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Computer software is still way too male

Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Google’s new head of diversity has rejected an internal commentary from an employee who suggested women don’t get ahead in tech jobs because of biological differences. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

I assume you’ve heard about that long memo from a Google engineer who wrote that the reason Google has fewer women in tech jobs despite its diversity programs is because female biology just isn’t suited to stress.

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The memo also accused Google of silencing Conservatives. And since he’s been fired, I guess he had a point there.

I will confess I too used to wonder whether women could handle stress the way men can — right up until the day I saw my wife give birth without anesthetic.

So, I searched online for posts from female Google employees, and found that for some of them the stress is terrible.

“A constant fight to prove your competency,” one wrote.

But in terms of biological disadvantages it wasn’t about stress. It was about having to take maternity leave, or having to nurse during work, and seeing it looked upon as weakness.

“There is definitely a sense of a boys’ club and it’s hard to rise up if you take maternity leave,” one post read.

Too bad. Because computer software is still way too male. The attitude behind the average error message is: “Stop screwing up you dumb [bleep].”

Whereas if more women wrote software, the computer would say something like: “I’m going to try to look past your defensiveness and show you how to do this.”

But because software is male, it just freezes up, loses your work, and spits out some hexadecimal tantrum.

Now, I don’t know what it’s like to work with male coders, but I do know what it’s like to deal with some of the code those males have created. It wouldn’t hurt to have more women checking their work. Even if it means tolerating a little breast pumping.

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