Actions for recruiting female engineers
Today an engineering manager of a big company approached me with this issue. Here’s the actions I suggested:
1. Fix your organization first (if needed. Most organizations do need fix): make sure you give enough mentoring and promotions, equal pay and opportunities to female engineers that already work for you.
Make sure they go to conferences, write in your blog, lead organizational processes and so on. If you ask them and they decline opportunities — ask again and explain why you think they fit in. They will bring their friends, if they really feel it worth it.
Specifically, invite Common-Ground lecture to educate yourself and your managers. They are the best, founded by HUJI PHD candidates, all based on research.
2. Sponsor female engineers events: Django Girls, NG Girls, She Codes (and Extend, if you wish). Make sure to send mentors.
3. Change your content (recruiting posts) to attract women. For example, if you write in Hebrew, approach women in your text. You can add at the bottom that the ad is for both sexes. Avoid superlatives like ‘superman’, ‘ninja’ etc. Have women in your images, if your media contains images.
4. Give men paternity leave. This will change everything for the women engineers in your organization. They will no longer have issues with killing their careers if giving birth. People don’t give birth so often (you can count how many engineers left your organization in the past year. How many had newborns?), use the Facebook model.
5. Thanks to She Codes, there are a lot of women in conversion of profession process. Invite them to interviews even if they don’t have a degree and it’s their first job. They will have more than a few side projects. The ones I’ve met were so passionate, so dedicated, like I’ve never seen before.
6. Double the bonus for friend brings female engineer friend.
7. Change your interview process, cause chance is something about it rejects women.
He surprised me and told they already do many of the suggestions, and will try some of the others. I was very happy to hear that.