If you've been paying attention to the diversity numbers released by tech companies lately = lack of diversity in the tech industry.
This may look familiar.
Maybe you've seen pages on company websites that look like this.
Why should we care?
Why is this an issue we should be concerned about?
We make products for everyone.
Most of us make web-based products that are used Worldwide by all sorts of people.
Disparity between builders and users.
Representing the US adult population
Demographics of US adult population to keep things simple.
First up breakdown by gender.
Race and Ethnicity
2010 Census - more diverse since then.
In 2012 white/non-white kids under 5 even 50/50 split.
White minority 2043.
If we're lucky, we'll know what it's like to be old.
A conservative estimate
Just US adults, our plugin used Worldwide.
Diversity is good for business.
In addition to understanding the end user. Research proves diversity makes companies better.
When selecting a problem-solving team...a team of randomly selected agents outperforms a team comprised of the best-performing agents.
Lu Hong and Scott E. Page
"Groups of diverse problem solvers can outperform groups of high-ability problem solvers."
Michigan Business School and Complex Systems, University of Michigan; and Department of Finance, Loyola University, September 2004
Researchers found a diverse group proficient folks outperformed a homogeneous group of best-performers.
We’ve found that when at least one member of a team has traits in common with the end user, the entire team better understands that user.
Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Melinda Marshall, Laura Sherbin
"How Diversity Can Drive Innovation"
Harvard Business Review, December 2013
National survey of 1,800 professionals.
In addition to better understanding the end user, companies with diverse leadership = 70% likelier to report they captured a new market.
Companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians.
Vivian Hunt, Dennis Layton and Sara Prince
McKinsey Quarterly, February 2015
366 International companies
measured financial stats and diversity composition of top management and boards.
It's the right thing.
Not just about business/end users.
Homogeneity not good.
Wide variety of folks participating. Our community a leader in making things better.
How does this happen?
Why aren't companies more diverse?
I call it.
The most qualified candidate gets the job.
Some qualified people never make it to the first round because of unconscious bias.
Benefit of the doubt = bias is unconscious. Conscious bias, too. Most folks want to be inclusive.
I'm going to share the stories of some people I know who are catches and their job application experiences.
Mad Sysadmin skills
Fun to work with
Telling the story of job searching in the past.
After applying to positions I felt I was qualified for and receiving no responses, I reapplied a couple weeks later as 'Carl' instead of 'Carlos'.
Almost all of them called back asking for 'Carl.'
Downside = we call him Carl. Carl has a backstory.
What's in a name?
What difference does a name make.
Racial Bias in Hiring
November 2002 study by the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business
2 professors sent fictitious resumes re: 1,300 help-wanted ads Boston Globe & Chicago Tribune. Callback rate for interviews = measure success of each resume.
Applicants with "white-sounding" names were 50 percent more likely to get called for an interview.
These resumes were identical except for the names.
The most surprising and disheartening result is seeing that applicants with African-American names were not rewarded for having better resumes.
"Racial Bias in Hiring."
University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, November 2002
Made white applicants' resumes higher-quality = 30% more callbacks. Same for African-American applicants = 9% more callbacks.
2013 viral Tumblr. 4 months of job hunting all applications rejected. One day it dawned on him.
I made one change that day. I put Mr in front of my name on my CV. ...I got an interview for the very next job I applied for. And the one after that.
"How I Discovered Gender Discrimination."
Tumblr, July 2013
Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students
Randomized double-blind study, 127 US STEM professors asked to evaluate resumes. Resumes were identical, except half "John" and half "Jennifer".
Faculty participants rated the male applicant as significantly more competent and hire-able than the (identical) female applicant.
Corinne A. Moss-Racusin, John F. Dovidio, Victoria L. Brescoll, Mark J. Graham, and Jo Handelsman
"Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students."
Yale University, November 2012
Scientists less willing to mentor or to hire Jennifer. Jennifer offered, on average, $4,000 per year (13%) less than John.
White House LGBTQ Tech & Innovation Fellow
PHP and Node.js programmer
Public Speaker and Teacher
A few years ago, when exploring job options
experience during a particular job interview process.
The phone and in-person interviews went incredibly well. A few days later, they called saying I was qualified and felt confident I had the ability to perform whatever was required of me, but they felt that I wasn’t a good 'culture fit.'
I'm incredibly easy-going, so I was mystified by what that meant until I took a second look at the company’s website. If I joined them as a developer, I'd be the only woman there outside of administration, and the only Black person.
Why is hiring for Culture Fit an issue when it comes to diversity?
What do you want your company culture to be?
Party with your friends?
Environment that ultimately benefits your team and customers.
We'd get a lot done, but process and talk about feelings
Your clients don't give a sh*t about your Beer Pong Fridays and foosball tables.
Someone sharing a story = a gift. An opportunity to understand. Don't "that happened to me once" or "that doesn't happen." Just listen and learn. Reply: "that sucks, I'm sorry that happened."
Now you know unconscious bias = real, researched and proven, think hard why turning down an applicant. Strive for a true Meritocracy.
Examine your job listings.
The way your job listings are written matter.
Evidence That Gendered Wording in Job Advertisements Exists and Sustains Gender Inequality
March 2011 study University of Waterloo Department of Psychology
96 random job seekers read job descriptions. With masculine/feminine-themed words. Listings with female-friendly words appealed to women - even for male dominated jobs.
Words not to use
Erin Kissane "Job Listings That Don't Alienate"
A woman named Erin asked
People from communities underrepresented in their fields asked about language in job descriptions that makes them back away
"Masculine" themed words
Best of the Best
"Feminine" themed words
Want to use "Ambitious", Balance of words = good.
Examine your job interviews.
Share from, Melanie about a job interview.
The day of my interview, I arrived and the manager took me into his office.
The first thing he said was, ‘After speaking to you on the phone to schedule the interview, I expected somebody white!’.
Interview Questions to Avoid
Example of never, here are examples of questions not to ask.
Sheryl L. Axelrod, Esquire
The Axelrod Firm, PC
Never, under any circumstances, ask interviewees such questions.
If you do, you as an employer are opening yourself up to a discrimination claim.
How old are you?
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 forbids employment discrimination against anyone at least 40 years of age in the United States.
Do you have children or plan to?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. Where do you see yourself in 2 years, maybe having a family?
What is your race, color or ethnicity?
Title VII. Where is your family from?
What is your religious affiliation?
Title VII. Where do you go to Church?
Are you disabled?
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of disability. The ADA also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities
Check local laws
These are Federal, check your state and city. Philly LGBTQ laws.
Diversity ≠ Low Quality
Homogeneity = Less Quality
The term = me bananas. Implies hiring a less qualified person for the sake of diversity.
Pushed for more diversity not = Lower quality.
Realize diversity is an asset.
Truth = Diversity brings value - Better problem solvers, understanding end-users & financial gain. This is benefit, overall greater value than just a set of skills. To quote my friend Marc, a fellow queer web agency owner...
Founder and president of The Tactile Group, LLC.
When we have to choose among equally qualified candidates, we choose the candidate that will best maintain our culture of diversity.
Right now, we could use the perspective of some cisgender straight white men.
Choice between 2 equally qualified candidates, person who brings more diversity brings more value.
Explore new networks.
Make new friends. Get out of your bubble. Find the diversity in tech networking groups
In Philly we have multiple diverse tech groups.
Attend and sponsor their events.
Go to their job fairs. Find new places to list your job announcements.
CTO & Chief Strategist for Crowd Favorite
Pro-actively surround yourself with people who are unlike you.
Choose it. Go out of your way to embrace the difference and learn from it.
Be part of the solution.
Actively work to help close the diversity gap.
Support organizations working to fix the problem.
Find the groups actively working to increase diversity in tech.
Philly groups - teaching. Find groups in your area and support them. Raise money, promote their events, find volunteer and sponsorship opportunities.
Let's make it better!
WordPress community, welcoming
We have the opportunity to be leaders in increasing diversity.
We hire and mentor people.
Let's go out there and make a more diverse ecosystem. Let's do this!
Co-owner, Co-founder YIKES, Inc.
@LilJimmi • yikesinc.com
Thank you. My name is Tracy Levesque and I co-own YIKES, Inc. a web design and development agency in the awesome city of Philadelphia, PA.