As an Asian male student at MIT, I fit society’s image of a young programmer. Thus, throughout college, nobody ever said to me:
“Well, you only got into MIT because you’re an Asian boy.”
(while struggling with a problem set) “Well, not everyone is cut out for Computer Science; have you considered majoring in bio?”
(after being assigned to a class project team) “How about you just design the graphics while we handle the backend? It’ll be easier for everyone that way.”
“Are you sure you know how to do this?”
…Instead of facing implicit bias or stereotype threat, I had the privilege of implicit endorsement. For instance, whenever I attended technical meetings, people would assume that I knew what I was doing (regardless of whether I did or not) and treat me accordingly. If I stared at someone in silence and nodded as they were talking, they would usually assume that I understood, not that I was clueless. Nobody ever talked down to me, and I always got the benefit of the doubt in technical settings.
This is a good, important article, but it highlights the shortcomings of approaching equity in STEM from a pure social justice standpoint. Stereotypes about women, non-Asian POC, etc aren’t just bad because they prevent these people from developing their skills and getting to earn the good moneys - they may actually cause you as an employer (I must have at least one or two employers following me? Or do I need to write this for Forbes blogs?) to hire people who are really unfit for the job.