This kind of smart Singaporean reform could help reverse the much decried-trend of fewer American women being employed as coders. My wife’s friend A made a lot of money as a programmer for 20 years, although the work environment kept getting more hostile as her employer used H-1B visas to bring in more sexist Pakistani men. Finally she got laid off and it took her half a decade to find a new job.I looked it up, and I can put some numbers on it, starting with this 2013 report from the San Jose Mercury News:
Young American women look at these kind of stories they hear from their aunts and ask themselves: “Why do I want to become a computer programmer?”
As Congress negotiates its biggest immigration overhaul in decades [I.E. 2013's failed attempt at Amnesty, the Gang Of Eight's S. 744] new numbers obtained by this newspaper reveal a stunning imbalance in a program that admits highly skilled immigrants to the United States, often for Silicon Valley jobs: More than 70 percent of those special visa holders who entered the country in 2011 were men. .... “More men are coming simply because companies prefer to hire the men over the women,” said Karen Panetta, a Tufts University computer engineering professor who called attention to the gap Monday at a hearing in the U.S. Senate. .... Corporate hiring practices, outdated U.S. visa policies and entrenched gender discrimination in immigrants’ home countries are all contributing to the disparity. The hearing marked the first time this year that lawmakers specifically addressed how reform of the immigration system will affect women.This story originally contained this helpful graphic:
High-skilled immigration debate grows over stark gender imbalance, favoring men for H-1B visas,By Matt O'Brien, Mercury News, March 18, 2013
As Steve pointed out, the men the US gets from places with "entrenched gender discrimination" frequently retain their sexist attitudes in the United States.
The other factor is that half of the "American " women graduates in Computer Science are foreign women who have graduated from American universities:
Within the U.S., 20.7 percent of all foreign students earning a computer-related doctorate are women. Often, U.S. employers from Microsoft to Intel hire computer science and engineering graduates directly out of college.So when you see an article about the "IT gender gap", remember that it's not "Geek Culture" that excludes women, it's (a) corporate culture that wants to hire cheap foreigners, and (b) Pakistani culture in the American workplace.
While hard figures are difficult to come by on the number of H-1B visas awarded to women, some estimates put the number at just 15 percent, says Karen Panetta, Vice President of Communications and Public Awareness for IEEE and an Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor at Tufts University.
H-1B Women Few and Far Between, by Dawn Kawamoto, Dice.com, June 25, 2013