In 2013, 18% of bachelor’s degrees in computing were earned by women
How in the heck do they expect to get equal numbers of female and male people into programming jobs in the field. It would seem 'equal' hiring would be around 18% of the population of programmers to make it apples to apples. That would indicate 'fair' hiring.
That said, I do believe in encouraging everyone to get more experience in STEM at a younger age, then to make informed decisions about if this is a career they would like to pursue. It is nuts to me that they are trying to hire 50% of the work force out of 18% of the graduates. That is just not going to work. Just goes to prove we really do need better math education at all levels.....
You could say that about any profession. My wife is a physician and she tells people who say they want to be a doctor that "if you can imagine yourself doing anything else you probably should". That job is too hard and takes too much from you to bother with if it isn't a calling. Furthermore that pretty much contradicts your point above. If they don't have a passion for software development why are you pushing them into it if it isn't their thing? I'm an engineer and I've done enough programming to know that it isn't what I want to do for a living and also that I'm not particularly good at it.
Because I hear about all of those physician layoffs that are happening and how they are being replaced with over seas workers and young kids out of college. And I always hear about how older physicians can never learn and how they age out at 40.... Again, it is the crappy attitude of the industry I am talking about, and the sad state of the code. If you are really, really passionate about coding (such as I am) you can muddle your way through it, but you have to be ultra passionate. I think every professional career requires dedication, but most have a lot more longevity and actually respect people who have been at it for a bit.
A computer without COBOL and Fortran is like a piece of chocolate cake without ketchup and mustard.