2017/08/11/From a logical point of view
- when: 2017/08/11
- source: Crooked Timber
- topics: James Damore/Google's Ideological Echo Chamber
- keywords hiring practices
- link: http://crookedtimber.org/2017/08/11/from-a-logical-point-of-view/
- title: From a logical point of view ...
- summary: “To translate this into practical language, if the Google Manifesto was correct, then you would expect to see that Google was full of mediocre female employees, who had been hired by a process biased in their favour despite being inadequate to the task. Whatever the author of the manifesto thinks, Google does not believe this to be the case and as far as I can tell from industry blogs, it isn’t – female employees in tech are generally very good. This would, of course, be consistent with the hypothesis that the current selection process is biased against them.”
I’d note that this argument could also be extended to one of the author's other concerns about "ideological diversity" (mentioned in the context of Google, but most usually seen in discussions of university professors). If there were a genuine problem with a biased recruitment process, you would expect to see that the small minority of conservative professors were startlingly good and universally recognised as being so intelligent and productive of the best scholarship that they had got through the discriminatory process. One might call it the "Jackie Robinson Effect".
If, on the other hand, one had a situation where the writers of windy conservative manifestoes about not getting fair treatment were in fact mediocre whiners who inflated their CVs, then that would be evidence that there wasn’t a bias in the recruitment and retention system, and that in fact there was probably an inefficiency caused by the extent to which mediocrities were able to bump along because their face fitted in a homogeneous techbro culture. The concentration on star engineers, senior executives and Sheryl Sandberg C-Suite geniuses is entirely wrong; the progress of gender equality in the workplace ought to be measured by the extent to which women can get into the ranks of time-serving dead-wood middle management roles.
- h/t: Google+