STEM Education and the Underrepresented Pipeline
April 20, 2016 Alexander Zwissler
There’s been a lot of discussion and debate about the lack of diversity in the technology workforce recently, particularly here in Silicon Valley. In the industry, engineers and tech workers from minority communities are woefully underrepresented. This is bad for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the lack of diversity of perspective and experience that is brought to new technologies that are needed to serve an ever more diverse society.
There are innumerable initiatives that have been launched to address this stunning shortcoming. And yet we continue to be frustrated by the progress made to date.
I want to focus in on the so-called pipeline that should feed the system. Simply put, there are not enough under-served youth choosing or able to go into STEM related fields out of high school. It is not for lack of trying.
You can read the rest of his article here.
He finished the article with this request for feedback:
So…what do you believe?
I took him at his word when he asked, "What do you believe," so I wrote the following response and submitted it to be posted in his comments section:
Lack of diversity is a widespread problem that reaches far beyond Silicon Valley. Unfortunately the lack of diversity in various work forces goes under-reported. There are literally dozens of professions outside of Silicon Valley where the lack of diversity issue exists.
Some people believe that ignoring the merits of placing an extremely high value on diversity begins with parents and how they shape their relationships with their children. The argument can be made that the importance of diversity is simply not taught often enough within the family. Instead, parents tend to influence children greatly with their own preferences on how children should think and direct their energies. Of course there can be programs run by a government agency or non-profit organization to address the problem, but biased parenting seems to always get in the way.
Take the NBA for example. When I watch a basketball game the first thing that comes to my mind is the lack of diversity. I wonder why the front offices of virtually every NBA franchise (and the coaching staffs) have virtually no interest in the diversity of their teams. It can be inferred that the parents of future NBA players are not managing their relationships with their kids in such a way that emphasizes diversity. This is a real shame. When a young aspiring basketball player finally makes it to the NBA he should benefit from an experience that involves a much better work environment where all races, colors, and creeds are much more equally represented in the work force.
Of course there is a similar diversity problem in the NFL. Often when I watch games the entire starting lineup of a given team’s offense or defense will be made up of players from only one race. When I see this lack of diversity I am puzzled. Why don’t the team owners and coaches in the NFL recognize the value of diversity? Why don’t they call for programs that will create a much more equal representation of each race on their teams?
No doubt what we truly need to do is use billions of taxpayer dollars to fund more diversity-oriented programs at the local, county, state, and federal level to help parents understand the importance of the diversity mission. Perhaps all of our efforts should begin within these programs by targeting the highest profile professions in our society......the NFL and NBA. These leagues need to set an example and emphasize the importance of diversity in the work place.
It turned out that the last thing he wanted was to know what anyone else thought.....unless they pretty much agreed with him. He refused to post my comment with this explanation:
"A bit too snarky to make the cut brother"
If you want to continue policies that call for an endless stream of taxpayer dollars to try to get certain groups of people to be more interested in certain types of work, that is one thing. But of course this is not an argument for "diversity." It is an argument for how to allocate resources for racial preferences.
The bay area is where there are more lunatics per square mile than anywhere else in America. Pointing out that a simple concept like "diversity," is a concept that is often misrepresented isn't an opinion, it is blasphemy, Accordingly, censorship seems perfectly appropriate.....even to an otherwise reasonable man. The censorship excuse offered is that the presentation is deemed to be too "snarky." Can you imagine the damage that can be done by such a micro-aggression as too snarky?
The point here is that thought control is alive and well at Haight and Ashbury, even after all of these years. In fact it is fast becoming the defining characteristic of the American left.
And of course the left knows precisely what the definition of the word "diversity" is. Substituting this word for a more precise term is much more palatable for the flower children of the 21st Century.