For example, female students simply don’t enter certain fields in the same numbers as men. (And male students simply don't enter certain fields in the same number as women.)
In the US, only 18% of computer science degrees and engineering degrees are earned by women despite the fact that women earn 64% of undergraduate college degrees.
And while belly-button-ponderers like to drone on about the gender gap as a purely social construct, women certainly saturate university classes for other formerly male-dominated fields.
For example, women comprise half of business students and almost half of those majoring in biology, statistics, math, and physical sciences, while over half the students in journalism and communications are comprised of women.
So if, for example, you need an equal gender ratio of computer scientists or engineers, you simply won’t be able to find an equal number of female computer scientists or female engineers because they just don't exist in those numbers.
Alternatively, as has been happening already, you’ll need to take the less qualified female computer scientists or engineers in order to attempt to close the gender gap in your company.
After all, it’s not rational to assume that every member of the 18% is a top-notch computer scientist. You’ll have some B-students in that slice, just like you have in every slice, no matter how big or small.
So this will actually hurt women because people will suspect that a female computer scientist or engineer is actually not so qualified and only hired because of her gender.
And because there always are less qualified in every field, female computer scientists and engineers will gain a reputation for lower quality work because companies are forced to hire females at any price - and regardless of actual skill or qualification.
So female computer scientists and engineers will still have to prove that they earned their place. They’ll still have to work twice as hard to be considered just as good.
And anyway, it's just not possible to create a 50% gender ratio with only 18%.
That’s just one example.
After repeated blocks to promotions in favor of female candidate ONLY because of gender (even though his superiors – including a female superior – admitted that he was the more qualified candidate), Adams stopped trying and instead detoured into the creation one of the most popular comic strips (and one of my personal favorites).
Hashem doesn’t close one door without opening another, and the second door opened into cartoon fame for Scott Adams.
However, companies forced to hire less qualified and less talented individuals will produce lower quality.
So the world of comics gained, but Adams's former company lost.
Biological Differences in Real Life
How would you feel about less qualified nurses caring for your tender newborn simply to even out the gender ratio?
And unlike the world of engineering and computer science, most people are willing to admit that there are very real gender differences regarding the care of babies and small children.
To give an example: A non-Jewish family member of mine put his child in the preschool of the local JCC. The head teacher was a male.
When the parents came to pick up their child one day, the male teacher said playfully to the child in front of the parents, “Mason, do you want to tell your parents what you did today?”
After some cheery prodding, Mason said, “I ate a worm.” (Yes. An actual worm.)
“And what did it taste like?” said the male teacher in that cooing voice people reserve for small children.
“Jelly,” came the reply.
The teacher grinned at the parents.
My family member and his wife found this all very funny.
Personally, I’m wasn't so enamored.
But think about it for a minute.
With a female caretaker, children really are less likely to eat worms or other forbidden substances. It’s not that such a thing would never happen with a female preschool teacher – it DOES happen! But women tend to me more attentive and conscientious.
Males tend to have a more, “Oh, it’ll probably be okay…” approach to children. Not all, but many. And sometimes they’re right in this approach, but sometimes not.
And just for knowing, my 3.5-year-old is in gan with 2 male melamdim and they’re fabulous. Very responsible, very warm and attentive. And the head melamed is a master educator.
And despite the fact that our school offers the option of either a female teacher or a male teacher, we chose to put our child with the melamed over the ganenet because 2 other sons learned by this melamed and had extremely positive experiences.
So our youngest is by this same melamed too.
Nonetheless, it cannot be denied that these melamdim are still a bit more laid-back than a female teacher is for that age. (But at least the children never eat worms...)
Secondly, in the JCC example, if that had been a female teacher, she never would’ve reported the event in such a frivolous manner.
Many male teachers wouldn't either, but male teachers -- especially younger ones -- are more likely respond with humor rather than horror to such a situation.
(Also, I found it interesting that the teacher reported it as something Mason did -- i.e., "tell your parents what you did today" -- rather than something that happened to Mason -- i.e., "tell your parents what happened to you today." Does that reflect a gender difference? I'm honestly not sure.)
But how could Mason’s male teacher present the whole thing as a minor and amusing episode? He didn’t feel bad or express any personal responsibility or remorse for his own lapse of diligence. How can he not even feel apologetic?
That boggles my feminine mind.
Not to mention the kashrus issue if you’re Jewish...
In contrast, your average female teacher would say something like, “Oh, I’m so embarrassed to have to tell you this, but today, we caught Mason eating a worm before we could stop him. We’re so sorry this happened and we checked him out to make sure he was okay and we’ve taken steps to ensure this WON'T happen again. We feel just terrible about this, but we wanted to make sure you knew so that if Mason doesn’t feel well later, you can have him checked out that the worm didn’t harm him or anything.”
She’ll probably also explain a bit about why they didn’t catch Mason in time, i.e, it’s not that they weren’t responsible or didn’t care, but unforeseen circumstances popped up, which gave Mason took the opportunity to sample the worm.
(Or she might decide not to reveal anything in order to avoid confrontation & other negative consequences.)
But biological hard-wiring is why more women than men tend to be attracted to working with very small children, especially babies. And these same reasons make women better than men in these areas too...generally speaking.
There are always exceptions.
Likewise, biological hard-wiring seems to be why more women tend to be less interested in computer science and engineering just like less men seem to be interested in early childhood education, becoming a neonatal nurse or becoming a nanny.
If you read the studies of why fewer women enter computer science and engineering and why, once there, succeed less than men, you’ll notice that it’s a lot about their approach to these areas.
The innate feminine approach is less conducive to success in these left-brained fields.
Of course, all the pontificators drone on about social conditioning, but you’re not necessarily seeing that in other traditionally male-dominated areas.
Needless to say, men can be excellent nannies and nurses and women can be excellent computer scientists and engineers.
But not nearly as many of them can be or will be.
So just to be clear: The issue is NOT about traditionally male-dominated professions.
Women succeed in droves in some traditionally male-dominated professions because those professions (like doctors, for example) are conducive to the female strengths and in the case of doctors, women actually practiced medicine from time immemorial, but didn't do so officially or with a fancy title.
It’s about biological hard-wiring, which will give one gender the upper hand in specific fields and there is NO WAY to even that out.
And forcing equality where there isn't any produces unwanted consequences.