The Torque of Social Justice

In a New York Times op-ed, Lina Nilsson bemoans the lack of women in engineering.  This has been a long-standing issue that seems to befuddle so many, given that our society has grown so dependent on scientific endeavors that the lack of adequate representation by gender produces a host of problematic disparities.

As Christina Hoff Sommers notes, one of the underpinnings of the wage gap between men and women is that women chose lower paying occupations, which are then grouped with better paying occupations to create the appearance of a gap.  Engineering pays pretty well. Neither majors in medieval poetry nor critical feminist theory follow a similar pay path in employment.  Go figure.

Nilsson kinda, sorta, offers explanations for the lack of women in engineering:

Why are there so few female engineers? Many reasons have been offered: workplace sexism, a lack of female role models, stereotypes regarding women’s innate technical incompetency, the difficulties of combining tech careers with motherhood. Proposed fixes include mentor programs, student support groups and targeted recruitment efforts.

Notably, she forces dismissal of the notion that women just aren’t good in STEM-type subjects by characterizing it as a stereotype.  Everybody knows that we’re not allowed to believe in stereotypes, because that makes us bad people.  Why it’s a stereotype, on the other hand, remains undiscussed, despite studies showing that women are stronger in verbal skills than men, and men are stronger in math and science, though not to the preclusion of women performing well enough to be engineers.

But maybe one solution is much simpler, and already obvious. An experience here at the University of California, Berkeley, where I teach, suggests that if the content of the work itself is made more societally meaningful, women will enroll in droves. That applies not only to computer engineering but also to more traditional, equally male-dominated fields like mechanical and chemical engineering.

Maybe?  Or, as philosophers might respond, maybe not.  Maybe the reason women do not pick engineering as a career is that they don’t want to be engineers.  Maybe, as Nilsson’s experience suggests, they want to make the world a better place because that does interest women (even though she indulges in the same sort of facile stereotype that she dismisses when it’s not flattering to women).

What that means is utterly unclear, as “societally meaningful” seems to be entirely dependent on what people feel about things.  There are a great many views as to what constitutes “societally meaningful,” and Nilsson neglects to define this phrase suggesting that it’s a fixed concept.  Perhaps what she means is that all women inherently get it, though men are clueless as to right and wrong, good and evil.  But so what?  Women are allowed to want what they want, right?  And so what if Nilsson keeps pigeonholing women in stereotypes, as long as they’re her preferred stereotypes.

But if a person, regardless of gender, is to be an engineer, then they must still learn the math and science required of the job.  No one wants to walk across a bridge built by an engineer who was more concerned that it served a societally beneficial purpose than it was capable of withstanding the torque caused by wind gusts.

Women seem to be drawn to engineering projects that attempt to achieve societal good.

At the interdisciplinary D-Lab at M.I.T., which focuses on developing “technologies that improve the lives of people living in poverty,” 74 percent of over 230 enrolled students this past year were women. This makes the D-Lab one of the few engineering initiatives in the country that has a severalfold higher enrollment of women than men.

That’s cool. There is nothing wrong with people, women, wanting to put their skills to use in ways they feel are societally beneficial.  But then, the 170 women enrolled in the D-Lab at MIT had already chosen engineering, and demonstrated sufficient strength and interest in the disciplines to be at MIT in the first place.

In other words, Nilsson relies on the endgame when the problem is the inflow of women into engineering.  After all, if women sought an engineering education in equal proportion to men, they would be engineers coming out of college in equal proportion to men.  Once they’re already there, where they prefer to apply their education doesn’t change the fact that they are already studying engineering.

What does all this show? It shows that the key to increasing the number of female engineers may not just be mentorship programs or child care centers, although those are important. It may be about reframing the goals of engineering research and curriculums to be more relevant to societal needs. It is not just about gender equity — it is about doing better engineering for us all.

And that’s where the fallacy of the logic goes off the rails.  What Nilsson is arguing is that women are the very stereotype she pretends they’re not, that women would be engineers if it felt like a more warm and fuzzy profession that was “more relevant to societal needs.”  It’s not that engineering isn’t inherently relevant to societal needs, because of course it is, but that the societal needs of which she speaks are the ones that align with feelings of social justice rather than the ones that keep tall buildings from falling down.

Be an engineer to feed the starving, to bring water to the thirsty, to build bridges in the underserved third world nations, create devices to eradicate tropical diseases.  These are all fine goals, and if an engineer’s interest is in putting her skills and education to use in these ways, great. You go, girl.

But you still have to first be an engineer.  You have to study all the science, all the math, all the drudgery that goes into possessing the knowledge and skills that make for a competent engineer.  And women, like men, have to first decide that this is what they want to go to school to learn.  There is no engineering discipline that focuses on appreciating social justice, with no need for learning the boring stuff like thermodynamics.

How Nilsson would alter the interest of women to study engineering rather than more “social” science remains a mystery. Perhaps she would put up posters in high school with pictures of starving women that proclaim, become an engineer and bring food to the hungry?  Would this interest girls in studying engineering?

What does not exist, however, is any cabal barring the door to a well-paying engineering career so that women cannot enter.  And what cannot be the solution is any watering down of the curriculum so that socially-minded women will be excused from the disinteresting aspects of the course of study, because they don’t feel it socially relevant.

There are about as many women students at MIT as men, because they get the pick of the litter. As for the rest, no one can force women to become something they don’t want to become.  And no one can create a path to engineering that is longer on social relevance than science and math.  That’s what being an engineer is, no matter how one chooses to put it to use afterward.  If enough women aren’t interested in learning engineering, then there won’t be enough women emerging from engineering schools no matter what carrot is on the end of the stick.

Does this interest women? I hope so, but it’s not up to me. It’s up to women. Women get to make their own choices, just as men do, and then they will be responsible for the same math and science drudgery that must be endured to become an engineer, even if they intend to put it to use for social justice.

60 thoughts on “The Torque of Social Justice

  1. John Thacker

    “And so what if Nilsson keeps pigeonholing women in stereotypes, as long as they’re her preferred stereotypes.”

    I find two elements in a lot of feminist thought; one is the idea that women are prevented or discouraged from engaging traditionally masculine pursuits, and that in the absence of pressure, would be essentially indistinguishable from men on a population basis. A second is the idea that traditionally feminine pursuits and virtues are devalued by society (and possibly superior.) It is possible to keep these ideas from contradicting each other through careful argumentation. However, it often seems to devolve into this sort of “any feminine stereotype which is positive is true, whereas negative ones are false.”

  2. David M.

    “What does not exist, however, is any cabal”

    It’s actually the other way around! An excellent study by Wendy Williams and Stephen Ceci was just published in PNAS that shows engineers (at least in academia) strongly prefer female candidates.

        1. Dragoness Eclectic

          And what’s wrong with that picture? Her face is more square than the idealized oval, and I’m not sure I’d pick that haircut with that facial shape, but she looks healthy, clean, well-groomed, well-dressed and has pretty eyes.

          I have no idea who it is, so I may be missing the joke, if there is one.

          1. Billy D

            It’s the eyes, dumdum. They’re utterly piercing. If you’ve never been involved with or experienced a
            b!tch, you wouldn’t understand. Us guys,… I think we recognize that look unmistakeably. Yes, your right-brained, gestalt orientated talents may be lacking
            somewhat, to paraphrase yourself. I myself find the picture riveting and unforgettable,… and appropriate in the context. At first, I thought it might be Dr. SJ, but turns out not to be. Whoever she is in real life, she’s wonderful!?! And a v. good model. Ha, and I don’t mean *maybe*.

            1. Billy D

              Of course it was, and you went for the bait. Gotcha! First Amendments R Us. Furthermore, I did NOT have sex with the [Ed. Note: Nope. Ain’t doing it.]

  3. William Doriss

    My oldest daughter is an employed electrical engineer, approaching retirement. That is what she says.
    Am unable to verify.
    I myself could not stand calculus in college and decided, for some ungodly reason, to major in Philosophy. I thought it was a *good idea* at the time and might be *easier* than any of the other majors offered. Needless to say, the only *job* for philosophy majors is teaching philosophy. Consequently, if you should have no desire to teach philosophy, or *feminist theology*, well you can always drive a bus or tend bar. In other words, you may be out of luck and have to find something productive to do in life.

    My ex-wife is/was an excellent modern dancer. (I hope she does not mind me going public with that little bit of info!) My other daughter is in the hi-tech, hi-wreck field as well. I have no idea what either one of them do in their respective endeavors, but trust it is *socially relevant*. What I want to know is, where did me and my wife go wrong? And when are our two brilliant daughters going to support us (in our *old age*)?

    1. SHG Post author

      I can’t speak to your ex-wife, but I have some thoughts as to where you went wrong. Propriety, however, precludes me from explaining further. The better question for me is how did your daughters turn out so well?

      1. William Doriss

        I do not know if they turned out “well” or not? I scarcely hear from them. That is what the Military-Industrial Complex cum Prison-Industrial Complex does to our beloved children. This is weird beyond belief. What is going on here? We raise our kids, send them to best schools; they get hi-paying jobs in Hi-Tech–or Big Law-Breakers, if you will–and we never hear from them again. Unbelievable!

        Forgot to mention above that–will try to make this short–that Philosophy was no cakewalk, and became mind-numbingly boring, if not incomprehensible. (Not unlike The Law.) Perhaps that is why some of us are addicted to SJ?!?

        All the best,

  4. Tim L

    I’m a software developer for a large company. Every now and then we’ll get a memo about needing to hire more female engineers, but recently the higher-ups seem to have realized that you can’t hire what doesn’t exist. There has been more of a push towards showing high school and elementary students what engineers do and providing math tutoring and scholarships to try to get more women into the industry.

  5. Richard McMasters

    “You have to study all the science, all the math, all the drudgery that goes into possessing the knowledge and skills that make for a competent engineer.”

    The word “drudgery” speaks volumes. You chose well in gravitating toward a legal career. Those suited for engineering do not consider the math and science to be drudgery at all. They might consider drafting a brief or reviewing documents to be drudgery!

    1. SHG Post author

      That was exactly the reason why I chose the word “drudgery.” If you have to put lipstick on the pig to make it palatable, it will be drudgery. If it wasn’t, there would be need to persuade anyone to pursue it in the first place.

      1. RB

        As long as the numbers all look equal in the end, who cares about the means, or whether everyone is well suited for their job, or actually happy?

        When I went to college, I largely interacted with those in engineering/mathematical/programming/networking programs. Both genders were well represented in the population that had little interest or ability in their field, and were simply there because of [the pig paint of] advertised salaries and placement rates. For those that were capable enough to get by, drudgery is the perfect word. It was an expensive exercise in frustration for those below the bar.

        1. Jack

          If you actually go to a school with halfway decent STEM programs where people aren’t just along for the piece of paper, both genders are not equally represented – not even close. I did Software Engineering just 6 years ago and our classes were about 70% overlapped with Computer Science and in the more than 100 people in those two programs, just 3 were female. In the 30 something that were in for Software Engineering, we had 1 woman who dropped after sophomore year.

          And it isn’t for lack of trying – my school gave out nearly even money between men and women for scholarships in STEM programs (and still do) and even with the relative ease of getting a full scholarship at my school as a female in a STEM program – they came up short. When you went to the endowment dinners, you would swear our engineering program was half women and half dirt-poor guys (private schools love to parade out the poors).

  6. spencer neal

    One of the things that I don’t understand is her phrase “societally meaningful”. I would think that the most engineering projects, like building bridges and highways, are societally meaningful.

    BTW most of my college training was in the fields of science and engineering before the math got too much and I chucked for a sociology degree and then a JD.

    1. SHG Post author

      I struggled with the same issue, though I kinda assumed it was a variation on the SJW vision of the world. I didn’t attribute that to her as that may just be my bias, but then, she did leave it as a gaping, open wound in her argument. Very un-engineering-like of her.

      1. Chris Ryan

        Quick note, I am a civil engineer so I only profess to understand engineers of my ilk.

        While Nilsson’s comment about “societally meaningful” is funny (to me), her comment (on the linked article) talking about how she “founded Tekla labs as a platform for “thinking creatively about ways to sustainably improve access to equipment and other physical infrastructure”” actually does a good job illustrating the issue. (side note, that sounds like a marketer’s and not an engineer’s statement)

        If civil engineers were highly creative thinkers, they probably arent civil engineers. The mindset that makes a good civil is usually a highly structured and orderly mind, and our job is to take existing solutions and make them fit todays problems. Until we can find a way to teach any child a specific mindset, outside of pure brainwashing, there simply isnt going to be a way to “force” girls into civil engineering.

        ps Every civil engineer I know would totally agree that the math we took in college is drudgery…well to be honest we have 4 letter words we prefer to use to describe it, but we can accept drudgery for now.

        1. SHG Post author

          IHTFP comes to mind, but it’s five letters. I have no problem with societally meaningful work, even though I assume everyone will interpret that phrase in whatever terms they feel to be societally meaningful. Then again, if it means “to sustainably improve access to equipment and other physical infrastructure,” that conjures up the images of the people trying to destroy 1800’s rowhouses on the upper west side of Manhattan because they all have stoops. Is that what it means? I can’t be sure, but if so, then I have a very different definition of societally meaningful then she does.

          Of course, when I was a member of the local planning board, I used to make our engineer cry because we constantly rejected his opinions. He never could understand that we were trying to preserve by making things more difficult rather than solve by making things easier.

          1. Chris Ryan

            but did you sustainably make him cry?

            show most engineers a series of 1800s rowhouses and he will enjoy building something “bigger and better” in its place, but he will get perverse entertainment from blowing it up first.

            I have no problem with societally meaningful work, whatever that means, but when I started reading some of her comments my eyes started to twitch. It reminded me of many many meetings with marketing and sales where all the engineers were simply wanting to skip “all those preliminaries” and just talk about what we get to blow up and build!

            Personally I am perfectly happy letting her, and people like her, play with their toys in academia and pronounce me as a sexist, as long as they stays off my project site.

            1. Patrick Maupin

              > but he will get perverse entertainment from blowing it up first.

              You shoulda been an electrical engineer — some of those get to build weapons systems. Civil engineers build targets.

  7. LTMG

    As an engineer I feel that engineering as a profession and universities do a poor job of selling engineering as a vocation. I’m reminded of the Army’s “Be All You Can Be” advertising that showed soldiers doing exciting things. Didn’t show any of the drudgery I experienced while in the Army. Nothing comparable or as widespread from engineers or engineering. All jobs have moments of excitement and of drudgery. Likewise, all training and education. On the other hand, there is the occasional ray of light. My department, Industrial Engineering, was one-third women among the 1980 graduates.

    1. SHG Post author

      In fairness, that’s because the Army’s alternative marketing scheme, “who better to die for than me” over a pic of Dick Cheney’s face, wasn’t working out very well.

  8. jill mcmahon

    I was a geology PhD candidate at UMich in the 1990s and we had to take a couple engineering courses for a distribution requirement. Athough I am passably good at math, PBK, Sigma Xi, and love organic chemistry, I quickly found out that I would only get low Bs in engineering classes. There were some procedures I was good at, others not so much. From casual observation, I would say that the guys in the class settled for whatever grade they got and ground it out knowing they’d be engineers in the end. The women, myself included, had a harder time shrugging the “not as good as usual” grades off. Had I been planning to major in engineering, I probably would’ve changed majors.

    1. SHG Post author

      So your message is that women need the validation of unearned high grades for mediocre performance or they will give up and walk away, whereas men (or “guys” as you call them, in contrast to women) will accept whatever grades they earned (or “settled,” as you’ve described it) as a necessary rite of passage to achieving their goal of becoming engineers?

      1. JohnC

        I think her point was that women, especially bright women in quantitative fields, fret over bad grades more than the guys. The student who ekes out a C+ in honors math is much more likely to sign-on for the second semester (particularly at schools where the bulk of students have literally never received a grade other than an A) is they are (1) male and/or (2) have extracurricular interests in the subject (re recreational math; building cars, flying planes, etc.), which also skews male. This probably is why the prole section of the engineering rankings is a total sausage fest. (Fortunately, that’s where the beer is!) The exception — pre-med and bio-related fields —proves the rule. (The same, incidentally, holds true for big time sports: There are probably 50 wannabe “Rudy’s” for every “Rita.”)
        The solution isn’t giving girls better grades: It’s getting those with bad grades to stick with it instead of getting a degree in sociology. Whether this is a good idea is a separate question.

          1. JohnC

            Assuming that I’m male, or choose to so self-identify = microagression. (For the record, I sexually identify as an Apache attack helicopter, i.e., helisexual.)

  9. jill mcmahon

    No. Now, I would tell any woman (or man) to stick with it, if you really want to be an engineer. Plenty of good, successful engineers graduate with C, B,and A averages. Engineering, now, tends to be teamwork anyway. Had there been female mentors that said that they had early disappoints with their own performance but kept at it and it was worth the effort, the result might be different. It was an easy choice for me because I wasn’t an engineering major. Mich had some sort of women in science and engin group at that time, and I hope that other women took advantage of it, if they were initially turned off. I do know from reading sporadically about this topic over the years, that my initial response is not uncommon. To me, at that time, lack of validation for mediocre performance meant I wasn’t good enough to be an engineer.

    1. SHG Post author

      See the difference in a comment that conveys your point rather than one that conveys the opposite? What remains unfortunate is that there is still a core problem with women needing something more than men to push through the difficulties to achieve a goal.

      Some might suggest socialization, that men understand that they’re expected to go out and support a family, so they suck up the disappointment and push through. In contrast, women perceive their role as volitional; they can work if they want, or not if they want, since they aren’t expected to support a family. They have the option. Men do not.

      Or, it could just be May Day in A2.

      1. jill mcmahon

        “[W]omen perceive their role as volitional; they can work if they want, or not if they want, since they aren’t expected to support a family.”

        Not all women.

        I think the more important aspect of socialization is “Girls can’t/don’t do math and science.” It used to be stated early and often. Hear it enough, and some will believe it. What I hate is the idea of losing a potential Edison, male or female, because they didn’t excel at first, got turned off, and switched majors to their second or third choice.

        Don’t remember May Day celebrations in A**2. They did celebrate John Sinclair Day not too long ago. And hey, the Red Wings won Saturday night, so they should be happy for now.

        1. SHG Post author

          Shame about May Day. Whatever happened to tradition?

          I hate the idea of losing a potential Edison (or Mozart, or Picasso, or whatever) when we squander potential. But they have to want to reach their full potential as well. It’s hard to be great at something, and it’s a shame when people lack the will to strive for excellence. I wonder how many potential Edison’s we’ve lost because of participation trophies?

          1. Jill McMahon

            I may have just missed May Day, I was studying. 😉

            JSD is actually called Hash Bash, but I’m not a toker. Fun to watch, though.

      2. se

        “[W]omen perceive their role as volitional; they can work if they want, or not if they want, since they aren’t expected to support a family.”

        Except when having toddler, all women here work and are expected to work – not necessary having career, but being employed somewhere and contributing to family budget that way. Staying home longer is perceived as sort of lazy (unless the kid is sick or something like that).

        On the other hand, judging from number of boys that had no particular love for technology or downright suffered through math lessons (not necessary same groups), there might be something on that socialization/roles thing. It gets clear when you look at hard engineering tracks that are not as profitable as CS. They are full of boys that were not good in math enough to get into profitable majors with hard entrance tests and suffer few years cause they are expected to. Some of those tracks do not even pay all that well, so I am not even sure it is primary money related rational decision, just roles people tend to fall into.

        I am women and studied computer science, there were three of us and over hundred boys (they treated me well it was not evil boys club). In my generation, boys were expected to know their way around computers and girls were not. As in, there was something slightly shameful about boy not knowing how to turn on computer while it was perfectly accepted for girl. I think that negative motivation might have something to do with difference, essentially girls are allowed to be lazy. (To keep it gender fair, situation is reversed when it comes to caring about small child – girl can not say no while boy throws puppy eyes and gains himself free afternoon. Consequence is that girl is forced to figure it out.)

        1. William Doriss

          Congrats on your gender observations, gender insights and CS accomplishments. It’s obvious you were looking out the window (daydreaming?) during English classes. How sad. Say Shakespeare three times fast. Now spell it correctly! Some of us believe the world has become terribly hi-tech lopsided, gender considerations notwithstanding. Too many smart folks looking for hi-tech solutions to non-existent problems. How about an engineering solution to all the hi-tech trash thus generated? Does it have to go into the landfill?
          I like the comment calling for more women in the sanitation engineering busyness. That was CVC = cute, very cute.

  10. Bartleby the Scrivener

    My oldest daughter seems to have illustrated a portion of this behavior.

    She’s currently looking into engineering schools and wants to join the Peace Corps when she graduates. While I applaud her charitable heart, I told her she would probably accomplish more good by going into private industry and donating cash from her salary to helping people (or using it to build industry in impoverished areas). That bothered her, which prompted me to ask if she’s more interested in or doing the most good or simply feeling like she is. That was a conundrum to her, which I found to be rather surprising. If my efforts are directed toward accomplishing a particular good, I want them to be effective and not emotionally satisfying for me.

    1. William Doriss

      I did not know that engineers *spoke*! I thought they merely *figured*. Ha.
      Slide-rulers R Us. We trust they go to church on Sundays, however.

        1. William Doriss

          A n d if I don’T? nO rIGHT W/OUT A REMEDY.
          (learned it here!) Luv ya,… only kidding!
          All the best,… where’s that judge when I kneed him?

  11. Ross

    I work for a company with a large number of engineers. The distribution for women engineers skews young, despite major efforts to recruit qualified candidates. A mother of one of my Scouts is an engineering manager for the company, and her take is that women engineers tend to marry male engineers. When they start having children, there’s no imperative to go back to work, as the husband makes more than enough to support the family, so they stay home and raise the kids (and become annoyingly effective officers of the PTA). Her overall assessment is that if a company hired a 50/50 male/female split of engineers, after 20 years, the ratio would be more like 80/20.

    That’s all anecdotal, of course, but meshes with what I’ve seen over the years.

    1. SHG Post author

      That’s the back end argument (the front end is the initial hire, the back is what becomes of them down the line), which is always a problem as the external argument is that it reflects prejudice against women because they have a womb, ignoring the fact that even women with wombs get to decide to stay home and not work. But then, you can’t say that in response, because it would be sexist and dehumanizing to contend that it’s the womb-victim’s fault.

      1. Jill McMahon

        Before I push the THIS POST OFFENDED ME BUTTON ( 😉 ) who is the womb-victim? Or is God/Nature/Evolution working against women, too???

        Very interesting discussion, Scott. Thanks.

  12. The Real Peterman

    Calls for more women in safe, clean, high-paying jobs like engineering would mean something to me if they were accompanied by a call for more women in garbage-collecting.

  13. Dragoness Eclectic

    I am a woman who was raised by a scientist father who instilled in me interested in the sciences–I originally thought I would go to college and become a marine or fisheries biologist like he had. However, when I started looking at colleges and careers, I found that not many colleges taught marine biology, and it was a career with few openings that didn’t pay well.

    So I decided I wanted to be an aerospace engineer, because building rockets and fighter planes would be cool and I might get into the space program that way. I went off to a good engineering college, managed to get through my freshman year–

    –and found out after taking Statics and Dynamics that the rest of my college career would be more of the same. I could handle the math, but it was boring. I wanted to build planes, not solve calculus problems for the next 3 years.

    So I switched to computer science, where I’ve been ever since. I’m good at breaking down complex problems into simpler problems that can be expressed step-by-step as code, and I like doing it. My other passion is creative writing, for which I fortunately have this software engineering day job to pay for.

    Socially, I was a weirdo with poor social skills in high school, which probably explains why I went into a STEM field instead of whatever women normally do in college. I’m not good at stuff that requires people skills, which most traditionally female careers seem to do.

      1. Dragoness Eclectic

        Yes, yes, I’m boring you with my anecdote about how I got into a STEM field. You’d prefer comments to be relevant to the topic–all I can say is, my personal anecdote demonstrates six of one and half a dozen of the other: encouragement at an early age got me interested in a STEM career in the first place, but I finally settled into the particular career I did because it suited my weirdly-wired brain’s strengths.

        So, encouraging children from early on to be interested in the sciences and engineering will at least allow them to have them as an option, instead of being taught from early on that A is what boys do and B is what girls do, and never the twain shall they meet. However, that has to be done early, in elementary and middle school–by the time kids hit college, it’s already too late, the attitudes and prejudices have started to harden.

        On the other hand, if math, science or logic are not things your brain is wired to do well and enjoy doing, you’re unlikely to stay in a field that demands them day in and day out, no matter what your gender. I did not enjoy calculus enough to do it for the next forty years of a working career, so I switched to something I did like doing enough not to hate going to work every day of the rest of my working life.

        Haven’t you yourself pointed out that people who don’t like fighting will not make good criminal defense lawyers? People stick with what suits them, or should do so.

        1. SHG Post author

          I generally don’t allow people to tell personal stories here, both because lawyers love to tell war stories (except other lawyers hate reading them) and because this is a blog, not a therapy session for those in need of catharsis.

          As for your premise, it’s unlikely that one can extrapolate from one person’s experience that it applies to all women. There are plenty of women in STEM, but a very small percentage of the female population. Still, I’m glad you found the career that suits you.

          1. Dragoness Eclectic

            Hey, I’d love to read your war stories!

            And yes, I do know that “the plural of anecdote is not data”.

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