Thursday, March 24, 2016

Some Comments on Gender Inequality

If you haven't already seen the PASS Women in Technology March Webinar on Unconscious Bias and Gender Inequality, then you’re really missing out.  You can find it here:  

I hesitate to use phrases like “life changing” but I think that’s what happened.  To say the evidence presented really rocked me back on my heels is an understatement.  It made me sad.  Then it made me mad.  How have we let this happen?  This kind of thing just gets excused & dismissed all the time.  It’s easy to not call it out when you see it because who wants to be labeled as some over-sensitive, angry female?

I've submitted a session to SQL Saturday Atlanta  entitled 
Women in Technology: Identifying, Understanding and Combating Gender Bias. 
Abstract: Gender Bias is something we’re all guilty of. It’s typically unconscious and often stems from long held misperceptions about women and job responsibilities. We’ll learn about the origins of some of these biases and how to identify gender bias when we see it. We’ll discuss some strategies for how both men and women can combat this at work and in our everyday lives. This session is about developing positive solutions to a problem that often goes undiscussed.

Need some examples of what Unconscious Bias looks like?

How about something a bit more overt?

A elementary classroom experiment on Gender Bias...  The first graders started brainstorming a list of words that spontaneously come to mind when they think of “girls” and “boys”. 

Then they temporarily disregarded the lists and asked the students to raise a hand if one of these words applied to them, as we read words from BOTH the girls’ and boys’ lists. Girls comfortably raised their hands for words like “soccer,” “powerful,” “hard challenges,” and “Karate”; and boys raised their hands for words like “feelings,” “ponies,” and “peaceful.” 

Products are marketed to women in the stupidest imaginable way.

As I’m looking through sources for the article, I thought I should share them with you.  This will help you get a more complete picture of the problem.  These sites help identify gender bias for what it is, offer positive solutions & ways to combat it and frankly, educate people on all aspects of the problem.