Friday, June 23, 2017

All of a sudden, I'm getting "Diversity"-hiring pings from random companies...

This is a rant post.

I'm pretty tired and am running low on patience and I really don't want to have attitude-challenged companies ping me relentlessly to recruit women engineers in a desperate attempt to increase their "diversity" profiles.  I do not want competent women engineers (who have got to this level despite all sorts of hurdles) to be put into companies that have no track record or clue about how to treat them and handle them.  Unless they can prove they can.

To all the companies (startups in particular) who have suddenly realized that their "bro-culture" is going to get them into serious trouble following the Uber drama and outcome, and are suddenly desperate to portray a "diverse" attitude:
  • Do not ping CodeChix for "sponsorship" if you cannot prove the following:
    • Active (provable) steps you took since Day 1 of your inception (company formation) that you wanted and cared about competent women engineers.
    • If your company is more than 2 years old and you had at least a couple of women engineers in your team, that they got promoted or compensated on par with all other employees commensurate with qualifications and recorded (untampered) contributions.
    • Written proof from your women engineers that they are actually happy to work with the rest of the team and don't have to put up with a bro-culture on a day-to-day basis. 
    • A standardized set of technical interview questions that all candidates are asked regardless of gender.  And verification that it is used consistently and has been for at least one year.
    • A record of why any candidate was rejected or hired - particularly, women engineers.
Otherwise, I suggest you REBOOT your company (see below).  

And, yes, it's HARD.  Starting and running your own company is HARD.  Life is HARD too.  

Deal with it.  

It is MUCH harder for senior women engineers to find a decent company and colleagues to work with.  Trust me.

How to REBOOT your  bro_culture company:
  • Fire anyone who instigated the bro_culture (founder's decision.  If the founder is complicit, no worries.  The REBOOT will go into an infinite loop of it's own accord for this special use case.)
  • Rename & reform company (preferably with a competent, non-token, female co-founder)
  • Follow guidelines above regarding records and measures - should be part of your handbook
  • Hire your first female engineer - make sure her options are commensurate with her being one of the first hires in your company (Guideline: if you IPO, she and the next 3 generations of her family should not have to worry about money.)
  • Have a % of her workload include interviewing (rigorously) every candidate that you hire. 
  • Target 3 women engineers as part of your employee pool within the first year.  Make sure the women have complementary skills so they work well together and like/respect each other.
  • Evaluate yourselves every year via polling of employees
  • Establish and evaluate accountability measures for all engineering management.  Take a look at the NCWIT site for information - particularly here, here and here.
  • Ping me/CodeChix for sponsorship with the data you gathered and I will see what I can do