Re: @Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells
'"I'm frankly surprised that you seem to think it okay for women to be alienated by toxic boy's club IT work environments"- assumes they are."'
Not everywher, but a fair assumption, and a situation I have experienced personally (at a company that shall remain anonymous).The few women techs - they tended not to hang around for very long - were quite upfront about their experience. Anecdotal, sure, but look around. And talk to your female colleagues.
'"whether societies might be better off if those effective barriers to participation were lowered."- to lower would require action'
That, in response to my "[I am] not proposing that we actively attempt to change the course of women who have chosen to move away...". Seriously?
But yes, lowering barriers of prejudice may well require action. Action like, ooh, maybe education? Protest? A little empathy, consideration and plain good manners on the part of some men?
'"But people can, of course, also change social attitudes."- which would require action.'
Ditto. But not top-down coercive action, and again twisting my words regarding the "action" I was not proposing.
To put it as plainly as I possibly can: I was not, and am not proposing that we take action to coerce those women who choose, or have chosen different paths, into the industry. On the other hand, I have nothing against action to lower social barriers to entry of women into the profession - action in the form of education, for example. I really, REALLY, do not want to have to reiterate that.
"These are only some very selective pickings from your comments and I may have them out of context ..."
Yes, you did :-)
"... but thats how they read to me."
I'm going to have to put that down to some stubborn misperception of me on your part.
"This is why I am trying to find out why you want to look for a problem because reality doesnt meet the 'expectation' you have of gender balance."
"Gender balance" is not my "expectation". My "expectation" is that women not be discouraged from entering a profession through gender stereotyping and archaic social attitudes.
"I find that a very odd question. Not invalid just odd. That kind of question of why anyone does anything and why people have preferences or motivations. For understanding thats one thing but I always imagine it to be for 'nudging' behaviour (such as adverts)."
I find that a very odd answer. Okay, I've just said upfront that I would like to see the end of gender stereotyping, etc., etc., simply because those things make all of us poorer. To achieve that requires understanding, and to understand requires, amongst other things, asking questions.
Are you completely devoid of idealism? Are you blind to social ills, or just happy to accept any status quo because "that's the way it is"? I don't know... I was born and grew up in South Africa under the Apartheid system, so perhaps on the one hand I'm just hyper-sensitive to that kind of thing, and on the other hyper-aware that change can be achieved.
"When I hear gender imbalance I immediately assume personal choice."
Perhaps you need to think a little more deeply about what "personal choice" actually means in practice. We do not make choices in a vacuum, but rather in a world of social pressures and constraints.
"Depends how broad we wish to call external coercion. If it was so easy parents wouldnt have such difficulty getting their kids to get a job and do stuff in the place they live."
Sorry, but in the context of what I wrote that is just disingenuous.
"And yet the measurements taken are of boys and girls exposed to these same topics and choosing different interests as they experience different subjects."
Again disingenuous. Have another read of that Swedish report.
"Is that [barriers of gender-stereotyping and societal prejudice] there though?"
Yes. Have another read of that Swedish report.
"... but this assumption of social prejudice assumes some barrier being enforced too."
I'd say that left to their own, social barriers seem to be quite stubbornly self-sustaining. (Of course there are always those who, for whatever reasons, will be happy to encourage their enforcement too.)
"As we agree there doesnt seem to be a 'capability' issue here, its a preference issue. I assume people are free to choose unless demonstrated otherwise and you seem to assume its being forced on them."
I refer you back to my comments on what "free to choose" means in practice. Choices do not necessarily require overt "force" to be skewed. Differentials in opportunity and social attitudes can be very effective at skewing "free choice".
"That assumes they are being excluded or made less welcome than the males. Again I havnt seen evidence for that."
What can I say? I have. Certainly the "less welcome" part. As for the "exclusion", well I think we've been over that - it's not exclusion in the sense of "you're not allowed here", rather as a more insidious "well... if you really have to... but this is not really for you...".