So my job has had me interviewing people for this software developer position we have open.. And it’s been interesting.. I’ve never had to interview anyone before..
Anyway, I wish more people of color were applying for this position.. We’ve only…
To chime in, not from the experience of a POC but as a female in the tech world, I believe the cycle starts with not enough young women, in their formative years, actually being trained in and pursuing these jobs. Same goes for all STEM fields, who have similar lack of diversity problems.
When deciding on a path in life, let’s be real, young women are not often usually encouraged to have -any- career other than homemaker. Those that choose or are led into that life path, that already cuts out a huge chunk of what might become female tech workers.
Then, those that do actually want careers may choose or be led into more traditionally female associated or female dominated jobs - certainly not tech, with its terrible gender diversity. It may not even occur or appeal to many of these young women to pursue technology - after all, what are the chances that they have seen many or any female tech leader role models? What are the chances that a high school guidance counselor, math or science teacher, or parent will encourage them to consider a tech career?
“After all, isn’t it so demanding, how will you ever take care of babies if you have a tech career, which what you really want in life, isn’t it?”
This turns into fewer women taking on higher education or training for these fields, fewer completing such education/training because they may fall back on to the homemaker role anyway if they become parents along the way, fewer women gaining the needed qualifications, and in the end, a sea of white men coming in for the job. The same I imagine is true for people of color, and for women of color, then even more so.
The managers, leads, and recruiters that I meet, those in a position to hire, despite being largely white straight cisgender males (nowadays you may see some South Asian or East Asian males as well), I don’t believe that most of them are actively discriminating against minority candidates. I think there are simply too few minority candidates to choose from.
If 9 out of 10 candidates for the job you’re hiring for are male and 1 is female, and still want to choose the best qualified candidate, it’s statistics more than discrimination that hurt the female’s chances.
Giving the existing minority candidates out there support is one way to treat the problem, but to treat the root cause, I think we also need to mentor and tutor young women in technology. Give them the knowledge, open doors, and love to the field from a young age, so they are motivated to become those qualified candidates. Donating to and support charities like Girls Who Code, Girls Go Tech, and Black Girls Code, for example.