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[SEAOC] Re: Affirmative Action

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Nigel Mends writes:
>>>>>Could it possibly be that a lot fewer females go into engineering in the
first place?  When I was in 
school ten or so years ago, we only had two or three females out of an
engineering student body of two or three hundred.  Of course, we wouldn't
want to let mere facts get in the way...

Response:  Twenty years ago, when I was in school, 1% of all PEs were women.
 My graduating class was 2% women at U C Davis, and most of us had been
influenced by the AA recruitment team.  I know this because I headed the SWE
group (all thirteen of us.)  Now, with the advent of AA programs, women
comprise more like 6% of all engineers.  Thank you for illustrating my point
with mere facts.

David Owens writes:
>>>>>Why can't you accept the fact that most women do not wish to be

Response:  Perhaps we need to address the reason WHY more men than women want
to become engineers - on a ratio of sixteen to one.  

Someone else wrote:
>>>>>Is it possible that discrimination starts at birth?  

Question:  What is the first thing parents of an infant are always asked?

Answer:  Is it a boy or a girl?

Qusetion:  Why do we care whether the baby is male or female?

Answer:  So we know how to treat the baby.  

Numerous studies by reputable universities show that girl children and boy
children are raised differently from birth.  Parents, teachers and other
adults treat them differently based soley upon sex.  Girls are not encouraged
to pursue "boy activities", in the absence of AA programs.

In fact, when asked about their competency in math/science skills, boys
consistently overrate their perceived skills and girls grossly underrate
their own skills.  I have seen this myself when I volunteer at grammar
schools for enrichment classes.  

Perhaps this is why we need AA programs to encourage 50% of our populace to
consider, and have hopes of succeeding, in our field of engineering.  And,
perhaps we all need to evaluate whether we are truly looking at the
qualifications and skills of each person when we hire or recommend promotion
- rather than the person's sex, skin colour, sexual preference, age, or

Linda Nott