In recent years, companies started to publicly release metrics about their internal demographics, often called "diversity stats". And I believe that this trend of releasing these so-called "diversity stats" is the catalyst causing it to become a misnomer.
I remember one year at Google, all of the "UX Designers" were "rebranded" as "UX Engineers". Shortly thereafter, Google began publicly releasing their "diversity statistics" annually, boasting 20% female engineers just this past year
. After nearly a decade in the GBubble, I can recall hundreds of engineering teams, just off the top of my head, but none that had more than one female software engineer, including my own, and most had zero.
Since Google says that they have 1 female engineer for every 4 male engineers, this must mean that there are hoards of engineering teams that have multiple or majority female engineers somewhere.
So where are these women?
And it's not just Google.
Many companies followed suit and publicly announced their own "diversity statistics", and now we generally expect, perhaps even require, at least the larger corporations to publicly disclose their internal numbers. And 20-30% seems to be the money spot, because I have yet to see anything less make the headlines:
"Company Hon Est. announces 5% female engineers."
Statistics, by definition, aren’t very insightful, when all the data in your dataset is identical, or you only have data from the companies with 20% female engineers.
And what’s this down here in the fine print?
If you’ve recently had LASIK surgery and your microscope handy, while reading Google’s diversity report claiming 20% female engineers, you may have noticed in the fine print that these statistics only included some 80% of their employees. I’m going to take a really wild guess and bet that over 80% of the excluded employees are men. I mean, can you really even call it "statistics" when you include (or exclude) data to match your premeditated outcome? That's more like "reverstics" than statistics.
By these standards, I had a 4.0 GPA in both high school and college.
(Fine print: This GPA is based on 80% of the classes I took.)
And I’m supposed to believe that it takes less than a quarter of a second for Google to figure out how many websites there are in the entire world that contain the phrase "phony diversity stats"... but it takes months (even a press release to announce delays), in order for Google to count the number of employees that are female engineers?
And what is all this madness about? The number of females in engineering is low. Almost single digits low. In the United States, 12% of engineering jobs are held by women. So those of us who passed 4th grade math are well aware that, unless every company has a 12% female engineering population, there are companies above 12% and also below 12%. So it's really irritating, and rather offensive, that every company claims to have 20-30% women in engineering. We need to put an end to this smoke show circus.
But even 20-30% is low, especially since women outnumber men globally. We don't need to be spending anymore time collecting "diversity stats", just so we can confirm what we already know: the female engineering population is very very low. So, let’s move on from the data collection phase and into the action phase, so that maybe 2019 can be the first year of the millennium where we have more females in tech than the year before.
And before we start making a new plan to increase the number of women in tech, we need to wake up, turn on our brains and utilize our abilities to reason logically (think: cause & effect). There are people, meetings, clubs, organizations, seminars, even entire departments at companies, solely dedicated to increasing the number of females in the tech industry. And yet, the number of females has been dropping nonstop since the 1980s. Clearly, our current efforts are NOT working and, as a whole our efforts have been detrimental to females in tech. So please stop. Whatever you've been doing to get more women into tech, please stop it. PLEASE STOP NOW. We need to stop everything, stop the hemorrhaging, regroup, make a new plan and start over. Because it's not the numbers, or claiming to support women in tech that matters, it's actually making the numbers go up and to the right that counts.