En anställd på Google fick sparken för innehållet i en promemoria om könsskillnader. Men få tycktes intresserade av sakfrågan och desto fler av att hitta sätt att förlöjliga sina meningsmotståndare.
This week, headlines across a diverse array of media outlets proclaimed that at least one Google employee was so antagonistic to women that he circulated a 10-page “anti-diversity screed."That is how Gizmodo characterized the now infamous internal memo when publishing it Saturday. Similar language was used in headlines at Fox News, CNN, ABC News, the BBC, NBC News, Time, Slate, Engadget, The Huffington Post, PBS, Fast Company, and beyond (including a fleeting appearance in a headline here at The Atlantic).But love or hate the memo, [...] the many characterizations of the memo as “anti-diversity" are inaccurate.
In conclusion, based on the meta-analyses we reviewed above, Damore seems to be correct that there are “population level differences in distributions" of traits that are likely to be relevant for understanding gender gaps at Google and other tech firms. The differences are much larger and more consistent for traits related to interest and enjoyment, rather than ability. This distinction between interest and ability is important because it may address one of the main fears raised by Damore’s critics: that the memo itself will cause Google employees to assume that women are less qualified, or less “suited" for tech jobs, and will therefore lead to more bias against women in tech jobs. But the empirical evidence we have reviewed should have the opposite effect. Population differences in interest may be part of the explanation for why there are fewer women in the applicant pool, but the women who choose to enter the pool are just as capable as the larger number of men in the pool. This conclusion does not deny that various forms of bias, harassment, and discouragement exist and contribute to outcome disparities, nor does it imply that the differences in interest are biologically fixed and cannot be changed in future generations.
(enl Usher & Cervenan 2005)
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