« Virtual Reality-Based Assertiveness Training Reportedly Leads to Less Sexual Victimization, Pilot Program Finds | Main | The Circle of Life: F2P Mobile Game Survive! Mola mola! Turns Cartoonish Death into Satisfying Progress »

Thursday, January 29, 2015


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Kim Anubis

What percentage of women employees at Alibaba are programming or doing other completely technical tasks, as opposed to scripted support calls or washing the floor? Why, when half of the employees are women, are only a quarter of senior managers women? It's cute that Alibaba managed to get themselves some press at Google's expense, but this marcom posing as news just makes me think of the phrase "glass ceiling."

Totally agree with the NPR take on the PC/gaming revolution of the 80s and its effect, though. Certainly worth a listen.

Wagner James Au

25% women in management is roughly 2x better than it is at most US tech companies. Also, back in 2010, 40% of China's engineers were women:


That's an old stat, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's gotten even more equal. At the Beijing tech company I consult for, the *majority* of Android engineers are women.

Kim Anubis

Thanks for the interesting stats, Hamlet! Perhaps the "weird science" boy genius culture had an even greater effect than I thought. I imagine some of the ageism in tech came out of that, too.

I still find that twenty-five percent figure more than disappointing, though. I mean, I saw my odds decades ago and came to the conclusion that if I wanted to be in tech in a role that wasn't just supporting the men or doing the parts the men on the team didn't want to do, I should start my own company. While things in our culture have improved since then ... here's a company crowing that only seventy-five percent of their management is male, and that's praised. It's just ... I thought we would have come a lot farther by now. I used to hope to see equality in the workplace during my career, and decades later here's Alibaba bragging about their lousy twenty five percent. It makes me feel a little bitter.

Good info, though, Hamlet. Glad you are reporting on this, even if it usually harshes my mellow.

Amanda Dallin

They said 25% of management is female. Not senior management. I've seen companies expand the definition of manager in order to increase their percentage of female and other minority managers without actually changing how they do business.

In 1998 and 1999, my retired aunt was paid very well to come out of retirement to prepare computers at a large state agency for Y2K because the boy's they'd hired couldn't figure out the old systems. Her generation had a lot more women working in the field.

Wagner James Au

I can't speak to Alibaba management in general, but I know a woman who's COO in one of the company's mobile ventures, and previously a VP at Alibaba. She's head of 100s of employees, spearheads some major initiatives, and is a total badass.

Kim Anubis

One of the tweets Hamlet posted led to an article that said, "Ma then delved into some stats, saying that 47 percent of Alibaba’s employees are women; 33 percent of management are women; and 24 percent of senior management are women." It's at https://www.techinasia.com/best-jack-ma-quotes-davos-interview/ Doesn't entirely preclude the sort of trickery you mention, though, Amanda.

It is so tempting to share anecdotes to illustrate what I faced as a woman on a software development team in the mid-1980s. But to Millenials, it would probably seem about as quaint and distant as an episode of Mad Men. Hamlet's stats will do more to convince doubters.

Ciaran Laval

Alibaba are reportedly investing $10m in Ouya.

I see a lot of computing classes in my day job, there's a distinct lack of females participating, I have no idea why this is the case.

I know that countries such as India were seeing a much larger number of women engaging in computing related jobs some years ago, whether that's the case still I don't know but the Western world is not doing well in this area at all.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Wagner James Au
Wagner James "Hamlet" Au
Dutchie 0223 Masssage table Slideshow
my site ... ... ...

PC/Mac readers recommend for SL:

Classic New World Notes stories:

Linden Limit Libertarianism: Metaverse community management illustrates the problems with laissez faire governance (2008)

The Husband That Eshi Made: Metaverse artist, grieving for her dead husband, recreates him as an avatar (2008)

Labor Union Protesters Converge On IBM's Metaverse Campus: Leaders Claim Success, 1850 Total Attendees (Including Giant Banana & Talking Triangle) (2007)

All About My Avatar: The story behind amazing strange avatars (2007)

Fighting the Front: When fascists open an HQ in Second Life, chaos and exploding pigs ensue (2007)

Copying a Controversy: Copyright concerns come to the Metaverse via... the CopyBot! (2006)

The Penguin & the Zookeeper: Just another unlikely friendship formed in The Metaverse (2006)

"—And He Rezzed a Crooked House—": Mathematician makes a tesseract in the Metaverse — watch the videos! (2006)

Guarding Darfur: Virtual super heroes rally to protect a real world activist site (2006)

The Skin You're In: How virtual world avatar options expose real world racism (2006)

Making Love: When virtual sex gets real (2005)

Watching the Detectives: How to honeytrap a cheater in the Metaverse (2005)

The Freeform Identity of Eboni Khan: First-hand account of the Black user experience in virtual worlds (2005)

Man on Man and Woman on Woman: Just another gender-bending avatar love story, with a twist (2005)

The Nine Souls of Wilde Cunningham: A collective of severely disabled people share the same avatar (2004)

Falling for Eddie: Two shy artists divided by an ocean literally create a new life for each other (2004)

War of the Jessie Wall: Battle over virtual borders -- and real war in Iraq (2003)

Home for the Homeless: Creating a virtual mansion despite the most challenging circumstances (2003)

Newstex_Author_Badge-Color 240px