Tuesday, August 08, 2017

David P. Schmitt: On That Google Memo About Sex Differences

...As this is not my area of expertise, I can only offer my non-expert opinion on this issue, which is this: There have been (and likely will continue to be) many socio-structural barriers to women working in technological jobs. These include culturally-embedded gender stereotypes, biased socialization practices, in some cultures explicit employment discrimination, and a certain degree of masculinization of technological workplaces. Within this sea of gender bias, should Google use various practices (affirmative action is not just one thing) to especially encourage capable women of joining (and enjoying) the Google workplace? I vote yes. At the same time, should we be able to openly discuss and be informed by some of the real psychological sex differences that account for variation in men’s and women’s workplace performance, and might lead to less than 50% of technology employees being women? In the right context, I vote yes to that, too. Apparently at Google, internal discussion boards intended for open conversations about diversity and science-based thinking are not the right context for discussing evidence about psychological sex differences.


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