Debunking more STEM sexism

I’m a woman in computer science. Let me ladysplain the Google memo to you.

For example, we could look to the percentage of women majoring in computer science at highly selective colleges and universities. Women currently make up about 30 percent of the computer science majors at Stanford University, one key source of Google’s elite workforce. Harvey Mudd College, another elite program, has seen its numbers grow steadily for many years, and is currently at about 50 percent women in their computer science department.


Yet Google’s workforce is just 19 percent female. So even if we imagine for a moment that the manifesto is correct and there is some biological ceiling on the percentage of women who will be suited to work at Google — less than 50 percent of their workforce — isn’t it the case that Google, and tech generally, is almost certainly not yet hitting that ceiling?

But computer majors are not interchangeable or homogeneous. She is trying to paint women as the victims and tech companies as the oppressors, but fails to consider other possibilities:

–perhaps many of the female computer majors don’t finish. Of the 30% current computer science majors who are female, maybe only 10% or so actually graduate with a degree in computer science.

–female computer science majors out of Harvey Mudd College and Harvard are not applying to Google

–female computer science degree holders are less likely to enter the workforce than male degree holders, or are less likely to pursue a computer science job than male degree holders. Whereas male degree holders seek work after finishing college, probably many female degree holders have children and get married, so their degree is of no use.

–perhaps there is a mismatch of skills between what is taught and what Google wants

–perhaps male candidates are simply better qualified, and what is wrong with Google choosing the best people for their positions