EppsNet Archive: Harassment

Two Reasons For the Low Number of Women in Computer Jobs

I saw this chart on LinkedIn with the heading “Chart: Women in tech continue to face uphill battle” and the hashtag #STEMSexism. The first reason for the low number of women in computer jobs is that we rarely hear about women in computing except in the context of pay gaps, harassment, discrimination, “uphill battles” and #STEMSexism. It’s self-perpetuating. “Computing is a terrible profession for women in so many ways.” Followed by “Why aren’t there more women in computing?” You’ve answered your own question. If you think computing is a hostile profession (I do not, btw), why do you want more women to go into it?   The second reason for the low number of women in computer jobs — sometimes the simplest explanations are the best — is that women prefer to do other things. Men and women are different and make different choices about their lives, as a result… Read more →

Presumption of Guilt

But some female lawmakers, like New York’s Kathleen Rice, have begun to ask why elected officials aren’t being drummed out like their private sector counterparts. “You see the actions that CBS, NBC take when there are allegations against very well-known men in positions of power, and we don’t do the same,” Rice said. “I think it’s a disgrace.” — CBS News “Allegations.” She’s talking about Al Franken and John Conyers. The Franken case has photographic evidence, so the allegations against him are provably true. But Conyers vehemently denies the allegations made against him. Why should he be “drummed out”? Why is there a presumption of guilt? Anyone who’s ever been alone with another person can be the subject of allegations. Why is there a presumption in favor of the accuser? A case study on false allegations, which you probably remember if you’re old enough, is the McMartin preschool trial: Members… Read more →

Who Will Be Left to Scold the Scolders?

Some of the questions Matt Lauer asked Bill O’Reilly during their Today Show interview on Sept. 19: [Your accusers] came forward and filed complaints against the biggest star at the network they worked at. Think of how intimidating that must have been, how nerve-racking that must have been! Doesn’t that tell you how strongly they felt about the way they were treated by you?   Over the last six months since your firing, have you done some soul searching? Have you done some self-reflection? And have you looked at the way you treated women that you think now or think about differently now than you did at the time?   You were probably the last guy in the world that they wanted to fire because you were the guy that the ratings and the revenues were built on, you carried that network on your shoulders for a lot of years.… Read more →

Every Form of Harassment is Okay — Except One

How did we decide that sexual harassment is the one category of workplace abuse, incidences of which require national outrage and loss of employment? Ideally, we would all have the prudence and restraint not to make sexual advances toward people over whose career we hold sway, but it happens. And yet we’ve all been harassed and ill-used in the workplace in other ways by someone more powerful, someone who negatively impacted our career by embarrassing us, intimidating us, undermining us, lying to us, lying about us, stealing the credit for our work . . . it goes on and on. Rarely do negative consequences accrue to the harasser. Steve Jobs, for example, was known for being abrasive, dismissive, shouting down colleagues, blaming others when things didn’t work out and occasionally wrapping himself in glory that rightly belonged elsewhere. Did this torpedo his career? Hardly. He’s an American icon. (In other… Read more →

Who Will Scold the Scolders?

Oh my! Pants! Are around my ankles! Of all the smug moralizers in the world, I can’t think of one offhand who can out-smug George Takei. He’s gay, you know, which gives him an elevated moral perch from which to sermonize and pontificate. You don’t like it? Are you a homophobe? The recent surge in sexual harassment accusations among celebrities and media members, who are themselves usually the ones most likely to be dealing out the admonishments to our nation’s deplorables, is a schadenfreude booster, but it does raise the question of who will be left to scold the scolders? Read more →

White Privilege vs Gender Privilege

A USC doctoral student at the School of Social Work has filed a lawsuit against the university and professor Erick Guerrero, alleging USC did not impose disciplinary actions that she found sufficient after investigating a sexual harassment complaint she filed in January. Professor Guerrero says the student, Karissa Fenwick, is taking advantage of “her life of white privilege.” Fenwick counters that white privilege in this case is trumped by Guerrero’s gender privilege. Women or minorities — who are the most victimized victims? Read more →

Tech Gender Bias: Men Not as Concerned

According to LinkedIn: Despite a string of revelations that women in tech face considerable headwinds — from persistent gender-based pay gaps (per Bloomberg), to limited VC funding for female-led startups (per Fortune), to sexual harassment (per The New York Times) — just 29% of men say that discrimination is a major problem in the industry, according to data from Pew. In fact, some 32% of men claim that it’s not a problem at all. Everything I read about gender discrimination in tech starts out by assuming it’s a real problem and that all reasonable people agree that it’s a real problem. Even the supposedly objective LinkedIn blurb above tells us that 29% of men “say” that discrimination is a major problem, while 32% of men “claim” that it’s not a problem at all, “despite a string of revelations blah blah blah . . .” I’ve worked in tech for 30… Read more →