Feeds

MS shuts up on number of women engineers

Yes, no, maybe...

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Dhaliwal's statement repeated the previous excuse given by Microsoft over its apparent ignorance of the gender issue.

He has left an opening, however. Instead of saying, as before, that data privacy laws prevent Microsoft from revealing how many MCSEs are women, he now says data privacy concerns may suppress the revelation.

"There are 1.7 million Microsoft Certified Professionals worldwide and it's vital that their confidential information is handled with the respect it deserves and that the impact of decisions affecting data collection and release are weighed very carefully," he said in the statement.

Dhaliwal and Kundhart are now understood to be reviewing what data they can reveal. Yet the longer Dhaliwal sticks to the privacy defence, the less credible his position looks, particularly in light of the Information Commissioner (Britain's custodian of data protection) discrediting Microsoft's story.

Incredulous of the earlier privacy defence given her by Dhaliwal, Ellen sought advice from the IC. The IC said, as you would expect, that statistics do not offend data protection laws. This was the official response Ellen got from the IC on 30 March 2005:

"Personal data is defined in the Data Protection Act 1998 as data which relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data. It follows therefore that Microsoft Learning would not be in contravention of the Act if they provided you with the general number of certificates held in the UK nor would they be in contravention if they provided you with this data broken down by gender."

Ellen forwarded the IC's email to Dhaliwal and Kundhart on the day she received it. She asked if this changed their position. Though she had previously been granted enough of their time to learn of their privacy defence, this time she received no response.

Now we can join the club.

When Microsoft does comes out from behind the wholly unnecessary barricades it has erected, we can only hope it will have found something valuable to add to this debate, like how few women MCSEs there are. The fact that there are so few may illustrate Microsoft's lack of care about this issue in the past. Now that Microsoft evidently does care (of course it does, or it would not have lent its public support for CC4G, would it?), perhaps it can tell us what it is going to do about it.®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.