Wadhwa Controversy

This morning a reader called my attention to a startling blog post, “Why Did WNYC Delete Its Podcast on the Male “Expert” on Women in Tech?”  The “expert” in question is Vivek Wadhwa, a former tech entrepreneur turned tech industry analyst, familiar to many readers of this blog for his strident support of legislation expanding H-1B and other foreign tech worker programs.  Vivek has also been outspoken on the status of women in the tech field, and in so doing has apparently offended some of the very people he aims to defend.

According to the blog post, an NPR affiliate withdrew a podcast featuring Vivek, and in the process made comments that Vivek now considers libelous.  I find this richly ironic, as a few years ago I publicly (in my e-newsletter) complained about incorrect and presumably libelous statements Vivek made about me.  He basically said that I fabricate my data in studies on H-1B.  Of course, this is one of the worst charges one can bring against an academic.  Worse, Vivek later made the same charge again, as I also reported in my e-newsletter.  The whole thing was absurd, since my research is based on publicly available data, such as the PERM green card data; anyone can verify my analyses.

Having said all that, I must say I sympathize with Vivek here.  Apparently Vivek has engaged in the same “Zelig” behavior regarding the women’s issue as on H-1B, showing up everywhere.  But that is partly due to the nature of journalism, who like to find one “go to” person and then constantly quote him/her.  None of his critics on the women’s issue seem to find fault with any of his statements on the topic.  Without having listened to the actual podcast, it does seem wrong to me that the radio station removed it.

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3 thoughts on “Wadhwa Controversy

  1. IEEE-USA testimony highlights that 85% of H-1B are men. Vivek Wadwa ignores this in his single minded view that Indians “own US high tech jobs” and anything that gets in the way be damned.

    It isn’t fashionable to make the claim that his policies are racist. Caucasians, blacks and non-Indian naturalized American Asians are the targets of H1B. Funny enough, he advocates in favor of older high tech entrepreneurs (read between the lines, Indian….just like him) while ignoring the fact that in the short term, H1B is an easy way for age/wage discrimination. Facts just don’t count with this “academic!”

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  2. So what is this controversy? Wadhwa has magically become an “expert” on women in tech, just as he is an “expert” on H-1B, someone accused him of being a male and thus automatically incompetent, and it’s that accusation that was taken down.

    Of course that accusation is unfair, it is not *automatic* that Wadhwa be incompetent simply because he is male, on the other hand maybe it turns out to be accurate for other reasons.

    “Wadhwa says shaky self-confidence is one of the chief things holding women back,”

    THAT is his wisdom? Well, it seems to me Wadhwa keeps his record intact, he’s a fool everywhere he goes, male or female, seven days a week.

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