undesirable traits as empathy and openness.
So, this employee has chosen to create a maximum amount of disruption among his colleagues by his implication that almost half of them are biologically unsuitable for their jobs. But as Yonatan Zunger, until recently a very senior systems architect for Google, points out, the denigration of allegedly female traits like empathy negate the real purpose of engineering, which is most certainly not to sling code. The real reason anyone values engineering is because it solves problems that people have. Oh, those darn people! If only an engineering company like Google had someone who could understand the problems of people. Somebody with a trait like… I don’t know! Maybe empathy?
So here we see an attempt by an organization to stop denigrating talents that can make it successful has been undermined. I think it’s by an overly privileged bro-dude who can’t fathom this: these aspects of humanity that he lacks are not ipso facto inferior. But whether you want to be as judgmental as I am being or not, if a company sets a business goal and an employee works actively against it, I don’t know what alternative that company has but to part ways with said employee. I am actively hoping Google gets around to it soon.
Anonymous Coward did get one thing right:
The male gender role is currently inflexible. Feminism has made great progress in freeing women from the female gender role, but men are still very much tied to the male gender role. If we, as a society, allow men to be more “feminine,” then the gender gap will shrink, although probably because men will leave tech and leadership for traditionally feminine roles.
The man-box is very much the problem. He described it well without seeing how thoroughly he’s stuck in it.
Of course, as soon as he’s fired, there will be all kinds of whining about reverse sexism, how there’s no such thing as male privilege, etc. This is the world we live in now….