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Posted Monday, March 31, 2014 8:45 AM


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SQLRNNR (3/31/2014)
Eric M Russell (3/31/2014)
If one of my daughters expressed a desire to pursue a career in technology, I would encourage her with no reservations.


I would do the same. If she wanted to be a stay at home mom, I'd support her in that as well. If she wanted to be a street sweeper on the other hand, I'd try to encourage her to do something different. The same applies to my sons (just swap stay at home mom for stay at home dad).


Same here, but either the mom or dad would have to choose an income generating career for me to be entirely supportive.
Post #1556506
Posted Monday, March 31, 2014 8:48 AM


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Eric M Russell (3/31/2014)
SQLRNNR (3/31/2014)
Eric M Russell (3/31/2014)
If one of my daughters expressed a desire to pursue a career in technology, I would encourage her with no reservations.


I would do the same. If she wanted to be a stay at home mom, I'd support her in that as well. If she wanted to be a street sweeper on the other hand, I'd try to encourage her to do something different. The same applies to my sons (just swap stay at home mom for stay at home dad).


Same here, but either the mom or dad would have to choose an income generating career for me to be entirely supportive.


Absolutely. Somebody has got to earn the money.




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Post #1556508
Posted Monday, March 31, 2014 8:52 AM


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WIT is a good group. From what I can see it encourages men and women to support 1) Women in their IT careers and 2) helps men learn from/about the strengths of their female peers.

As long as that is the purpose of the group then it's a good thing. The problems arise when people from a 'minority' group use it as a means of segregating themselves from the majority groups surrounding them.

'minority' group is a strange concept which can cause confusion/misunderstandings in itself. I read recently that white British males qualified to be considered an ethnic minority in London! This is because London has become an international hub of diversity in business and should be considered a good thing. You could say that a white men in technology minority group would be appropriate in that location and if well supported by other ethnic/religious/etc groups could be very valuable. However it would easily appear quite ridiculous and even offensive to others not familiar with the demographics of the city.

As long as these groups remain 'inclusive diversity groups' for the purpose of mutual instruction and benefit and can avoid becoming 'exclusive clubs' then I think they're a good idea.

just my 2p :)


Ben

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Post #1556511
Posted Monday, March 31, 2014 9:02 AM
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Pardon me, but it appears that we have fallen into exactly the situation here that I described. We're all talking about men/women, majority/minority, etc instead of what should be the key goal of professional organizations, that of improving competency and sharing insights. And this further illustrates my original thought that splintering into subgroups based on some irrelevant classification tends to muddy the water relative to the main focus of IT professionals, that being, again, competency in the profession.
Post #1556520
Posted Monday, March 31, 2014 9:05 AM


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djackson 22568 (3/31/2014)
Discrimination is wrong no matter who is doing the discriminating.
+10

Any business oriented group that limits their membership to a certain ethnic, sex, religion or other group is by definition discriminatory. If someone wanted to start a Whites in Technology group they would be attacked from all angles. Why does anyone think it is OK to discriminate against whites, men, Christians, et cetera?
+10

There is never an acceptable time to discriminate.
+10

Each "group" of people, men and women, different races, different age groups, when brought together they are stronger than each individual group can be. Our differences are our strengths when used correctly. Dividing us into separate groups and denying involvement from those outside of that group weakens all of us.

Let's stop attacking each other and start working together to make everyone feel welcome.
+10

In other news today a High School in Georgia has eliminated having 2 separate proms to eliminate the discriminatory practice of segregation.

It seems like a giant step backwards if IT or any other industry makes moves to promote segregation.
Post #1556522
Posted Monday, March 31, 2014 9:10 AM
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There is a tendency to fall into a 'us and them' mentality when people take these distinctions too seriously Not everyone or every group falls into this trap, but it does happen. And this occurs even if the group conists of a variety of supportive people from 'mainstream' categoies, its concept tends to be viewing through the lens of categories (even if done for good intentions). Hence, the categories remain. Unfortunately (at least in political contexts) people see the categories first before the underlying issues, and plenty of people (on all sides of the issues) manipulate those perceptions.

Of course the principle of free association allows anyone to form a group for whatever reason they want, but you will never eliminated discrimination by codifying it.


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Post #1556525
Posted Monday, March 31, 2014 9:21 AM


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skeleton567 (3/31/2014)
Separate minority groups by definition tend to separate further instead of aiding acceptance. Especially in technology, get in there and prove your competency instead of emphasizing differences. I worked for one ethnic minority supervisor in my career, and remember him not as a minority but as incompetent. He didn't last long and probably hurt the stereotype of his ethnicity in the long run. Socialy and professionally, there are always going to stereotypes, so the best one can do is to prove you don't match yours.


Great hypothesis, never works. Opportunity and coping almost never has something to do with competency. It's opportunity and acceptance that are big issues. Quite often there are challenges to showing your ability that have nothing to do with your skill.

Technology, like most other professions, is not a meritocracy. Almost always it has something to do with your network and who you know, and who likes you. These groups are often geared to help that.







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Post #1556531
Posted Monday, March 31, 2014 9:24 AM


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Gary Varga (3/31/2014)
I think that these groups are great as long as their long term task is to make their own existence redundant (even if we believe that this may never happen). Why do I say this? Simply because they exist because they need to. Those that have agreed with my sentiment do not want to be separated from the majorities themselves but feel that the have been excluded by the majority (or by a small group that exist within the majority). That is a shame and it must be the long term goal for these groups to invalidate themselves.


Perhaps, but people are always struggling to become part of the mainstream and we'll never include everyone in the mainstream. There will always be challenges for groups. While some might become less necessary, other groups will be needed.

The key, IMHO, is that these groups evolve to keep helping their members. The purpose can't be for the group to succeed and grow, but that the members succeed and grow.







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Post #1556537
Posted Monday, March 31, 2014 9:25 AM


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SQLRNNR (3/31/2014)
Eric M Russell (3/31/2014)
If one of my daughters expressed a desire to pursue a career in technology, I would encourage her with no reservations.



I would do the same. If she wanted to be a stay at home mom, I'd support her in that as well. If she wanted to be a street sweeper on the other hand, I'd try to encourage her to do something different. The same applies to my sons (just swap stay at home mom for stay at home dad).


+1







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Post #1556539
Posted Monday, March 31, 2014 9:33 AM


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skeleton567 (3/31/2014)

Pardon me, but it appears that we have fallen into exactly the situation here that I described. We're all talking about men/women, majority/minority, etc instead of what should be the key goal of professional organizations, that of improving competency and sharing insights. And this further illustrates my original thought that splintering into subgroups based on some irrelevant classification tends to muddy the water relative to the main focus of IT professionals, that being, again, competency in the profession.


It's not an irrelevant classification, it's one that is impacted. A large professional organization is good, and it helps the profession. PASS has helped here. However it also doesn't serve it's various groups, like women. There are entirely too many jerks in this business that still think women aren't as competent, and don't deserve the same opportunities, regardless of their skills.

The same could be said for people in these other "irrelevant classifications". Your example alone seems to imply some distrust of at least some ethnic minority because he/she was incompetent. Extending that to any other instance of that ethnic group would be wrong, but people make these judgements every day.

They always will. That's why the groups are needed.







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Post #1556550
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