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Microsoft Blames Layoffs For Drop In Female Employees (cio.com) 182

itwbennett writes: This year, women made up 26.8 percent of Microsoft's total workforce, down from 29 percent in 2014, the company reported Monday. In a blog post discussing the numbers, Gwen Houston, Microsoft's general manager of diversity and inclusion, pointed the finger at the thousands of layoffs the company made to restructure its phone hardware business: 'The workforce reductions resulting from the restructure of our phone hardware business ... impacted factory and production facilities outside the U.S. that produce handsets and hardware, and a higher percentage of those jobs were held by women,' she said.
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Microsoft Blames Layoffs For Drop In Female Employees

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  • SJWdot. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @12:10PM (#50995123)

    This place is getting worst than Tumblr.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Man SJW has always been a thing, just nobody thought of a glib term for it before. You know... Civil rights, suffragettes, peace prize, conservation and recycling, some idiots wrote books like 1984. Oh noes... We would have been much better off building a society of Trump clones and slavers

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Those aren't SJW activities. Just saying, SJW's are much like Freedom Fighters. They fight real social equality, while advocating racism to fight perceived and often phantom racism.

        • Re:SJWdot. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @03:11PM (#50996711)

          Those aren't SJW activities. Just saying, SJW's are much like Freedom Fighters. They fight real social equality, while advocating racism to fight perceived and often phantom racism.

          This; One of the main things that SJWs struggle against is "microagression [wikipedia.org]". Here's the thing. Where discrimination against black people (in the USA) is a scientifically observed fact, measured, e.g. by many different experiments like sending the same CV with different photos, microagression has no science behind it at all. All the examples you look at will break down to two things - real discrimination ("oh - I'll put your son into sports class - black kids are always better at sport")- or a lost chance to explain something about your culture (cases like someone asking "oh - where are you from"; you could also include here "cultural appropriation" which is a terrible way of naming a bunch of different ways in which cultures cross pollinate and also misunderstand each other). It's actually mostly a way to attack different cultures where words have different meanings whilst often avoiding explaining to people what is wrong with what they are saying or, e.g. in the case of Germain Greer, trying to understand the rather advanced point she is trying to make (women are not simply men without penises).

          SJW could be characterised by extreme attempts to discriminate against other social cultures within the same grouping. It can be characterised by attempts to stop the speech of people who have different viewpoints and to block an interrupt debate and interaction between groups with different views about equality, society and relations between people. SJW is a right wing (or extreme left; approximately where the political circle meets at the point of totalitarianism) reactionary grouping which should be seen as closer to the neo-con / neo-liberal / stalinist thinking than to anything which looks for social equality.

          • While I agree with most everything you're saying here, I've begun to notice that just like the term "Race Card", the far right is beginning to use "SJW" to shut down serious discussion over real issues - or any topic that might lead to the conclusion that a extreme right wing ethos might not be for the best. This news in this article here shows that Microsoft largely is not hiring women in the U.S., but only for low paying, rote phone manufacturing work overseas, which they've been recently laying off. Pers

          • ... microagression has no science behind it at all.

            Microagresions is a well established scientific theory with literally (and I really mean literally) thousands of peer reviewed papers published on the subject, including many papers with objective measurements.

            Just because a subject goes against your prejudices doesn't mean that you get to falsely claim that it has no science behind it.

            • Sorry, but I don't believe you. And if there is, sociologists are not exactly what other scientists would call trustworthy, ethical, or scientific.
              • by imidan ( 559239 )

                A search on Google Scholar for the term 'microaggression' turns up 2,230 results for me at the moment. Not all of the results will be peer-reviewed journal articles, but many of them will.

                Apparently, the origin of the term:

                The term microaggression was coined by Chester M Pierce, who defined it as: ‘‘. . . subtle, stunning,
                often automatic, and nonverbal exchanges which are ‘put-downs’ of blacks by offenders’’ (Pierce,
                Carew, Pierce-Gonzales, & Willis, 1978, p. 66).

                I am

      • Civil rights, suffragettes

        Yes, those people advocated for social justice. Had I been born 100 years earlier, I would have been doing everything I could to support them. Random factoid: the suffragettes were compared to Amazon women in the newspapers of the day. I kinda like that.

        I'd think about helping out somehow girls in the worst parts of the Middle East being denied an education, but I'm afraid the problems over there go far deeper than just some civil rights issues for certain demographics. Maybe that's something for me to

        • Thank you. You have explained this very succinctly.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by epyT-R ( 613989 )

        Nice false dilemma. The SJW moniker is apt. It indicates how 'social justice' has become oppressive in its own right. However I give you props for at least implicitly admitting its marxist underpinnings.

    • Re:SJWdot. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @01:11PM (#50995721)

      Microsoft's general manager of diversity and inclusion

      I can think of another job that will be on the cutting block when times start to get lean for MS.

    • Can someone at least spell out that SJW stands for Social Justice Warrior, instead of forcing people to look it up?
    • Agreed.

      Bitcoin Monday
      SWJ Tuesday
      Microsoft / Apple Wednesday
      etc.

  • OMFG! There was a fluctuation of 2.2 percent in the female employees of a major corporation that has bizzilions of employees that come and go!

    This is a very disturbing trend, and I tell you I'm on the phone to Jane Fonda right now!

    • OMFG! There was a fluctuation of 2.2 percent in the female employees of a major corporation that has bizzilions of employees that come and go!

      No, it was because they cancelled the phone business.

      <sexist sarcasm humor> Clearly since they aren't working on phones any more, they don't need the women. They must have used the women to QA those phones so receptionists and secretaries would be satisfied with the phone's shape and comfort on the female face. Now that the phone division is closed they don't need the women any more. </sexist sarcasm humor>

    • Re:OMFG! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @12:37PM (#50995389)

      OMFG! There was a fluctuation of 2.2 percent in the female employees of a major corporation that has bizzilions of employees that come and go!

      The larger the corporation, and the less turnover it has in general, the more significant a small number is. If there are 49 employees, a 2.2% fluctuation is someone quitting. If there were 2 million employees, with say, 20% layoffs, that a 2.2% reduction between gender groups is extremely significant (p

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @12:14PM (#50995167)

    Who fucking cares al-fucking-ready?

    If women want a STEM career they will get one. Clearly they don't want them. Stop trying to artificially equalize something that has no natural desire to be equal!

    Where is all of the outcry about males being less than 10% of the nursing field in the US? https://www.census.gov/people/io/files/Men_in_Nursing_Occupations.pdf

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      If women want a STEM career they will get one. Clearly they don't want them.

      This is so mind numbingly stupid, yet brought up in every debate on the subject, that I can't even be bothered to refute it any more.

      Where is all of the outcry about males being less than 10% of the nursing field in the US?

      Try ask the American Assembly for Men in Nursing, and look up Mississippi University for Women v. Hogan. Don't people know how to google any more?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You answered a rhetorical question. He didn't really want to know where it was, I'm sure he had no doubt that there was *some* outrage someplace; and yes he could have googled it. The point to be made in posing that as a rhetorical question is that to get "women in STEM" outrage you don't have to google. It's served up on a platter every other day.

        This, despite the fact that demographics indicate nursing will be in high demand over the next several decades, and can't be outsourced. So sure, let's encour

      • Fair point for nursing. That is becoming less of a problem. See homecare providers also. I somehow got on a mailing list for a local nursing/homecare association, and they even have a spotlight for men in those professions.

        If women want a STEM career they will get one. Clearly they don't want them.

        This is so mind numbingly stupid, yet brought up in every debate on the subject, that I can't even be bothered to refute it any more.

        Would you please help me to understand why this is mind-numbingly stupid? Up above I talked about my various experiences mentoring women programmers. One was quite brilliant. However, the only woman I know personally who does programming outside of work is trans. There is something

        • AmiMoJo is the local SJW. He is fighting the good fight against everything anti woman. He doesn't care if it is women making the choice, they must be being forced out of the profession at a young age, we must force them to go into STEM as they are too simple and don't know better.

          He is fighting for equality, but only for women, who cares if there is sexism against men, men are tough, they can take it.

          • I am aware, but thanks anyway. SJWs like AmiMoJo are why I registered an account again. The red site might be where we all wind up in the long run, but for now, the discussion is here. I left after Slashcott when the red site became stable. (Well, actually /. didn't go in my hosts file until we got Brianna Wu's answers to our interview questions.) When I learned that one of my best apprentices was a feminist I kind of had a moment where up was down, left was right, short was long, and everything I knew

    • What a horrible comment to get an 'insightful' tag.
  • It's a difference of .2%, explained by any number of facts.

    She is creating a mountain out of a molehill. What real value does she provide? I'd fire an employee in that position making a nonsense post like this without a second thought.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Creating mountains from molehills is how these positions are created (director of diversity, etc).

      Why do you think that womens studies majors and culture critics majors and media studies majors are so obnoxiously loud about every retarded little invented thing? Because they have to gin-up their own business. They have to create outrages that only they are qualified to fix for your business, organization, or institution. Otherwise they have literally no employable skills whatsoever.

    • While correlation is not causation, it's a statsitically significant difference. Therefore, there is something separating those groups. It could be a confound (for instance, maybe the layoffs were limited to those with PhDs, and more women at MS had PhDs), but the test for "is the size of the delta worth talking about" passed.

  • While they are at it why not just get rid of the Diversity and Inclusion bimbo? I cringe every time I hear that term. The position should be replaced with General Manager of Competence. That person would be in charge of making sure that the company hires and retains top talent...regardless of their fucking gender or ethnicity.

    • Your advice is rejected for the following reasons:

      [x] It makes too much sense
      [x] It is politically incorrect
      [x] It has been tried before

      Seriously, if a massive layoff occurs in the construction field, the vast majority of those affected will be male. If a massive layoff occurs in the nursing field, the mast majority of those affected will be female. The underlying problem is that people continue to conflate equality of opportunity with equality of outcome.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      the company hires and retains top talent...regardless of their fucking gender or ethnicity.

      "top talent" is a code word for rich white people

      • by Pseudonymous Powers ( 4097097 ) on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @01:10PM (#50995709)

        "top talent" is a code word for rich white people

        "$TERM is a code word for rich white people" is a code phrase for "I'm too lazy to actually debate the case on its merits, so I'll just create an intentionally flawed argument and pretend like you said it."

        Not that there's not a bunch of racist sexist elitist assholes in the world, but you don't get to just glibly dismiss their points and pretend like you've won the argument. Well, I mean, you absolutely can do that, but it doesn't really count.

      • No - all it means is get the right person for the job. Gender and ethnicity are absolutely meaningless when evaluating skill. If the most qualified person happens to be an Indian female then, by all means, hire her. But the fact that she is female and Indian should in no way give her "bonus points" in the evaluation.

        I hire technical people all the time. If you can write code and get along with people then you're in. I could not give a rats ass whether that person is male or female or white or black or asian

        • Quotas may be justified as a court-ordered remedial measure to address an identified pattern of discrimination, meaning they should be limited in time. So there are limited valid applications for quotas, although in general I agree with your assertion that quotas are bullshit -- any company not hiring the best people for the position is hurting themselves, discrimination is a self-punishing transgression.
          • I just think that there are a lot of variables that contribute towards a given representation. For example, if a company gets 25 applications for a series of positions and 20 of them are men does that mean that they should hire equal number men and women to fill those positions? Maybe there were not enough women qualified, or even interested.

            Sure, if there are valid and provable discrimination then a limited remedy might be appropriate. But throwing a big wet blanket over the whole thing just doesn't seem w

  • Excuse me, but what I expect from corporations (where I am not myself a shareholder) is quality products. I don't give a damn, who they hire and why — as long as they don't enslave workers — and neither should anybody else. Mind your own business, people.

    FreeBSD project, to the best of my knowledge, has no females at all — though, at some point, one member chose to identify as one. (He had to announce it because of the name-change.) I doubt, Linux is very different. Compared to that, Micr

    • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Tuesday November 24, 2015 @12:44PM (#50995449)

      Excuse me, but what I expect from corporations (where I am not myself a shareholder) is quality products. I don't give a damn, who they hire and why — as long as they don't enslave workers — and neither should anybody else. Mind your own business, people.

      Maybe you don't give a damn about your fellow human beings but those of us who aren't sociopaths do. I want to see people get good opportunities and not be held down because they happened to be born with a different set of genitals or a different skin color. Glass ceilings are a real thing. Clearly you've never seen anyone bump into one but I have. These are real issues that affect real people and in a civilized society we care about what happens to them. People don't have to be enslaved for a workplace to be a very bad place.

      We have certain protected classes of people (gender, race, age, etc) precisely because there is clear and unambiguous evidence that if we allow discrimination based on those criteria that the results are bad both for society and for the individuals. The market demonstrably cannot fairly deal with this problem.

      • by mi ( 197448 )

        those of us who aren't sociopaths

        Easy with the name-calling. Please, don't hate.

        Glass ceilings are a real thing.

        Whether that's true or not, there is not one in Linux (nor FreeBSD) project. And yet, the ratio of females there is even worse, than at Microsoft.

        People don't have to be enslaved for a workplace to be a very bad place.

        If the free people willingly choose to work somewhere, then it can not be that bad.

        there is clear and unambiguous evidence that if we allow discrimination based on those criteria tha

      • And yet, to say that it's terrible that women are not in computer science in grand numbers and there is a glass ceiling -- substantiate that. I live and work in the USA and EVERYWHERE I have worked for the past THREE DECADES in software engineering and development across a number of industries - healthcare, telecom, internet security, and more - we have tried very hard to hire women and ethnic minorities for jobs. You cannot hire folks for jobs when they do not submit resumes. And this is what has happen
    • "Excuse me, but what I expect from corporations (where I am not myself a shareholder) is quality products. I don't give a damn, who they hire and why â" as long as they don't enslave workers â" and neither should anybody else"

      Wrong, wrong, utterly wrong.

      Corporations are corporations because of their Corporate Charter which is to be approved by the State Government. Since the State Government is the civil servant of the State's people, there you have everybody having their damn about what a corpor

      • by mi ( 197448 )

        Corporate Charter which is to be approved by the State Government

        False. Registering a corporation is not a privilege — it is a right. I don't need your approval to create one. My registration merely informs you, that I intend to do business as a corporation.

        everybody having their damn about what a corporation does and how from its very inception

        False. The only legal mechanism, through which our nosy government pretending to serve the busybody you can justify its interest in the corporation's internal

  • Hire people to make sammitches for all the other employees. That should drive the female employee rate way up!
    • I'd assume you were purely joking, in which case it's kindof funny, but with the way these comments threads go I'm worried that you might actually think "haha but really what are women good for otherwise?". So I don't know quite how to respond to that, and instead I'm going to harp on the other clearly ridiculous thing you said, ie. the part where you seem to be equating the rather great scheme of "sudo" with the vastly inferior "UAC". For shame!
  • ...is that the company they bought (ie. Nokia) did a far better job of hiring women in their offices around the world than Microsoft does in America, and thus when they went ahead and starting laying off the ex-Nokia employees that was enough to make a multi-percentage difference in employee gender composition? That doesn't really seem to let Microsoft off at all, it just changes the rote details of what they're on the hook for.

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