June 12, 2010

Tierney on Larry's Law

John Tierney writes in "Daring to Discuss Women in Science" in the NYT:
The House of Representatives has passed what I like to think of as Larry’s Law. The official title of this legislation is “Fulfilling the potential of women in academic science and engineering,” but nothing did more to empower its advocates than the controversy over a speech by Lawrence H. Summers when he was president of Harvard.

This proposed law, if passed by the Senate, would require the White House science adviser to oversee regular “workshops to enhance gender equity.” At the workshops, to be attended by researchers who receive federal money and by the heads of science and engineering departments at universities, participants would be given before-and-after “attitudinal surveys” and would take part in “interactive discussions or other activities that increase the awareness of the existence of gender bias.”

I’m all in favor of women fulfilling their potential in science, but I feel compelled, at the risk of being shipped off to one of these workshops, to ask a couple of questions:

1) Would it be safe during the “interactive discussions” for someone to mention the new evidence supporting Dr. Summers’s controversial hypothesis about differences in the sexes’ aptitude for math and science?

2) How could these workshops reconcile the “existence of gender bias” with careful studies that show that female scientists fare as well as, if not better than, their male counterparts in receiving academic promotions and research grants?

Each of these questions is complicated enough to warrant a column, so I’ll take them one at a time, starting this week with the issue of sex differences.

Read the whole thing.

My suspicion is that the push to get women to be, say, engineers mostly just moves women who have strong quantitative skills and orientations around, out of jobs that they'd naturally prefer and into jobs that they are less likely to find fully engaging.

Currently, we have a lot of women who are first-rate medical researchers. By spending a fortune on scholarships and the like, we could no doubt persuade some young women who are planning on becoming medical researchers to become mechanical engineers instead.

Is spending a lot of money to have fewer medical researchers a great idea?

It's like how you always hear affirmative action recruiting by elite colleges justified as if it increases the supply of elite NAM students, but when you look at it closely, it just moves them around from one elite college to another. For example, UC Berkeley flew smart NAM high school students from LA to visit Berkeley in order to increase their NAM percentages. The main goal turned out to be to propagandize the LA NAMs to attend Cal instead of UCLA! Obviously, we're all a lot better off if smart NAMs attend Cal instead of UCLA. And UCLA should, in turn, fly smart NAMs from the Bay Area down to LA to keep them from attending Cal. What could be a better use of taxpayer dollars?

68 comments:

Larry, San Francisco said...

The kicker is the women who enter engineering and other more quantitative fields will probably enjoy them less.

nerd said...

I've seen my fill of female engineers. Mostly they are strong-willed girls, coz nerdy engineers are not as "nice" as many think. When it comes to intellectual and technical endeavours they are ruthless, so girls have a rough time. Many of them tend to overcompensate in order to prove themselves, and even the very intelligent ones later on tend to move into more human-oreinted roles such as management, QA or the law/tech interface. I think they cope intellectually, but their need for human interaction and the softer sides of life gets the better of them.

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve - a little off-topic - but if you had some spare time on your hands, and if you were suffering from some writer's block, or just couldn't seem to think of anything to write about for a few days, then you might try looking into the differences between the ethnicities of the government police and private sector security teams which nailed Joran van der Sloot in Peru, versus the ethnicities of their clueless counterparts in Aruba.

Just off-the-cuff, I'm guessing IQ differences of 20+ points were involved...

Anonymous said...

Let's be serious, guys: engineers, like lawyers, are a dime a dozen.

All the talented engineers I know want out into management

Anonymous said...

Speaking as a woman engineer, certainly not a nerd, and actually a rather nice person ...

Married to an engineer ...

Here's my take:

Until we deal with the H1B situation, there is no point in encouraging more people, male or female, to become engineers. We have too many engineers, given the number of jobs available.

In the private sector, the triple forces of deregulation, outsourcing and Wall Street graft have turned what used to be an honest effort at productivity improvements and innovation into a circus at many companies.

Top notch engineers of either sex have been undermined by these forces.

Today, the overall work climate at many engineering companies has created a subculture where anyone who does not fit in is quickly driven out.

We need a more realistic approach to the H1B program. We need long term investment in fundamental research. Companies need to be encouraged to invest in their engineers over the long haul.

I will say that pervasive beliefs that women are less able as engineers have often led to almost comical scenarios for me during my career. I've more than once encountered someone openly undermining my abilities. When I've delivered for these same people, they often ignore my contribution and continue with their hostily and ill conceived preconceptions.

Not fun.

Anonymous said...

If Snowball were alive today, he'd be a feminist named Pork Chop.

kritisk_borger said...

This affirmative action policy with women has been going on in Norway for a couple of decades now. Leftist politicians have been trying to get more women to work in traditional male dominated professions with limited results. Women in Norway still choose traditional female dominated professions and not male dominated professions which has been the goal of the massive political campaign. This is referred to as the Norwegian gender paradox.

A researcher at the University in Oslo has discovered that women who live in societies that treat men and women equally are much less likely to choose male dominated professions than women living in male dominated societies who tend to chose male dominated professions to a much greater extent.

So don’t worry too much about it. We still haven’t reached the stage where politicians can demand that women must be educated in male dominated professions.

Lady Engineer said...

The idea that most engineers beaver away in their labs or in front of their computers alone 8 hours a day, week after week is not true. It's true of the researchers or analysts but the rank and file who are trying to get a product out the door have plenty of interaction with other people from various departments. Systems Engineering is a great fit for women who would like a large amount of personal interaction with lots of different people from many different departments. It's also a natural fit for people who like to organize, which many women do.

As to women being tough enough to deal with men, I prefer to work with men. They are straightforward for the most part, they don't take it personally if you tell them you don't like something about their design or work, and tend to make decisions based on facts rather than emotions. Many (non-engineer) women are just not very logical and it's maddening to deal with them.

As for women moving into QA, if you are an engineer we all know why people go to QA - because they're not very technical. I never really noticed a preponderance of women QAs at the companies I've worked for.

Anonymous said...

What we really need to do is convince more quantitatively oriented males to pursue careers in engineering instead of investment banking and the like.

Glossy said...

In the comments to that NYT article someone blamed the underrepresentation of women in science on lack of encouragement. The commenter said that girls aren't being encouraged to pursue science and math at the professional level as much as boys are.

I thought that was pretty funny. Outside of East Asia the vast majority of male nerds are constantly discouraged from pursuing nerdy activities by their parents, peers and the popular culture. The parents of the average nerd would much rather see him socialize than read even more books or spend even more hours tinkering with PCs. That was certainly MY parents' attitude when I was a kid. Outside of East Asia nerdiness per se carries no prestige and is not fostered by any sort of encouragement from any quarters that I am aware of. In light of that its very existence seems to argue for the nature side of the nature/nurture controversy.

Mark Royer said...

Will their efforts to promote gender equity include efforts to increase the numbers of males in college so that their have equity with females? Anything other than 50/50 would have to be discriminatory. :-)

Statsquatch said...

How come one can point out that boys are more likely to be retarded than girls and not get Larry Summered? You can even get grants to study X-chromosome linked retardation which is always more common in boys.

Mercer said...

The cover article of the Atlantic linked below tells how poorly males are doing in college today and yet the diversity crowd is upset that there is one field where males do better.



http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/the-end-of-men/8135/

Grizzlie Antagonist said...

It's very simple, Mercer.

Male underachievement is always attributable to something quirkish or freakish or deficient to the males themselves.

Female underachievement, on the other hand, is always attributable to oppression.

Whiskey said...

Anon -- It was my understanding that most of the police in Aruba were White, as opposed to the obvious Mestizo guys I've seen in Peru, and to a lesser extent Chile (where he was nabbed).

The difference is that in Peru, Van Der Sloot killed the daughter of a prominent local big man, a guy who ran for President a few years ago and is connected up the wazoo. Whereas in Aruba, his father was a prominent Judge who pulled many strings to stymie the investigation (aka the Martha Moxley case involving a Skakel/Kennedy).
-------
Glossy is quite correct. In the after-school charity I'm involved in, almost all the students selected are girls, only a few are boys.

This is because it requires a recommendation by math/science teachers, and in the barrio (which is where it is based, it is VERY small) girls don't face a nerd penalty the way boys do. As a former barrio teacher, I can attest that boys who visibly do well in school get beaten up (the ones administering it get points for machoness and have lots of girls).

In contrast, a girl is hot or not. She pays no penalty, and I observed no pressure, for girls doing well in school. A girl who was not attractive had far fewer boys around her than one that was, doing well in school and markers of intelligence (curiosity about other languages, cultures, reading, general knowledge) had not observable difference in how many and the quality of boys around the girls. Whereas the more nerdy guys who figured out the score lifted as much as possible, tried out for the football or wrestling team, to "macho themselves up" and mask grades/intelligence that were significantly above average.

I.E. if you were a significant player on the football team, no one cared if you got good grades, no one would try to beat you up, you did better with girls.

This is what I saw during a number of years teaching in a barrio school in SoCal.

Anonymous said...

I got my GRE results in the mail and my wife (first wife that is) got hers that day too. I was happy to get in the 99th percentile on the verbal side but a little disappointed to only get a 91st percentile score on the quantitative side. My wife had gotten something like a 95th or 98th percentile score on the quantitative side. So was she the math brain in our union?

Hardly, my raw score on the math/quantitative/spacial side was much, much higher than hers. Her score looked good only when normed against other women. She wouldn't have been much above the 50 percentile if her score was considered with men's scores.

All of those guys who scored higher than me on the quant GRE probably went on to Caltech. When you drain off those guys, I stood out with my nine out of ten level quant ability. I was always the "math whiz" among my management peers.

This was about forty years ago. Women haven't been any good at math for a long time now. That's a very safe generalization.

I once had a female employee to whom I happened to mention what books I was currently reading. She drew back in incredulity and horror and sputtered, "You read math books for recreation?" - confirming to her once again just how strange I was.

You don't have to be that good at math as long as you stay clear of Caltech.

Albertosaurus

Dutch reader said...

"teams which nailed Joran van der Sloot in Peru, versus the ethnicities of their clueless counterparts in Aruba."

The Aruba police was able to apprehend Joran van der Sloot just fine. They just couldn't compile sufficient evidence to formally charge him; for starters, Holloway's body was never found.

In Peru, the discovery of Flores' body in van der Sloot's hotelroom (after a couple of days) started the manhunt. So how of a Sherlock Holmes did they have to be to 'nail' him?

Anonymous said...

what's your problem mate?

this was sailer-bate a good three-days ago..

you only get to this NOW?????

what up ? ?

ben g said...

Check out the most recommended NYTIMES comment on the article:

"The belief in the genetic inferiority of GROUPS of people should be illegal in the work place under Title VII and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act."

Seems like thought control is a rather popular idea.

Lady Engineer said...

I get so annoyed when I read that women don't go into engineering because of societal bias. I graduated college in 1986 and I can't ever recall any high school teacher, professor, or manager ever saying anything to my face remotely derogatory about my ability because I am female. The most annoying thing I encountered was an older customer calling me "dear" but I wrote it off to his being an asshat. I also always received raises equivalent or greater than my male peers.

Some women have a knee-jerk reaction to attribute their lack of success or set-backs to bias but everyone has to fight for recognition or the coveted assignment, no matter what gender. Bosses always have favorites and there are always cliques. You have to learn to speak up for yourself, prove yourself, and go after what you want. Men have to do it, too. They're just not allowed to whine about it.

One big reason more women don't go into engineering or hard science is because their parents, especially the mothers, think it's ok their daughters aren't good at math or science so they are allowed a pass. A son is not allowed that weakness to such a great extent. I was fortunate, my dad was an engineer and my mom actively encouraged my sister and I to become engineers.

Fred said...

Steve,

Off-topic, but I heard about a book you might be interested in: Playing Days, by Benjamin Markovits. It's a semi-autobiographical novel about a Texas-born Jew with a Christian German mother who plays pro basketball in Germany.

TGGP said...

Surprised Thoreau beat you to it.

Anonymous said...

I love living in a country where you can be told what job you must have based on your gender.

jody said...

sorry, but this seems simple to me. gender personality is the guide here.

women = want to help, nurture, and heal = go into medicine.

men = want to tinker, build, and invent = go into engineering.

it's no more complicated than that. while the best men are vastly better at math than the best women, there are still plenty of women who are good enough at math to do valuable research in medicine, and, at least, in biology.

the average woman is SO not interested in how anything works. despite the cell phone becoming the central piece of technology in her life, despite her ability to send 50 texts a day becoming as indispensible to her as indoor plumbing, she does not give 5 seconds of thought to how any of the machines in her life do what they do. she is as interested in engineering as she is in football. to the overwhelming majority of women, understanding machines is by far the least interesting activity on earth.

this is fine, because they aren't good at it either. they didn't have to be. 3000 years ago the average man had to be able to build stuff or his family died. women did not need to build stuff back then, so they can't now, either. this is probably the reason while women aren't very funny either. they didn't have to be funny to have sex with men. but being funny helps the average man get women. likewise for throwing. there is a gaping chasm of difference in throwing ability between men and women. women basically can't even throw - it's very obviously genetic that men can naturally throw and women can't. "You throw like a girl." well, of course.

Cal said...

This was about forty years ago.

I suppose it's possible that the GRE reported percentages by gender 40 years ago, but they haven't done so for a long, long time. I'd be surprised to know they ever did.

Assuming your memory isn't failing and you did get reports broken down by gender--40 years ago, the number of women taking the GRE would have been quite small, wouldn't it? I can't find any data on gender means with standard deviation today, but I don't think the 95th percentile for women is the 50th percentile for me. I suppose it could be, though, as more women take the GRE to go into teaching, which might skew their scores down.

While I'm a teacher now (credentialed in math, English, and social science through tests), I spent 15 years in tech as an independent consultant. I was an English major. In the late 80s through the heyday of the boom, it was pretty normal for tech work to be done by bright people who'd majored in useless degrees but had a good head for logical thinking. So you had the odd case of complete non-techies with Masters in Electronic Engineering or some other tech degree in high level management positions, with all the programming work being done by the underlings with strong programming skills and history/English degrees. Granted, this was corporate America and applications development. Software development was a different matter. Still, it afforded us great amusement.

Those days are gone, though, thanks to the influx of cheap engineers (yes, the H1B) and sending projects to India and the like. Oh, well.

It's interesting that everyone seems to have opinions about what "female engineers" are like, but to my knowledge, no one has ever even interviewed really really smart women to find out what they have in common. Of course, that would involve acknowledging that GRE scores and the like have something to do with being really smart.

Still, as an 800Q-790V (and boy, do I wish I'd cared more about the verbal that time so I could have had the double 8), it'd be fun to see what those of us out there on the outer edges have in common. I would be atypical of the high female IQ, I think--my math skills are acquired, and my verbal skills are innate and way, way out there. I'd guess my math skills to be top 10% of college grads, and my verbal to be top .005% (Yes, I made that number up).

None of this is to dispute the larger point, that you aren't going to create more high achievers--just move them around a bit.

trillus said...

Let's be serious, guys: engineers, like lawyers, are a dime a dozen.

All the talented engineers I know want out into management


u mean jack off the street can build aeroplanes? gee, now I understand why management is forever trying to get rid of engineers.

headache said...

...I've more than once encountered someone openly undermining my abilities. When I've delivered for these same people, they often ignore my contribution and continue with their hostily and ill conceived preconceptions...


Funny, though being male I experienced the same.

Rural Engineer said...

I work for a large traditional agricultural products manufacturer in the Midwest.

The 20-something HR girls have made hiring women and minorities a key factor to advance as a manager.

Only problem is that hiring girl engineers at an entry level is difficult.

They want a classier job in a big city where they can meet and mate with Mr. Big.

Consequently we have to pay them more money that the farm-boy engineers who are only too happy to work for my company.

The big joke among managers is that girl engineers have to be paid Ms (Masters) salaries to do BS (Bachelors) work --- and though they are paid $2-4K more they STILL leave at much higher rates --- unless they marry a local engineer and get knocked up, at which point we have them for good.

Anonymous said...

Just about all of the most brilliant, accomplished female engineers(and scientists) look like men and tend to be very unfeminine in personality, in my experience.

If society were very serious, as well as honest about getting more women into science and engineering, they'd start injecting girls with testosterone in early childhood.

Anonymous said...

Steve:

It's pointless to get into a debate about whether women are fundamentally inept at science, math and engineering.

You pride yourself on being objective.

I believe that MIT's research on the Math Gap deserves equal time:

http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2009/math-gender.html


Jody:

Perhaps I'm an aberration, but although I enjoy many non-engineering endeavors, such as gardening and landscaping, cooking, hiking and mothering, I also LOVE the analytical and creative process of engineering. I don't see the need for a dumbed down life, just because I am a woman.


Lady Engineer:

I agree with you that women often push their daughters away from engineering.

Regarding a social bias against encouraging women to enter engineering: The bias is not readily apparent until you are working and a number of years into your career. Companies such as AT&T and HP used to be great places for a women to work because they had schedules that were more compatible with raising a family. With their demise, so goes the family compatible engineering job.


Whiskey:

I agree that the "nerd" factor keeps many boys that are educated in the US school system out of engineering careers. However, with the H1B situation, there's no incentive to deal with the problem. Why worry, when you can import excellent and cheap engineers from other countries?


headache:

unfortunately, there are more boneheads in the world than we would like. Don't let these goofs screw you up. I hope for a more creative and respectful work environment for you.


- another woman engineer
- also PD in SF

Anonymous said...

3000 years ago the average man had to be able to build stuff or his family died. women did not need to build stuff back then, so they can't now, either.

Please explain how textile production is significantly different from "building stuff."

Also I don't know where you're getting the nutty idea that women in medicine are nurturing.

Anonymous said...

Today, the overall work climate at many engineering companies has created a subculture where anyone who does not fit in is quickly driven out.

When and where wasn't that true?

Maybe NASA and Hewlett Packard in the 1960s, but I can think of no more examples.

Anonymous said...

The corporate culture itself is to blame; it evolved into something more dysfunctional than functional - maybe even from a culture to a cult.

First of all, in the corporate world being "corporate" and/or "professional" matters more than the actual purpose of the
corporation. In other words, if it's a lawnmower manufacturer head office, strutting around in the office in stiffly starched suits is the name of the game - not producing, developing, and marketing lawnmowers.

Image again. It seems that in the corporate world, image is not just everything, it's the only thing.

It's a Barbie and Ken dreamworld which has more in common with a Hollywood fashion show than with real industry. Haircuts, makeup, lipstick, plastic surgery, steroids - all marks of "social skills". Honesty, intelligence, and creativity are too nerdy for the corporate world.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Let's be serious, guys: engineers, like lawyers, are a dime a dozen.

All the talented engineers I know want out into management."

Then the engineers you know aren't that talented.

I've seen a few talented engineers go into management. But for the most part, people go into management because 1.) They like to boss people around, 2.) they can make more money, and 3.) It's easier than technical work.

As to why women are under represented in engineering, it is glaringly obvious to most men. They are not technically inclined. Most women don't think much about how physical things work - they don't think in terms of mechanism. They don't take stuff apart and put it back together. Of course, there are some women who do, and they probably make fine scientists and engineers, but their numbers are few.

Gene Berman said...

Lady Engineer":

"encouraged my sister and ME..."

Lady Engineer said...

Hey Gene,

Thanks for correcting my grammar. I *am* an engineer, not an English major. So sorry I didn't proofread my blog comment as thoroughly as I would something really important.

Anonymous said...

America is becoming more and more a gulag country every day.

There is MUCH more social/financial engineering going on than electro/mechanical engineering, and this is why the economy is the way it is.

Eventually, it will become obvious to everyone that thought control, magical thinking and dishonesty do not create wealth.

Anon.

Anonymous said...

"I’m all in favor of women fulfilling their potential in science, but I feel compelled, at the risk of being shipped off to one of these workshops, to ask a couple of questions..."

Funny and well put. Gotta give him credit for guts too.

Anonymous said...

Let's be serious, guys: engineers, like lawyers, are a dime a dozen.

No kidding. I have an MS in mechanical engineering. It's completely obvious that there is an enormous surplus of engineering graduates. There are virtually no entry level engineering jobs right now - what few there are require some social connections to get, and pay around $35k/year. Engineers with lots of experience will kill each other over positions paying around $60k/year. Those in higher paying gigs have generally had them for a while. Engineering jobs are rapidly being outsourced to China and India, where engineers just as talented as American ones will work for under $10k/year. Anyone who is capable of completing a BS in engineering is capable of earning more money doing something else.

Even if you want to argue that there's "too much social and financial engineering" and "not enough real engineering", this is due to problems with social, political, and economic structures of our society, not to a lack of people capable of doing engineering work. The idea that there's a shortage of engineers is a complete joke. The same is true of scientists and computer programmers.

Anonymous said...

I was happy to get in the 99th percentile on the verbal side...
All of those guys who scored higher than me...


Wow.

Anonymous said...

The female engineers I have worked with have been coddled their whole careers due to the fact that there aren't enough female engineers to meet the social engineering requirements placed on businesses. The ambitious and smart ones realize they can make more money for less work by going into management, and these doors are wide open for them. The less ambitious get along doing substandard work for above standard raises and promotions.

Anonymous said...

"Will their efforts to promote gender equity include efforts to increase the numbers of males in college so that their have equity with females? Anything other than 50/50 would have to be discriminatory. :-)"

Nah, it's just for another terminological switch. "Women's equality" out, "women's advancement" in.

Anonymous said...

"encouraged my sister and ME..."

The weird thing - and the annoying to grammar pedants - is that the encouraged-my-sister-and-I structure has been widely used for centuries. There are examples in Shakespeare.

The tells us something about English grammar. No German speaker would say "hat meine Schwester und ich ermutigt", 'cos German has a strong case system. English has a weak case system, so "encouraged my sister and I" sounds OK to many people. It even sounds OK to me, though I know enough to correct it.

"I was happy to get in the 99th percentile on the verbal side...
All of those guys who scored higher than me...


"Wow."

Is this another quibble about grammatical case? Sheesh.

jody said...

"Please explain how textile production is significantly different from "building stuff.""

even in the world of clothing and fashion, the best men are still better than the best women. even after accounting for how much less interested men are in the field. and when it comes to manufacturing clothing and industrial output of clothes, it's mostly men running the operations.

i mean, women are expected to cook for their family, but the best men are better than the best women at cooking too. who are the best chefs in the world? most of them are men.

"Also I don't know where you're getting the nutty idea that women in medicine are nurturing."

so a doctor does not want to fix people or save people's lives? what does a doctor do then?

so a nurse does not want to heal people or help people? what does a nurse do then?

for hundreds of years, "nurse", the person who helps you recover, has been synonymous with "woman". the only reason men are nurses today is because of the astronomically high pay-to-ability situation in nursing. it doesn't take much ability to get paid $60000 a year to be a nurse in 2010. any IQ 115 man can go to college and get that undergraduate nursing degree and be making $60000 by age 30. i doubt men even have to take much harassment from their friends and family anymore about being a "male-nurse". haha, big laughs, Dave is a male-nurse. Male-nurse male-nurse, what a loser! they even made a movie about that, it was called "Meet the Parents". but oh wait, male nurses make $30 an hour. in this economy? with bullet proof job security and endlessly increasing pay? maybe nurse is not such a bad profession after all.

yet the nurses still want MORE. more money than that to be a nurse? i guess so. they went on strike in minnesota. some of those nurses are making like $90000 a year. that's not enough? the average nurse in that minnesota nurse strike makes 38 dollars an hour! but that's "not enough."

WTF? america is in seriously deep long term trouble when nurse pay is that far above engineer pay. it means the US is busy dying, not busy building.

Anonymous said...

Women also like to become nurses so they can meet and marry a doctor.

Anonymous said...

The weird thing - and the annoying to grammar pedants - is that the encouraged-my-sister-and-I structure has been widely used for centuries. There are examples in Shakespeare.

Examples?

[Bartleby has the corpus with line-by-line named "A" tags [e.g. <A name="1">, <A name="2">, <A name="3">, etc].


america is in seriously deep long term trouble when nurse pay is that far above engineer pay. it means the US is busy dying, not busy building.

Indeed - one of the more profound observations ever made at iSteve.

[And I don't say that lightly.]

On the other hand, if it's any consolation, the situation in Europe and the Pacific Rim is far, far worse than it is here in the USA [or at least in the Red States].

David said...

>convince more quantitatively oriented males to pursue careers in engineering<

What is there to build in today's world? The outlook is so dark and restricted, encrusted with fiefdoms of mediocrities and parasites galore, not to mention environmentalists, that the frontier for this venture is rather constricted.

First let's engineer a better government.

greenrivervalleyman said...

I did meet a woman once who had extremely high math/science skills. I think she had studied physics before going into the computer science program at Stanford, where she was a cut way above the non-PhD students even there. Of course she kinnda looked like Pat, but that was mostly due to an indifference to her appearance, though that again begs the question of environment vs. essence.

I would put her IQ at ~150 based upon the following scale (correct me if I'm wrong):

100 - BS from UC Santa Cruz
110 - BS from UCLA
120 - BS from UC Berkeley
130 - BS from Caltech
145 - PhD from Caltech
155 - teach at Caltech
160+ - make important contribution in math/physics

Anonymous said...

The female engineers I have worked with have been coddled their whole careers due to the fact that there aren't enough female engineers to meet the social engineering requirements placed on businesses.

Are male nurses coddled the same way, for the sake of equality?

David said...

>some of those nurses are making like $90000 a year. that's not enough?<

I worked at a hospital where this dude under the Administrator worked fervedly for his personal dream: to replace every current nurse ($50/hour) with nurses from the Philippines (who were happy to be paid $9/hour for the same work).

The hospital whooped along these Filipinas to beat the band. It housed them in cheap apartments, it collected canned food for them in food drives (mandatory employee participation), and did all it could to let go of the current nurses.

On the HBD front, the current nurses were Southern white women, some with 30+ years experience; the replacement nurses were Filapina; and the dude perfervedly hustling to effect the changeover (he used to sweat visibly on the forehead in an air-conditioned office, and had the palest skin you ever saw this side of an albino) was Jewish.

"(Name of hospital) welcomes our Friends from the Phillipines with Open Arms!" trumpeted the office newsletter. I guess the white nurses could go hang themselves, or take in laundry or something.

Make a note: don't have your stroke in north Florida.

ben tillman said...

"Also I don't know where you're getting the nutty idea that women in medicine are nurturing."

***

for hundreds of years, "nurse", the person who helps you recover, has been synonymous with "woman".


You could have done much better with this comment. "To nurse" is not just synonymous with "to nurture"; in fact, etymologically they're almost the same word.

Anonymous said...

"Women also like to become nurses so they can meet and marry a doctor."

That may still be the dream but it hasn't often been a reality since about 1965.

Doctors want to marry other doctors these days. I still recall the look a man (he was from the middle east so this could have been part of it) gave me when I told him I was a secretary (for a while.) I was too weary of the game to make up a fancier title. He looked at me like I had told I had a social disease and beelined it away. Didn't care, didn't like him anyway. But I'll never forget that look.
Men do care what women do for a living these days, even when she's younger and better looking than he is.

Anonymous said...

Just about all of the most brilliant, accomplished female engineers(and scientists) look like men and tend to be very unfeminine in personality, in my experience.

That's the stereotype but what about high heels on the ground experience?
I know someone who works at NASA and a number of the scientists are extremely attractive, even beautiful. I don't know what the percentage is (of the beauties among the females) but quite a few are, and those that aren't beauties are no more unattractive than in any other office building type of environment. I suspect that some people, as soon as they learn the lady is a tech, downgrade her in the looks department, compared to whether she was an artist, or something to do with clothes and make-up.
Just the power of suggestion again.

Anonymous said...

Jody,

I'd love to talk to you about why more women aren't chefs, but I'm working with this awesome new 3D electromagnetic analyzer, so such discussions will have to wait.

Best!

- another woman engineer
- pd in sf

Daavid Davenport said...

>convince more quantitatively oriented males to pursue careers in engineering

What is there to build in today's world? The outlook is so dark and restricted, encrusted with fiefdoms of mediocrities and parasites galore, not to mention environmentalists, that the frontier for this venture is rather constricted.

Elon Musk's Falcon 9 missile.

I wonder how many femme engineers Falcon 9 employs.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many femme engineers Falcon 9 employs.

I was watching a documentary about Bert Rutan's SpaceShipOne and the winning of the X prize in 2004.

Very few, if any, women involved in the project. No blacks and none of those cognitive elite asians either.

The first woman involved in any significant way was the black woman from the FAA who presented the pilot with his astronaut wings.

Truth said...

"I'd love to talk to you about why more women aren't chefs, but I'm working with this awesome new 3D electromagnetic analyzer, so such discussions will have to wait."

ouch jody; i think she just said she was smarter than you.

Mr. Anon said...

"David said...

I worked at a hospital where this dude under the Administrator worked fervedly for his personal dream: to replace every current nurse ($50/hour) with nurses from the Philippines (who were happy to be paid $9/hour for the same work)."

Another advantage of foreign nurses (for the hospital, I mean) is this: in the event of a possible malpractice case, the foreign nurses suddenly need to return home indefinitely "on family business" before they can be deposed by a platintiff's council.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

That's the stereotype but what about high heels on the ground experience?
I know someone who works at NASA and a number of the scientists are extremely attractive, even beautiful."

Bear in mind that a lot of the people who work at NASA and who are referred to as scientists or engineers, are not.

headache said...

truf sez:ouch jody; i think she just said she was smarter than you.

gee, and u fell for it! hahaha

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the guy linked to la griffe

that is awesome

Anonymous said...

Women can be good engineers, even great ones. The point is that the percent of all engineers that are both great and women is tiny. There is no reason to either encourage or discourage female participation. Women who are really attracted to science will get there without all this promotion nonsense. The most competent women find that crap as nauseating as the men do because it is just plain insulting. Anyway, my friend's grandma worked as a scientist on the Manhattan Project, so there wasn't that much discrimination even back then it the woman was truly competent.

Reg C├Žsar said...

I was fortunate, my dad was an engineer and my mom actively encouraged my sister and I to become engineers. --Lady Engineer

Rather than grammarians.

Anonymous said...

The weird thing - and the annoying to grammar pedants - is that the encouraged-my-sister-and-I structure has been widely used for centuries. There are examples in Shakespeare.

"Examples?"

Here's one:

"All debts are cleared between you and I" (Merchant of Venice, Act II, Scene III)

Granted "I" here is the object of a preposition, not a verb, but my point stands.

Anonymous said...

"I know someone who works at NASA and a number of the scientists are extremely attractive, even beautiful. I don't know what the percentage is (of the beauties among the females) but quite a few are, and those that aren't beauties are no more unattractive than in any other office building type of environment. "

I knew some graduate students from a very techy institution in Canada. The males were all pretty nerdy, but the one female I knew was fairly good-looking and, supposedly, quite promiscuous. It must have been nerd heaven there.

David said...

>The males were all pretty nerdy, but the one female I knew was fairly good-looking and, supposedly, quite promiscuous. It must have been nerd heaven there.<

Being a sloppy second in nerd heaven is my idea of hell.

Statsaholic said...

"Doctors want to marry other doctors these days."

That way they'll never see each other except at work.

Anonymous said...

Going home with a pretty girl who may have gone home with someone else the previous week is not sloppy seconds. But spending your twenties as a male virgin in a tech-oriented 99 percent male grad program is, maybe not hell, but not a life either.