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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

stdarg Re:Playing with the stereotypes (557 comments)

Perhaps it didn't occur to you that maybe on average women are perceived to only be 70% as valuable as men (consistent with salary statistics) and that this perception discourages employers from being willing to pay them 85% of a typical male salary (effectively overpaying them by 21%).

I'm ready to give up on you. Of course that occurred to me. That is the central point that I am relying on in my argument. To suggest that it hasn't occurred to me tells me that you haven't understood, or possibly haven't even read, most of what I've been saying.

In one line, my argument: The false perception that women are less valuable economically than men opens up room for a smarter entrepreneur to out-compete the rest of the industry by taking advantage of undervalued women.

Now you have come up with a few criticisms of that which I feel I have answered:
1. You said it would result in severe understaffing and it would take 10 years to hire each woman. That's ridiculous and hardly deserves a reply, but I noted that the labor pool of qualified women is already large enough to supply companies like Google with thousands of qualified female employees (and you'll note it didn't take them 10000 years), so finding 20-30 for a startup is obviously not going to make a dent on the labor pool.
2. You said if everybody did it, then it would stress the labor pool and result in higher wages due to competition. I reminded you that I'm not talking about "everybody doing it" but just one or a handful of entrepreneurs.
3. You said if you pay women more than they currently earn in order to lure them away from their current employers, that would automatically mean you can no longer 'reap the "underpaid women" bonus' (your words). I pointed out to you that simple arithmetic can provide you with a solution. Here's a concrete example: Sally gets paid $70k at Google for the same job that her male coworkers earn $100k. I will pay her $80k, which is a sizable raise for her (over 14%), and still saves me $20k.
4. Now, instead of acknowledging that you were wrong, you say that my hypothetical entrepreneur wouldn't be willing to pay Sally $80k because he would erroneously perceive her value as only $70k, like everybody else.

My only response to that is that you obviously did not read or understand anything I've written. My ENTIRE PREMISE is that out of the thousands of people who start tech businesses each year, at the very least a handful of them are smart enough to read the news and learn that Sally earns $70k but does the same work as John who earns $100k and come up with a plan to profit off of that market error.

That is my premise.

You are the one begging the question, by telling me that my premise cannot work... because... my premise cannot work. That's literally begging the question, which now you're astoundingly accusing me of doing. None of your arguments have been convincing, so now you're just flat out telling me "Oh it didn't occur to you that women are perceived as less valuable, so nobody will want to overpay them."

Whatever. Please feel free to reply and have the last word. I'm not going to bother to reply if I feel that it's yet another complete failure to understand what I'm talking about. You win.

If you come up with an argument that actually makes sense and works with my stated assumptions but shows that my reasoning is flawed, or that an assumption is just too unrealistic, then I will reply of course.

about a week ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

stdarg Re:Playing with the stereotypes (557 comments)

Not at 30% below male salary, no.

You must be unfamiliar with claims that women make 70 cents on the dollar for doing the same job as men. That's what I'm referring to.

So now you're agreeing with my statement "And then ten years later, after you finally get your second female applicant, you'll agree that there is a dearth of women in tech."

Sure, if you want... I can see how me saying "it'll just take longer" equates to "it'll take 10 years between every applicant." Come on.

The entire premise was that some company could hire only women to reap the "underpaid women" bonus. Now you're suggesting that if you pay the women more, you'll get them to come work for you.

I think you missed the entire premise of this thread actually. I'm responding to the claim that women do the same job for less money. Look at the first post in this thread. Pick whatever figure you want... 30%, 20%, call it X%. Offer women a pay raise of X/2% to split the difference, and you are paying women more, while still saving lots of money over paying men for the same work.

Yea, I should've read your whole post before I even started typing. You're suggesting that companies pay women more to steal them away from the competition. You seem to have forgotten that the entire context of this discussion was women being paid less.

So you do understand that this thread is about women being paid less... but you fail to see how giving women a raise could still result in them being paid less? Think about the X/2% idea above, then get back to me.

about a week ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

stdarg Re:How about some real number? (557 comments)

A company large enough where any disparity cannot easily be explained by randomness.

That makes sense given your view that hiring based on gender is illegal.. you'd have to be able to demonstrate the reasonable possibility that it happened by chance.

I'm not sure if you're simple or genuinely ignorant. You know gender (not women) is a protected category for employment, right? That makes having such a policy completely and utterly 100% do not pass go do not collect $200 illegal.

I'm neither simple nor ignorant. While gender is a protected category for employment, that law does not necessarily apply to affirmative action programs. http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/foia/...

"In the Civil Rights Act of 1991, Pub.L. No. 102-166, Congress specified that nothing in the Act “shall be construed to affect.affirmative action, or conciliation agreements, that are in accordance with the law.” In short, the Court and Congress have concluded that affirmative action can be a useful tool to combat barriers to equal employment opportunity."

While you may be right that an openly stated policy of "We only hire women, and the reason we do that is to save 30% on labor costs" would be asking for a lawsuit, it seems possible to contrive a way to use affirmative action to end up with an 80% female workforce, thus realizing most of the benefit.

about a week ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

stdarg Re:Playing with the stereotypes (557 comments)

And how many highly qualified male tech workers? Many thousands of women won't be able to fill many hundreds of thousands of jobs.

That's irrelevant to the view of a single company. Let's say 10% of the tech workforce is female. It would be impossible to achieve 100% female employment across the entire industry, but certainly possible for a single company. You'll have to interview 10x more people to go 100% female with your workforce.

Well, you don't even have to interview the guys if you know you're going after women, so you'll interview the same number of people, it'll just take longer to get those applications.

When you advertise something like "We pay 15% better than Google" I would imagine you'd get at least a few takers, including female Googlers who are tired of being underpaid.

Sure. Go the 14 women route. And then ten years later, after you finally get your second female applicant

What exaggeration! Google has 30% * 47000 = 14000 female employees. 17% among tech workers.

A startup looking for 50 female applicants could pull that off by walking around the Google parking lot for 15 minutes at lunch before security kicked them out. Carry a sign that says "Bring us your paystub, get an immediate offer with a 15% pay jump and a long-term management position."

False premise, argument not sound.

That's my line...

about a week ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

stdarg Re:Good question, and I'm guessing (557 comments)

that women end up being cheaper is therefore a permanently unexpected bonus

It's not unexpected. The gender-wage gap is well known. I know it, you know it, everybody who moderately pays attention to the news in the last 20-30 years knows it. It's always an issue, it's always being looked at and criticized.

Do you honestly believe that among the hundreds or thousands of new tech businesses each year, some portion of whom go on to get funded and hire a bunch of people, NONE of them have thought of this?

How about the smaller group of venture capitalists who advise the new company? NOT ONE of them ever said "Hey you know, you can save a boatload in the long term if you hire women. Keep that in mind." ???

It's not reasonable. The only explanation is that the premise is false. If there's a pay gap, it's far less significant than 30%. Maybe 5%, maybe less than that.

not something which the recruitment process is equipped to take advantage of

No, as we see in these articles, big companies apparently try to recruit minorities and women to increase their diversity. It's clearly possible to do. It would be even easier for a small company since the somewhat restricted women-only labor pool would pose less of an obstacle. (I mean, if you need to hire 20 people for your startup, it's not significantly harder to hire 20 of the 10000 women looking for jobs as opposed to 20 of the 40000 men looking, using hypothetical numbers. You're not stressing the capacity of the pool.) The question is simply why more people don't do it given the obvious advantages. (If they were real.)

about a week ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

stdarg Re:Playing with the stereotypes (557 comments)

You would be right if suddenly every company tried to hire women exclusively. But they don't. So the question is, why don't just a few companies do that, and succeed wildly, undercutting all their competition while delivering superior shareholder return yada yada. The business plan writes itself. "We're going to do the same thing as IBM, but with women, and our costs will be 30% lower!"

In that context, understaffing is not an issue. Google alone has thousands of highly qualified female tech workers, showing that the labor market has the capacity to supply many thousands of women for tech jobs. Any startup, any small business, any medium sized tech business should be falling all over itself to hire predominantly women, because they'll save so much money. You got $2 million in venture capital? You can hire either 10 guys for a year, or 10 women and give yourself a raise, or 14 women. All with the same budget. What kind of idiot would say "Oh gee I'll take the 10 guys please." That's the worst option.

The reason you have no answer is because it's just wrong. The premise is faulty. Women do not make 70 cents on the dollar for the same job. That's just obvious crap and it's unbelievable that anybody would attempt to stick to that story after a few seconds of contemplation.

about a week ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

stdarg Re:How about some real number? (557 comments)

I'm a loss to know what that even means. Yes, sometimes women are hired instead of men. That is indisputable.

I didn't say sometimes women are hired instead of men. I said at least sometimes there should be a case where women are hired more than men.

Um by the time a company gets large enough to have a statistically significnt workforce

Statistically significance comes into play when you're doing an experiment and you're wondering if the combination of sample size and effect size is due to randomness.

I don't know what you mean by "statistically significant workforce" since we're not talking about an experiment.

it makes no sense to talk about "one" company since hiring decisions are made locally.

What? Of course it makes sense. It's proof by contradiction. If it's true that women do the exact same quality and quantity of work for significantly less money, then there should be a big success story by now of an all (or nearly all) female tech company that does the same quality and quantity of work as its competition, but either charges significantly less or has significantly higher profit margins.

You don't have an answer for this contradiction, that's clear. It's because there is none... the premise is false.

Besides, no one would be dumb enough to make that an official policiy because it's probably illegal and would invite the most awful PR.

What official policy? It's perfectly fine, and would be lauded, to start a tech company "for women, by women" or whatever. You're grasping for straws here.

Forget 100% women, why aren't there tech companies that are 80% women and 20% men? That obviously wouldn't be a big scandal since there are plenty of 80% men, 20% women tech companies. Saving 30% of salary on 80% of your labor force would be a huge advantage. You see that right? Do you understand what I'm talking about, and why it would make strong business sense to do... if it were possible?

The answer is, as I said, yes it would make great sense, and so the reason there isn't a single example of such a company is that... it's not possible. Women don't accept 30% less pay for the exact same work. If you're paying a woman 30% less than a man, it's because her work is not as good as the alternative.

OK, basically you're arguing that a measured pay gap doesn't exist because people are too clever even though there are plenty of stupid people.

You're joking right? The measured pay gap? If you actually read the reports that come up with things like "women make 70 cents on the dollar" you'll find that they are looking at aggregate income across the entire population. Once they start correcting for differences, the pay gap magically shrinks. Last I saw, when factoring into account education, experience, time commitment, and a bunch of other factors, it was like 92 cents on the dollar. As they add more control variables, the gap gets smaller and smaller. It's disingenuous at this point to even say an 8 cent pay gap exists.... what exists is an *unexplained* 8 cent pay gap.

And once again you're missing the fundamental idea of proof by contradiction. Yes there are plenty of stupid people. Good job. But there are at least some smart people right? So out of the tens of thousands of entrepreneurs just in the tech industry in this country, and the top 0.1% of those people who are smart, cunning, ruthless, and willing to do anything to make a buck... why haven't ANY of them stumbled on this rather obvious idea and used the gender pay disparity to mop the floor with the competition?

You have no answer for that.

about a week ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

stdarg Re:Why the backlash? (557 comments)

So you're saying he also shouldn't hire any whites either then right?

Yes, of course, though I highly doubt they have had a policy of hiring whites in the past.

But wait - using your logic we've now shown that it is immoral to hire *anybody*. So something must not be right...

Here's the source of your confusion. You don't have to make an effort to hire anybody of a particular race. You certainly don't say, "Hey I'm going to go hire some whites today. Then tomorrow I'll go hire some blacks. Then I need some Asians."

That doesn't mean you don't hire *anybody*. It means you don't target people based on characteristics like race and gender. You just say "I'm going to hire the best people for the job."

So some people would propose off-setting that amount consciously rather than allow it to continue as an unconscious bias in corporate hiring philosophy. They do this by changing hiring methodology (perhaps removing names from resumes, doing phone and remote interviews rather than in-person, etc.). Perhaps they take the percentage they know to be 'bias' and give a slight advantage to the minority (in some cases they will break the tie in favor against the internal bias).

Your first few ideas are good. The last idea, somehow "knowing" the percentage bias they exhibit and counterbalancing it by giving an explicit advantage to minorities, is not okay. That's discrimination.

So *this* is what you think will be "reverse-discrimination" then? Offsetting a known bias? I'm interested in hearing how you may think this is wrong

The problem is your assumption that the bias is known, and then applying a known bias to correct it. You don't know what your bias is, otherwise you could just eliminate it. So how are you going to fairly counteract that bias?

Hiring decisions should be based on evaluations of an individual, not a group the individual represents. When you apply broad "corrections" to perceived discrimination against a group, you inevitably discriminate unfairly against some individuals. If you correct for race on the premise that blacks just have a harder time, then there's going to be a white guy who is even more discriminated against than blacks, because he's also had a hard time, and now yet another chunk of the population is given an edge over him.

I'm not sure how to respond to your question of why I think this is wrong. You either believe in fairness or not. You clearly believe in fairness, but you are more concerned with fairness "on average" to groups, rather than fairness to individuals.

To me it's obvious and intuitive that if you are fair to all individuals, you will automatically be fair to groups. But the reverse is not true... being fair "on average" to groups means that you will still be unfair to individuals, sometimes boosting them and sometimes hurting them. As long as the average works out..

about a week ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

stdarg Re:How about some real number? (557 comments)

That's a very weak deflection. While you're right that corporations don't ALWAYS act rationally, and that acting rationally doesn't ALWAYS produce the best outcome, it's simply idiotic to think that a widely known and widely accepted pay disparity wouldn't result in more women being hired at least SOMETIMES.

So forget the entire industry. Name a single large successful tech company that has a vast majority of women and uses that to their advantage to cut labor costs. Just one.

It's reasonable to assume that not all companies would take advantage of it, because there are irrationalities as you pointed out. But not even ONE? Does that really make sense to you? That every single successful large tech company makes the same fundamental oversight that would save them 30% on labor? And that the irrationality is pointed out time and time again in every single comment section of every single article ever written about the gender-wage gap? I mean don't these evil misogynistic CEOs read online news?

about a week ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

stdarg Re:Playing with the stereotypes (557 comments)

So again, if companies know that women will earn 30% less over the course of their careers at the company... why would they hire men?

about a week ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

stdarg Re:55% White (557 comments)

Are you joking? That's irrelevant since Apple recruits from around the country.

about a week ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

stdarg Re:So what! (557 comments)

Umm no, outrage about a lack of outrage is not the same as outrage about the lack of men in cosmology. Nice try though.

about a week ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

stdarg Re:Quick rule of thumb (557 comments)

Seems like someone is trying to shoe-horn race into a statement about lower income communities. Borderline racist.

That doesn't make sense. It is widely considered a problem that blacks are overrepresented in the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum. OP is pointing out that if single white Christian males were overrepresented in the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum, it would probably not be considered a problem.

about a week ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

stdarg Re:Why the backlash? (557 comments)

That's pretty dense. While Tim Cook's statement doesn't explicitly say "we're no longer going to hire white males" if you read the comments posted here you'll see plenty of people advocating quotas to increase the percentages of women, blacks, and Hispanics. Now if you are familiar with math, the percentages of each partition have to add up to 100%. So if you increase the percentages of women, blacks, and Hispanics, what do you think happens to the percentages of non-women/blacks/Hispanics?

about a week ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

stdarg Re:Stupid (557 comments)

Diversity improves companies. If I were a shareholder I'd expect it to be a priority.

Yes, because the current tech industry with its lack of diversity is so terrible. The companies who have come out with "severe diversity problems" like Google, Facebook, and Apple are in no way world leaders in tech.

about a week ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

stdarg Re:Stupid (557 comments)

In some ways it makes sense to hire a team of like-minded people, which may mean culturally similar people. I don't see what's wrong with that. While there is less diversity in any given team, other teams will balance it out.

about a week ago
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Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

stdarg Re:Stupid (557 comments)

So they didn't even like each other? 20% is enough that they are their own colleagues. I'm sure you were just talking about the evil misogynistic guys in the class though.

about a week ago
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Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording

stdarg Re: Automated notice not necessary here (364 comments)

There's a link right above that answers the questions you're asking, with examples from actual cases:

As you said, it seems to be up to the court on a case by case basis to decide which state's laws are to be applied. To be honest, I knew that ahead of time and my questions were for rhetorical effect. There isn't a satisfying (to me) answer in the law.

There's a reason why companies start their calls with "this call might be recorded" without bothering to check which state you're in first. It's the prudent thing to do. If you are in doubt, and you're trying to limit your legal liability, then notify the other person.

I wonder if playing an automated message at the start of your own phone call is sufficient, or if you have to know that you're talking to a live person. If I had an automatic message play on my phone, when calling companies it would only be heard by the phone menu tree and the reply would be something like "I'm sorry, I didn't understand that. Say or press 1 to..."

about a week ago
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Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

stdarg Re:Are You Kidding? (537 comments)

Well, let us start with the expression "racial differences": here, you presuppose the existence of a meaningful definition of "race".

Sure.

the genetic variation, even within a single family, is normally far wider than the average variation between supposedly different races, which means that based on the gene map alone, it is not actually possible with any certainty to place any individual in any race, whichever way you define it.

That's incorrect... and I'll give you a simple example to show the fallacy in that line of reasoning. Look at the data sets {1, 3, 5, 7, 9} and {2, 4, 6, 8, 10}. If you compared the mean, median, standard deviation, distribution, or pretty much any measure of "average variation" guess what you would find... the members of the sets have more variation with each other than the two sets have between each other. The median of the 1st is 5, the median of the 2nd is 6. "Well gee, every single member of the first set (except 5) is farther away from the median than the two sets are from each other!!!"

I'm sure you see the point that overlap and variability are only part of the story.

I'm not saying race is so straightforward, but the current statistical argument against race (more variability within populations than between populations) is simply ignorant, mathematically speaking. That lack of separation has nothing at all to do with whether there are distinguishing features between the races. All it means is that all races are all human, and our humanity is far larger than our racial differences. But that doesn't mean there are no racial differences!

The fact that we are able to racially self-identify and that a third-person guess of another person's self-identified race is largely accurate (not 100% of course) should tell you there is a meaningful definition of race.

One also has to bear in mind that biological concepts like genus and family are abstractions that are only in use because because they help us understand the reality they describe. The concept of "race" fails in that respect - it doesn't aid our understanding of biology.

That's incorrect, unless you are entirely excluding (for instance) the medical field from biology. There are racial differences that inform medical decisions. That's just one example, a non-controversial one, of biological differences between races.

and it is easy to see "good at business" as a euphemism for "cunning, devious, ...".

Fair enough, but you shouldn't state it in a way that makes it look like that's the book's argument. For what it's worth, I don't think it is. When I think "good at business" I think of people who deliver on their promises and perhaps value business above other concerns. Some Chinese stereotypes of conformity and flexibility may play into that.. I know when the Three Gorges Dam was built, they relocated populations to do so and those people were expected to conform to the decision for the greater good. That type of environment is probably good for business, even at great personal cost.

I have no idea what evolutionary forces the book discusses that may play into that, but to me it sounds interesting, not racist.

about a week ago
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Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

stdarg Re:Are You Kidding? (537 comments)

I haven't read the book, but from what I've read about the book, it's not proposing any scientific theories itself. Rather it's summarizing and presenting papers from other scientists, and discussing their implications.

I don't think it makes sense to equate a cold fusion scam (usually looking for investors) with someone who says "Here's a paper showing racial differences in testosterone. Here's another paper showing that declining testosterone levels were correlated with a strengthening of civilization, perhaps because people with lower testosterone were able to trust others more readily. Now taking those together, isn't it interesting that _____."

That's just discussion. And I do find it interesting.

about a week ago

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