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Apple joins NCWIT in push for gender balance in U.S. tech industry

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
At the White House Summit on Working Families on Monday, the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), with which Apple is an alliance partner, announced an ambitious program to fast track 3,500 women into the U.S. tech industry by 2016.




Apple and NCWIT have a long-standing relationship dating back some ten years to the non-profit's founding, working together on various initiatives to bring gender balance to the computing and technology industries. Today's announcement comes amid a thrust in advocacy for women to join the tech workforce.

"Inclusion and diversity are a driving force behind innovation at Apple," said Apple's vice president of Worldwide Human Resources, Denise Young-Smith. "We are proud to work with NCWIT to encourage more women to pursue careers in technology, and we hope that many of them will join the ranks of incredibly talented women engineers at Apple."

The Pacesetters program, which is the basis of NCWIT's announced commitment, brings leaders from academic, corporate and entrepreneurial organizations together to brainstorm new ideas and initiatives to steer more women into the computing and tech field.

According to the organization, Pacesetters programs range from working to push women already in college or the workforce toward technical careers (In Reach); recruiting and advancing technical women through community groups (Creating Community and Visibility); having influential business minds encourage and advocate for women (Influencing the Influencers); and steering non-technical women in the direction of technology (Tapping New Pools of Talent).

A report from NCWIT concerning the status of women in IT claims women held 57 percent of all professional occupations in the U.S. workforce in 2013, but only 26 percent of computing-related jobs.

Numerous companies are strategic partners of the Pacesetters program, including Intel, Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Cisco, among many others. As Apple is not listed as a member, it is not clear what support the company is giving for the newly announced initiative.

Apple is also a supporter of NCWIT's Aspirations in Computing Program, the only national talent development initiative targeting "technically inclined" women. Most recently, the company worked with NCWIT to promote scholarship awards for female engineers and coders to attend the Worldwide Developers Conference in April.
post #2 of 13

Glad they’re pushing for the same standards and not for meeting some arbitrary quota.

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #3 of 13

Perhaps women just aren't interested in technology careers. Kinda hard to get your 20,000 words out as a programmer ;-)

 

It's like the (failed) push to get more men into teaching.

Shut up and go away, you useless, pathetic FUDmonger - Tallest Skil
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Shut up and go away, you useless, pathetic FUDmonger - Tallest Skil
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post #4 of 13

I am obviously opposed to this and all other forms for affirmative action, one of the great evils plaguing society today.

 

Why isn't there a push for more male nurses? Maybe it's just because certain genders naturally gravitate towards certain occupations.

 

I've always been about the best person who qualifies for a job should get that job, gender or race should not enter into the equation at all.

 

I don't really care if the tech industry is dominated by males, it's probably for the better. 

post #5 of 13

My in-law spent the past 6 months in various hospital. Nearly 90% of his nurses were female. My son's elementary teacher is 80% female. All babysitters available in my neighbourhood are female. When I was in college, the stat for the Arts major was like 60% female. All the secretaries in my companies are female. I recently posted an IT position in my department: 9 - 5 job with flexibility, no on-calls, etc.... I got 2 resumes with female name. 

 

I talked to one of the nurses and she said her pay was good, especially if you are registered nurse. There are jobs that attract more females than males, and vice versa. Perhaps just accept that and move on.

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by hentaiboy View Post
 

Perhaps women just aren't interested in technology careers. Kinda hard to get your 20,000 words out as a programmer ;-)

 

 

They used to be interested:

 

I'd love to see more women working in the tech industry. A diverse industry results in a diverse range of ideas and product. The current dude-bro monoculture is incredibly damaging. 

post #7 of 13
They want to "push women into technical careers"??? Why don't they just let women pursue whatever careers they want? It should not be a requirement that men and women are equally represented in every profession. Should it be lamented that there are not enough men in education, nursing or psychology? No. When I was in graduate school for psychology, there were at least 7 women for every man. But, I was pursuing my passion, and so were the women, and we were all happier for it 1smile.gif
post #8 of 13
If Apple is serious about this they can start in house. We've seen photos of Jony's design team etc, there are women in those groups. Put one of the on stage during the fall keynote, even if just for a demo. Not the male, male, male that was WWDC.

Yes it seems on the surface like a token gesture but that token shows that yes there are women working at Appke and not just in Cafe Mac

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #9 of 13
At least these are voluntary guidelines, not government mandated.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

Glad they’re pushing for the same standards and not for meeting some arbitrary quota.

this

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

I am obviously opposed to this and all other forms for affirmative action, one of the great evils plaguing society today.

 

I've always been about the best person who qualifies for a job should get that job, gender or race should not enter into the equation at all.

 

I don't really care if the tech industry is dominated by males, it's probably for the better. 

I strongly agree about affirmative action being horrible, and that the best qualified person should get the job.

I strongly disagree though with saying "if the tech industry is dominated by males, it's probably for the better".  To me that sounds like you're saying women in general are less capable of doing tech work, which I think is unfair and probably wrong.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post
 

A diverse industry results in a diverse range of ideas and product. The current dude-bro monoculture is incredibly damaging. 

I agree with your point about diversity, but I wonder if you can provide evidence that the current ratio is incredibly damaging.  If women don't pursue tech careers because of intimidation they feel because of the existing ratio then it may indeed be damaging, but also not the fault of the men in the industry (as if pursuing a tech career as a male were somehow wrong).  On the other hand, if women simply aren't currently as interested, again, not perhaps the fault of 'dude-bro' type people.  I'd be interested to know specifics on how you feel a majority of men in the industry is causal to damage.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BThielen View Post

They want to "push women into technical careers"??? Why don't they just let women pursue whatever careers they want? It should not be a requirement that men and women are equally represented in every profession. Should it be lamented that there are not enough men in education, nursing or psychology? No. When I was in graduate school for psychology, there were at least 7 women for every man. But, I was pursuing my passion, and so were the women, and we were all happier for it 1smile.gif

I'm all for removing stigma, not treating female employees or job candidates poorly simply because of gender, and any other thing that represents an improper gender-based hindrance to women succeeding in the industry.  I'm definitely against jumping through hoops to treat a symptom rather than the cause, and I'm against doing so if the treatment is either trying to fix a problem that isn't really there (for example, trying to 'even things out' if it turns out that women really are just less interested in tech jobs) or if doing so ends up hurting others (like affirmative action situations where a better-qualified person who has fewer 'minority' labels doesn't get the job or promotion because someone was trying to be 'fair' but is really just chasing a de-facto unfair statistic).

 

Maybe I understood Dr. King incorrectly, but I think he wasn't aiming so much for ensuring that things like race, gender, etc. are vigorously and artificially normalized, but that people be treated based on things like character and merit.

You did not come into the world to fail. You came into the world to succeed.

- Gordon Hinckley

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You did not come into the world to fail. You came into the world to succeed.

- Gordon Hinckley

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post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post
 

They used to be interested:

 

 

Perhaps they still are.  The chart shows percentages, not total numbers.  It could very well be that other fields have gained popularity for various reasons without Computer Science becoming any less interesting.  I'd be interested in the source of your data and also to see a comparable chart with total numbers over the same time frame.  I think that would give a better picture of whether women are pursuing CS more or less.  Still not a complete picture as there's always the question of cause, but more data is always better.

You did not come into the world to fail. You came into the world to succeed.

- Gordon Hinckley

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You did not come into the world to fail. You came into the world to succeed.

- Gordon Hinckley

Reply
post #12 of 13
Originally Posted by BThielen View Post
Why don't they just let women pursue whatever careers they want? 

 

Because it’s sexist for women not to want to become engineers. That’s why they’re being forced to push it. It’s better that there be an equal number of people of all sexes and races doing everything than for people to have any right to their own choices.

 

That’s literally what they think. :no:

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply

Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
Reply
post #13 of 13

Bless.

"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
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