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A solution to the lack of diversity

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Supposedly, software engineers are predominantly male. Let's assume that's true, for the sake of this thread.  A lot of people want this rectified by having companies to make a special effort to recruit women. 

Similarly, many people claim that women are paid less than men for the same job. This may be unfounded, but let's assume it is true -- for the moment. The solution, we're told, is to pay women more.

So, here's a thought: a company (say Google) announces that it will pay a bonus to all women and to anyone identifying as a woman. Tell HR that you're a woman, and you can get the bonus. Google can keep raising the bonus until they have enough "women", and until they're being paid the same. [For a million in Google stock I might go as "Softer-wareNerdie", but name-changes should not be necessary... since all these things are supposed to be conventions, just in the mind.]

What would be the objection to this, from supporters of women's equality?

Would it be that the men are lying about thinking they're women, merely to get the bonus? Would it be okay with the egalitarians if the men genuinely identified as women? 

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Diversity, insofar as it might improve a product or service: introduce changes in it to foster wider appeal, or introduce something new or "outside of the box" to a stagnant product or service, and which might lead to an increase in profit is easily "remedied".  Just hire the right people to the right teams.

Of course profit maximizing diversity must entail a reason based approach, for example, hiring people of different hair color on an assembly line, or of different religions in the raw materials purchasing department, or of various body builds in the accounting department are not effective.  If there is no rational or causal nexus between the diversity and any possible improvement to the task at hand, hiring should be agnostic to the diversity.  As such, people with the requisite skills who can most cost effectively be hired should be hired regardless of the irrelevant considerations.

In cases where various experiences or viewpoints or particular life experiences would be useful for attending to the task, perhaps such as general product design, GUI design, marketing, etc. diversity might help to increase profits.  Of course this should be done at the higher levels, diversity of "grunt" coders for example would not have any relevant causal effect on products.

So, given that high level design, product marketing and the like generally have teams of people it should be easy to introduce into those teams persons who will increase "diversity", which will increase profits.

A close study of the market and the sale of products or services by "type of person" could lead to some idea of how many people to hire.  For example, if Jews and Christians are assumed to have widely different cultures, philosophies, values, or priorities, the make up of the design team could include Jews and Christians in sufficient numbers to address the actual proportion of consumers in the market.  It does not require a mirroring of the proportions though, for example a team of 10 with only 1 Jew or one Christian, could address a market which is 50-50.  As long as all members of the team are rationally devoted to profit and they understand that 50% of the market is going to have considerations of the "minority", then a team with even a single member of that "minority" could be functional.  The same goes for race and gender, assuming that individuals are not the same, i.e. blacks and whites or Women and men, have widely different cultures, philosophies, values, or priorities, then teams of designers and marketers etc. should have requisite diversity of "experience" to maximize profits through product or service or marketing enhancements.

Although the above assumes widely different cultures, philosophies, values, or priorities, the above approach to maximizing profit through diversity would still work to a lesser extent, and to the extent that those cultures, philosophies, values, or priorities actually differ. 

It stands to reason that companies truly devoted to profit would understand the relationship of their products and services to the various groups and bring in the requisite number of different types of people to their various teams to ensure it addresses the entirety of the marketplace in an optimized fashion, to maximize profits.

 

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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4 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

Supposedly, software engineers are predominantly male.

Well, they are.

4 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

Similarly, many people claim that women are paid less than men for the same job

People phrase it that way, but that's an average. In some industries, wages are equitable. In tech, it might be equitable, I'm not sure.

4 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

Would it be that the men are lying about thinking they're women, merely to get the bonus? Would it be okay with the egalitarians if the men genuinely identified as women? 

I imagine a smart HR policy would verify it somehow. The problem is you said just saying "I'm a woman" is the only standard. But that's the problem with identity standards. They aren't about performance or ability. There is no irrefutable way to verify them - unless you invade privacy or make wild demands. DNA tests to check race, or chromosome tests for one's sex, or psychiatric evaluations to verify one as trans. A hardcore egalitarian would probably look for some way to catch liars that's just as invasive.

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12 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

A hardcore egalitarian would probably look for some way to catch liars that's just as invasive.

Clearly it is possible for someone to lie about being a woman.
However, from the perspective of modern philosophy, can we know this is a lie, beyond a reasonable doubt? Is there any way for a third party to conclude it is a lie... to the level of evidence that would be required legally or by most companies? 

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The general populace validates transgenderism using the same gender constructs that feed the disorder. The transgendered have an idea of "man" and "woman" that they use to satiate whatever mental issue is confounding them, and the populace judges the result by the same gender standards. The goal is to conform to and enforce the standard gender stereotypes. Running culturally parallel is the opposite: Straights and gays who identify physiologically as "man" or "woman," but not necessarily in line with the gender stereotypes. Their goal is to normalize in their own minds a version of their physiological gender that does not enforce the stereotypes. Right now, these opposite goals are conflated culturally.

A company would need to decide which standard they will use to identify "woman": how a person feels, or a person's physiology. Maybe some companies would be brave enough to use physiology, but I think people would try to appease social equalitists and default to using gender norms. If a stereotypical man called himself a woman but put forth no effort to look like a stereotypical woman, or worse still flagrantly so, everyone would think about how a transgendered person would feel about it, and then they would make judgements using the transgendered gender standards which also exist in their own minds. There would be some awkward, accusatory, defensive, "This man is disgusting for disrespecting the transgendered like this!" with an implicit, "He isn't even trying to adhere to women-gender stereotypes!"

 

Edited by JASKN

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The distinction between a woman and a man who feels like a woman can easily be resolved by having a relevant reason based test.

There is no use for specifically including a type of person (under a profit driven diversity directive) if that person is not useful for increasing profits.  As such a company wanting to reach women specifically, with products or services which appeal to women would need a woman who is in touch with other "women".  An "unwomanly" woman (so to speak), i.e. a woman who was in fact a diametric opposite to women consumers predominantly in the market place, would not be useful to the business to increase appeal or sales to women.  Inversely analogously, a man who "feels" he is a woman "on the inside", IF he/she is IN TOUCH with women consumers predominantly in the market place,, then under the profit driven diversity directive, he/she is a valuable asset qualified for being added to the relevant team.

In short, it only matters whether or not the person can DO something, to improve the overall profitability of the business AND IMPROVING PROFITABILITY is the only "business" diversity could ever have with doing business.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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29 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

... it only matters whether or not the person can DO something,

Sure, I agree, but I'm really asking what perspective modern egalitarian take on this question.

 

29 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

The distinction between a woman and a man who feels like a woman can easily be resolved by having a relevant reason based test.

What kind of test would this be?

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1 hour ago, JASKN said:

The general populace validates transgenderism using the same gender constructs that feed the disorder. The transgendered have an idea of "man" and "woman" that they use to satiate whatever mental issue is confounding them, and the populace judges the result by the same gender standards. The goal is to conform to and enforce the standard gender stereotypes. Running culturally parallel is the opposite: Straights and gays who identify physiologically as "man" or "woman," but not necessarily in line with the gender stereotypes. Their goal is to normalize in their own minds a version of their physiological gender that does not enforce the stereotypes. Right now, these opposite goals are conflated culturally.

A company would need to decide which standard they will use to identify "woman": how a person feels, or a person's physiology. Maybe some companies would be brave enough to use physiology, but I think people would try to appease social equalitists and default to using gender norms. If a stereotypical man called himself a woman but put forth no effort to look like a stereotypical woman, or worse still flagrantly so, everyone would think about how a transgendered person would feel about it, and then they would make judgements using the transgendered gender standards which also exist in their own minds. There would be some awkward, accusatory, defensive, "This man is disgusting for disrespecting the transgendered like this!" with an implicit, "He isn't even trying to adhere to women-gender stereotypes!"

 

Interesting -- and made me realize how little I've thought about the subject. I'll have to chew on it.

I think you're saying that I can't get that million dollar bonus by joining Google and saying I'm a woman. At the very least, I need to wear a skirt, roll my eyes, and use the ladies room :D 

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25 minutes ago, softwareNerd said:

Sure, I agree, but I'm really asking what perspective modern egalitarian take on this question.

 

What kind of test would this be?

First the question:  The only distinction that matters, which of the women and men-who-say-they-are-women are in touch with women in the marketplace... i.e. in some cases there is no distinction and in some cases (e.g. unwomanly woman) there are distinctions... e.g. see if they can accurately pick out products, services, marketing etc. which have succeeded or failed in the past with women.

 

As for modern egalitarians' take.... if I were to indulge in reasoned unreason and attempt consistent inconsistency, I think they would likely require enough evidence from the self-claimed transgendered person to ascertain that reasonably speaking, that they are honest and genuine about the claim, and not making a false claim simply to get an unintended reward.  Of course egalitarians are all about group identity statistics, and a zero sum game... so when it comes to bonuses for diversity, I suspect they will be would be limited to numbers in each grouping which meets the egalitarian goals of statistical representation of the population... so act fast before all the spots are gone!

 

Query whether the egalitarian method applied to basketball players mandates short people, or applied to modeling mandates ugly people, or applied to philosophy professors mandates one or two who believe in reality, knowledge, and evidence of the senses, etc. 

 

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There's a precedent for this: affirmative actions along racial lines...on which I happened to see a remarkably candid conversation, recently. On CNN, of all places:

http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2017/08/05/i-faked-being-black-to-get-into-med-school.cnn

It's a video about a guy of Indian descent, Vijay Jojo Chokal-Ingam, describing how he got into med school with grades that would've been way too low, by pretending to be black. He went to great lengths for it (shaved his head, plucked his eyelashes, and got rid of the foreign sounding parts of his name...I'll add a pic to the bottom).

But, it turns out, you don't always have to do that: usually, all you need to do, even if you're lily white, is say you're black on the forms. Most schools don't care, they just want plausible deniability (guy said he had a black great grandfather...how are we supposed to know that he lied?), so that they can count you as black in their stats.

hqdefault.jpg

It will be the same at most tech companies. Men will be able to check "female" on the form, the company will proudly publish the stats showing that fifty or more percent of their staff identifies as a woman, and that will be that. Maybe not at Google, because they seem especially fanatical about this (they have a PC police set up and everything, that patrols the hallways and email lists to stomp out any dissent), but smaller companies will be happy to fake their diversity.

Edited by Nicky

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1 hour ago, softwareNerd said:

I think you're saying that I can't get that million dollar bonus by joining Google and saying I'm a woman. At the very least, I need to wear a skirt, roll my eyes, and use the ladies room :D 

It occurred to me that there's a parallel with church communities. "All sinners welcome" at church, but it's really only those who accept the religious premises on some level. There's an unspoken line that is crossed if the ideology is threatened, and you will soon find yourself slowly shown the door via private "counseling" sessions, social shunning, etc. I've wondered how long a church would actually let me attend, openly as myself.

28 minutes ago, Nicky said:

Maybe not at Google, because they seem especially fanatical about this (they have a PC police set up and everything, that patrols the hallways and email lists to stomp out any dissent), but smaller companies will be happy to fake their diversity.

Tech companies can worry about silly things because they can afford to! 

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8 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

Clearly it is possible for someone to lie about being a woman.
However, from the perspective of modern philosophy, can we know this is a lie, beyond a reasonable doubt? Is there any way for a third party to conclude it is a lie... to the level of evidence that would be required legally or by most companies? 

Well, that's why I mentioned invasion of privacy and being intrusive. On the one hand they'd want some hard science, so that takes medical tests to be sure. On the other hand, they'd want to look at personal expression to see how a person conforms to or ignores norms. That's what Jaskn described pretty well. Mix it together and a company might become fanatical as Nicky mentions, where all kinds of people are policed. Either that or they'd make no attempt to validate it, but instead make sure the company culture is set up so the only people who get a job already subscribe to their beliefs (like Jaskn's example of church communities).

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6 hours ago, JASKN said:

It occurred to me that there's a parallel with church communities. "All sinners welcome" at church, but it's really only those who accept the religious premises on some level. There's an unspoken line that is crossed if the ideology is threatened, and you will soon find yourself slowly shown the door via private "counseling" sessions, social shunning, etc. I've wondered how long a church would actually let me attend, openly as myself.

When I was in my late-teens to early-twenties, I went through a phase of seriously exploring religion. I considered myself an agnostic at the time, leaning heavily towards atheism, but I wanted to investigate some of the religions around me, to see whether there was anything there. I read the Bible, the Koran (or an English language version, at least), the Bhagavad-Gita, etc., and I attended some Churches and Bible studies. It was an interesting experience.

Wherever I went, I went openly and honestly. I was philosophically hostile to Christianity... and I made no bones about that, but I still tried to be respectful in every setting. I think I found most favor among the fundamentalists...? There was a non-denominational, fundamentalist church and the youth pastor there seemed to like me. I became something of the token non-believer of the group, and everyone seemed to enjoy taking a crack at trying to persuade me. (And from their point of view, the very fact of my attendance must have indicated something positive, I guess; like Christ was calling me to the fold, and I just hadn't realized it yet.) I was even invited to the pastor's Christmas party, which was a trip.

I also became good friends with the Lutheran campus minister at my college. He and I bonded over ping pong and philosophical debate; I was invited to do a reading at his church, went to sunrise services for Easter, went caroling at retirement centers with the choir, and so forth. He was a very good guy, warm and intelligent.

The only really upsetting experience i had during that time was with the Mormons. I liked them all individually well enough, but when it became clear that I wasn't going to convert quickly to Mormonism, their church switched out the missionaries coming to my apartment, with whom I had developed a rapport, and I found that off-putting.

I remain utterly hostile towards religion, or perhaps moreso than I was at the time, but even as an open disbeliever my experiences among the religious overall were fairly friendly and enjoyable. (Probably a large part of this accounts to my "seeker" status and my youth at the time; if I tried doing this now, as a middle-aged Objectivist, I expect that my motivations would be called into question -- and perhaps with good reason! :))

Edited by DonAthos

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6 hours ago, JASKN said:

It occurred to me that there's a parallel with church communities. "All sinners welcome" at church, but it's really only those who accept the religious premises on some level.

Good point! In fact, coming off as not being a sinner may be far less welcome. Maybe this comes from my own specific experience, but I think the churches and church-goers I know would be more tolerant of an atheist than they would be of a fellow church-goer who insisted that he's lived the last decade without sinning.

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