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Moving Mindsets on Gender Diversity

Angie Chang
October 16, 2014

Moving Mindsets on Gender Diversity

"Moving Mindsets on Gender Diversity" talk for the annual Dreamforce conference on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Angie Chang is a Vice President at Hackbright Academy, which runs a 10-week accelerated engineering fellowship exclusively for women quarterly in San Francisco. In 2008, she started Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners to network women in technology, asking that guys come as the “+1″ for once to a tech event. Dinners are sponsored by companies including Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and Palantir. Prior to that, she co-founded Women 2.0, a media company which promotes women in high-growth, high-tech entrepreneurship. She was named in Fast Company’s 2010 “Most Influential Women in Technology” and more recently Business Insider named her one of “30 Most Important Women Under 30 In Tech”.

Angie Chang

October 16, 2014


  1. Why This Topic Matters To Me – My Story The

    start of Women 2.0, Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners and Hackbright Academy.
  2. 7 Years of Women 2.0 – Most While Working FT

    at Startups Sharing stories of women starting startups, and working in technology!
  3. Full-Time Women 2.0 Role, Thousand-Woman Conferences! Going full-time on Women

    2.0 meant bandwidth to make Women 2.0 conferences excel.
  4. Started Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners in 2008 Excited about

    the value of bringing women in tech together, and always working at small startups without a WIT group, I started Girl Geek Dinners in the Bay Area.
  5. Current Role: Vice President at Hackbright Academy Engineering school for

    women in San Francisco! We graduated more female software engineers last year than UC Berkeley or Stanford University.
  6. Women Are Interested In Tech -- Building And Working In

    It! Hackbright helps women become awesome programmers.
  7. Engineering Fellowship Extracurricular Activities From field trips to partner companies

    to tech talks from notable female engineers, Hackbright cultivates female software engineers from non-traditional backgrounds!
  8. Hackbright Academy Results 90% of Hackbright alum receive job offers

    within 3 months of completing the fellowship. Average starting salary for a Hackbright alum is $90,000. Hackbright alum are currently working at Facebook, Pinterest, Lyft, New Relic, Eventbrite, SurveyMonkey and more. Hackbright alum also speak at conferences (from DjangoCon to PyCon) and events.
  9. Why This Topic Matters To Me – Changing the Ratio

    Engineering doesn’t always look like or have to look like a bunch of guys in a room. The world is much more interesting than that. (Source: http://www.performanceservices.com/our_team/top_talent)
  10. Which engineer wrote the first computer program? Ada Lovelace Admiral

    Grace Hopper ENIAC computers Know Your History (Or, HER-story…)
  11. Which engineer wrote the first compiler? Was it… Ada Lovelace

    Admiral Grace Hopper ENIAC computers Let’s Play Again…
  12. Grace Hopper Wrote The First Compiler! Rear Admiral Grace Hopper

    She also invented COBOL. invented the first compiler for a computer programming language!
  13. Who were the first “the computers”? Ada Lovelace Admiral Grace

    Hopper ENIAC computers One Last Easy Question!
  14. Literally Does Compute! Electrical Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) mathematicians,

    all women, were the first “computers” as called by the army who commissioned their work for ballistics trajectory calculations.
  15. History Disagrees – Women in Tech is Not New Women

    have been a big part of programming since the beginning! •  Ada Lovelace •  Grace Hopper •  ENIAC Programmers
  16. To Change The Ratio In Tech, We Need More Role

    Models Female CTOs benefit women’s perceptions, interests, confidence and makes technical leadership plausible for women considering a career in engineering / tech! (acquired by Ebay) (acquired by Apple) CTO Raji Arasu CTO Elissa Murphy CTO Liz Crawford CTO Rebecca Parsons CTO Cathy Edwards CTO Padma Warrior CTO Megan Smith CTO Selina Tobaccowala CTO Camille Fournier
  17. Why This Topic Matters To Me – Diversity Just Makes

    Sense Numerous studies show having a diverse team makes smart business sense, from the boardroom to engineering teams. Studies report that gender diverse tech organizations and departments: !  Produce work teams that stay on schedule, under budget !  Demonstrate improved employee performance
  18. Sadly, Silicon Valley Lacks Gender Diversity This year, top tech

    companies in Silicon Valley reveal their employees’ diversity numbers – from gender to ethnicity – and the results are disappointing:
  19. Salesforce Employees Lack Gender and Ethnic Diversity As a tech

    company, Salesforce shared similar employee gender and ethnicity statistics – Almost 30% women, mostly white and Asian employees:
  20. These Metrics Can Be Improved! A third-party surveyor can standardize

    metrics across companies and clarify them. It is currently unclear how categories of tech are defined across companies. Tech culture critic Shanley Kane, CEO of Model View Culture, suggested analyzing the following metrics: •  Ethnic and racial diversity – all, then compare across gender groups •  Age – all, then compare across gender groups •  Average length of employment -- all, then compare rates for imarginalized and dominant groups •  Representation in tiers of management, across departments •  Average time to promotion, and % attainment of management position over time
  21. Do We Accept The Status Quo? Born into gender stereotypes

    and cultural expectations, do we accept the status quo? http://www.forbes.com/sites/markfidelman/2012/06/05/heres-the-real-reason-there-are-not-more-women-in-technology/
  22. The Problem with Citing the “Leaky Pipeline” When Addressing The

    Lack of Women in Engineering … This Removes Personal Commitment.
  23. What can YOU do at an individual level to help?

    •  Make your work environment inclusive, not stereotypically geeky – this helps in the interview / recruitment process. –  Geek memorabilia is exclusionary. Get rid of empty soda cans, junk food, pizza boxes. It has also been recommended to take down Star Trek posters. –  If you have some “geeky” stuff up, offset them by including neutral items like art and posters on the walls, having coffee mugs and water bottles around, some potted indoor plants, general interest books / magazines... How To *Personally* Change The Ratio
  24. Change The Ratio: Support Engineering Toys For Girls Parents can

    move past stereotypical roles for girls, and not only provide dolls but engineering toys and encourage a tinker-friendly builder mentality. “help girls build spatial skills, engineering principles and confidence in problem-solving” “the original wired building kit” “electronic legos”
  25. Change The Ratio: Support Engineering Camp For Girls From education

    to summer camp, sign up girls for computer camp! Encourage them to build, hack, break things and invent the future. “curiosity, creativity to try new ideas, persistence” ENGINEERING SUMMER CAMP SUMMER COMPUTER CAMP HIGH SCHOOL ROBOTICS COMPETITION
  26. Change The Ratio: Care About Gender In The Workplace Because

    gender balance affects the bottom line – in a good way! •  Gender diversity at top management improves companies’ financial performance. •  Gender diversity in teams also benefits the bottom line. •  Gender-diverse work teams demonstrate superior team dynamics and productivity. BONUS: Recently, Fortune reported that women make groups smarter!
  27. RECRUIT BY TARGETING FOR DIVERSITY •  Empower underrepresented minorities (i.e.

    women, ethnic groups, LGBTQ) in your company to create groups and host events for internal and external BOF. •  Actively recruit from women-focused events, offer to sponsor / host their meetups. Don’t be afraid to have a conversation and offer sponsorship / support. Best Practices For Hiring Diverse Candidates

    language! This means no “crushing”, no “killing”, no “ninjas”. Try cutting words like “guru” or “expert” out of the job description rhetoric as well. –  Avoid extreme modifiers like “best of the best”, “world-class” and “off the charts”. –  Anyone who has been raised/socialized to downplay their expertise, or not “toot their own horn,” will be less likely to categorize themselves in these ways, even when very highly qualified. Suggested alternatives: “truly innovative”; “a genuine curiosity”; “highly respected”. Best Practices For Hiring Diverse Candidates
  29. Consider the word choice in the job description! "  Do

    you seek an “aggressive, hard-driving” person, or a “motivated, energetic” person? "  Do you describe the office as “Nerf-filled and shoes optional” or “interactive and informal?” The latter might attract female as well as male applicants. Best Practices For Hiring Diverse Candidates One company discovered that changing the job title from “technology manager” to “digital manager” boosted the number of female applicants by 30%. Imagine what a small word change can do to bring more women into technology roles!

    in Computer Science” is really necessary for the job description? #  Consider the non-traditional / self-taught generation of programmers! Are you limiting your iipipeline of applicants by sounding rigid and traditional? #  Do ask about relevant work experience, side projects, code samples, technical blog posts, iihackathon projects… Best Practices For Hiring Diverse Candidates
  31. RECRUIT BY SHOWING YOUR DIVERSITY What does the “About” page

    of your company convey? Does it show your diversity? $  Are there women on the board? Executive team? Do women occupy senior and management positions across the company? $  Candidates will look at your website and assess if your company will be supportive of them. $  When interviewing candidates, introduce them to diverse employees at the company. Best Practices For Hiring Diverse Candidates
  32. RECRUIT WITH THE INCLUSION INITIATIVE Interview at least one woman

    and one member of a minority for every open position’s application process. –  Freada Kapor Klein, founder of the Level Playing Field Institute, suggests that companies implement a rule such as the Rooney Rule for NFL teams, which requires teams to interview minority candidates for top positions. Ensure that your interview team includes at least one woman. –  This is a best practice Google and VMware employ to ensure a good diversity candidate interview experience. . Best Practices For Hiring Diverse Candidates

    process that minimizes unintended bias. –  “Blind” screening generally results in more diverse candidate pools. –  Conduct initial screening of applications by removing clues to gender, like names. •  Don’t screen for “cultural fit”. –  Adding social pressure to conform during the interview process diminishes likelihood of encouraging diversity. –  “Having a drink with the team” should not be part of the interview. •  Does your workplace décor allow everyone to feel comfortable and welcome? –  “Nerd” or “geek” culture is controversial. Research shows women do not feel included in a narrowing culture. Try having plants, art, general interest books and magazines lying around. Best Practices For Hiring Diverse Candidates

    PyCon 2014 talk on technical onboarding, training and mentoring •  During the interview process, share your plan to train up the new engineer. •  Understand that it will be a team of engineers contributing different things to the new engineer’s development over time. Best Practices For Onboarding
  35. Tips & Tricks From Eventbrite Engineering Onboarding %  Make time

    and a safe space for a new engineer to ask questions – Code Labs! !  Weekly meetings for new engineers to ask questions to experienced engineers without being penalized. %  Let the new engineer play in a sandbox dev environment. !  New team members should have freedom to grow and explore lllwithout burning out onboarding mentors. !  lHave automation around the dev environment and deploys llThis creates a space where new engineers can play and hack ll without worrying too much about bringing down prod. %  About setting up the dev environment. !  The most recent person to set up their env should be the llbe person to help the new engineer set up their env. Best Practices For Onboarding
  36. Own Your Power. Then, Practice Being Visible. &  Tweet! At

    other developers! At startups! –  Use the conference hashtag on Twitter to get the attention of other developers. &  Write technical blog posts. –  Then, tweet them and include @mentions of people you want to read it. &  Go to meetups on languages/frameworks/tools you are using or want to learn. –  Get to know others in the same area of expertise you are participating in, and also coming into. &  Give a tech talk at an event, or join a panel discussion. –  Dare to engage onstage ;) &  Mentor and give back! –  Mentorship is a great way to share your knowledge and spread your influence. &  Become a CTO, invent a new language/framework, start a company ☺ Best Practices For Leveling Up Software Engineers
  37. Thank You For Listening! Presenter: Angie Chang Email: [email protected] Twitter:

    @thisgirlangie LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/thisgirlangie