Aug 11, 2017

Expert: Gender differences in tech aren't about ability

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Among the many opinions of the infamous "Google memo" that surfaced last weekend, one notable commentator is social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, whom, coincidentally, the memo's author has cited as an influence in interviews.

  • Tackling the memo's claims about gender differences and tech jobs, Haidt and Heterodox Academy colleague Sean Stephens parsed relevant meta-analyses, "which are studies that integrate the findings from many other studies."
  • The most striking part of their conclusions: "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."
  • Another key conclusion: "This distinction between ability and interest is extremely important because it may lay to rest 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."

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