Home > Uncategorized > Simpson’s Paradox Comes to Facebook

Simpson’s Paradox Comes to Facebook

Here’s my newest Bloomberg View column, about female engineers at Facebook and Simpson’s Paradox:

Is Facebook Tough on Women? Let’s Check the Data

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. May 5, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    So what would it take for FB to release the data? The fact that they haven’t released the data so far leads one to suspect that misogyny is indeed at play.

    To me it sounds like women aren’t being promoted because of criticism of their software. A chicken and egg problem.

    How many {men, women} from {College X with Degree Y in CS and GPA in range Z} have been promoted in time T after graduating and joining FB?

    Of course Jay Parikh of FB will say that there are too few women in the population set. That, too, is a big part of the problem. So he’ll offer up some video about biases that employees should watch.

    Like

  2. Richard H Caldwell
    May 11, 2017 at 6:51 am

    A thoughtful and informative piece on the power and subtlety of statistics — thank you for your knowledge, your insight, and your fluid and lucid writing style. I feel compassion for your trolls at Bloomberg, as certainty is the sign of a closed mind and the enemy of wisdom.

    Like

  3. Portia
    May 20, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    women’s coding is evaluated when their gender is known at FB. I wonder what would happen if their work was submitted anonymously, simply as work?

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/feb/12/women-considered-better-coders-hide-gender-github

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    • May 21, 2017 at 10:57 pm

      Great idea, Portia. I found a paper by Shlomo Argamon and Moshe Koppel about guessing the gender of authors, so I asked Professor Argamon if he thought that gender could be guessed from computer code. He said he was skeptical and doubted it could be done. So that’s comforting to know.

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      • Portia
        May 22, 2017 at 2:00 pm

        Yes, as a classical string player in the 60s, there were few opportunities for women in professional symphony orchestras. When they started having auditioning behind a screen in the opening rounds, that’s when women began winning seats! Except for the London Symphony Orch. As a self-governing body, they resisted for some time.

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