US H-1B visa scheme 'discriminates against women'
"My own experience tells me that the vast majority of H-1B workers are men. Everybody knows this in the US, where outsourcing companies get more than half the capped H-1B visas, the ratio is more like 85 percent men. That's outrageous," Karen Panetta, a senior official with the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers-USA told Senators at a Congressional hearing.
At the hearing on, "How Comprehensive Immigration Reform Should Address the Needs of Women and Families" convened by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Panetta alleged the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is not providing data related to how many women were issued the H-1B visas.
"Why doesn't DHS already know exactly how many women get H-1B visas? If a major immigration programme effectively discriminated based on race or national origin, would that be okay? We urge this Committee to set aside any legislation proposing to increase H-1B visas until we have this data," she said.
"Surely you would not want to have voted substantial increases in the H-1B programme, only to discover that the data shows that not only is it mostly used by outsourcers whose business model is entirely about replacing American workers, but also that the H-1B visa programme effectively pushes women out of the STEM fields," Panetta said.
Responding to questions from Senators, Panetta said