General discussion


Sexual Discrimination in IT?

By Stephy ·
I just read a disturbing thread, actually in fact a slanderous post, the subject of which is a friend of mine who worked extemely hard for the past 6 years and is achieving awesome results in her job as a Sales manager for a well known web host.
You can view the post here:
I for one was kind of hoping this sort of thing went with the dinosaurs and that women were equally respected in the realm of IT.

I have worked as a systems administrator for a number of years now and have always been treated with the respect I afford to others.
Should this sort of attitude still be going on today?
I would value your comments.

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Discrimination, huh?

by Gis Bun In reply to Sexual Discrimination in ...

It ain't discrimination if she put up the photos and stuff. She trying to get ahead if anything. Maybe she feels this is her only way of moving up in the world. It's the It version of "sleeping with someone to move up the ladder" (if that still exists).

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General response to sexual discrimination

by cflotts In reply to Discrimination, huh?

Since there is widespread misunderstanding of the term "sexual discrimination". The first step is to define your terms.
Type "sexual discrimination" into Wikipedia : Sexism is commonly considered to be discrimination and/or hatred against people based on their sex rather than their individual merits, but can also refer to any and all systemic differentiations based on the sex of the individuals.
Sexism can refer to subtly different beliefs or attitudes:
The belief that one sex is superior or more valuable to the other;
The belief that everyone belongs to either the male sex or the female sex;
The attitute of misogyny (hatred of females) or misandry (hatred of males); as well as
The attitute of imposing a limited notion of masculinity (gender role) on males (sex ) and a limited notion of femininity (gender role) on females ).
Sexist beliefs, as a species of essentialism, holds that individuals can be understood or be judged simply based on the characteristics of the group to which they belong?in this case, their sexual group, as males or females. This assumes that all individuals "fit" into the category of "males" or "females" and does not take into account of intersexed people who are born with both sexual characteristics . This also assumes a homogeneous characteristics of all males in the "male group" and all females in the "female group" and does not take into account the huge differences within a group. There are also XX males and XY females who are genetically one sex but has developed the sexual characteristics of another sex at fetal stage.
Certain forms of sexual discrimination are illegal in many countries, but nearly all countries have laws that give special rights, privileges, or responsibilities to one sex or two sexes.
Sexism against females in its extreme form is known as "misogyny", which means "hatred of females". The term 'sexism', in common usage, usually implies "sexism against females", since this is the first form of sexism that has been commonly identified. This form of sexism is also often called chauvinism, though chauvinism is actually a wider term for any extreme and unreasoning partisanship with malice and hatred towards a rival group. A mildly related term is "gynophobia", which refers to fears of females or feminity.
Historically, in many patriarchal societies, females were viewed as the "weaker sex". The combination of hostile and subjectively benevolent (but patronizing) attitudes toward women is known as ambivalent sexism, which has its origins in the fact that while women have lower status than men, heterosexual men depend on women as wives, mothers, and lovers. Women's lower status is evident in cases in which females were not even recognized as "people" under the law of the land. The feminist movement promotes women's rights to stop sexism against females by addressing issues such as equality under the law, political representation of females, access to education and employment, female victims of domestic violence, and self-ownership of the female body.
We got from "sexual discrimination" to "sexism" in Wikipedia, because the discrimination comes from the system of white male patriarchy which is the basis of most of our problems in this society. Look up "patriarchy" and "oppression" for further information.

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IT Needs more women like Amy

by PuddingThief In reply to Sexual Discrimination in ...

The last thing we need is fewer attractive women. It's hard to find a date when your interests include video games, computers, and particle physics.

I think a previous poster has it right: it's just sour grapes on the part of a married man that tried to hook up with a gorgeous woman and was shot down in a spectacular fashion. Unfortunately he has a lot of support because IT is filled with men that have little or no social skills, and many of them have chips on their shoulder because they're not getting the hot bikini-clad women Hollywood tells them they should have.

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Please don't lose Perspective

by george_madden In reply to Sexual Discrimination in ...

First of all, I'm sure I stand for 99.9 % of the male workers when I apologize for this guys dinosaur attitude. The vast majority of us value knowledge and attitude in co-workers regardless of race, religion or gender. But don't lose perspective, this is in no way an attitude that is "still going on today". "Still going on today" would mean that it can be found just about anywhere and in sizable numbers. In my 30 years in the IT world, I have seen it just about disapear after being fairly prevalent when I started. The fact that there are even laws against "acting" on these archaic feelings a few still have, says it all. You will never erase 100% of prejudice from our ranks "of any kind". Let's continue to NOT tolerate it when it raises it's head, in the meantime the old adage "Consider the Source" is appropriate. Take Care!

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Please don't lose perspective reply

by sagittah0207 In reply to Please don't lose Perspec ...

I have to disagree with you in that it is not going on in the workplace. Maybe not in the exact way as in the given example, but women today are still getting hired for less than their male counterparts even though they have the same education and or experience. They still get passed over for promotions and many of the high profile projects that get noticed are passed out to men where the women get the more menial labor intensive administrative stuff that goes on in the background. I see it every single day all over my organizaion and I have seen it elsewhere. The real issue for me is that I make a good $25,000 less than my male counterparts who have the same background and experience that I have. Yes individual men in jobs have changed their attitude towards women in the workplace, but the corporations and HR departments have not.

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Don't be a victim

by TechExec2 In reply to Please don't lose perspec ...

You don't have to take sexual discrimination. And, you don't have to sue and completely lose your career either.

I am male and I have had to deal with very serious sexual discrimination. It was a very large corporation with a very large IT department (many hundreds). IT was clearly and obviously dominated by women. It was a sort of "old girls network". There were men in high positions, sure. But, if you were male, you had a very hard time getting promoted through management or getting into the "good" IT staffer positions. It was almost unspoken, but it was more than obvious to all of the men.

What did I do? When the time was right for me, I moved on and did better than ever.

America is a land of lots of opportunity. No matter what discrimination any of us faces (sexual, racial, age, etc.), there are opportunities available somewhere else for all of us. The focus of this discussion (Amy) is a good example of this. Her gender doesn't appear to be holding her back one bit in the company where she is now.

Do not accept what they give. Get out there and get what you want. Somewhere there is a company that really needs what you have to offer and they will treat you very well. That is where you should go.

All the best to you.

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You may have a legal case

by Colonel Panijk In reply to Please don't lose perspec ...

If you can document that men with the same training, experience, responsibilities, and results as you are getting paid far more, it sounds like you've got a sexual discrimination case. Document everything and go to the boss or HR people. In a calm, business-like way (don't shout or be threatening), lay out your evidence and ask them why you're getting paid so much less. If they fire you, or refuse a pay raise, go to the EEOC or whoever else is responsible for enforcing fair pay laws. If you've got the paperwork to show that they're discriminating against you, and can plausibly show that it's because you're a woman, you should be able to get redress. Hopefully it will have to go no further than the boss's or HR's office, and not to trial, but you never know.

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Do not follow this advice

by TechExec2 In reply to You may have a legal case

Do not follow this advice. If you do, you might win your court case but you will lose your career.

The fact that you did this will follow you around forever. You can PROVE mistreatment in a given job situation. It is not so easy to PROVE that you were not hired by another company because you sued your previous one. That's illegal too, but you cannot PROVE that.

I think the value of being hirable in the marketplace far outweighs the value of getting justice with a single employer.

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When being raped...

by Colonel Panijk In reply to Do not follow this advice

...lie back and enjoy it.

That seems to be TechExec2's advice. If she's being discriminated against at one company, what makes you think she won't be treated the same way elsewhere? Sooner or later she'll have to stand up and fight. Sure, some cavemen in other companies might remember it and hold it against her, but there are others who will think highly of her. It's not necessarily career suicide. I can't guarantee that it won't be, but if she has a legitimate beef with her current employer, and is being actively discriminated against (in a non-trivial manner), should she silently accept it? I don't think so. What if she were black, and was told she could not rise above typist, and had to use the "Coloreds" outhouse rather than the Ladies Room? Would you feel that she should just shut up and accept it?

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Accepting a job is voluntary. Rape is...

by TechExec2 In reply to When being raped...

Accepting a job is voluntary. Rape is a violent crime committed upon someone against their will. These are two completely different things.

Your racial discrimination example is also very extreme and does not support your point. "Colored outhouse"? Geez. We don't even USE the words "colored" nor "outhouse" anymore. Your use of them is just to try to give credence to a weak point.

If sexual discrimination against women were rampant in IT, then maybe she should fight it if she chooses. I don't think it is. So, she should move on. Her time and energy is better spent that way. And, living well is the best revenge.

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