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A fallacy.  Women are obviously superior...  And won't let us forget it either :) - TIAJ - Kazuhiko

I disagree.  Some men are superior to some women and some women to some men.  I don't know how one measures superiority :) I know that you wrote that you were only joking, but it won't kick any discussion off properly... --AngelaRayner

Hmm.  Wasn't really looking to kick off a discussion on this, but if you insist...

A fallacy.  Everyone is different and a part of that (how big a part, you decide) is based on which sex you are.  You cannot judge equality without some form of measuring stick and even if you could you would need to compare an 'average' or 'normal' man with an 'average' or 'normal' woman.  I don't believe such a thing exists. - Kazuhiko

Excellent point.  The more "normal" interpretation of SexualEquality is probably equal opportunities being available for each gender, which is probably a reasonable ideal to work towards.  It does seem silly when a job gets given to a man when there's a woman who's better for the job, and the reason is purely their respective genders.

...Not, of course, that I've ever personally come across that situation.

What seems more of a pity is when 98% of a maths / CompSci / engineering company's workforce is male, and that's also true of all the similar companies we have meetings with.  Now I know there are supposedly some biological tendencies toward differences with regards to mathematical thinking, but I'm sure that can't account for it all.  Personally, I think there's a large amount of social expectations fed into children in the education system, with the result that far fewer girls than boys are interested in maths, computer science, etc.

Of course, feel free to disagree here :)  -- AlexChurchill

Odd that.  I mean maths is so useful when they do the weeks shopping and computer skills would let them browse the internet in between doing all the house work...  -- Kazuhiko (digs bunker, adds flame proofing, hides...)

MoonShadow: Pass me that flameproofing, my need is greater than yours.. ^^;

I agree with everything you've said, Alex, but in addition to all that, I often get the - perhaps mistaken - impression that people who were not interested in a subject early on, and later wish they had been, often seem to feel they had been discriminated against, by gender or otherwise, and sometimes try to place the blame somewhere other than their own lack of interest. Now, I am not saying that all the blame has to lie squarely on the person who had been disinterested when they were young, but I do think they are responsible for decisions they have made to at least some extent, and also that they would be better served by making the best of what they have and can do, rather than regretting choices they made that they cannot now change.

One thing I was thinking of writing a rant about if no-one gets there before me and I can be bothered is 'anti-sexism'...  Essentially, "I'm female, you're male and you didn't do what I wanted you to do, hence you are discriminating against me".  Similarly anti-racism etc. -- Kazuhiko
See PreemptiveAntiRacism...

Interesting problems arise when there are children. For example, if you have contracts that require your member of staff to disappear off to work at the drop of a hat, then this is unlikely to be suitable for some single parents. By many definitions, this would be Sexism - the majority of single parents being women. If you have work that does occasionally have pressure points, and desire staff to work longer than their core hours, this has similar issues. Do you then either employ less people in this category (sexism?), pay them less (sexism?) or put pressure on the remainder of your staff to perform this share of the role (sexism again?).
Employing enough people to have coverage for the emergency periods is, of course, too obvious a solution for your average company or hospital.  --Vitenka
This assumes that capable staff exist at a workable price, and also that those involved perceive a problem.
Training staff is again, too obvious?  Economics seems beyond the scope of a page on sexism, so I'll pass over that with a bit of "it can't be that hard" paw waving.  Realising that there is a problem is more of an issue.  If you can coerce your present workforce into working impossible hours, then there's no problem, is there?  So, whilst largely incorrect, labelling it a sexual equality issue does at least force the point.  --Vitenka
Don't tell me - you believe wars can be stopped by telling everyone to be nice to each other.  --Angoel
If training was "easy", and the supply of "trainables" was plentiful, I'd agree wholeheartedly - it looks like that's what is trying happening beneath me at graduate level now. Many people sustainably work 37 hour weeks with only very occasional longer weeks. The problem I see is that picking up people "half-trained" (such as my level) is very difficult. I would like to draw distinction between averaging 8 hour days with frequent 9s and occasional 12s and "impossible" - I find it quite sustainable and highly fulfilling. I know most people wouldn't want to work this much. However, I'd rather they paid one of me who is happy to work longer hours than split it between two of me working only 37 hours a week and never a minute more. The point I was trying to make is that a position where individuals have differing work preferences and time-risk preferences can cause some equality problems. In the case of hospitals, I feel they have a very different duty, as they have a significant proportion of the healthcare labour market and a civil service employer - they should make many more positions of sane working hours (a mere 60 hour week??) available to those that wish. I don't think "small company growing rapidly" arguments work there!
Such arguments are specious anyway.  Employ two people for half the hours and price.  Someone who wants to work long hours takes a second job.  Of course, you need to sort out the economy and make sure that everyone working only 20 hour can afford to live, but I already paw-waved that problem.  Seriously.  Wasn't automation etc. supposed to give staff shorter hours, not longer ones and more unemploment?  --Vitenka
There are several points - firstly, employing two people for half the hours and price still results in overtime when urgent projects need to come in, and so is not helpful.  Secondly, you are ignoring diseconomies of scale - each employee will add administrative and communications burdens, to the extent that the job may become impossible to do if you try to split it between too many people, and thirdly, we have close to full employment, so where are the extra people going to come from?
Regarding the automation point, if we accept the standard of living from 1920, automation has given people shorter hours.  However people have increased their demands and must work longer hours to have them met.  --Angoel

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