April 6, 2014

"Technology's Man Problem" and H-1B

Yesterday I posted about the huge article, "Technology's Man Problem," in which the New York Times got itself pranked by a funny lady pornographer into taking seriously her complaints about how the white male nerd, Pax Dickinson, she had hired to build her sexting app was sexist.

The comments from NYT readers are depressingly obtuse, but here are a couple of interest:
JULIA Albuquerque 18 hours ago 
After 18 years in product engineering for a household name technology company, I took a buyout package during a recent force reduction. I am not planning to look for a pure engineering job, not because I do not love computer engineering, but because I am tired of not being valued for all of the things I bring to the table, both tech skills and soft skills. 
The elephant in the room that no one talks about is the difference in the way different ethnic cultures value (or don't value) women. While American mid-level managers occasionally needed to be reminded that women were part of the org too, most of the patronizing behavior and discounting of women's accomplishments came from Asian-born managers. (I did not observe this from American-born managers who were of Asian ethnicity.) They truly do not see that they are doing anything wrong. It is how they were raised. As companies go global, we have to have that piece of the conversation.
Flag79Recommended 
Margaret Atlanta 17 hours ago 
What I find is that increasingly the men in my office simply shut out the women - from socializing, work opportunities, recognition - the boys club effect is intensified when having to work with people from southern Asia. Sorry, but the men (and frequently the women) don't work well with American women - it is not in their upbringing and there are few ways to deal with this. I'm sure this will bring a host of complaints, but this is what I am experiencing and it is hard to see the sexism and racism on a daily basis.
Flag44Recommended 

Of course, nobody is connecting the dots to the H-1B visa program beloved by "immigration reform activists" like Mark Zuckerberg, which allows tech firms to hire foreign men instead of American women.
   

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Of course, nobody is connecting the dots to the H-1B visa program beloved by "immigration reform activists" like Mark Zuckerberg, which allows tech firms to hire foreign men instead of American women.

But Steve, it's not nice to notice things.

Anonymous said...

Of course, nobody is connecting the dots to the H-1B visa program beloved by "immigration reform activists" like Mark Zuckerberg, which allows tech firms to hire foreign men instead of American women.

Of course not. To borrow from Steve, immigrants are Good and sexism is Bad, so sexist immigrants Does Not Compute.

Anonymous said...

Of course, nobody is connecting the dots to the H-1B visa program beloved by "immigration reform activists" like Mark Zuckerberg, which allows tech firms to hire foreign men instead of American women.

Maybe that is because they have discovered that American women have a vastly inflated view of what they bring to the table.

Anonymous said...

"when having to work with people from southern Asia"

Why not just call them 'teens' or culture-neutral?

Are most South Asian computer engineers in their 30s? Why not call them 'thirties'? Less racist that way.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe that is because they have discovered that American women have a vastly inflated view of what they bring to the table." - takes one to know one huh?

Anonymous said...

Steve, you evil Noticer, now you're Noticing other people Noticing. Is there no decency?

Anonymous said...

Making noticing acceptable - by also hating men of your own race. Ain't feminism grand?

Gordo

Chief Seattle said...

Does this mean a wedge can be driven between American women and the H1-B program? That the H1-B program is sexist, and interfering with women in tech? The globalists have had a lock on the women's vote for a while, this suggests a way to get them back to the populist side.

Anonymous said...

I see a lot of this first hand (I'm not female) in silicon valley. The first women's response hits a nail on the head. The real problem comes about when (south) Asian managers become the norm in an engineering (programming) organization. I don't think it's outright sexism. It's more that the managers would just be a lot more comfortable hiring someone from their home culture. Their discomfort exists with respect to males also, but not as much. Both Chinese and Indians are actually pretty comfortable hiring and working with Chinese and Indian women.

(About trying to be culture-neutral. Huh? No, it's mostly Indians and Chinese; in software mostly Indians.)

(As an aside, I still have a hard time calling programmers "engineers", but, like, whatever.)

Oswald Spengler said...

We've discovered a new front in the perpetual cultural Marxist effort to topple Western civilization. It's World War N--The War on Noticing.

Dave Pinsen said...

"(As an aside, I still have a hard time calling programmers "engineers", but, like, whatever.)"

Yeah, me too. But the engineering profession has long been weak and apathetic about policing the use of the term "engineer".

Anonymous said...

The high caste Indians that make their way into American corporate life can be a real pain to deal with. In my experience they're either pleasant (and useless) or absolute tyrants (and a net-drain on the organization). Give me Chinese any day of the week.

As a side note, I'd always thought computer engineering was related to electrical engineering, building the actual physical processors and the like. Computer science is what they meant to say in the original article.

Anonymous said...

O/T, but I would like to return to the public castration of Brendan Eich.

Some are now saying that the mistake was in hiring him in the first place. This suggests that in future, a prospective CEO will be examined carefully for his attitudes on gay rights.

Then he'll be forced to proclaim he is in favor of gay rights.

This will be routine.

Then anyone hired for a job in a major corporation at least in Silicon Valley will be forced to proclaim their belief in gay rights.

I'm not making this up.

I think that they were genuinely shocked that this came out about Eich. Will there be a purge?

Silicon Valley is full of rich gay men who are out for blood.

slumber_j said...

Don't know whether someone has already brought this to your attention, but here's a piece on some of your favorite Turkish weirdness:

http://balkanist.net/the-islamic-sex-cult-supporting-turkeys-prime-minister/

Anonymous said...

Steve, I doubt many tech alpha males marry female computer programers. If they are true alpha dogs they can cast a wider net. Did you see Elon Musk's of PayPal/Tesla fame, smoking hot former actress 2nd wife on 60 minutes last week?

One again the problem with the H1-B is that pursuit of cheap labor has hammered down the wages of 95% of programmers. Given the relatively short careers of most male programers at Fortune 1000 firms that provide good benefits like healthcare, marrying a programmer is far less attractive from a purely Jane Austen point of view.

Also increasingly maintaining a programing career into ones forties and beyond means being a contract programmer. Oh yes the joy of buying one's family's health insurance. Also for all but the very fortunate there are going to be periods of unemployment. Try telling your in-laws you are still a worthy husband when you are driving a delivery truck to make ends meet between paying gigs. Even when employed I know guys who work part time on weekends just to make sure they have something to fall back on in case of emergency.

Then there are the issues of insane commutes, or months or even years long out of town commitments. The lack of severance pay is also an issue. On any day you can be dismissed. IT projects get canceled or placed on hold all the time.

When I got my degree in CS in the eighties, before the H1-B, I would say that at least 40-50% the girls in my classes had a male family member who was a programmer or engineer. I knew several girls in college who felt that programming would be a great career themselves and a promising field in which to find a husband.

Young women today know what their Dads, uncles and brother in STEM are up against. Trust me, even if you a moderately good looking, physically fit, and personable male, telling a single female that you are in IT is not a good PUA move.

Unless you are truly elite programmer, it is increasingly hard just to keep a cat. Raising a family with a couple of kids is truly anxiety producing.

Oh Well, lets all welcome the coming Idiocracy. What else could possibly go wrong.

leftist conservative said...

I think your point here is correct, but on the issue of the obtuse liberal commentors on the article, what is really more interesting is how well trained core members of the Right and the Left are in ignoring certain things, certain inconvenient truths.

On the Liberal side, the more a liberal has internalized the core planks of the liberal platform, the less able that person is to notice certain inconvenient truths about race and gender.

And on the conservative side, the more a conservative has internalized the core planks of the conservative platform, the less able that person is to notice certain inconvenient truths about wealth and class.

Luckily less than 50% of american adults has bought into either one of these bogus political parties.

A big part of what is wrong with america is that so many americans have been captured by the liberal and conservative propaganda.


Anonymous said...

"Does this mean a wedge can be driven between American women and the H1-B program? That the H1-B program is sexist, and interfering with women in tech? The globalists have had a lock on the women's vote for a while, this suggests a way to get them back to the populist side."

How big of an issue is this for women? This is the first time I've heard of it. All the people I know in NYC talk about needing more high skilled STEM workers.

Anonymous said...

Indian tech/multinational companies have a significant female presence. Pound for pound, I think white collar Indians work better with women than white collar white guys. Remember, its white guys that have the hang ups about women and were forced to enable things like feminism to compensate. Also, the American dating culture is gladiatorial and hostile and the winners don't tend to be the nicest guys.

Anonymous said...

Indian tech/multinational companies have a significant female presence. Pound for pound, I think white collar Indians work better with women than white collar white guys.

Except when they are gang raping them, of course.

Oh, you weren't referring to Indian women.

Anonymous said...

Back in the nineties to mid 2000's when I worked in IT in Chicago primarily in the banking and trading industry, many employers felt obligated to designate females with no software development experience as project leaders. The growing shortage of female programmers made them feel obligated to due so if for no other reason than to keep the EEOC off their backs.

This of course only led to disaster. Nagging and threatening programmers to work endless unpaid overtime to make up for managerial incompetence and a lousy work environment is no fun. Turn over and firings were a near weekly occurrence. And trust me, female programmers, who were not old maids and lesbians were the first to want out.

There was rarely a problem with female programmers who rose to project manager by their own merit. But they were very rare. Putting a female MBA who really did not want be an IT project leader except as a means to punch her ticket and move on, meant ending the careers of dozens of programmers, more then a few of them women, before senior management would correct their error.

Anonymous said...

"Remember, its white guys that have the hang ups about women and were forced to enable things like feminism to compensate."

This is a pretty bald assertion. Do you have any proof that white guys have particular hang ups about women, in particular compared to non-white guys?

I think if you do you can write a paper and become famous! I'm looking forward to your first draft.

Ichabod Crane said...

On the subject of New York Times comments, it is interesting to compare the readers' picks to the NYT picks. Sometimes they are highly discordant. Today there was an editorial apparently intending to guilt trip Obama into making some sort of Amnesty policy. All the top readers' comments disagreed, and NYT found I think 2 comments they liked. The NYT's favorite comment was from a dark-skinned black person (he included a picture of himself) supporting amnesty for Mexicans. The top Readers' pick explained that it is a bad idea to make an amnesty policy when there is high black unemployment.

I wish someone would post an out-of-touch metric for all NYT editorials by calculating the ratio of readers' top-pick comments that disagree vs agree with the article.

Alice said...

Having survived the tech industry in SV by avoiding the places young male geeks wanted to be, and having a husband who does startup culture, don;t worry. In the larger orgs of more than 100 people, the Asians hire Asians, the Whites hire Whites, the Indians hire Indians, the Armenians hire Armenians, and the women wake up and realize they don't want to work in tech sector as techs after all.

Hence do big and medium companies achieve "diversity".

Allison said...

Most male geeks can't marry at all; the nerds (less geeky) either marry in college/grad school or not at all. If the engineer isn't married by 30, it doesn't happen.

No alphas present, and the girls who marry were either too nerdy themselves or less attractive physically. There are no smoking hot sw eng white women. Such women are so rare that they are instead full fledged profs or management material or better.

Anonymous said...

I don't think South Asian men discriminate against women, so much as they're socially awkward and act weird. There have been issues with this, which had led Indian IT companies into training their men how to interact with women.

To a lesser extent, this awkwardness could be applied East Asians too.

American-born South and East Asians are more acculturated and hence less awkward.



Anonymous said...

Most male geeks can't marry at all; the nerds (less geeky) either marry in college/grad school or not at all. If the engineer isn't married by 30, it doesn't happen.

And yet this seems very different than in the past. I can't imagine male engineers in the 1950s being so un-marrigable... My impression is they were among the more common solid-married-family guy types. What happened?

(One guess would be time of marriage, pattern of women having kids and forming families relatively young, and the ability to raise a family well on a single decent income, such as that of a middle-class engineer.)

Anonymous said...

"Luckily less than 50% of american adults has bought into either one of these bogus political parties.

A big part of what is wrong with america is that so many americans have been captured by the liberal and conservative propaganda."

Man, I wish I was as smart is you. Transcendental refereeing like you is such fresh of breath air to us rubes. With your head tilted back so far just like the Sodomite in Chief does it, your O2-max must be ultrahigh and gives you transcendental referee brain power. Your like a god to me, bro.

David Davenport said...

Steve, I doubt many tech alpha males marry female computer programers. If they are true alpha dogs they can cast a wider net. Did you see Elon Musk's of PayPal/Tesla fame, smoking hot former actress 2nd wife on 60 minutes last week?

My hunch is that Mr. Musk was never a drone-in-the-back-room computer nerd. He's always been a promoter/salesman/front office type.

I genuinely admire Musk for SpaceX. SpaceX may have to carry the ball for America, so to speak, if Vlad Putin decides to stop giving USA peepul rides to the International Space Station.

////////

Let's talk abut Mary Barra, the recently installed CEO of General Mediocrity Corporation.

Did powers behind the throne at GM set Ms. Barra up to be the fall gal for the bad ignition switch publicity they knew was coming?

Were the GM puppetmasters acting on the premise that the news media and da gooberment would go easy on a woman?

leftist conservative said...

quoting me, Anonymous said...

"Luckily less than 50% of american adults has bought into either one of these bogus political parties.

A big part of what is wrong with america is that so many americans have been captured by the liberal and conservative propaganda."



Man, I wish I was as smart is you.



wish in one hand, and....

Anonymous said...

Hmmm ... only one way to break a grievance tie like this: is it good for the gays?

Anonymous said...

nobody is connecting the dots to the H-1B visa program

Ha ha, connecting the dots. Very good.

Anonymous said...

"Of course, nobody is connecting the dots to the H-1B visa program beloved by "immigration reform activists" like Mark Zuckerberg, which allows tech firms to hire foreign men instead of American women."

Someone should look at tech sectors in countries that haven't experienced this type of immigration for comparison. Maybe the complaints of these woman are just femninist excuses.

Anonymous said...

Are most South Asian computer engineers in their 30s? Why not call them 'thirties'? Less racist that way.

I really hope you're joking.

To do that strips away any useful information from her comment. If you're white and you read that "Men in their 30s do such and such" you will of course assume those men are white. And that, in a nutshell, is how most of the MSM report so much about the world. Stripping out the most important information.

Anonymous said...

ndian tech/multinational companies have a significant female presence. Pound for pound, I think white collar Indians work better with women than white collar white guys. Remember, its white guys that have the hang ups about women and were forced to enable things like feminism to compensate.

Nonsense.

American dating culture is gladiatorial and hostile and the winners don't tend to be the nicest guys.

Possibly something in that.

Anonymous said...

As is almost always relevant in any discussion of the various ethnic regime changes going on in the west, I tell people, you are going to be very sorry about replacing your former white male overlords.

I've yet to see a situation almost anywhere in the world where this has worked to the actual (as opposed to psychic) betterment of the overlordees. It is always worse.

anony-mouse said...

It would be interesting to compare whether people who are more sexist are also more xenophobic (or less).

Zuck seems to be someone who both hires women and hires (and marries) people who don't look like him.

Is that a pattern in Sili-Valley?

Arch Conservative said...

@leftist conservative,

"Luckily less than 50% of american adults has bought into either one of these bogus political parties."

It doesn't matter. Dude, the 50% that hasn't bought into the reigning bullshit is leaderless & rudderless. It wouldn't matter if 98% of the US public is sick of the garbage, if the other 2% is rich & fanatic and organized, we are sunk.

Did you ever wonder how the triumph of gay rights happened so quickly? Yes, the ground has been prepared for the previous 40 years but up until a few years ago, they were losing everywhere. Suddenly, the dam burst, and every federal judge's decision went their way. Now SSM is all but inevitable. How did that happen?

I say it's a fix, my man. It's blackmail and coercion. Then the lemmings follow over the cliff.

I enjoy your posts by the way. Your observation about right/left internalized blindness is spot on.

Cail Corishev said...

Does this mean a wedge can be driven between American women and the H1-B program? That the H1-B program is sexist, and interfering with women in tech?

Not really, because the truth is that women don't want to work next to white nerds and Indian guys. No one does. That's also why we've never seen much of a clamor for more vibrancy in tech -- they don't want the job.

What's going on here is a handful of women went into IT for whatever reason, spent good money getting degrees, and then discovered they really don't like the job and/or aren't very good at it. So they found ways to move sideways into PR-type positions while staying in the industry where their degrees still give them some credibility. As a bonus, they probably get offices away from the nerd cubicles.

They'll never get lots of women into tech because women don't like it. They don't have the aptitude for the work and they don't like the social atmosphere (read: there isn't one. An office full of techs would never have Crazy Hat Day. They wouldn't even think of it). When lots of women worked as "computers," that was repetitive database searching and the like. That was to modern programming as washing the dishes is to building a china cabinet. Not many women have woodworking shops in their basements either.

ChavoRuco said...

There's a real blue-on-blue battle here that should be easy to exploit.

You have the Work-Hard, Tom Friedman/Amy Chua/Sheryl Sandberg faction that urges Americans to emulate the immigrant/Asian work ethic.

Then you have the Exhausted-Momz, Katrina Alcorn/Brigid Schulte faction that urges Americans to emulate European social democracy.

These factions are natural enemies, but we let both of them get away with sublimating their anxieties about Asian competition and the questionable sustainability of the blue social model, into straw-manning of the right.

The Friedmans pose as being in opposition to conservative patriotic insularity, while the Schultes pose as being in opposition to conservative "patriarchy."

Cail Corishev said...

And yet this seems very different than in the past. I can't imagine male engineers in the 1950s being so un-marrigable... My impression is they were among the more common solid-married-family guy types. What happened?

I hate to say this about my own people, but nerds are not what they once were. The 1950s programmer working for IBM or NASA probably grew up wanting to be an astronaut, fiddled with radios and other electronics in his youth, might have done a stint in the military, and worked with other such buzzcut-Americans. The 2000s programmer grew up wanting to be a vampire, fiddled with his phone (tweeting and texting, not programming) during his youth, thought the military was for the dumb shop kids, and is generally a lot more "aspie" and arrogant than his predecessor.

That's a wild generalization, of course, but I think there's been a real shift. I think part of it is the shift from hardware to software: up through the 1980s, a programmer knew quite a bit about the hardware. He had to for writing machine code or assembly, which was still common even once higher-level languages came along for anything where speed was critical. But somewhere around the shift from the 8-bit hobbyist machines to 16-bit PCs and higher-level languages and GUIs, we started getting programmers who only knew the software and weren't grounded (ha!) in the hardware at all. I think that started attracting a different personality type -- one that's a lot less appealing to women than the 1950s version.

Anonymous said...

I demand that half of the H-1B visas go to women!

Anonymous said...

This is one of those instances when "Asian" simply does not capture the complexity well.

Barrier to female participation in the work force exists in both South Asia and Northeast Asia, but in vastly different forms and scales.

In places like Japan and Korea, women give up child-making and -rearing in droves to make careers for themselves. They generally do fairly well up to middle manager levels (but the top spots are tougher nuts to crack).

In Islamic South Asia (Pakistan/Bangladesh), it is unthinkable for women to reach positions of any responsibility. In Hindu/socialist India, women do better than in the neighboring countries, but only because of Indian version of affirmative action.

Anonymous said...

American-born South and East Asians are more acculturated and hence less awkward.

Not quite. There is a HUGE differences in intermarriage rates among American born South Asians and American born East Asians. The latter pretty much go white by the second and certainly the third generation.

South Asians still bring over brides for their sons from back home.

Anonymous said...

White women scare the hell out of Asian men.

Anonymous said...

White women scare the hell out of Asian men.

Nonsense. East Asian men in the U.S. want to date/marry white women (and a big chunk of them, up to about 30% if they are American-born, do).

South Asian men consider white women to be loud, obnoxious and slutty. By their non-Western, traditional standards, they are. They are not considered desirable marriage partners.

I don't think fear is any part of that equation.

If both East and South Asians fear anyone, it's blacks.

Mr. Anon said...

"Cail Corishev said...

And yet this seems very different than in the past. I can't imagine male engineers in the 1950s being so un-marrigable... My impression is they were among the more common solid-married-family guy types. What happened?"

I think your observations are true. The kind of guy who became a programmer in 1965, or even as late as 1985, is a different kind of guy than those who became programmers in the 90s and afterwards.

Anonymous said...

I think your observations are true. The kind of guy who became a programmer in 1965, or even as late as 1985, is a different kind of guy than those who became programmers in the 90s and afterwards.

IOW, the were greedy-but-totally-unselfish MIC yuppies rather than self-indulgent trekkies? Mind you, the pre-feminist media cast programmers and even engineers in a far more positive light. It also depends on how far men are willing to objectify themselves in order to be "success objects".

Anonymous said...

HAHAH are you serious, american women mostly dont want to be in tech. if anything its good that they stay out less they destroy another industry with endless HR meetings and rules about micro aggression