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What James Damore Got Wrong About Gender Bias in Computer Science


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Discussing the causes of gender inequality in the technology industry.

Outgoing Stanford University president John Hennessy, Harvey Mudd College president (and past ACM president) Maria Klawe, and Computing Research Association past chair (and past ACM president) David Patterson rebut the notion of a former Google staffer that women's underrepresentation in the technology sector can be attributed to "biological causes."

Credit: HotLittlePotato

Several experts rebut former Google employee James Damore's conceit that innate biological differences underlie female software engineers' underrepresentation in the tech industry.

They say the existence of implicit bias has significant effects on women's observed performance, "and the more implicit gender bias a nation has, the worse its girls perform in science and math."

In addition, the experts note established research and common sense dictate that members of underrepresented groups are more easily disenchanted because they face daily prejudices that others do not.

"Third, many labor studies predict a dramatic shortage of software engineers over the next five years, which will limit the growth of an industry that plays a vital role in our economy," the experts say.

A final point they raise is the need for face-to-face dialogue so participants can see the impact of their biases and identify flaws in their reasoning before circulating their misconceptions widely.

From Wired
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