Survey is one part of story. And observing things happening in real life is another part. Survey may indicate bias. However, in real life, I have not seen it to be true. In contrast, I would say, they get special treatment from most colleagues.
I'm not conviced that a glass ceiling exists for women. All the points you make are true, but in the end, corporations do try to put the right person in the job. If one person works harder and produces good results, that person is more likely to advance. The situation I was in had a higher percentage of men, so that contributed to the number of men that would advance versus women. I also saw that many women at some point no longer wanted to advance. The number of hours that would have to be dedicated to the next level were more than she wanted to put in. Of course, many men also felt this way and would stop advancing. And then there was the peter principle, that people would rise to their level of incompetence.
Thank you for answering my question. Interesting. So, you noticed more of a difference after the hiring process. in your opinion, does the "glass ceiling" exist for women in STEM careers? And if so, what characterizes it and what causes it...are you saying it might be lack of ambition or because women may need more time off or have more familial duties (often called a "second shift") than some of their male counterparts? I have heard from women who worked in corporate environments in the 1970s and onward, that some men treated them differently and used subtle tactics to intimidate or not include the woman, for example, keeping the woman out of the loop even though she may be in a position of authority. (My experience is there can be both "old boy" and "old girl" networks so it works both ways.) Of course, it's better to focus on the work than politics, and engineering profession seems more focused on making a product. Your insights may be most helpful here.
Susan, in my experience, women and men were on an equal footing during the interview process. In the two large companies I worked for, pay was equal for men and women starting out. There was also a push to promote women faster than average, so they actually had an advantage. In the long run, men tended to put in more hours on the average and would tend to do better over a career.
Yes, actually, i've heard people say that the autistic person really has the advantage in tech. Someone who will live at work and not have a social life....that kind of thing. Lack of social skills of course only goes so far. (Getting into management often requires a smooze-factor. You have to be presentable and marketable and sell yourself to get into management in some companies...and / or -- depending on what leadership values -- you have to be able produce a successful product. That's a whole other conversation...).
Thanks Daleste. You alone have probably done a lot for women in STEM, by hiring women. Thank you for that. So, do you feel that if the woman has the skill/know how in electronics, she'll get the job or is just as likely to get the job? The playing field is equal? If anything, women may be considered cheaper than certain male counterparts. Women usually make less, don't they?
Interesting observations, but I think that a prosepective sweat-shop employer could find "problems" with potential employees of any age group or either gender. "Geeky young men," as you call them, might be perceived as having no personal life and able to just work/sleep/work. The same could be said for geeky young women. But neither has much experience, and in just a few short years, they are no longer those same geeky young men and women -- they start thinking about starting a family and doing more with their lives than just work.
For those of the family-raising age, roughly the 30s & 40s, there are the "distractions" of raising children, that tend to inhibit the willingness of employees to do nothing but work/sleep/work.
Then by the time the kids are grown & out of the house, the employee may experience age bias. He or she is very experienced, and ironically now at a point in life where focusing more intensely on work & career is a more feasible possibility, but they may be perceived as too old or too expensive.
It is a cynical view to say that "what a lot of companies are looking for are employees that have no outside interests whatsoever so they can spend every minute of their lives working for the company." I am sure some companies fit that description, as I am also sure many do not.
Which ones do you think attract the best employees?