A list of journalists and tech writers were quick last week to push a story about a “study” that claimed to prove sexism in the workplace. But one honest journalist looked into the “study” only to find it doesn’t even exist.
Several tech websites and outlets like the New York Times began publishing stories about a tech company that supposedly conducted a survey about women who sent resumes to look for a job.
According to Breitbart News:
Last week, the New York Times published an article claiming, “In a 2016 experiment conducted by the tech recruiting firm Speak With a Geek, 5,000 résumés with identical information were submitted to firms. When identifying details were removed from the résumés, 54 percent of the women received interview offers; when gendered names and other biographical information were given, only 5 percent of them did.”
This would be pretty damning if true.
A whole list of other outlets sure thought it was prima facia evidence that women are discounted in the workplace merely because they are women.
Social media also went crazy pushing the story. It was all proof of how evil America is, how monstrous male privilege is, how bad capitalism is… in short, it fit the left’s worse-case scenario about how bad everything is for women.
But one writer found the whole package suspicious.
“This statistic was so far off their experiences and mine that I was instantly suspicious. So, I dug into it,” posted Piper on Twitter. “The ‘study’ was conducted by tech recruiting firm ‘Speak With a Geek’. It was first covered [at CNET]. It also got coverage a few other places. No one, anywhere, linked to the study. The study does not appear to have been published anywhere.”
“Speak With a Geek, the recruiting firm cited, no longer has a web page. Their social media accounts are dead and have been for a while,” she continued, adding, “The study doesn’t seem to exist. You can’t read it anywhere. The only info we have is what’s in the media.”
Piper added that the statistics seemed skewed.
“I think a sleazy recruiting co now out of business did something weird — not speculating as to what — and got numbers totally out of line with reality and all other research in the area. They got a couple writeups from a couple of outlets… that were okay with the fact no methodology was public and the details of the study were unclear and that there was no study, or even a blog post by the people who say they did the study, to link to. Then, through some kind of telephone, this ended up in the New York Times.”
Piper’s detective work embarrassed a whole lot of journalists who pushed the original story.
But the fact that so many “journalists” pushed out the lies so easily is telling.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.