Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

Code Like A Girl

5 Ally Actions | Jul 20, 2018

Photo of man speaking to a group of people

Each week, we share five simple steps to take to create a more inclusive workplace and be a better ally.

1. Say “distinguished guests” instead of “ladies and gentlemen”

We appreciate the tips in “100 Ways to Make the World Better for Non-binary People” by AC Dumlao. Things like using “they” or “them” as pronouns when you’re not sure of someone’s gender. Realizing that non-binary people may present themselves differently on different days, because that’s how they feel. Understanding there’s no singular non-binary experience. Our favorite? Saying “distinguished guests” instead of “ladies and gentlemen” to be inclusive of everyone.

2. Post openings on a variety of job sites

As a female CEO, Kendall Tucker thought it would be easy to find strong female candidates. But she was receiving 95% male applicants for all job postings.

To diversify her team, she employed a number of strategies. While much of her article was familiar territory for us, she did point out one approach we hadn’t thought of before: “Post on a variety of job sites to get a diverse candidate pool.”

Turns out that, for her positions, LinkedIn attracted up to 90% male engineering applicants, where Angellist, Indeed, Glassdoor and Google attracted more balanced candidate pools.

Read more in “Tips for Hiring Women in Tech From a Female CEO Who Had Trouble Hiring Women in Tech.”

3. Don’t just paste blue boxes over the racy bits

Recently, while giving an acceptance speech for a distinguished award, a researcher showed several pictures of “scantily clad female students” doing field research. As the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reported, “The photographs were risqué enough that conference organizers added blue boxes to cover parts of the women’s bodies.”

Better would have been to reject the slides completely.

4. Spread thankless tasks across a team

This week, the Harvard Business Review published “Why Women Volunteer for Tasks That Don’t Lead to Promotions.” It’s summarizes research by professors Linda Babcock, Maria P. Recalde, and Lise Vesterlund, who found “that women volunteer for ‘non-promotable’ tasks more than men; that women are more frequently asked to take such tasks on; and that when asked, they are more likely to say yes.”

Allies, let’s spread thankless tasks equitably across our team. And, as Shane Glass tweeted, “Men being more willing to volunteer for these tasks would help too.” Right on.

5. Give credit to the project owner, even if she isn’t in the room

A good reminder of the simple, yet important, action of acknowledging someone’s work, even if they aren’t in the room:

One last thing

Our most popular Medium post is “Let’s meet over coffee. (Or is that creepy?).” If you haven’t read it yet, please take a look, and consider sharing it with colleagues.

Photo of two cups of coffee on a table

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

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