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Saying High-Tech Is a Meritocracy Doesn't Make It So


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It is hard to support the assertion that Silicon Valley is a meritocracy that rewards good ideas regardless of gender, writes Caroline Simard, leader of the Anita Borg Institute's research and executive program initiative. Simard cites findings from a 2008 Massachusetts Institute of Technology study that even in meritocratic-oriented environments, women and minorities receive less remuneration for equal performance, and the occurrence of such bias is more probable when individual managers have more discretion. She maintains that this bias is neither deliberate nor purposefully perpetrated by men to marginalize women—and that women are just as likely as men to subscribe to stereotypes about technology and science.

Simard chiefly blames the underrepresentation of women in the highest positions of power, especially in male-dominated disciplines.

She notes that more than 2,000 women in technology will attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference, which takes place Sept. 28-Oct. 2 in Atlanta, GA. Simard says that conference attendees will network, advance their careers, mentor each other, and present their technical work. In addition, 60 high-tech executives, many of them male, will be on hand to offer solutions for change.

From The Huffington Post
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