Diversity Uber Alles

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

For academics, diversity is the answer, no matter what the question is. “Making news this past May was the release of employee diversity information at large tech firms, including Google, LinkedIn and Yahoo, which indicated, not that surprisingly, that these Silicon Valley companies employed primarily men (60-70%),” Walter Breau writes on the Academe blog . “The news was more discouraging when the data was disaggregated into tech-related and leadership positions, with the percentage of women dropping even lower.”

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“For example, at Yahoo, only 15% of technology and 23% of leadership positions were held by women.”  The Academe blog is maintained by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). Breau is the vice-president of academic affairs at Elms College.

“According to a 2010 AAUW report, Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, fewer than one percent of high school girls express an interest in majoring in computer science,” Breau wrote. “One way to increase the number of women in technology and leadership positions at technology firms is to increase the number of high school girls interested in majoring in computer science.”

What Breau does not mention is that there are twice as many Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) majors as there are actual STEM jobs, according to the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and just about every think tank—left, right and center—which has crunched the numbers from the Census Bureau. Moreover, even if there were a one-to-one ratio, is it such a good idea to choose students’ chosen fields of employment for them? Not being born into your job is something that used to set America apart from the rest of the world.