Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

Code Like A Girl

“Ask me anything. I don’t provide feedback.”

My daughter is interviewing for her first software developer job.

Given that the tech industry has publicly committed to build a more diverse workforce, I expected that women would be involved in the technical and decision making parts of the hiring process.

I was wrong.

Here is a synopsis of her experience at one top tier tech company.

Recruiter #1

The first recruiter is a personable and engaging woman. They have a nice conversation and it feels like the recruiter is on her side and wants her to get the job. A very nice welcome to the company.

The recruiter schedules a phone-based technical interview.

Phone-based Technical Interview

The interviewer is a man. He is all business. It’s a little surprising and disconcerting since the initial interviewer was chatty and nice. Like you could be friends if circumstances were different. Now you are being asked to solve somewhat difficult problems with someone who doesn’t seem that interested in whether you succeed or fail.

But you have a solid skill set and pass the interview.

Recruiter #2

This recruiter is a man. He tells you that they want you to come on-site for an interview and gets everything set up for your interview day. He is friendly and personable.

Group Phone Call

Before the on-site interview there is a conference call with a tech person and five other applicants. The other applicants are men, so is the tech person. Everyone works on a tech problem. One of the men drops the F-bomb several times in the interview, argues with everyone, and essentially takes over the call. Not cool. Not helpful.

On-site Interviews

The big day is here. You arrive and have four one hour interviews scheduled. Two in the morning, then lunch, then two more in the afternoon.

All of the interviewers are men. They each give you a tech problem to solve. Two are talkative and engaged with you while you work on a solution. Two of the interviewers show up, give you a problem to solve and then open their laptops and ignore you. Awkward and kind of sad.


After two interviews a woman comes to the conference room and takes you to lunch. She is friendly and tells you to ask whatever questions you want because she isn’t asked to give feedback.

You have a nice visit with her, learn more about the company and then go back to your conference room for the remaining two interviews.

“Ask me anything, I don’t provide feedback.”

This is so terrible.

Wouldn’t the first step in hiring more women be to have more women involved in the hiring process?

And wouldn’t a smarter hiring process look more like the work environment? I doubt this tech company wants a culture where men sit in silence behind computer screens and ignore each other.

If my daughter receives an offer I am certain she will accept it, this is one of the top-rated tech companies to work for, but how long will she stay?

So far she has learned that she most likely won’t be involved in the hiring of other young woman (unless it’s to take them to lunch), she will have very few woman coworkers, and she might end up on a team of men who will ignore her unless she asks for help.

No wonder the gender gap continues.

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