Tech: Commit To Equitable Hiring Practices Because Girls And Women Deserve Better #TechToo

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My name is Samantha, I’m 20 and I’ve only ever been interviewed by men for jobs in tech. 

My name is Devika, I’m 19. An interviewer at a tech company once asked why I chose a women’s college if I wanted to study computer science. 

My name is Jennifer, I’m 19. I was told I wasn’t “eligible” for a tech internship because I was only a freshman in college. A boy got the job. He was in high school. 

My name is Chloe, I’m 18. An interviewer once asked me about my future plans to start a family. 

We are all computer science majors. We are all alumni of Girls Who Code programs. And we’ve all experienced discrimination, sexism, or outright harassment during interviews for jobs in tech. 

And we’re not alone. Girls Who Code surveyed over 1,000 college-aged alumni just like us — read this piece from WIRED

Overall, half of the women—that’s 500 women, most under the age of 20—have either had a negative experience applying for a job in tech, or know a woman who has. Nearly a quarter of us has encountered biased questions or inappropriate remarks during interviews. 

We deserve better. We’re smart. We’re qualified. And we’ve fought like hell to get to get to where we are because we love computer science, and because we think tech can change the world for good. 

So we’re calling on companies to commit to equitable hiring practices. Here are a few places we’d recommend starting:  

  • Diverse Hiring Panels: Beyond reducing unconscious bias, diverse hiring panels also show us that you’re actually committed to diversity, to putting women in technical roles in the position of making decisions about the team. We want to know that you’re walking the walk. 
  • Gender-Neutral Job Descriptions: We can’t emphasize enough how discouraging it is to see gendered language in job descriptions. Sometimes it’s explicit—”He will work with other team members in automation testing." Sometimes it’s implicit, “Seeking driven, competitive coding ninja.” In both cases, women like us are less likely to apply.
  • Tracking and Reporting D&I for Hiring: Lots of companies report employee diversity data—but what about applicant diversity data? By publicly disclosing data showing the number of women and men applying for roles and the number of women and men being made offers of employment, we can get a better sense of how many women are being held back at this stage of the pipeline. As a part of this, companies should also track the number of claims of harassment and/or bias made by candidates.
  • Decency: Discrimination and harassment have no place in the interview process, not in your company culture, not in society. Period. 

Please sign our petition and urge companies to commit to equitable hiring practices. Thank you. 

— Girls Who Code alumni, Diana Kris N., Devika C., Chloe Gottlieb, KaYesu M., Samantha R., and Jennifer T.