Some thoughts from a white male perspective:
I think the movement as whole is hugely complicated, and that doesn’t help the cause. In earlier times, issues like voting rights, abortion, etc were crystal clear. The inequality was clear, the evidence thereof, and the path to fix it.
Women in tech though? A skeptical mind can ask a lot of questions regarding just the problem statement in itself:
- Why tech? Why not another industry? What about female-dominated industries?
- Why the top? It would make much more economic sense to elevate women in the poor and middle classes
- What is the scope of the problem? I believe it is in essence universal, but trust me on this, “Women in tech” hardly is a problem in many other countries. Because there is no tech hub like some parts of the US has. In that light, one can question whether there arent bigger women’s issues to solve.
- Is it an actual problem at all? Is my life better if 20% becomes 30%, or will I not notice any chance? This is selfish, but people generally care little about problems that don’t affect them.
I don’t necessarily agree with these questions and if you educate yourself, you can find the answers. But the questions often come up, the problem statement is very fuzzy, unlike earlier issues, and I believe this to be a factor slowing down progress.
The second point I’d like to make is how the root cause is addressed, supposedly white males. In many articles, directly or indirectly, this enormous group of people is insulted, blamed and discriminated against. Sometimes mildly, sometimes brutally.
On the web you need to have a thick skin, so that is OK. But I do like to point out that us white males are white males by birth. 99% of us don’t ever get to hire people or even see “the top”. And we don’t have secret male meetings where we plot plans against women advancing.
I assume innocence as a starting point, not guilt. You cannot solve sexism with more sexism.
To end, I’d like to clarify my position, should it be misread from above: I’m for a 100% even playing field. I’d encourage any stimulation for girls to enter this field. And after that, the numbers should play out naturally/organically, and not to be artificially inflated by positive discrimination.