Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Leaning in to Facebook

These charges of sexism at Facebook are amusingly ironic:
What I found the most destructive was how the team treated women: contrary to what Sheryl Sandberg preaches in her Lean In movement, women on the team are rarely encouraged to speak up.

I often found that when I reported a problem with the Trending tool or a discrepancy in the guidelines, my claims were dismissed. When a man would report the same problem, he would be congratulated for noticing the problem and actions would be taken to fix it. This silencing was devastating. I found myself speaking up less and less, until I got to a point where I no longer reported any problems or errors I encountered.

In one instance, a woman who reported a timecard approval discrepancy to her direct supervisor was told she was wrong without any investigating. The next week several contractors were missing hours from their paychecks – the attitude toward making sure we were paid on time and correctly was very careless. When another woman asked for clarification on guidelines because copy editors were giving her conflicting guidance, she was told to “stop pitting people against one another”.

Several women, including myself, reported sexism by managers and editors to their direct supervisor and in their exit interviews to no avail.
It would not surprise me at all if the individual running the department turns out to be a woman. Female managers in corporations almost always treat the women under them far worse than male managers do. Which, in some cases, is quite justified, as many male bosses treat their female subordinates with kid gloves.

18 comments:

JP said...

It's called the Queen Bee Syndrome and it's been around for a while now.

Rusty Fife said...

The alternative might be an H-1B hire.

David-2 said...

While I'm sure there's some truth in the article, I remember that there is a kind of woman - the kind who writes first-person op-eds in the Guardian - who takes the normal abrupt and fast-paced interactions in a high-tech company as sexism directed at them personally even though it is nearly always the case that the "offenders" are equal-opportunity jerks who treat everyone the same. And we can see that this woman is a bit of a delicate flower by the fact that, though she has apparently not working at Facebook anymore, she says "I still carry the fear of speaking up with me. I find myself holding back when I see a problem or afraid to speak up when I have an idea." Gosh. That's sad.

Meanwhile, the funniest line in the whole piece was: "we ... are often held to the whims of engineers, who frequently made changes to the product without telling us." What, really? That kind of empowerment of engineers kind of makes me want to work at Facebook after all ...

Timmy3 said...

"women on the team are rarely encouraged to speak up."

Interesting. As in introvert, I am constantly told to speak up. Maybe they don't care for women to speak up for that advice doesn't serve their purpose. If you ask them to speak out, they will and beyond what you intended. You don't shake the hornet's nest.

Anchorman said...

And if you call on the American woman, she'll complain that you're singling her out.

WRE

VFM #7634 said...

And we can see that this woman is a bit of a delicate flower by the fact that, though she has apparently not working at Facebook anymore, she says "I still carry the fear of speaking up with me. I find myself holding back when I see a problem or afraid to speak up when I have an idea." Gosh. That's sad.

@David-2
That putative fear doesn't appear to be doing jack when it comes to keeping her from writing op-eds for The Guardian.

liberranter said...

Female managers in corporations almost always treat the women under them far worse than male managers do. Which, in some cases, is quite justified, as many male bosses treat their female subordinates with kid gloves.

IME it depends on how threatened they feel relative to how comfortable they are with their job. Every single AAP ("Affirmative Action Princess") I've ever been stuck working for, who clearly was handed her job in order to fill a quota, has been intolerable to both competent men and competent women whom she knows can see through her own ineptitude. But she needn't worry about usurpation of her fiefdom by the more qualified; I have yet to see one of these creatures removed from her position, no matter how disastrous and costly the results of her incompetence.

modsquad said...

ah, FEGTOW… Female Employees Going Their Own Way, dropping out of the process.

Forbes said...

This appears to get SS's "Lean In" very wrong: "contrary to what Sheryl Sandberg preaches in her Lean In movement, women on the team are rarely encouraged to speak up."

Sandberg's advice was to women--to act, to speak up, to stand up for yourself, and not to sit back and defer to others. Nor was Sandberg advising others--to be advocates encouraging women to speak up. Sandberg's advice was to not wait for others to do for you, what you should be doing for yourself.

The article proves the circumstances SS was trying to counter--women being too deferential in the workplace and not advocating for themselves.

[Nothing written here should be inferred I agree with SS and her load of Lean In BS. Merely, the article and the purported victims don't know what they're talking about as regards Lean In.]

Matamoros said...

"I still carry the fear of speaking up with me. I find myself holding back"

One can only hope

genericviews said...

Women spending lots of effort complaining about things discover that management doesn't take their complaints seriously. Hmmm, I think I see your problem.

St Swithun said...

Silly wimminz thinking that ramming their employment down the throat of companies, who'd rather hire according to ability, is about them.

Just shut up and follow the feminist line, you're property whose votes are owned.

Quadko said...

Gee, after 20 years in software I've had all those things and more happen to me, too. Since I'm not a woman, it never occurred to me that it's because they thought I was one. Seriously, it's just egos on software teams, the difficulty convincing people that bugs and issues exist and matter, and managers and teams trying to maintain status quo in the face of new information.

Aeoli Pera said...

Silly wimminz thinking that ramming their employment down the throat of companies, who'd rather hire according to ability, is about them.

Just shut up and follow the feminist line, you're property whose votes are owned.


Ice burn.

Bob Loblaw said...

I often found that when I reported a problem with the Trending tool or a discrepancy in the guidelines, my claims were dismissed. When a man would report the same problem, he would be congratulated for noticing the problem and actions would be taken to fix it.

This is not believable, at least, not the way she's relating it. Nobody cares who submits a bug. The most likely explanation here is her bug reports were vague or she sent emails instead of using the bug reporting system.

Ron said...

Its interesting because her thinking explains an evolutionary concept. Namely, why women natter on about everything.

They do it because they are relaying information to the man. Since the man makes the call, it is necessary for him to be given the correct info to make such call. Lets say a woman chats with her firends, inementions some loud snapping sound she heard yesterday at noon, another friend mentions a similar sound that her son heard three hours earlier, and a fourth talks about some chickens that died by a wild beast two days before. They may come to a conclusion, they may not.

However they will repeat most of this crap to their husbands, in the course of repeating mostly useless info, the words "snapping sound" and "torn apart chickens" will come up, the man will out two and two together, and realize its time to get the fellas together for a hunt.

Ron said...

More likely they will convey mood and tenor of the social situation to the man. Which families are solid, which are perceived as weak, problems thst need addressing, etc.

Blaster said...

Gee, after 20 years in software I've had all those things and more happen to me, too. Since I'm not a woman, it never occurred to me that it's because they thought I was one. Seriously, it's just egos on software teams, the difficulty convincing people that bugs and issues exist and matter, and managers and teams trying to maintain status quo in the face of new information.

I agree. It's even more than this. It's just that some people are not good at persuading others to listen to their ideas. I can't say how gender factors in specific just that the problem of "your ideas not being accepted" is not even close to something that only happens to women. The problem with women is that they take every failure and lack of validation personally, and the problem with feminists is that they view (or at least talk about) everything through the lens of gender rather than individual and group dynamics.

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