[Linux-aus] Special support for women

Noel Butler noel.butler at ausics.net
Wed Oct 30 12:01:00 EST 2013

On 30/10/2013 10:27, Lev Lafayette wrote:
> Hi Noel,
> On Wed, October 30, 2013 11:05 am, Noel Butler wrote:
>> If you want the job, you must love the industry, so you learn the job,
>> for IT you need obviously have a passion for it, study hard, and prove
>> to prospective employers you are better than the next candidate,
>> regardless of your sex, I've been on interview panels where I elected 
>> to
>> hire a woman over a man, simply because SHE was the best candidate, I
>> have also hired a man over a woman, because HE was the best candidate.
> What about the references posted by Brianna and Jessica?
> The problem is that due to structural discrimination, due to our own
> internal and often unrealized biases, is that less than optimal choices
> are made regarding gender etc., even in circumstances where formal
> equality exists.
> This has costs involved, not just to the individuals concerned in the
> transaction, but to everyone who misses out on having (for example) a 
> more
> optimal candidate selected for an IT position because of these biases. 
> As
> this has a social cost (c.f., externalities) legal systems can and do
> intervene to rectify this.

I'm not saying its a perfect world, I know of people who have hired 
because someone was "hot"  (their words) and know of some who have 
problem hiring women because they have little kids and concerned about 
loss of productivity through their absence. I know of some who avoid 
hiring anyone under 25 (reason SHE gave me was they are mostly still 
immature party brats who call in sick with hangovers)

But not all HR officers, employers, managers, or members of hiring 
panels are sexist.

You cant make someone learn an industry if their heart is not in it, the 
chances of them leaving are high, the chances of them bludging are 
higher, the cost to the business is high - I've wasted time looking for, 
sifting through and short listing, interviews, and engaged a person, 
then train that person on our local policies and ways of doing things, 
that process can often be 6 or so weeks (of lost time) so when they 
leave,  I have to start the entire process again, wasting another 6 or 
so weeks, not to mention the overtime and excess work others in the dept 
need to do to make up for being down a team member, which also affects 
their families, as it adds more pressure on them not being home until 
late, or even part of weekends where they could be out spending it with 
their kids at sporting events etc.

So, it plays a very important part in an interview when finding out why 
someone wants the  the job, how they got interested in (say for eg) IT. 
If people want to work in IT, they need to have the passion, same if 
people want to code, they need to have a passion for it.

If I was a betting man, I'd say there is no-one here who got into Linux 
admining or coding, from scratch, simply because they thought there was 
a sexual imbalance, we are all here because we love what we do.

I can tell you now I've scored 0 a number of people who have said crap 
like " oh I was  unemployed for ages, so looked at a tafe course, and 
chose IT" when asked when was this, they reply "oh 6 months ago" - GTF 
outa here is my 'under the breath' response if they are over 20, if 
under 20, a few more nigly questions are shot their way, to make sure 
its what they really want to do since I accept most school leavers dont 
really know what they want to do until they hit the end of their teens, 
so I am more forgiving on someone under 20, but that said, the risks are 
just as equal.


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