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How to write more inclusive job-ads as part of the problem - a white male in tech.

Maik Ro
December 06, 2020

How to write more inclusive job-ads as part of the problem - a white male in tech.

This presentation explores the infamous "pipeline problem" of tech - people sometimes use this phrase to justify the fact that their hiring process somehow does not find any non-white male candidates.
The last two companies I have worked for had a similar situation - but then I established a process to increase the percentage of women applying up to almost 56%.
Here I want to share what I did and why it is important to not only care about the hiring process but also the culture that comes with the new mindset.

Maik Ro

December 06, 2020


  1. Writing more inclusive job ads as part of the problem

    @maikroservice - 03.12.2020 a white male in tech
  2. @maikroservice - 03.12.2020 The infamous pipeline problem

  3. @maikroservice - 03.12.2020 DIVERSITY vs. INCLUSION

  4. @maikroservice - 03.12.2020 DIVERSITY is the mix Age Gender Education

    Style Intro-/Extrovert Experience Religion Time Zone Role Seniority LGBTQIA+ Appearance Sexual Orientation Geography Culture Languages Ability/Disability Tech-focus Family Status Neurodiversity http://tararobertson.ca/2018/blah-blah-blah/
  5. @maikroservice - 03.12.2020 INCLUSION is making the mix work Conflict

    resolution Alignment Agree to disagree Active Listening Equality - making sure everybody is heard Equity - making sure every voice has the same weight Questioning your own views Actively remove barriers Remove *-ism http://tararobertson.ca/2018/blah-blah-blah/
  6. @maikroservice - 03.12.2020 Diversity does not work without Inclusion.* “

  7. @maikroservice - 03.12.2020 Diversity does not work without Inclusion.* *

    and inclusion is a lot of work. “
  8. Disclaimer • the following slides show excerpts of my personal

    Red-Flags • companies were randomly chosen, this does not reflect the organization in any way • I applied for 126 jobs this year until I found a new position
  9. A day of job hunter adventures… @maikroservice - 03.12.2020 *

    removed perks with company name
  10. A day of job hunter adventures… @maikroservice - 03.12.2020 *

    removed perks with company name
  11. and another day… @maikroservice - 03.12.2020 You Them * removed

    perks with company name
  12. Disclaimer II • Today we start with job ads •

    Job ads are the entry point for new people and culture • It worked for the last two companies I was employed at, but it might not work for your company. @maikroservice - 03.12.2020
  13. You _need_ to make sure that organisational changes happen as

    well Job Ads + Interviews perception culture
  14. A how-to for more inclusive job ads • 0. Think

    about / brainstorm if you need requirements such as “CS degree” • 1. Remove all the requirements from the posting (e.g. computer science bachelor, 10 years of experience, design aficionado, etc.) • 2. Read the following paper: Danielle Gaucher, Justin Friesen, and Aaron C. Kay: Evidence That Gendered Wording in Job Advertisements Exists and Sustains Gender Inequality (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2011, Vol 101(1), p109-128) @maikroservice - 03.12.2020
  15. @maikroservice - 03.12.2020 Men apply for jobs when they meet

    ~60% of the criteria, while women wait until they feel they meet 100% of the criteria. “
  16. A how-to for more inclusive job ads • 3. Check

    out the gender decoder by Kat Matfield (http://gender- decoder.katmatfield.com/) • 4. Rewrite the job ad with more “Feminine-coded” language (http:// gender-decoder.katmatfield.com/about) • 5. While you are at it make sure that you check for “ableism” language such as ‘blind spot’ and replace them with inclusive language (e.g. dead angle) @maikroservice - 03.12.2020
  17. A how-to for more inclusive job ads • 6. Think

    about the order of your paragraphs (usually job-ads are something along these lines: what you would do, what you need to do the job we hire you for and more, what we offer) • 7. Reorder the paragraphs and stress “what we offer” • 8. Please make sure that you actually offer the things you promise • 8.1 be careful when advertising table-tennis, after work drinks etc., these perks might not feel like perks for everyone @maikroservice - 03.12.2020
  18. A how-to for more inclusive job ads • 9. Ask

    for feedback (e.g. via twitter, current candidates, new hires, team members, diversity consultants) • 10. Be wary of technical tests, IQ-tests, assessment tasks etc. these suffer from survivorship bias and might destroy everything you tried to change beforehand @maikroservice - 03.12.2020
  19. Sidenote: • Change your interview process accordingly, if possible •

    Focus on where the candidate wants to go/be and how you (both as a manager and as an organization) can help them get there! • Ideally, employees would be able to spend 20% of their time on “them” and 80% on daily business
  20. @maikroservice - 03.12.2020 You don’t hire for skills, you hire

    for attitude. You can always teach skills. “ Herb Kelleher
  21. The sad reality

  22. Status Quo @maikroservice - 03.12.2020

  23. End @maikroservice - 03.12.2020 Women don’t need mentors, but champions.

    “ https://www.rolemodels.co/podcast/episode-12-cindy-gallop-on-why-female-role-models-are-just-as-critical-for-men-as-they-are-for-women/ Cindy Gallop
  24. None