It’s interesting how much hostility there is around talking about this sort of thing. When I replied with a comment to the original post, pulling some numbers out of the studies, with a comment saying that the numbers didn’t support the conclusion, I was immediately downvoted (-1, troll).
Now that this blog post has been publicized, the author of the post I’m responding seems to be running a twitter smear campaign against me, with a series of personal attacks and an appeal to authority thrown in for good measure.
I’d like to see a real discussion of the issues, but that’s not happening here and it’s difficult to see how it’s even possible.
Sorry for side-tracking here:
What is Engineering Technology, should it be include with Engineering?
Why are CS and IT lumped together?
Why are Bio/PhysSci/Science Technology(same question as E.T.)/Math/AgSci all lumped together?
I don’t know if these categorizations were yours or the original studys.
The categorization is from the original study. My post is actually pretty boring; there’s no synthesis or analysis, just quotes from the actual studies with some comments here and there.
Good question about engineering tech; I hadn’t heard of it myself until I did grad school at a place that offered EE and EETech degrees. In my mind, engineering tech and engineering folks have pretty much the same skillset. With EETech, there’s more of a focus on the practical and less on the theoretical.
For some strange reason, learning about solid state physics, combinatorics, and gauge fields made me a lot more employable, despite having little practical value in my professional life (combinatorics has occasionally been useful). Employers seem to prefer hiring folks with EE degrees to folks with EETech degrees, especially for higher level positions.
I’m sorry to hear that, Dan. I’ve upvoted you. Definitely appreciate the actual statistics vs. linkbait crap other people post online.
The Atlantic has a history of being a respectable print publication. For political science it almost reads as an “academic” publication. So it’s bonkers to see the kind of crap they run on their online properties.
Right now one of the headlines on theatlantic.com’s top headlines carousel is an ad for Dell (“sponsor content”) disguised to look like an editorial.
A few months back they published an advertisement for Scientology disguised as an editorial, creating a scandal. At this point I think we can sadly say that the publishing tradition that published As We May Think no longer exists.
I took a look at the AAUW study. It’s not really fair to say it makes “literally the opposite claim.”
What it does is present some evidence showing a gender gap in earnings, broken out by college major. This is the chart that the post reproduces.
Later, it presents a chart showing annual earnings 1 year after graduation, broken out by occupation, not major, and applying a bunch of corrective factors (which definitely seem debatable). This is Fig 8, which the post omits. In several fields, they find no significant gap for the cohort they studied, and Engineering is one of those fields.
This post focuses on the first chart, but it’s the second part that the author of the original Qz article is referring to.
I saw Fig 8, and I think it’s informative, but note that it’s normalizing for known factors, which includes factors that are partially caused by discrimination. If the original article had claimed that 2/3 of the gender pay gap was understood, I would have no problem with that.
But the title claims that the gap doesn’t exist (that’s the part that’s literally the opposite), and the text is a combination of claiming that it doesn’t exist and that it isn’t a problem because it’s understood. However, as the authors of the AAUW study go through and account for various factors, they explicitly note that some of them are partially due to discrimination. To make a claim that there is no gap is false. To make the claim that the gap is not a problem because we’ve understood that part of the gap is because of discrimination and don’t understand what 1/3 of the gap is from is not technically wrong, but it strikes me as a strange claim to advance. My interpretation is that the original article makes much stronger claims than that.