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Why Are Too Few Females in Robotics? Could It Be the Robots?

WhitWhit Posts: 3,931
edited June 2015 in Robotics Vote Up0Vote Down
Why Are Too Few Females in Robotics? Could It Be the Robots? - Robotics Business Review
Of the 444 robot builders representing 24 robot entrants only 23 builders are women.
http://www.roboticsbusinessreview.com/article/why_are_too_few_females_in_robotics_could_it_be_the_robots/
Whit+

"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - Walt Disney
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  • twm47099twm47099 Posts: 654
    edited June 2015 Vote Up1Vote Down
    Whit wrote: »
    Why Are Too Few Females in Robotics? Could It Be the Robots? - Robotics Business Review
    Of the 444 robot builders representing 24 robot entrants only 23 builders are women.
    http://www.roboticsbusinessreview.com/article/why_are_too_few_females_in_robotics_could_it_be_the_robots/

    I found the article to be very strange and somewhat offensive. Is there really a need to make a machine have a gender? Humanoid has some advantages, but in most cases more disadvantages. If I was in hospital and woke up to a "female" robot hovering over me I'd probably start screaming wondering when they planned to start harvesting my organs. Maybe once we have Asimov robots living among us it would be important to give them gender and personalities, although the kink factor starts to go up quite quickly. I looked at the Valkyrie robot noted as being a "female" robot, and does a hard plastic "chest" and stereotypical hands-on-hips nagging wife pose really get young women more interested in robots?

    The comment that the CMU team should have had a "token" female was offensive, but if the article was tongue in cheek it would almost make sense as the type of humor attempted in the link in erco's post above.

    Should Parallax reissue the ActivityBot as model m and model f (blue & pink, or with a one piece / two piece bathing suit, or crew cut / pigtails accessories? -- free use license if they choose to do so.) Of course the folks building the ABot may decide to dress-up their robot, but that's part of the fun of designing/building.

    The big question is why to young girls seem to enjoy robots (parallax site news page), but don't play at the college level? Do we just have to wait until the younger generation grows up, or is it similar to boys & model trains from my generation - love them before puberty, but then hormones take over. Then once hormones are more under control interest may come back (or be replaced by other big boy toys)?

    Tom
  • Carol HazlettCarol Hazlett Posts: 292
    edited June 2015 Vote Up1Vote Down
    As a women in robotics I find it strange also. I have no special insight as to why. From my own experience though I can not totally blame it on gender discrimination or society bias. There is a lot of that around and an important issue but I have found it very hard to get other women even interested in trying to do robotics. Even women who come up to me and ask me about getting into robotics often end the conversation with a statement about how they still don't think they could do it anyway. I have gone as far as giving several of my BOE-bots away to get some one started and find later that they did not even open the manual. The women I meet who do not ask me about robotics say that's nice when told what I do and go catatonic if I keep talking about it. In my own family my Mother, daughter, and three grand-daughters have zero interest in any of this! As all of you know who are involved in robotics in any way, we are often asked "How do I start?". My favorite answer is to tell them about the BOE- Bot. I usually explain or demonstrate if I have one with me the documentation walks them through every step of building and programming to a completed and working robot. Everything they need from software to hardware is already in the kit. I truly believe that someone who knows nothing about electronics, mechanics or programming can successfully build and program a BOE-Bot. Not because it is too simple, it is not, but because the documentation and online sources are so complete and extensive. I usually send them to Fry's to get one as pretty much everybody knows where the local Fry's is. Dad's and young men will often follow my follow my advice but so far not a single female has ever done it. I do not know if it is because they don't want to try it by themselves or if they are hesitant to try something so different or what. None of that has ever stopped me. One thing a lot of people do not realize is that my husband does not care much for robotics and is only involved when I sort of "prompt" him. He is trained in electronics and is a fairly good mechanic so he understands what I do and I actually talked him into building a line follower one year for Robothon but he is more content to be the official cameraman for Robothon. Why most women are so hesitant about this I have no clue. Maybe the changes in society in general that are starting now will change the attitude of the women in the future.
    Carol Lynn Hazlett
    carolhaz391@gmail.com

    In the birthing of any machine there is that moment when it actually works. It is always fresh and astounding for me...............Red Whittaker

  • prof_brainoprof_braino Posts: 4,312
    edited June 2015 Vote Up1Vote Down
    The real question should be "why are there so few PEOPLE in robotics?". Whether there are more male or females is moot when the total combined is still negligable.
  • Duane DegnDuane Degn Posts: 10,002
    edited June 2015 Vote Up1Vote Down
    Are there too few females in robotics? If any women are being excluded which wish to be involved in robotics then the answer is yes. However if all the women desiring to be involved in robotics are involved in robotics then I think the answer is no.

    I'm not in favor of forcing women into the field to please a social scientist. Nor do I think excluding men from the field is a good option.

    I personally think men and women are different. I think the biggest difference between the sexes lies between the ears (in the brain).

    Little children self segregate among the sexes. I don't think little boys like to play with toy guns and little girls like to play with dolls because society is telling them to do so. I think there are lots of traits which are hardwired based on one's sex.

    I've notice just about all kids like to build things with Lego. However this desire is not equal between the two sexes. In general boys appear to enjoy making things with Lego bricks more than girls do. Of course not all boys like to build with Lego more than all girls but on average boys tend to enjoy this activity more than girls. Is this a bad thing? I think not. I do think it would be wrong to prohibit a girl from from pursuing an activity which is generally considered a male activity.

    I think girls should be given every opportunity boys are to build robots. I don't think girls should be forced to build robots.
    Whit wrote: »
    As long as women are not paid the same as men for the same job - something s fundamentally broken.

    I think you'll find a lot people (myself included) not willing to grant the premise behind this statement. I thought the whole "pay gap" disappeared once one factored in the different choices made by men and women.

    I think the only way to insure men and women are paid the same is to create a dictatorship which prohibits people from choosing how they live their lives (and removes a woman's ability to bare children).

    More women now go to college than men. Should we stop them so things are equal? I think not. Unless we're willing to change humans into some sort of androgynous species, I think men and women will make different choices on how they spend their time and which careers they pursue.

    I think girls should be encouraged to pursue STEM subjects. I also think boys should be encouraged to do likewise. I don't think we have to feel bad if equal numbers of boys and girls don't end up pursuing these subjects as long the choice is freely made by the individuals.
  • Duane DegnDuane Degn Posts: 10,002
    edited June 2015 Vote Up1Vote Down
    I'll rearrange your statements a little.
    Whit wrote: »
    Not trying to start an argument. I just really don't get it - as a husband or the father of a daughter.

    I'd prefer to think of this as more of a friendly debate. I like to think my mind is open to change. When I was young I knew all the answers as I grow older I realize I don't know anything and my opinions grow less emphatic.
    Whit wrote: »
    Hard for me to believe that equal pay is still a controversial subject, but it is (that is why we don't have it).

    I agree men and women are not paid the same but I don't think there is anything sinister or "broken" about it. Few women chose to be truck drivers. Women often choose jobs which pay less. Many women don't place a high priority on careers.

    Once one adjusts the figures for choices women make the difference in pay disappears. At least this is what I've heard from talk radio shows on NPR (and I think NPR is kind of liberal). I don't have links to the studies quoted by the sources I've heard but I'd be willing to try to find them. I'd also be interested in seeing studies suggesting women are paid less by virtue of being a woman and not for the choices they make.
    Whit wrote: »
    I don't know any women who would choose to make less for equal work.

    Nor do I. But I do know women who would choose different jobs than men. I think it's important to include "equal work" when comparing wages.
    Whit wrote: »
    And no man would want to be paid less for any choice about when he decided to work or not work.

    Agreed, men don't want to be paid less. I think a man would likely make less money if they were to limit their job choices to occupations women tend to limit themselves to.
    Whit wrote: »
    Why would we punish those with the vastly more important task of giving birth, which (incidentally), men have something to do with too.

    Do we punish them? I know I've seen lots of examples of women who take their maternity leave then come back to work only to leave a few days later because the desire to care for their child themselves to stronger than their desire to continue working. There are lots of women who don't have the financial resources to make this choice but I think when leaving work is an option many women choose this route.

    Should not paying women for not working be considered punishment?
    Whit wrote: »
    Would we pay men who choose to be fathers any less because of that choice?

    It depends. Does the father still work? If not, then yes they wouldn't get paid. Does the father limit his career choices in order to spend more time with his family? If yes then he probably gets paid less.

    I don't understand the "Would we pay" part of the question. "We" generally don't get to decide who gets paid what. The only time I get to decide anyones wage is when the person is working for me. I rarely have more than two employees (more frequently the number is less than one) but I certainly don't want to pay someone to be a parent. I want to pay someone to make me money. I was certainly willing to work around someone's schedule when the employee was a parent (I think I've only hired one parent, my employees are usually high school or college kids).

    I think it's the market forces which determine the pay of people. If businesses could hire women to do the same work as men for less money I don't think there would be many men employed.

    I'm willing to listen to counterclaims. If someone knows of a study suggesting women get paid less for equal work I'd like to see a link to it.
  • rod1963rod1963 Posts: 752
    edited June 2015 Vote Up1Vote Down
    As long as people are free to choose what profession they want, there is no problem.

    The problem arises when some people arbitrarily think that profession x should y amounts females and refusing to take into account differences in the sexes as far as work choices are concerned.

    In general few people go the STEM route, the course work is hard, there is a nasty cull rate and unless you really like doing tech work and sitting in a windowless cube farm 10 hours a day, it's not for you.

    Even for a lot of guys it's not attractive.
  • Duane DegnDuane Degn Posts: 10,002
    edited June 2015 Vote Up1Vote Down
    Whit wrote: »
    This is pretty balanced and presents both arguments well. It also addressed the science/tech field gap...


    I'm not willing to concede the video is balanced but it probably does accurately state the pay gap. It does absolutely nothing to support the claim women receive less for equal work. As the video points out women make different choices than men regarding their careers. I not certain of it, but I think these choices are the cause of the pay gap not some broken system.

    I think the close in the pay gap was caused by the changes in the decisions people have made. I don't see how the gap could ever close completely as long men and women tend to make different life choices. Based on the graph it looks like the gap may be as small as it's going to get unless humans become an androgynous species (BTW I vote NO on the androgynous species option).
  • ercoerco Posts: 19,186
    edited June 2015 Vote Up1Vote Down
    Robotics is all about control and appeals to those who like to be in control, i.e. "Look what I can make this thing do!" If the desire for control is a predominantly male characteristic as opposed, say, to cooperation, perhaps that might explain the gender imbalance.

    Then I know a lot of wives who would br GREAT roboticists.

    "Yes, Dear."
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • RS_JimRS_Jim Posts: 1,172
    edited June 2015 Vote Up1Vote Down
    erco wrote: »
    Then I know a lot of wives who would br GREAT roboticists.

    "Yes, Dear."
    ROFL
    Jim
  • rod1963rod1963 Posts: 752
    edited June 2015 Vote Up1Vote Down
    UserName brings up a very interesting point. Not all electronics hobbyists are interested in robotics or even a sizable percentage, I've been doing electronics, auto mechanics and metal working as hobbies for 30 years and never once was I really interested in robotics. Even most of the engineers I worked with had zero interest in them as well and these guys were specialists in terrain following missiles and into sensor fusion, real time data acquisition and such.

    So it's more than just females aren't interested or how robots look.

    Hobby robotics isn't that interesting for most people.
  • Carol HazlettCarol Hazlett Posts: 292
    edited June 2015 Vote Up1Vote Down
    Has anybody noticed that even in this discussion on women in robotics there are not many women? I do feel a little overwhelmed by all the so adamant opinions of you guys. If I have any validity at all in this discussion as a woman and based on my interactions with other women in my 68 years on this planet, it really, really, boils down to, girls like to play with dolls and boys like planes and trains. It has always been different for me and I do not know why because I am not a "tomboy" but have always been more interested in science and technology. I don't think it has anything to do with nurturing either as my brothers have not the slightest interest in any of this.
    Carol Lynn Hazlett
    carolhaz391@gmail.com

    In the birthing of any machine there is that moment when it actually works. It is always fresh and astounding for me...............Red Whittaker

  • Interesting discussion so far.  I think in conjunction with what was said about google results re: military, women in the engineering field don't seem to be as willing to be "out there" with their projects as men do.  My main example is in our ZombieTech podcast - where we interviewed scientists, engineers, inventors, generally cool people and talked to them about their projects and careers, and loosely tied it to how their careers/expertise would help humanity survive the zombie apocalypse.  
    I did the recruitment for this and realized that all of the guys I asked were totally on board with it, thought it was a great idea, and we'd have awesome conversations.  Even if they were busy at the moment, they'd say, yeah! let's talk in a couple of months!  At some point I decided we needed to even the gender ratio out a bit and asked about 6-8 female engineers to come on and talk about their work.  Not ONE agreed.  "I'm too busy" or "This doesn't seem serious enough" or "How many listeners do you have?" or "Talk to my publicist".
    I should mention, we had, prior to my asking these women, had a NASA/JPL engineer who had worked on the lunar module, had an author who was a 5-time Hugo award nominee, movie director, software engineer who had worked on Pixar's Renderman, ceos of countless tech companies (Voxeo, Random Hacks of Kindness, Tindie, OSH Park, etcetc).  So I'd like to think it wasn't because we were incapable of having quality guests.
    We weren't big enough/influential enough for them to spend their time on us.  As evidenced by their interviews with other large companies/podcasts a few weeks later.  A shame and truly a disappointment for me.  How can we as women say that no one acknowledges our accomplishments as engineers if we're not willing to talk to others about them!?
    So I think that, actually, there are quite a few women engineers out there, they're just not as vocal as their male counterparts. Or they may be vocal, but they are more selective as to who they're vocal to.  The audience has to be more influential/popular/whatever.
    I've since talked to other researchers and curators and they've found the same thing.  That if the engineer was a woman, you would have to prove to them why you were valuable to the further-ment of their career, or why you were worth their time.  
    This is certainly not the case with all female engineers, but I definitely came across this more with them than with the male engineers I asked.  What a shame.
    Addie
    Whisker is a hardware and wetware hacker, and produces geeky content on a daily basis. Atdiy is a cardiovascular nurse by day and an electronics n00b at night. Together we're the Toymakers (Tymkrs) and we post videos/blogs on electronics, DIY projects, and whatever else we happen upon! Visit us at http://tymkrs.com, http://zombietech.tv, and http://firstspin.tv! Our projects are on https://www.reddit.com/r/Tymkrs/ and you can chat with us daily at #tymkrs!
  • Whit wrote: »
    Who would not want to got to this? https://youtu.be/2WVnfg-5-5M
    Good video here too - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw_9t82qD60

    Well there's a chance they won't allow boys to go to it. I'm all for getting everyone, obviously including girls, more interested in Engineering. I just don't think the best way to do that is to exclude other groups, particularly due to something they can't choose such as gender. Sound familiar?

    That TED video was pretty terrible. One of the worst I've seen. Honestly my wife has an advantage getting hired because she is female and Asian, and companies want to actively diversify. She is a good Engineer, but being female and Asian gets her more attention, hands down.

    I loved the part where she said millennials want to do good, not build better rocket ships. I've heard a lot of absurd things from feminists but this one rates high on the absurd list. After she used quotes around "Math" and "Science" and that intro I tried to give her benefit of the doubt, but this rocket statement was just too absurd. Notice how she said bigger better faster rocket ship. It's clear she knows nothing about Engineering or its benefits yet she feels the need to diagnose it.

    How about world wide free internet? An abundance of rare earth materials? Hydrogen 3? Improved rocket efficiency will help with these and more. Efficiency. ISP, re-usability, cost.

    "We need to get that message out to our kids, to our second grade girls." She would have said it perfectly if she didn't feel the need to add on her sub category of people she wants to target for some sort of special treatment.

    I used to teach my nieces and nephews tech related stuff every Sunday before we moved. They all want to be Engineers, yes, including the girls. I didn't have to send my nephews to the other room and make my robots pink or put air quotes around words like Math and Science.

    I teach robotics for free in my house to any neighborhood kids that want to drop by. I had my maze solving robot at the family beach day. I had 10 boys standing around me. All the girls were getting balloon animals. They just aren't as interested. Who cares? Let them do what they like.

    She would imply this is due to my subconscious sexism. No. I'm happy to teach anyone and make then excited about Engineering. I'd be happier to have 11 kids than 10. If that extra kid happened to be a girl it wouldn't change me one bit over it being a boy. I just want more Engineers. Period.

    We need to stop focusing on categories of people and try to make MORE TALENTED ENGINEERS. These female only groups have always bothered me. It would be fine really (yet not, covered below), but when it comes down to it if someone tried to make a boys only Engineering group, it would be called sexist. Blatant double standard.

    Why are boys and girls only tech groups sort of wrong? That's not how the workplace works. Get everyone used to working together in Engineering. See what I did there? I just said it in a way that includes girls without having to be offensive and sexist by excluding other groups of people.

    I'm losing my patience for these groups that want to bring about "equality" by inherently using inequality. Boy scouts and girl scouts is one thing. Both genders get a group without much ridicule. But having a girls tech class that would likely reject any interested boys is just plain wrong. Obviously the same is equally true of a boys only group rejecting girls, I've just never heard of it happening and leftists certainly wouldn't condone it.

    Focus on making more *realnumbers Engineers, not making more [bandwagon]female, black, 6 fingers on right hand, rich, poor, gay, muslim, etc[/bandwagon] Engineers. More Engineers. Period.
    Founder of Kinvert
    https://www.kinvert.com/
  • What is your goal here with this?

    If you're trying to get girls interested in STEM it seems this is the wrong place for it. If they're reading Parallax Forums they're probably already interested.

    It seems better to get girls to the forum than posting such links in places where if they can see it, it doesn't matter so much, since they're already in to STEM (I'd think).

    Have you considered helping a First Robotics Team or something similar?

    Find places a lot of girls congregate and get them interested in STEM. Or maybe I'm not understanding your goal. I'm just a bit confused because these posts aren't fitting what I assumed your goal was.
    Founder of Kinvert
    https://www.kinvert.com/
  • For example I teach kids in my neighborhood Robotics and Programming. When my wife and I are out walking/biking, and see any kids (including girls) we invite them to my next workshop. That is helping get more kids interested in STEM (including girls).

    What I don't do is put post it notes in the capacitor drawers of a Radio Shack talking about how I don't think there are enough females in Robotics.

    My actions are fitting my goals. That's why I think I'm not understanding what you're trying to do.
    Founder of Kinvert
    https://www.kinvert.com/
  • I guess as a female in the field of robotics I will chime in again, but my opinion is only my own based only on my own experiences with other women I have met and worked with. Most women are not deeply enough interested in these things to put in the time and effort it takes to build a robot. They have other interests that they want to spend their time and effort in. In my age group (I am 68) they are very few and far between. Among the younger women there are more, especially in the high schools now. I think that a lot of women are now getting a more equal chance in education to learn the sciences and in the future we will see more women in the sciences. But that is the sciences in general. I think we tend to forget that up until now robotics was a field that very few people did seriously, male or female. Now it is the front and center science of our age and I think we will see an explosion of people of all sexes going into it. I started in the 1980's when there were not any robot kits to be had in the US and I had to buy them from Germany. MIT really started the popularity of robotics here in the US. Until about 8 years ago most of my friends, co-workers or relatives would get a deer in the headlights look on their faces if I started to talk about my hobby!
    One of the reasons I joined the Seattle Robotics Society was to have people to share with. But still, even with the open and welcoming atmosphere that the SRS provides there are only two other women in the club who are regular members and participate in building and programming robots. I see a lot of girls at Robothon from the high schools who are a part of a team but there are still very few who seem to want to do it on their own. In my own life I have never had the support of family or friends in this hobby. I was the kid in the basement who frustrated everybody because I did not want to stop what I was doing and had to be scolded to do my chores or play with the other kids. I am the same as an adult, my workroom is efficient and organized and the rest of my house looks like unsupervised teenagers live in it. But I also have a passion for crocheting, knitting and sewing and have won several blue ribbons at the Washington State Fair for antique reproduction doll costumes I have made and have written crochet and sewing articles for Dollcrafter magazine. My early interest in all things technical may come from the fact that my father taught electronics at Great Lakes for the last 12 years of his Navy career and I used to have draw schematics on the clear plastic sheets used in overhead projectors at the time. He built his first Oscilloscope from a Heathkit and I have been hooked on electronic kits ever since. Maybe it is simply a matter of what are the parents interested in? If a girl has parents where neither of them is technically oriented maybe she would not be either. And there is the issue of having children. When my children were growing up I had neither the time, work space or money to pursue this interest. Women give up a big chunk of their lives to raising a family, a hurdle that sometimes we can not ever get over. I am in my second childhood now and having a lot of fun playing with all my toys. I like to write and having been given the opportunity to write for Robot Magazine gives me a lot of the satisfaction of being considered as an equal that very few women are given the chance to feel. One important aspect to all of this that applies to men and women both is to not fear failure. I fail over and over again but I can not stop until I solve it. Some people can not do that, but to me it is part of the thrill.
    Carol Lynn Hazlett
    carolhaz391@gmail.com

    In the birthing of any machine there is that moment when it actually works. It is always fresh and astounding for me...............Red Whittaker

  • GordonMcCombGordonMcComb Posts: 3,361
    edited June 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I'm not sure gender identity is the reason more women aren't in robotics. More likely is far simpler than that: robotics encompasses fields that women have not historically pursued. It can take several generations to change that. Are we to assume that there aren't more women rockers because drum sets and guitars are too masculine? For every Karen Carpenter (she played the drums, for those not familiar with the 70s) or Heart, there are hundreds of all-male bands. This is the way it's been, and trends move slowly. It's not just rock and roll; in any orchestra there are established predominances in each section.

    It's taken a hundred years for women to make headway in the field of medical practice. In the "old days" men were the doctors, and women were the nurses. Now it's pretty common for your doctor to be a woman. It's been a slow drive toward this. We tend to forget how long this generational change took place.

    I think this is an answer looking for a question. Anthropomorphizing the generic robot is common among the population, but I cringe when robotics researchers do it. They observe a change in participation and acceptance when a humanoid robot is non threatening and gender-neutral, and conjecture what it all means in the larger world. Much of this is a learned response -- the evil robots in fiction tend to be dominant and towering male figures. From an early age, kids are accustomed to seeing the nice and gentle robots as those who resemble prey (cute kawaii rabbits with big soulful eyes) rather than predator (gleaming steel, red eyes). Society is conditioned to adopt this preference.

    We can't escape being influenced by the depiction of fictional robots. But I'm not sure everyone sees this field, as a career, in such black and white terms. I think if schools work on developing more females in the disciplines that go into robotics, you'll see more females in robotics. To me it's a simple formula. There are enough examples of all kinds of robots to encourage new students, regardless of their gender.

    Citing the stats of the recent DARPA challenge in Pomona to prove the point is misleading. American researchers tend to look at the statistics with American values, but not all societies treat gender the same way. Robotics research is an international endeavor, where Asian countries continue to dominate. In many of these countries, especially in the fields of engineering, there still remains very strong gender role identities. They don't build robots because it's not something "girls are supposed to do." It has nothing to do with not wanting to build male robots, whatever those are.
  • NWCCTVNWCCTV Posts: 3,629
    edited June 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I believe a small part of it is genetics. Before my dad passed away in 1963 he was an avid fisherman and was heavily into electronics. I inherited the electronics and although I enjoy fishing, my older brother is a very avid fisherman like our father was. Now, my daughter is into electronics a little bit but not into the robotics. She has no fear of tearing into a computer to repair it if she has to. I had high hopes for my granddaughter there for a while but she became a teenager, and, well, anyone that is a parent knows the rest of that story. My grandson seems to enjoy the robotics though which goes along with the genetics theory.
    Andy North

    My Index Page:
  • WhitWhit Posts: 3,931
    edited June 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    This is pretty balanced and presents both arguments well. It also addressed the science/tech field gap...
    Whit+

    "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - Walt Disney
  • Duane DegnDuane Degn Posts: 10,002
    edited June 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I was going to say something about men and women choosing different fields because of reasons other than societal norms but I'll leave that out of my reply for now.

    I just want to address the "soldier" search statement.
    Another example: There are plenty of females in the military, including now in combat roles, yet do a picture search for "soldier" on Google, and 99.9999% of them will be pictures of males. And then, remember that part of the algorithm Google uses to rank its results includes the percentages of users who click on those images. Google is just a machine, responding to what people are looking for. I guess it's pictures of male soldiers, even though the search doesn't include a gender.

    If there is one field which is justified in being considered primarily male it is combat. Women's bodies are not physically strong enough to endure the punishment combat training places on a body. Women's pelvises fracture if the run the same distance with the same packs as their male counterparts. The physical requirements for women have to be reduced in order for them to complete military training without being severely injured.

    If one wants a picture of a strongest warriors then one really needs to use a picture of a male soldier. It's not society's fault it's biology's fault.

    I know the search term wasn't "strongest soldier" but just "soldier" but I think the example of more men soldiers showing up in the search results is very understandable considering the huge advantage men's physiology gives them in combat over women.

    BTW, I think Adafruit is great too.

    I'm all for girls and women being involved in STEM subjects I just don't think it's reasonable to expect them to be interested in nearly the same numbers as boys and men (though I don't know if anyone here has suggested this should be the case).
  • WhitWhit Posts: 3,931
    edited June 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Duane Degn wrote: »
    It does absolutely nothing to support the claim women receive less for equal work. As the video points out women make different choices than men regarding their careers. I not certain of it, but I think these choices are the cause of the pay gap not some broken system.

    That is what I meant by it being a balance argument.

    The fact that a gap remains is the other side...
    Whit+

    "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - Walt Disney
  • Duane DegnDuane Degn Posts: 10,002
    edited June 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Whit wrote: »
    That is what I meant by it being a balance argument.

    The fact that a gap remains is the other side...

    Then we're running out of things to argue about debate.
  • ercoerco Posts: 19,186
    edited June 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I'm doing my part. Just yesterday, my twins came up to me and asked if they had any robots they could assemble. Yes, seriously! All I had to offer were some little plastic snap-together robot kits, but they assembled them quite happily!
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Duane DegnDuane Degn Posts: 10,002
    edited June 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Duane, You're entirely missing the point, which is there are women in the military, who are soldiers (and airmen and Marines and sailors), in and out of combat, and Google is reflecting the clicks users make. It reflects a societal perception.

    I do take it back about the 99.999%. Apparently it's 99.9998%. Within the first 50 images or so I saw one drawing of female solider in a scanty top, big breasts busting out, and in a sexually alluring pose.

    I didn't see the scantily clad soldier but I saw these:

    http://www.wallpapervortex.com/wallpaper-37428_soldiers_woman_soldier.html#.VYHQnflVhBc
    http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/paris-jackson/images/34365259/title/paris-jackson-army-soldier-military-parispic-fanart
    http://wallpaperbackgrounds.com/wallpaper/31668
    http://www.wallpapervortex.com/wallpaper-37427_soldiers_woman_soldier.html#.VYHRrflVhBc

    I know Google results are tailored to the user so we probably aren't seeing the same images.
    I typed "soldier" into the search bar and in the first 7 lines there were a total of 55 photos. Of these photos the gender of the soldier was only apparent in 48 of the images. Of these 48 images 45 were male and 3 were female. So I get 93.75% male. Though now I'm not sure what the point my contrariness was supposed to prove.

    I think I was proving I'm pretty good at procrastinating the things I should be doing.
  • xanaduxanadu Posts: 3,206
    edited June 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Women are smart. They're letting mostly men do most of the R&D that brought us what we have today. They're waiting for us to knock out the hard stuff so don't get too comfortable.

    Could it be the robot?

    I can think of plenty of reasons why it's the robot. What it does and the way it looks play very important rolls. The S3 should be a big hit, I think something like that is more attractive to anyone regardless of gender.
  • WhitWhit Posts: 3,931
    edited June 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    erco wrote: »
    I'm doing my part. Just yesterday, my twins came up to me and asked if they had any robots they could assemble. Yes, seriously! All I had to offer were some little plastic snap-together robot kits, but they assembled them quite happily!

    Way to go erco! You always do your part!
    Whit+

    "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - Walt Disney
  • User NameUser Name Posts: 1,451
    edited June 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I'm certainly male (I've got a wife, several kids, and a huge collection of motorcyles, high temperature furnaces, dangerous chemicals, etc) and yet I've never warmed up to robots - except for the ones that made my cars and trucks. So the question I would as is, "Why is anyone interested in hobby robots?"
    Platåberget
  • WhitWhit Posts: 3,931
    edited June 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Duane Degn wrote: »
    Then we're running out of things to argue about debate.

    ;-)
    Duane Degn wrote: »
    I think I was proving I'm pretty good at procrastinating the things I should be doing.

    What does that say about me? I started this thread! Back to work! erco's twins are getting ahead of us!
    Whit+

    "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - Walt Disney
  • WhitWhit Posts: 3,931
    edited June 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    User Name wrote: »
    "Why is anyone interested in hobby robots?"

    Now who's starting trouble?
    Whit+

    "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - Walt Disney
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 21,968
    edited June 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Robotics is all about control and appeals to those who like to be in control, i.e. "Look what I can make this thing do!" If the desire for control is a predominantly male characteristic as opposed, say, to cooperation, perhaps that might explain the gender imbalance.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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