It was a couple of decades ago now that Mattel got in trouble for making Barbie dolls that exclaimed, “Math class is tough!” The company had done market research, the story goes, and found the aforementioned was one of young girls’ laments. But it appears that changing toys hasn’t changed reality. Because almost a quarter century later, girls still are avoiding the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, and math. And the social engineers (already a “diverse” group) are none too happy about it. Writes the AP:
Facebook and LinkedIn want to boost dwindling numbers of women studying engineering and computer science with a collaborative initiative announced Friday that they hope will eventually fill thousands of lucrative Silicon Valley jobs long dominated by men.
In an exclusive joint interview with The Associated Press, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and LinkedIn CEO Jeffrey Weiner said they're launching mentoring and support programs at colleges to get more women involved in studying technology in general, but also as future employees for their companies.
Fifteen percent of Facebook Inc.'s employees working in tech jobs and 31 percent of all employees are women, according to diversity figures the company released last year. At LinkedIn Corp., women comprise 17 percent of its tech employees and 39 percent of employees overall. Most Silicon Valley companies have similar demographics.
In other words, they want to institute more affirmative action and quotas for women. The problem with such initiatives is that they’re medicine forced on a healthy patient. After all, isn’t it possible that different groups have different interests and proclivities? Isn’t it possible that even with a perfectly level playing field, group outcomes will vary?
Read the rest here.