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Re: Why the Widening Gender Gap in Computer Science?

2008/11/25 Monique Y. Mudama <spam@bounceswoosh.org>:
> On 2008-11-25, Meike Reichle penned:
>> Usually the interview will go somewhere along the lines that at some
>> point the talk turns to your kids and whatever cleverly composed
>> combination of day nursery, part time working husband, kindergarten and
>> what else you present, it will all be canceled out by the magic
>> question: "And who will stay home when it's ill?"
> That shocks me.  Interviewers at my company, and every company for
> which I've worked, would never discuss such a topic.  It's opening the
> door for a lawsuit.  My team lead interviewed a clearly pregnant woman
> and never broached the topic -- and we did hire her.
> (And for that matter, it's not like children are the only reason one
> might have to stay home.  What about broken pipes, appointments to fix
> the cable system or network or phones, meeting with prospective
> contract workers, deliveries, etc ... maybe interviewers should ask if prospective
> employees live alone or with others, as more people in the house might
> mean that any one person doesn't have to stay home as often.)

Well, when I was much younger the question asked at interviews was
'what are you going to do when you have children?'.
That type of question is now illegal and could likewise open up the
doors for a lawsuit in the UK - if the interviewee really never wanted
to work in whatever area she was applying for again that is
and if it could be proved the interviewer wasn't asking male
interviewees the same question.  While the capabilityy and potential
is there it can only be exercised at some cost.

There has been a lot of debate about the fact that careers are
constructed and expected to be constructed in a male way - e.g.
eductaion up til  24 for a PhD and then years of short term research
contracts at various institutions before finally raising a family some
10 - 15 years after graduation.  Fine for men perhaps but not so easy
for women who also want to raise a family.  I think people have to
think that strategy through very carefully.

And Anne Sorsda has already pointed out the treacle one steps into
when moving away from societal norms - disregarding who is happier in
what role.



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