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“This thing that had been an open secret in Silicon Valley became open to everybody,” Chou told me.At the time, some of the big tech firms were fighting a Freedom of Information Act request from the San Jose Mercury News asking the Department of Labor to release data on the makeup of their workforces.

In October 2013, Chou attended the Grace Hopper conference, an annual gathering for women in computing, where Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, warned that the number of women in tech was falling. She realized that for such a data-driven industry, few reliable diversity statistics were available.

That same month, she wrote a post on Medium in which she called on people to share data from their own companies, and she set up a spreadsheet where they could do so.

A veteran software engineer then in her 30s, Blount held a senior position at the company that runs Second Life, the online virtual world.

Good-natured and self-confident, she typically wore the kind of outfit—jeans, hoodie, sneakers—that signals coding gravitas.

But the data did not support these other theories.“The more a field valued giftedness, the fewer the female Ph Ds,” the study found, pointing out that the same pattern held for African Americans.

Because both groups still tend to be “stereotyped as lacking innate intellectual talent,” the study concluded, “the extent to which practitioners of a discipline believe that success depends on sheer brilliance is a strong predictor of women’s and African Americans’ representation.”That may be why, for years, the tech industry’s gender disparity was considered almost a natural thing.

Such bias may be particularly rife in Silicon Valley because of another of its foundational beliefs: that success in tech depends almost entirely on innate genius.

Nobody thinks that of lawyers or accountants or even brain surgeons; while some people clearly have more aptitude than others, it’s accepted that law school is where you learn law and that preparing for and passing the CPA exam is how you become a certified accountant. In contrast, a 2015 study published in Science confirmed that computer science and certain other fields, including physics, math, and philosophy, fetishize “brilliance,” cultivating the idea that potential is inborn.

Often says the weirdest things and believes he's the center of attention when it comes to the ladies. Has dated both Kelso and Hyde through the course of the series and gets together with Fez in the second-to-last episode. "Fez" is not his real name, simply a name the guys came up with for him. Worked at a car parts factory until it shut down, at which point he became a supervisor at a discount store (and Eric's superior).

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