A Fifty Year Wave of Change
Subject:   Disappointed
Date:   2007-09-05 11:54:16
From:   lauras
Response to: Disappointed

I by no means consider myself as particularly insightful or having all the answers for this kind of challenge, and I agree with your comment to some extent, but when you write:

"We should be shouting from the mountaintops! At a minimum, we should be pointing out such hypocrisy every chance we get, as a unified whole; repeating such until we are heard."

...I'm left wondering "to whom"? Shouting at whom? Pointing out hypocrisy to whom?

The missing element in this discussion, to me, seems to be management. Management sets the tone. Management establishes the company values. When women are ignored or have men parachuted in to take over their projects, that's not on men as a gender -- it's on management. And maybe I'm just too cynical on this point, but if management already isn't listening, then is shouting going to do any good?

Being aggressive, developing a thick skin, standing up when you're disrespected -- these are the kinds of things that are needed in life to some degree, but all the more so in tech, it seems -- especially in the corporate world. And yet who's fault is that? I say it's management's. And not just male managers, because women managers can be just as culpable.

And yet there's that cliche that holds so much truth: Be careful whom you choose to be your enemy, for you will become (him). Is a frontal assault against management values in the corporate tech world really the best approach? Maybe.

What I like about this article is that it is more about the kinds of gradual change that happens when the entire culture changes, when the management culture changes. That's where the problematic attitudes breed, isn't it?

Being a Buddhist in spirit and one who tries to follow the Dharma, my job is on what I can do, not what others must do. (At least that's the ideal.) Leading by example. Doing it my way as a way to show others. And yes, even starting a company, a company that embodies these values and succeeds because of them -- these are things that I feel do make a difference.

It's not revolutionary. It's not going to change things overnight. But I feel that in some way it's just inevitable. Things will change because the tide is against the status quo.

(FWIW, I'm not pollyanna when it comes to enrollment figures in schools. I've been reading your blog for some years now, Shelley, and your thoughts on the problems with CS education are spot-on, imho. I look forward to your posting this month!)

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  1. Disappointed
    2007-09-05 13:10:01  Shelley Powers | O'Reilly Author [View]

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