Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

Code Like A Girl

You may have a blossoming brotopia at your company

Think you understand how women experience the tech workplace? Well, whether you do or don’t, we recommend reading “Brotopia” by Emily Chang. This well-written, well-researched book will be eye-opening. From porn images used to test algorithms, to interviews and meetings held at strip clubs, to violent threats from online trolls, this book unfortunately has it all. And we bet it will inspire you to do more to create inclusive workplaces, for women and frankly everyone.

Armed with that inspiration, here are 5 things you can do to start pruning any blossoming brotopia at your tech company.

1. Identify and fix any gender pay gap. Now.

In a week where all companies that employ 250 or more people in the U.K. were legally required to reveal their gender pay gaps (and the reports weren’t good), we also learned that as women in tech gain experience, their pay gap with men gets worse.

Here’s what it looks like. Within the first two years of working in tech, women ask for & receive 98% of what their male counterparts make. Even worse? Women with 7–10 years of experience ask for 90% and are offered 93% of what men earn.

Insist your company do a gender pay analysis and fix any inequities.

There’s one more thing. If you’re a hiring manager, make sure you’re offering women the same salary you’re offering to the guys. Even if they’re not requesting as much.

2. Recommend women and underrepresented minorities for stretch assignments

A widely-accepted learning model is that 70% of employee development comes from taking on challenging assignments. Look at who gets these stretch opportunities in your group. If it’s mostly white men, it’s time to start recommending women and underrepresented folks.

If you find yourself thinking, “But, I don’t work with any women or underrepresented folks to recommend for stretch assignments”…read on.

3. Recommend women and underrepresented minorities for job openings

Next time someone asks “Do you know anyone who’d be interested in <some cool opportunity>,” take a minute to think of women and underrepresented folks to recommend for the job. And not just the usual guys in your network.

4. Raise a flag if your careers page is full of photos of techbro’s having a good time

Looking to diversify your team? Take a look at your company’s careers page. Do the photos show people of all kinds thriving at your company? Or are they full of techbro’s having a good time?

These photos are just one thing that women and underrepresented minorities might be evaluating as they consider applying for jobs. Think about the message you want to send. And push hard for new photos if that message isn’t the right one.

5. Say “no” to meetings at strip clubs

We can’t believe we have to write this. Don’t go with your team for a lunch outing to a strip club, even if it has a $5 all-you-can-eat buffet. Don’t bring job candidates there. Don’t close business deals at one either.

Don’t believe it happens? You need to read “Brotopia.”

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

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