🗂 Link: How Couples Share “Cognitive Labor” and Why it Matters – Behavioral Scientist

When I sorted through the hundreds of examples that emerged, I found four primary activities appeared over and over: anticipating a need, identifying options for filling it, deciding among the options, and monitoring the results. Chelsea, for example, noticed her toddler waking up progressively earlier each morning and envisioned her hours of sleep dwindling (anticipation). She reached out to her Facebook network for advice and learned that other parents rely on “okay-to-wake” clocks that turn green when it’s permissible for a child to get out of bed. She sorted through several product sites to familiarize herself with the range of features and price points available (identification) before eventually deciding to buy a higher-end model she could program from her phone (decision-making). Once the package arrived, Chelsea tracked its effects (monitoring): Was her son staying in bed until a reasonable hour? If he was waking up later, but not quite at her target time, should she keep searching for a solution or consider the problem solved?

Source: How Couples Share “Cognitive Labor” and Why it Matters – Behavioral Scientist

🗂 Link: The Myth of Making It

I don’t want to add patriarchy to this whole thing, but why not. It’s the part that genders success so that Dunst complains about recognition, while men complain about money. It makes sense if you think about what guys are traditionally supposed to be: powerful breadwinners.

Source: The Myth of Making It

Link: Free Solo

Other women have rebelled in smaller, more quotidian ways. “They expect you to get married,” Whoopi Goldberg said in a recent interview in The New York Times Magazine. “Then one day I thought: I don’t have to do this.” Goldberg is an EGOT winner, remember. No woman should feel pressured to adhere to conservative standards, but it is a testament to the intractability of these gendered expectations that a woman as accomplished as Goldberg, someone who in theory has earned the power to do what she wants, would still feel beholden to them. It reminds me of Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Brigid Schulte publishing an op-ed for The Guardian entitled, “A woman’s greatest enemy? A lack of time to herself.” These are extraordinarily accomplished women who still have to fight for the right to solitude, a state which men in the same position no doubt take for granted. Of course it was a man who authored a recent book that went viral for stating that the happiest demographic was unmarried and childless women, as though the record low number of marriages levels somehow required explanation. In fact, the data this behavioral scientist cited indicated that marriage benefited men more than it benefited women. Another survey found that one of the top reasons women cited for not having children was wanting more time for themselves. In other words, choice, not just to reject what they don’t want, but to choose what they do — now and in the future. As Rebecca Traister wrote, “Wherever you find increasing numbers of single women in history, you find change.”

Source: Free Solo

Link: The skills leaders need

people tend to assume that confident individuals are competent, when there is no actual relationship between the two qualities. Those confident people are then promoted. Overconfidence afflicts both sexes, but men more so; one study found that they overestimated their abilities by 30% and women by 15% on average.

Source: The skills leaders need

Link: Elizabeth Holmes and her firm Theranos show why we must stop fetishising entrepreneurs

As well as capturing enduring gender anxieties, the Theranos story is also a reflection of the technological zeitgeist. Gibney believes Holmes was so successful because of Silicon Valley’s “fetishisation of the entrepreneur”. Holmes’s entire persona, after all, seems to have been an exercise in myth-making. She dropped out of college, like Mark Zuckerberg. She borrowed Steve Jobs’s trademark black turtleneck and bizarre eating habits. She faked a deep baritone to make herself more authoritative. If you were to come up with a piece of performance art reflecting our expectations of “tech geniuses”, you could not have done a better job than Holmes. What an incredibly scary thought.

Source: Elizabeth Holmes and her firm Theranos show why we must stop fetishising entrepreneurs

Link: The still-coherent culture that is the United States

Social stuff: ‘Maybe this is the most important result: since 1976 there has not been much divergence between liberal and conservative attitudes toward civil liberties or law enforcement. The divergence on government spending is noticeable but not enormous (see p.39). the divergence on “Marriage, Sex, Abortion” is quite large. In another words, the true polarization is happening across gender issues, as I’ve argued numerous times in the past.’
Original source: The still-coherent culture that is the United States

Link: Amy Chozick’s book is about Hillary Clinton — and all the things reporters don’t write in their stories about Hillary Clinton

“I think her career is going to be such a symbol of how we viewed powerful women in this period of American history, that it’s going to be incredibly important and studied for decades,” she said. “The fact the last chapter of her political career was up against this candidate who was bragging about sexually assaulting women, and had a known history of insulting women, it was such a confluence of forces.”
Original source: Amy Chozick’s book is about Hillary Clinton — and all the things reporters don’t write in their stories about Hillary Clinton

Link: The sky’s the limit

‘But China could add 13% to its GDP by 2025, relative to a baseline, if it increased women’s employment, hours and productivity as quickly as the leading countries in its region or peer group, McKinsey says. That would translate into an extra $2.6trn by 2025 (an economy the size of France). In India the relative gain could be even greater (18%), because it has far more room for improvement. McKinsey’s scenario would require 37% of Indian women to be in the workforce, up from 27% now.’
Original source: The sky’s the limit

Link: For Women and Minorities to Get Ahead, Managers Must Assign Work Fairly

“For many women, the disparity in assignments comes back to what we’ve called maternal wall bias — a set of negative assumptions about mothers’ competence and commitment. After having a child, mothers come back to work to find that their best projects and clients have been reassigned to colleagues. In some cases, women report that it takes years to get back to the type of work they were doing before taking maternity leave. As a white female lawyer reported, “I made partner in the shortest time of any female. Things were great. I had my son. I worked part-time during leave and came back in nine weeks. My work was gone. It has taken two years and a change in focus to get back to the level I was at.”
Original source: For Women and Minorities to Get Ahead, Managers Must Assign Work Fairly

Link: Driving Diversity Change In a “Problematic” World

“If you’ve ever had to plan a long project — getting to the end state can seem so difficult and impossible. The work that takes to get there is painful and fraught with peril and compromises. We think the path to success looks like a nice, neat flowchart. We think change comes from the top down, or the bottom up, when in reality it’s a bunch of arrows coming from a variety of crazy directions, with missteps and everything in-between.”
Original source: Driving Diversity Change In a “Problematic” World

Link: Why men need more consideration in the women in tech debate

Having to watch the kids is a big problem
For gender imbalance in the workforce. Maybe dads can step the fuck up: “It’s also about asking men to ask for paternity leave. The amount of men that I know that say, well I’m given two weeks and that’s it. They don’t push it, they don’t even have the conversation with their boss. If they don’t step up to also try to equalize it, things won’t change…. I was asked time and time again who’s going to look after my kid. The attention went too far.”

Also: “I’m particularly interested in, and in support of, AbdulJaleel’s comment around seeing more men leaving leadership roles as a way of tackling the gender imbalance.”
Original source: Why men need more consideration in the women in tech debate

Link: Foreign-Born Engineers Dominate Bay Area Tech Jobs

“Nearly three-quarters of Silicon Valley women who work in computer, mathematical, architectural, and engineering occupations were born outside of the U.S., mostly in Asia. That includes nearly 79 percent of those in computer and mathematical professions. The data showed slightly more than 70 percent of men in those professions are foreign born.”
Original source: Foreign-Born Engineers Dominate Bay Area Tech Jobs

Link: The parent trap: can you be a good writer and a good parent?

“I had experienced being judged as a mother, when I periodically left my son with my husband from the age of six months – he is six now – to go away to write. I only departed for a week at a time. But who knows what I might have done had I lived in 1940s Southern Rhodesia, trapped in a life of coffee mornings and sundowners, worrying, as Lessing did, that the time when she could openly be herself might never come.”

Original source: The parent trap: can you be a good writer and a good parent?

Link: The cost of reporting while female

‘Priddy’s particular safety is also a matter of local specificity: Most residents think she’s on their side. “Frankly, people up here in the Flathead, they don’t trust the mainstream media, but they do trust the Main Street media. We’re not seen as ‘the media,’ we’re just Beacon reporters. I was born and raised in Montana, so that helps. I know about firearms. I hunt and fish. I come from a military family, so I can find a traditionally masculine conversation thread which changes the tone. It becomes, ‘Oh, she’s Montanan, not a lady reporter here to fuck up my life.’”’

There’s a lot to – as they say – unpack there.
Original source: The cost of reporting while female

Link: The cost of reporting while female

‘Priddy’s particular safety is also a matter of local specificity: Most residents think she’s on their side. “Frankly, people up here in the Flathead, they don’t trust the mainstream media, but they do trust the Main Street media. We’re not seen as ‘the media,’ we’re just Beacon reporters. I was born and raised in Montana, so that helps. I know about firearms. I hunt and fish. I come from a military family, so I can find a traditionally masculine conversation thread which changes the tone. It becomes, ‘Oh, she’s Montanan, not a lady reporter here to fuck up my life.’”’

There’s a lot to – as they say – unpack there.
Original source: The cost of reporting while female

Link: Women Once Ruled Computers. When Did the Valley Become Brotopia?

“There is another story to tell: that Google’s success had at least as much to do with women like Wojcicki, Sandberg, and—her controversial tenure as CEO of Yahoo! notwithstanding—Mayer. Each of them brought wider skill sets to the company in its earliest days. If subsequent managers at Google understood this lesson, that might have quieted the grumbling among engineers who had a narrow idea of what characteristics made for an ideal employee. Google’s early success proved that diversity in the workplace needn’t be an act of altruism or an experiment in social engineering. It was simply a good business decision.”
Original source: Women Once Ruled Computers. When Did the Valley Become Brotopia?

Link: Diversity in Tech Remains Elusive Due to Racism, Lack of Representation and Cultural Differences

‘As a self-proclaimed Black “nerd” and active social media user, Moore also cites cultural differences as one of the main reasons tech companies don’t hire more people from underrepresented minorities groups. She herself remembers laughing awkwardly alongside white college peers and classmates to jokes she didn’t necessarily find funny due to cultural differences in social cues and communications styles: “If you weren’t friends with a Black woman in your class partly because there were no Black women in your class or partly because your interests, maybe her interests aren’t the same, if you’re not even friends with those people, you’re definitely not going to start a business with those people. You’re not going to think about those people when you’re creating your technology.”’

Link

The Bathroom Bill, Texas SB6 – Notebook

As you can imagine, things like the so-called “bathroom bill” drive me crazy. It also makes me sad for whatever happened to my fellow Texans, who support it, that they’d be this cruel, uninformed, and ignorant. And, of course, there’s the people effected.

Stealing some of Matt Ray’s notes for our Software Defined Talk recording, here’s a notebook and highlights on the topic.

  • The Hillbillies are obsessed with bathrooms
    • It’s really depressing how aggressively stupid Texas is sometimes. I don’t blame anyone avoiding it.
    • “The consequences of this bill are beyond severe. Not only can transgender people be arrested and jailed for using the bathroom, but they will be assumed to be pedophiles, and be put on the Texas sexual predator watch list. So not only is there the possibility of being hauled off to jail during a conference, the arrest will ruin the rest of your life. Just because you need to pass some water.”
  • Current status: The bill is having trouble in the Senate, however, part of it is about removing a requirement to provide multi-user bathrooms in schools.
    • More: “The differences on the bathroom bill are substantial. The Senate would require transgender Texans to use the restrooms in publicly owned buildings that match their biological sex and would bar local governments from adopting or maintaining their own laws on the subject. The House version would apply only to elementary and secondary schools; after it passed last weekend, Patrick and others criticized it as a change that does very little.”

How’d it go in North Carolina?

  • AP analysis of economic effect in North Carolina, from March 2017:
    Losses of $313m a year – “$3.76 billion in lost business over a dozen years.”
    Some examples, not just bleeding-heart tech companies: “Those include PayPal canceling a 400-job project in Charlotte, CoStar backing out of negotiations to bring 700-plus jobs to the same area, and Deutsche Bank scuttling a plan for 250 jobs in the Raleigh area. Other companies that backed out include Adidas, which is building its first U.S. sports shoe factory employing 160 near Atlanta rather than a High Point site, and Voxpro, which opted to hire hundreds of customer support workers in Athens, Georgia, rather than the Raleigh area.”
    Most of it is from businesses like Paypal and Deutsche Bank pulling out – good for them!

    • “Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan — who leads the largest company based in North Carolina — said he’s spoken privately to business leaders who went elsewhere with projects or events because of the controversy, and he fears more decisions like that are being made quietly.”
  • For context, The North Carolina economy: “In 2010 North Carolina’s total gross state product was $424.9 billion. In 2011 the civilian labor force was at around 4.5 million with employment near 4.1 million. The working population is employed across the major employment sectors.”
  • So, rough estimate of economic impact is: a decrease of 0.07%/year (this is a bad number since it’s based on 2010 GDP and other forward looking estimates, however, it gives you a ball-park sense.) However, see scenario for larger impact for the future below (I mean, not to mention being a dick-heads and treating people as subhuman for no good reason other than being fucking social-idiots):

Money and jobs prospects for Texas

  • Back to Texas, the next 10 years are critical for North Texas. Many large, international enterprises are setting up big campuses up there in DFW.
    For example, Toyota relocated their NA headquarters there.

    • For Toyota, this means something on the order of 1,000 new jobs in Texas, with an estimated 2,800 existing employees who’ll move to Texas. That’s a lot of new HEB customers, home buyers, and taxpayers.
  • Now, think of other G2000 companies that would want to move to Texas, or beef up their existing presence. The companies will be deciding what to do in the next 2-3 years, and if they skip on Texas, that will be decades of lost cash, not to mention new Texans.
  • Also, from Texas Association of Business: “The business group released a study last month warning that legislation like the transgender bathroom bill could cost the state economy up to $8.5 billion a year and threaten 185,000 jobs.” (Meanwhile, that organization has “remained neutral.”)

Why in the first place?

  • So, what’s the big deal for those in favor of it in the first place? Well, obviously, the idea that there’s “wide-stances” going on is bunk (more).
  • One can only conclude that supporters are confused (and, thus, afraid): there’s a fundamental disagreement about gender and sexuality. But, also, there’s just downright discriminatory. We’ve lived through this before with the gay marriage movement int he past 20 years and know how to spot veiled discrimination.
  • As one ACLU person put it: “that fundamentally [supporters of bathroom bills] just don’t think of transgender people as humans, and they try to erase trans people from existence.””
  • The Economist describes the people effected: ‘The heart of the bill is its concept of “biological sex”; lawmakers define it as “the physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a person’s birth certificate”. This definition is fraught for several reasons. First, as many as 1 in 1,500 babies are born with ambiguous genitalia that qualify them as “intersex”, though that designation was only used for the first time last week, when a Brooklyn-born, 55-year-old California resident received a revised birth certificate from New York City in the mail. Second, thousands of the 1.4m transgender Americans have had sex-reassignment surgery, which means that many people who were designated as male or female at birth now have “the physical condition” of being another gender. And for transgender people who retain the biological markers of their original gender identification (because they choose not to undergo surgery or cannot afford it), the fact of their sense of themselves remains. Many transgender women and men feel not only uncomfortable but endangered when being forced to use a bathroom that does not mesh with their identity. In a 2013 paper, Jody Herman, a scholar at the UCLA law school’s Williams Institute, discussed a survey finding that 70% of transgender people “reported being denied access, verbally harassed, or physically assaulted in public restrooms”.’ (More from CNN.)
  • Is there anything to actually worry about? The article continues: “No similar research bears out the theory that opening bathrooms to transgender people spurs sexual predators to put on lipstick and a dress to target women and young girls in public facilities. Last year, a coalition of organisations dedicated to preventing the abuse of women issued a letter addressing Mr Patrick’s worry. “As rape crisis centers, shelters, and other service providers who work each and every day to meet the needs of all survivors and reduce sexual assault and domestic violence throughout society”, they wrote, “we speak from experience and expertise when we state that these claims are false”. Texas Republicans say that strict gender segregation in public bathrooms is “common sense”, but their appeal to conventional wisdom is not borne out by the evidence. A police department official in Des Moines, Iowa, said he doubts that bathroom tolerance for trans people would “encourage” illicit behaviour. Sex offenders, he said, will find victims “no matter what the laws are”.”
  • Meanwhile, bathroom bill thinking shows a misunderstanding of the realities of sexual assault: ‘[Laura Palumbo, communications director at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center] said she believes people “must understand the facts about sexual assault,” adding that in 8 out of 10 cases the victim already knows the person who sexually assaulted them, citing Justice Department statistics. However, 64 percent of transgender people will experience sexual assault in their lifetime, she said, citing a study by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and National Center for Transgender Equality.’
  • All of this said, other than “there is no evidence,” it’s surprisingly hard to find any numbers and reports on the topic of “is this actually a problem,” based on past crime and incidents. This is true for both sides of the issues!
  • That said, the conclusion would, thus, be that there’s no evidence based on historics that there’s anything close to a material, actual problem (sexual assault) going on here. This is not only intellectually (and socially) frustrating, but it also means that all the effort spent on bathroom bills is wasted and should have been spent on fixing real problems that could prevent actual sexual assault.

White men to women and minorities in tech: We just DGAF

Less than 5% of white men surveyed said they considered a lack of diversity a top problem. Three-out-of-four respondents were unaware of any initiatives to make their companies or portfolios more diverse. And 40% of male respondents were sick of the media going on and on about it.

Meanwhile, in political land:

the more privileged you are, the less that oppression personally affects you, the less urgency you perhaps have to get involved in the fight.

And:

According to Shireen Mitchell, activist and founder of Digitalsista, much of the reason women of color are so often on the front lines is because it’s work that needs to be done, and they don’t see anyone else stepping up. “Women of color are always taught to build community to get things done, and in my opinion, most white men are taught that they can only succeed if they are the ‘savior’ for the community. With this mindset, they know they can’t really do that job when it comes to inclusivity because of their inherent bias.”

As those stats on hiring above show, there’s plenty of room for white men to try new ideas out, e.g.:

That leads to white people, especially white men, waiting to act until they feel they will be acknowledged and congratulated for their work. “What we need is for them to take initiative, grow from being uncomfortable and making mistakes. Use their privilege to elevate those who are taking the lead and not add to taxing or using their labor,” says Mitchell.

Link

The truth about the gender wage gap

Goldin’s research has found that workers in the industries with large wage gaps are more likely to say their jobs value those who “develop constructive and cooperative working relationships” and that their company generally determines their “tasks, priorities, and goals.”

And in these situations, both working a lot and having the flexibility to be away from children “after hours” pays off. So, because women are the primary care givers, they take a big wage cut because they have schedule demanding jobs. This doesn’t remove all the of the wage gap as the women-with-no-kids and pharmacists examples show, but it removes a large chunk.

There also a devilish economic decisions that, among many other things, enforces the choice for women to be the primary care givers. If men already make more money, their wages have further to fall, so, mean more top-line revenue loss:

She found that men see their salaries decrease more than women when they switch to a part-time schedule for a year.

“It seems that men in the legal profession who take on non-traditional gender roles (i.e., taking responsibility for child care) pay a high price for that behavior,” Noonan and her study co-authors write.

If the workplace penalizes men more than women for taking breaks from work, then it could be the wiser financial decision for a mother to take on more caregiving activities. — the decision that society overwhelmingly expects.

This is all a shitty situation for family.

Source: The truth about the gender wage gap

“Not relevant”

Mr. Feig, like Ivan Reitman before him, has assembled a workmanlike action-comedy about people at work. Professionalism may be the opposite of gonzo, but I think there’s something (dare I say it) radical about how job-focused this story is. Here’s a movie about female friendship and collegiality — which, of course, also entails rivalry, miscommunication and shifting allegiances — that feels no need to entangle any of its heroines in a heterosexual romance plot. Ms. Wiig’s character is distracted by the hotness of her secretary (I was reminded of Zero Mostel in the original “Producers”), but the real emotional stakes are between her and Ms. McCarthy. We don’t know if any of the Ghostbusters are gay, bi, straight, married, single, celibate, polyamorous or whatever. It’s not relevant.

Meanwhile:

To cite (again) just one bummer study: From 2007 to 2014, women made up 30.2 percent of all speaking or named characters in the 100 top-grossing fictional films released in the United States.

Source: “So That’s Who You Call: The Politics of the New ‘Ghostbusters’”

The (female) Guardian journalist who wrote about my talk at Boring 2012 didn’t believe I was interested in IBM tills until I started giving my (partially elaborated) history of growing up near an IBM plant, as a small girl playing with electronic components etc. Like it’s simply unfeasible for a woman to have an interest of their own, of any level of intensity, without a ‘sweet’ context.

@Finalbullet, on being sweet

Evans Data’s Developer Marketing 2014 survey of 450 software developers showed that 19.3% (or approximately 3.5 million) developers worldwide are women, compared to the years between 2003 and 2009, when the percentage of female developers was in single digits.

Record number of women in software development, survey says – SD Times: Software Development News

Of note, if you do the math (thanks to @barton808 for correcting my bone-headed thinking) you get 17.5m developers world-wide.

The spread of the Maxim man

Then there’s Will Ferrell, whose every character from Ricky Bobby to Ron Burgundy to George W. Bush channels the wounded pride of overgrown boys living through what’s been called “the end of men.”

“I think ultimately Maxim won,” Mr. Golin said, adding that the sophomoric are now found in great abundance on the Internet, which makes a monthly magazine of humor and innuendo less necessary.

The spread of the Maxim man

The real reason women are leaving Wall Street

Chock full of meaty stuff, I don’t really think it’s limited to Wall Street:

When Keller wasn’t working sources worldwide, she was digging into vehicle costs by model, labor negotiations, management changes, market share, environmental regulations, currency fluctuations, consumer spending, car preferences, balance sheets, industry gossip and really anything else that could potentially affect profits and stock prices of auto manufacturers and suppliers. She would then type, rapid-fire, clearly and concisely, with accompanying tables and charts, her findings and conclusions. Those were published in a constant stream of output worthy of a large team of analysts. She tightly controlled her business.

“When times are good, intellectual capital is valued on Wall Street,” says long time Wall Street executive Jack Rivkin, “It is more of a meritocracy. In a downturn, political savvy and connections become predominant.”

One day in 2010, Palmieri had an epiphany. “I was at the management table with the CEO,” she says, “I sat there and realized, ‘I’m at the table. I’ve made it. I’ve networked, I’ve clawed, I’ve said ‘yes,’ I’ve said ‘no,’ I’ve put in all this time and effort and I was underwhelmed. What I was getting back was not acceptable to me.”

The real reason women are leaving Wall Street