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Anonymous

What do you think about gender equality in tech?

I'm a woman working in tech. I've come across this article from the New York Times Push for Gender Equality in Tech? Some Men Say It’s Gone Too Far and was wondering what is your point of view on this? I feel like Product Hunt is the perfect place to ask this question as most of us work in Tech or are close to this community. Open for an honest conversation here 🙌
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Discussion
Kate@katesegrin · Head of Social @ GitHub
The unfortunate truth for white people / men in tech, who are so lucky to have lived with privilege for so long, is that when equality is realized (or even seen in small glimpses), it feels a lot like oppression (as compared to what "life is usually like"). Equality is not going "too far", regardless of how unfamiliar it may feel in comparison to current circumstances of privilege.
Nicholas Sheriff@nicholassheriff · Founder, Sheriff Ventures
Girl Alex@grlalx · Cofounder @HealthIQ, Via @GS
@katesegrin this. Yes.
Nicola Rosenthal@brit_nic · CMO, Fleep Technologies
@katesegrin great answer!
Girl Alex@grlalx · Cofounder @HealthIQ, Via @GS
Only one woman has commented on this thread...despite various twitter attempts at getting more women to contribute. I think the silence is an implicit message that women are hesitant to talk about this. The fear and risks on both personal & professional levels make even just speaking an incredibly isolating decision.
Krishna Parashar@kcparashar1
I think the primary reason that we need better acceptance, encouragement, and inclusion of genders, races, cultures, and ages in Tech is so that we can better choose the problems we want to solve as highly capable members of humanity. More perspectives allow for better discernment of valuable problems. IMHO a lot of the problems that we are solving (at least in Silicon Valley, where I am) are unnecessary (and to a degree harmful) and metrics that we are using to determine success are myopic at best and highly wasteful of billions of people's time at worst.
Krishna Parashar@kcparashar1
We are not doing a good enough job of encouraging those who may not yet fit into to the culture we have created. This is not good for the above reason, amongst others.
Leandro@leandro8209 · Co-founder, Unubo
Very hot topic right now, and there are so many ways to dive into that article. I'll preface this by saying, that I believe: - Everybody should be treated equally. When this isn't the case, it needs to be corrected. Simple as that. Now, I can't possibly comment on everything raised in the article, because I'm simply not informed enough. I'm not a fly on the wall in those companies, and unless I have the whole picture (not just one article) painted to me, I'd rather not comment. Everything is very polarising these days, and it can be easy to get swept up in it all. It all starts with an injustice. Women aren't paid the same for the same jobs/level of work/etc., sexual harassment, not enough representation, the list goes on. Then we have people speaking out against it or doing something about it (rightly so), but then we get into strange territory when extremes of both sides start to form, which I believe doesn't help solve problems. "Now men’s rights advocates in Silicon Valley have galvanized." (from the article). This is an example of something that isn't helpful. It's an insular, protectionist group, born out of reactionary frustrations with the "other side". It's like so many other things. Politics, race and so much more. History shows that whenever we form insular groups against "the other", we are worse off. I'm not going to pretend to have all the answers, but here's what I think helps. This is better than these often insincere diversity policies companies just slap on, to appease some quota. I believe as humans, this is everybody's role in the societies we live in: - Acknowledge anybody as a human being before race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. - Understand before wanting to be understood - Remove pride and ego from yourself, as much as you can - Leading by example and teaching the next generations (our kids) the above If everybody internalised this, lived by it and passed it on, we'd start chipping away at inequalities.
Joshua Voydik@joshvoydik · Founder, Mindful Makers
@leandrobthomas "- Acknowledge anybody as a human being before race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc." PREACH
Christopher Leach@leachy114 · Programmer and Student
@leandrobthomas this 100x
Brett Williams@brettwill1025 · Founder of Hue, and some other products.
When I hire, I honestly couldn’t care less if you’re a man, woman, white, black, educated, or uneducated. I care if you’re a decent person and if you have the experience and skill set I’m looking for. As a culture, we need to look past the color of someone’s skin or their gender and treat people as just that...people. In a way, the topic of diversity actually takes us further away from this way of thinking.
Jarod Stewart@stewartjarod · Sr. Software Engineer, Yonomi
@brettwill1025 that's a good thought, but everyone has unconscious biases that are hard to control. How do you overcome those when interviewing candidates, filtering resumes, etc. Do you anonymize names, voices, etc. when doing initial filtering?
Andy Lima@andylima
@brettwill1025 @stewartjarod Jarod, there is no substitute for self-awareness. By meditating — slowing down the mind, watching it, etc. — we become more aware of our beliefs and filters... and, eventually, the ones not serving us properly are dropped. This, of course, doesn't happen overnight. True evolution never does. True evolution takes time. What many people are professing these days is discrimination to reach non-discrimination. I hope that you can see that it's a way to reach a goal that's contrary to the goal itself... Mentally, this kind of process never works — If you practice (in your mind) discrimination (based on superficial criteria like skin color, gender, etc.) between human beings, that's what you are going to get more of. Try it. Discriminate more (based on those superficial filters) for a few days and see if that leads to you being a more accepting person, a more insightful person, a more caring person.
Christopher Leach@leachy114 · Programmer and Student
@brettwill1025 @stewartjarod We don't know if this is true or not, subconscious bias is literally looking for the ghost of a ghost. If a bias person is bias but never says anything we can't know for sure he's biased. If the unbiased person or biased person is subconsciously biased they themselves don't even know. This is hunting for a ghost's ghost. Also you're conscious self can override you're subconscious self if you recognize you could have biases.
mustLOLO@mustlolo · mustLOLO
It does not matter if you are a woman or a man, if you like tech you should do that .
parveen choudhury@beedi_queen · Product Marketer, Zoho Creator
I am a tech marketer for Zoho in India, so I would not claim to be speaking for women in tech all over the world. But even in Zoho office in Chennai, when the diversity memo by Damore happened, there was an uproar in our internal Connect conversations. When our CEO suggested that firing an employee just because he expressed his opinions was wrong, there were several backlashes. Suddenly the women began feeling distrustful of the same men with whom they had been working for years without any complaints. Suddenly the men felt OBLIGED to make women more comfortable and not appear as discriminatory. I would say it exactly felt like when children behave when a teacher comes in class and tells them they are not the same, they are some boys, and some girls and they could not be playing happily because some boys outrun some girls in playing, and the girls( even those who were not outrun) should hate the boys(all of them) because they were being outrun. The children become mistrustful and start sitting in separate gender groups and play their own games. I personally never felt discriminated against in the technology world. If anything, I always noticed that when both the genders are not made conscious of their "genders", they are always at ease, take each other as equals and help each other out in any areas that may be lacking. The problem with the world is we dwell too much on the differences rather than celebrating the differences.
Sama Jashnani@sama_jashnani · Co-Founder, DownToDash
I think women founders are seriously underrepresented and treated with inequality. I wrote an article on Overcoming Fears as a Female Entrepreneur: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/en...
Pablo Noel@pablonoel · Senior Product Designer
There is little to none true gender equality in tech. I don't really believe this is an inherent fact about tech, but ratter a deeper more complex problem. But I do believe we are in a really privileged position from were we are, to impact positively a bigger part of society. Not only acknowledging the inequality exist, but also we are part of both the problem and the solution. We can and should do better, from any perspective the outcome of a true gender equality will be beneficial for us as a whole.
Philip Brechler@plaetzchen · Product Manager at mobile.de
In my work with girls and boys teaching them how to code in CoderDojos I found it is all about role models and setting up norms. When we had female mentors and some girls in the classes they told friends and we had a gender-equal group a lot of times. Same is true in companies, there are some tech companies here that have high quota of women in their teams and that is mostly by role models in the management and a clear communication that they want to tackle the problem. So in the end I think it is just important to know that it will not happen automatically and companies need to work on their culture and hiring practices to accomplish a higher quota of female engineers.
Nora Conrad@noraconrad · Owner of NoraConrad.com
Any gap in "equality" I've ever experienced was self-fulfilling. I think the women who think they are being treated unequally to their male colleagues are treated that way because they believe the men have a leg up somehow. If you're competent, confident and know your stuff, you'll get every opportunity men have. If you spend time complaining about life's unfairness, you're just falling further behind. Women need to stop blaming society and men for their problems and step up to change the game themselves. We're blaming our culture when we make up 50% of that culture. Are there people out there who believe women are somehow "less than" men? Yes, of course. Just like there are people out there who are racist or believe the earth is flat. But they are such a small percentage, it shouldn't even put a dent in our choices. There is NO such thing as true equality because life isn't fair - the sooner people realize this and get their butts in gear the happier we will all be. I don't care if a woman or man built the app I use, as long as it works, I'm a happy consumer. I want whoever is better at the job to do the work, I could care less what parts are between their legs. Let's focus less on "equality" and more on hiring competent employees. Society and the tech world will be better for it.
Mick@mickc79 · Founder of SongBox.Rocks
@noraconrad brilliant and refreshing stance.
Dan Zhao@dzhao · Head of Growth @ Superpod
The discussion around gender equality has always been focused on the wrong things. It should never be about meeting a quota. Gender equality and diversity in tech is about defining value in diversity. In essence, Damore basically said in the article that there's no ROI in diversity. Well, guess what, that's what people have been saying for years about everything from productivity to company perks to environmentally friendly design. The truly innovative companies will find ways to define value in diversity beyond the basic narrative like, oh if we had more New Yorkers, the whole Bodega thing wouldn't have happened. In the long run, these companies will win and people will talk about diversity like a foregone conclusion.
saravanan@saran945 · Founder of alertfor and taskbloom
I think, Gender equality is a common problem, not within the tech sector. that is how the world was designed by few smart men's in the past. It is going to be inherited/practiced for couple of more centuries as well. how many women politicians (the decisions makers) are in this world? how many women CEO's are in the tech companies? the result will be under few percentage.
Tobe Osakwe@thosakwe · 19-year-old programmer.
I honestly don't think men should have a say in what's "too far" in terms of gender equality. That's the very reason we have diversity issues in STEM.
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