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5 Actions for Allies Who Care About the Leaky Tech Pipeline

The Kapor Center for Social Impact recently launched The Leaky Tech Pipeline. This “framework and website are meant to increase understanding of the causes of disparities in the technology ecosystem, raise awareness about effective strategies and stages for intervention, and drive the development and implementation of comprehensive solutions.”

We pored through the website and identified five important actions for allies. Here’s what we found:

1. During performance evaluations, analyze compensation increases by gender and race

Did you know women and employees of color receive less compensation than white men when they both receive equal scores on performance evaluations? It’s critical that we pay attention to the comp increases we award to employees, by gender and race, and fix any inequities. Read more

2. Do a salary review by gender & fix any inequities

You’ve probably heard the stats about women earning less than their male counterparts. And you may have thought, “Okay, but that doesn’t happen in tech.” Well, actually, it does. As we learned from the Leaky Tech Pipeline, female software engineers receive 83% of the salary that male software engineers receive. That’s 83 cents to every $1.

If your company hasn’t already instituted a pay review by gender, you’ve got work to do. Can you make this happen for your team? Better yet, for your larger function or business unit?

3. Believe women who report harassment

Here’s the thing: 53% of women in tech experience harassment vs 16% of men. So believe women when they talk about harassment. Even if you haven’t seen it or experienced it yourself. Read more

4. Use objective criteria for reviewing resumes

Resumes with African-American sounding names receive 50% fewer call-backs than resumes with White sounding names. To combat this bias, create objective criteria for reviewing resumes. Choose the most critical requirements from the job description, and evaluate candidates on those qualities. Not on their name. Read more

5. Actively diversify our network

If you’re white, there’s a 75% chance you don’t have any non-white friends in your social network. And if we have homogeneous networks, we’ll hire homogeneity. Plus give stretch assignments and promotions to people “just like us” whom we know and trust.

What’s one thing you can do this week to diversify your network? Here are some ideas:

Becoming an ally is a journey. Want to join us?

Together, we can — and will — make a difference.