Tag Archives: latent sexism

I strongly recommend this article: Why Is Silicon Valley So Awful To Women?

If you find it too long, here are a few highlights:

  • The percentage of women in tech is falling.
  • “Workplace conditions, a lack of access to key creative roles, and a sense of feeling stalled in one’s career” are the main reasons women leave.
  • “The researchers found that telling participants that their company valued merit-based decisions only increased the likelihood of their giving higher bonuses to the men.” …in an experiment designed with exactly equal male and female employee performance.
  • Unconscious bias training is ineffective.
  • Intel has had substantial success in improving diversity since it linked bonuses to explicit diversity hiring goals.

And as a bonus, yet another reason to hate whiteboard coding: “It is, for example, a hallowed tradition that in job interviews, engineers are expected to stand up and code on whiteboards, a high-pressure situation that works to the disadvantage of those who feel out of place. Indeed, whiteboard sessions are rife with opportunities for biased judgment.” I have always disliked these because the situation is so far removed from how anyone actually performs the work they’re interviewing for (unless they’ll frequently be improvising presentations in front of investors or other audiences that want to judge them instead of collaborate with them). I only use whiteboards for collaborative design work in interviews—just like I would at work.

 

 

Is it latent sexism, or…?

Here’s a case where you can’t know whether the instance indicates latent sexism, even though you know the trend does.

We received an email in response to our last press release.  The press release listed our Community Manager as the contact person and attributed a quote to me, the CTO.  The email was received by a list containing me and the Community Manager.  Yet the email was addressed directly to our Chairman (we don’t have a CEO), using his name multiple times.  The Community Manager and I happen to be female and the Chairman male.

How much should I attribute to sexism and how much to a misguided desire to bypass the provided contact point and reach the top of the food chain, even though he’s called “Chairman” and not “CEO” because he only has a couple hours a week for this project?

These sorts of things happen to women in business all the time. And it’s because of the constant barrage of instances where you can’t feel comfortable calling it out (because there are other explanations of the actions) that it’s all the more important to call it out when you’re fairly sure of a sexist motivation.