Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

Code Like A Girl

Tackling the gender gap on tech teams

Why the recruitment space needs a better solution

About two weeks ago, we (Women 2.0) launched Lane, a tech recruitment platform for women technologists — developers, data scientists, product managers…. you name it (come sign up, we have some awesome hiring companies!).

I’ve worked in the tech recruitment space before, and have been focused on women in tech for over a decade, so this platform felt obvious, and the timing perfect.

Why? Aside from the obvious mission of closing the gender gap in representation on tech teams, a few key things:

Scaling of diversity efforts.

In general, diversity and inclusion efforts of any kind have primarily been “shoved” into the non-profit space. Non-profits, for the most part, are inherently low-scale.

For me, there’s always been a tension between feeling as though the work I’ve done is “supposed” to be in the non-profit space and being able to achieve the scale that’s crucial to provide large-scale impact (we’ve cut that tension by shamelessly operating as a for-profit, for-good company).

One of the largest ways this gets played out in recruitment was an inefficient sourcing process for diverse candidates and a lack of flow of those candidates.

For several years, hiring managers with even the most earnest of inclusion goals had no way of filtering a candidate pool towards diversity on the “regular” platforms (LinkedIn, Monster, Hired, etc). At that point they were, for the most part, relegated to reaching out to 5, 10 sometimes 15 different non-profits, community groups or meetups — all with low-tech solutions — to try to source talent.

As you can imagine, this isn’t an efficient process.

But why couldn’t it be? There are numerous solutions for general tech recruitment that are specifically focused on making candidate sourcing easier and more efficient for hiring companies. And when creating a more diverse tech team has a huge benefit to a company and its bottomline, there’s no reason why similar platforms entirely focused on creating diverse teams can’t exist.

So we did it.

Centralized candidate pool.

By having a decentralized, inefficient system for hiring companies to find great female tech talent, we aren’t creating a better career environment the talent, the women trying to tech. They’re either competing in the already stacked playing field that is the tech space, or they can’t be found by the companies who truly value having them on their team.

Lane, since its very seed of a thought, has always been bigger — much bigger — than Women 2.0. We stand a better chance to get more women into the tech space if we quite literally pool together, offer fewer access points to talent and make it stupid simple for companies to get you in the door.

That’s why we’re working with several non-profits and community groups to do just that. Each partnership is created with the goal to make these organizations better and more successful, and each relationship has concrete business incentives built right in.

Women 2.0 has always been about collaboration and making our platform available for those with a similar mission alignment to benefit from whatever we do (this is one of our core values). For us, collaboration must exist to tackle the gender gaps in tech.

We find better workplaces for you.

Why are all of these diversity and inclusion efforts better for the candidates? Because it means a workplace and a career that are significantly more well-equipped to support them long-term and provide true career advancement opportunities.

But identifying these workplaces isn’t as easy when candidates are on the “regular” job hunt.

Which companies are going to treat me equally? Which ones have a focus on inclusion? Which ones will value my skill set at the same level as my peers, regardless of my gender? Which ones are committed to making sure that gender won’t be a factor while I’m building amazing products?

Every company we work with has some level of diversity focus built into their process. It could be new and small, but it’s core. It could be well-established with a focus on hitting year end diversity targets. In any case, we’re able to have that conversation with them, and assess where they are in this respect. Then we can turn around and ensure our candidates we’ve got their backs.

I absolutely love talking to these companies and hearing what they’re doing internally — usually with a great deal of passion behind it — at whatever stage they’re in. At Orchard Platform, it was a smaller, internal group of employees who knew building in diversity was key to their future, and they took it to leadership (successfully!). At Digital Ocean or Box, they’ve had long-standing internal processes focused around D&I and just keep wanting to improve.

For our candidates, this is key. They know they can come to Lane and find jobs in inclusive environments, meaning their careers will likely be more rewarding and successful.

Yes, yes and yes.

These are the main reasons we felt the market needed this product, so real impact could be realized in hiring to diversity.

Come check it out, or share it around while we work to get more women onto tech teams.