Are We There Yet ? A Conversation on Women s Progress in the Tech Industry

hi everybody Welcome in this month is women’s history month and I’m super excited to be hosting all of our events this month with my co-founder Jasleen if you are new here my name is Alexandria as one of the co-founders of the job disruptors I am also a leadership coach for women in Tech and lgbtqia people in Tech we started the disruptors as a way to help people that are underrepresented in the Tech Community get jobs that they can thrive in and to support companies becoming human first companies uh I’m gonna hand it over to Jasleen so she can introduce herself hi everyone I’m Jasleen I am a career coach with a background in HR and as Alexandria said I’m also co-founder of the disruptors and today it’s you know it’s women’s history month and so we’re talking about are we there yet it’s funny when I hear I hear this this question I think of my kids in the back seat you know on the long journey and being like no we’re not there yet and I think the answer is the same here we’re not there yet I think we all know we’re not there yet um if you think we’re there then please listen into this conversation because we’ve got lots of nuggets to share with you to really think about the woman’s perspective so if you’re not a woman but even if you are a woman listening and just thinking about the journey that we’ve been on the women that have come before us and how we can start reimagining a future of work that includes us fully so we can show up as our whole selves and so on that note Alexandria what do we need to really pay attention to when we think about women’s history specifically in Tech yeah so there’s a whole lot of women’s history in the tech space specifically that has been erased or ignored and we’ve seen some changes in that more recently right we’ve got some books and movies that have come out to like highlight some of those pieces that were true but there’s still a lot of people especially outside of the tech space who don’t realize like the original computers were women doing math by hand right and the first computer in 1946 was programmed by six women and from the 40s through the 50s programmers were predominantly women because it was considered clerical or admin work and it wasn’t until this like 1967-ish they they started to realize that is actually super complex problem solving and they started training men in it but then we enter in with a whole bunch of bias problems as they started training men in it and pushing women out of it and there’s a lot of other things that happen along that way but the other pivotal turn turning point for losing women in the tech space specifically was in 1980 when the personal home computer started being marketed to boys and so it was a toy to that boys played with for games and so they were already exposed to computers and programming and familiar with what was happening so that by the time they got to college they were already advanced in their knowledge of computing systems and programming and those types of things where young girls were not encouraged to play with computers and so by the time they got to college and were maybe interested the entry-level courses were Beyond them and professors pushed them out because they didn’t have the prerequisite knowledge for them and then we enter in brilliance bias and some other things that we’ll talk about a little bit later but that’s kind of the history of women in the tech spaces like we dominated it for a long time and then got shoved out of it that really struck me what you said about marketing computers to boys because I’m a mom of two boys and I feel like when I’m paying attention to the games that they’re playing and it’s really disappointing to see that that marketing is still happening and it is it is very much centered around young boys and men and so when we think about the reasons why people would be attracted to computers at a young age it’s how are we even from a gaming perspective when we’re really thinking about okay what are we building in terms of getting people you know entertaining people and and and getting women or young girls into this space how are we centering it around their interests and when I say that I say that with a little bit of caution because a lot of the interests kids are led to to those interests based on stereotypes and so it’s also thinking about okay maybe some of these games young girls would want to be playing but I feel like today and I I you know I don’t want to be pessimistic about it I wish that those stereotypes weren’t so ingrained in our culture still for kids you think that we would have made a lot of progress um but I haven’t seen it and I keep hearing like just this morning I was telling you as I was trying to get my kids out the door my son was on his iPad and um one of the the remarks was around they were hiring these lunch ladies and and sorry we couldn’t find pretty ones and I was just like and I told you this morning I was a little frazzled that got me a little more frazzled this morning I was just like what are you listening to this is a Disney show and it’s already perpetuating these stereotypes that women should be you know more than nurturers and pay attention to Beauty that’s our value in the world and men are out there you know hunting and gaming and all these sort of things and and so thinking about that in terms of the culture that’s really when you when you said that it got me thinking and also when you look at the progress we’re still only at 26.7 of All Tech related jobs are held by women and only 11 of that at the executive level like that’s an issue that is an issue because that doesn’t reflect society and so when as a tech company if you you know if you’re a leader of a tech company if you work at a tech company you’ve got to be thinking again about the products that you’re creating and again it’s it’s that it’s that spiral of you know we’re gonna keep getting into that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy if we’re not changing it at all levels and building a strong pipeline how are we actually going to create social change and remove the barriers and the stereotypes 100 and I think one of the things that comes up there right is the data Gap that is there and it’s like this invisible data Gap because we don’t we don’t know what we don’t know and the way humans process information right we know our own experience and that makes us the fish and water situation and if we are then surrounded by people who have similar experiences to us we aren’t able to think outside of that experience which is why diversity is so important to the process right so a prime example that comes to mind for that is when um Cheryl Sandberg got pregnant when she was at Google and she was in pain like it was a rough pregnancy for her she was having a hard time walking from the parking lot to the front of the building and she was like hey we need pregnancy parking none of the executives have thought about it before she got pregnant so it took a female executive on the team to be like hey this is a problem that we’re not looking at and they fixed it which great but that’s why diversity on Executive teams is important on boards is important and within all teams is important because you need that other perspective and experience in the world to be able to actually solve the problems for everybody yeah you won’t uncover the gaps in The Silo no we need we need women of all intersections and so being mindful of that too because I really want to talk about as we’re moving into women’s History Month we’re coming out of Black History Month and so we should be also thinking about women intersectionally because I think often and I can speak to this as a person of color you know sometimes I Stray away from oh women’s history you’re talking about white women and so it’s how are we also thinking about barriers that might be unique for women from an intersectional lens if you’re black indigenous person of color if you’re a queer woman if you’re a woman with a disability so really thinking about what are the barriers to access what what do we need to do to build a pipeline to make Tech friendly for all groups absolutely let’s talk about those barriers what do you think the barriers are right now in Tech specifically the women and women presenting people are still experiencing yeah so I could probably go on for more than an hour so I wanted to kind of kind of touch on a few points but I think it’s important to think about the barriers and the challenges in terms of the concrete things that we can measure and usually that’s when we start this Dei work that’s usually where we go right we go to representation things like that but then there’s also I think a more important bigger component that’s really going to create systemic change is the more difficult to measure often we can get qualitative data on it but unless we really are doing the work we’re not going to be able to measure those things so back to the measurable things it is things like the wage Gap right and so they’ve all they’ve also done a study on companies that do intersectional pay audits they actually hire women at 1.3 times higher percent than other companies who don’t do those audits so it’s important to think about if you’ve got a gap in that Talent pipeline maybe that’s one of the places that you might start looking and of course yeah that representation is is a good measurable Target but it’s not always enough so representation we talked about that at the you know at the beginning it is important but it is just one measure and if you’re not focusing on all the systemic things you’re not going to get there and the other one that’s pretty measurable that’s a huge part especially for women in Tech especially at you know when you’re getting to that leadership level so it’s it’s advancing women through like from entry level to uh you know whatever level they’re going to be as an individual contributor and then also where they call that the broken rung is when you go from Individual contributor to to leader we’re seeing that’s where the huge drop is so even organizations that are getting women into entry level positions they’re still that broken wrong and so I’ll speak to that a little bit of why I think that is when I talk about more of the less measurable components well the other thing that I want to draw attention to there is a lot of tech organizations especially startups they will have a lot of junior level women that fall off before they even get to the senior level of individual contributor runs like senior level positions like even within individual contributors there’s a broken rung outside of leadership yeah they’re almost there are two different tracks that both have rights that are broken in them yeah because you can think of a career advancement in different ways because not all women necessarily want to be leaders um but a lot do and so for those how are we making sure we’re advancing them but also for people who are entry level how are we making sure we’re not pigeonholing them into a role and how are we getting deeper into the technical capacity um or whatever that function is that they’re in how are we getting deeper into that individual contributor capacity because that’s not just good for the employee it’s good for your business as well um and it saves you money having to recruit from outside if there’s a skill that is is missing and so moving over to the less measurable things um well one of the things actually I wanted to mention that is measurable is women are over mentored and under sponsored at the middle level management um they’ve done a study on this and actually there are more women than men being mentored but the quality of the relationships is different and I think we’ll speak to that in a in another episode but in terms of sponsorship more of men’s mentors are actually sponsors and what a sponsor is because a mentor is someone who’s been there done that is going to show you the ropes you you’re on a similar path to them a sponsor can also be a mentor but they’re unique in the sense that they’re willing to put their name on the line to advocate for you to position you for roles to really go to bat for you and so there there have been studies on this as well that um women are seen as more risky appointments and that is why they’re not being sponsored as much We’re Men off the bat a mentor is there to also sponsor you so um if you if you kind of thinking no we uh I have a mentor or women in my organization have mentors that’s not enough think about what those mentors are actually doing in terms of opening doors um I think right there you just talked about the prove it again bias that that’s very much yeah exactly because the prove it again bias is and and that’s more of an invisible bias um because there’s there’s like I said we’re measuring the the mentorship right we can measure that the quality of that relationship is very much we’re not measuring that right and so we we need to start measuring the quality and getting out there and having conversations about this and also the lack of Role Models that’s another one that I’ve I’ve felt in my career where you get to a point where you’re like do I want to keep going because I see how women are treated I see how women are struggling and I see how this organization sees me and is it worth the effort um and so if we had more role models that we saw succeeding in this space that would have a huge impact so that is a barrier for sure yeah representation matters from the youngest age right so like let’s talk about that for a second because we are making some strides with um young children right they do these studies like oh draw a picture of a scientist draw a picture of a doctor draw a picture of whatever and more children are starting to draw women as like their default in that but we’re at like 25 or something like that it’s still ridiculously low yeah even though women make up more than 50 of the mathematics and chemistry and other stem degrees and overall make up more than 50 of undergraduate degrees just period And while in North America specifically in Western Europe that’s different in other parts of the country but like representation in their books at school when they talk about like the founders of certain Sciences or whatever they’re shown men specifically white men and so it’s starting at very young ages that that’s what they’re being shown and that hasn’t really shifted as much as it needs to and then shows and books and all of these other places that we aren’t seeing that and then video games is a whole other one having female ability like ability to be a woman character in a video game is few and far between especially in some of the more popular games and it’s definitely not the default yeah and that speaks to the more difficult to measure pieces and so like I love what you’re saying because even for us like if you were to just close your eyes right now and picture a genius like who did you picture right and so and so that is the invisible part of that and so the the more qualitative the more nuanced things that are difficult to measure is those what you just spoke to there the invisible gender bias the microaggressions that come from that bias and the entitlement that allows people to feel free to exercise those microaggressions without any sort of repercussions to their career um the invisible rules that stem from masculine culture this is an important one if you follow me on Tick Tock I talk about the invisible rules a lot because the invisible rules were made by and for men white men though white men and specifically and so I’ll give you an example of one of the invisible rules like men have the meeting before the meeting in masculine culture this is something that I learned the hard way where I had I had a lot of women managers and then my first um or my second manager who was a man um would always kind of be poking me and like and during presentations you’d be like didn’t you meet with this person before and and it was just so frustrating because I didn’t never got this feedback before and we were working with people across multiple time zones so I was I was very confused I’m like like I have I’d have to wake up at 5am to talk to this person and and so it was just really difficult but when I did more research into gender differences I realized that more often not than not masculine culture there’s this old boys club where people are having business conversations outside the meeting it might be on the golf course it might be you know in just one-on-one water cooler talk or when you’re connecting with someone it’s about saying I’m gonna pitch this idea do I have your support women aren’t taught to do that women are collaborators so we show up um and and we collaborate we say okay here we’re at the meeting to have the meeting I’ve prepared something and often when when we our ideas and opinions are rejected it’s been it’s being done so in that way because we’ve triggered the ego of the men who are saying I wasn’t told about this before the meeting and and so for me that was a huge like light bulb and now when I work with men I’m more mindful of that and how I’m gaining support from men outside of the meeting which to me again it seems so inefficient and counterproductive but if you’re working with men it ends up being more efficient right which is that double-edged sword in that like default standard of the Rules of Engagement still being masculine culture and there’s a certain level of like you can know the rules and have to play by them because that’s still what’s driving the business world but I would really like to have the conversation of is that what we should be doing right just because that’s what we’ve always done does not mean that’s what we should be doing and is that even like you said the most effective way to be doing this and the default being like oh well you have the meeting before the meeting that’s just it just is right it’s just so normal and that’s what we’re going to talk about on March 29th we’re going to talk about when do we mindfully disrupt because this shouldn’t be a conversation for the women listening it shouldn’t be about you always changing yourself you always adapting because the the bigger issue and and one of the other things I was going to speak to is how we are valuing stereotype typical masculine traits versus stereotypical masculine or feminine traits and approaches and there are times where being more collaborative is better when we’re trying to get to Innovation when we’re trying to get everyone aligned so that they can go execute on their part of the their the business but and there’s times where masculine culture works like it could in the military command and control urgent situations that that there is a time and place for that and so I might because I I’m very much stereotypically feminine and so I have to get into that more regimented command and control approach sometimes when there’s a big project with multiple pieces and we’re at the at the end of that project and so it’s really not it’s not about saying okay let’s do it women’s way let’s do it men’s way it’s about choosing the approach and choosing the style uh based on the circumstances and the environment valuing them both equally and just being really deliberate about which one we’re choosing which is where you enter in like the nuances to those conversations right which is a enculturated feminine trait of being able to do complex problem solving with Nuance that is not necessarily pushed or taught or held as valuable in the masculine trait world and that’s you have to every moment is different right like you can have generalized rules and like things that you’re looking for like oh well if it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck like it probably is a duck but knowing what the Nuance is and making that informed decision like you just said like that’s super super important in business because if you’re not looking at everything you’re gonna make bad decisions totally totally we have to be really mindful of this and really open to adapting and also understanding that you know when we when we were kind of ingrained in this corporate culture this came from a different time the environment is changing when we look at how Tech is disrupting all Industries we need more strategic thinkers we need more empathy we need more openness we need more collaboration we need more stereotypically feminine traits and so how are we integrating that and how are we how are we bringing women into the business to really help us do that and and really allowing them to not not and I’m going to get into this when we talk about Miss because there’s myths around that as well um but the other thing I want to speak on before we get to to the myth is the double standards for women and so um if you’re a man listening to this thinking about you know when you look at the advice for men out there because I kind of did a quick Google search it says okay tell women to speak up in meetings um encourage or not tell them but encourage them to do this encourage them to do that you know work on their confidence all this kind of stuff but on one hand women are being told be confident speak up on the other hand when they do it they’re questioned on their decisions they’re questioned on their ideas more so than men they’re seen as more aggressive they’re seen as too opinionated they’re seen as difficult and so there are a narrower band of acceptable behaviors for women at work and that’s not fair and so we need to start pushing the boundaries of that I feel like it’s coming we’ve started doing it in the last generation I’ve seen change but there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done in this space well and then again speaking to your point earlier about the intersectionality of that right if you have multiple identities right you are a woman and that has its own band but if you are a black woman or an indigenous woman or another woman of color you have an even narrower band because not only do you have the band that is woman you have the band that is your ethnic band as well that’s been pushed on you and like how you can show up and not be seen as the angry black woman yeah the double standard is is huge and out there and I think the other piece that comes into that is the default expectations and if you say no to those then you are also perceived negatively right like the unpaid nurturing work that has to be done in the office it’s Auto assigned to women they’re getting the coffee the planning the parties the buying of gifts like all of those pieces are undervalued or un not valued not even under just like not value period but required and if women say no like oh I’m not going to do meeting minutes oh well you’re just being difficult like yeah where a man can say no a man can say no I’ve seen this happen where men will say or men just don’t say anything and wait for the woman to say something until the they have a higher tolerance for that discomfort in the room when when you know we’re looking for a volunteer so I think it’s just yeah being mindful of how we’re sharing those less promotable tasks yes so let’s get into the myth shall we because I I wanted to start with the myth that we’ve already touched on and that is that bringing in women of all intersections is actually lowering the bar on talent and I’ve heard this because I’ve been in a you know I was in HR for 10 years and so you know when we would set um targets or goals around around hiring women we were never saying you know we this means that we’re lowering the bar and they don’t have to be competitive right never said that but that was the assumption that was always made and that I felt that resistance from the business and and sometimes it was because yeah it was harder sometimes to find a woman when we were recruiting from you know the stem pool because it was more competitive um like other competitive organizations competing for for talent that is the top talent of women and so if you’re not able to achieve that that says something about your organization that says something about your mindset and your culture and also the potential biases that are at play yeah the huge one being the per the programmer persona right like the stereotypical oh they don’t look like a programmer well in our minds what does a programmer look like and it’s pretty ingrained I would say in all of our minds right it is the socially distant or awkward uh nerd who just sits in his basement and codes all day right like there’s so many levels of enculturation and bias that go into that stereotype there like let’s just talk about like at a young age like oh well women don’t want to be programmers like I have parents come to me all the time saying that their boys just stay up late and just hyper focus on programming like well first of all young girls are punished for being anti-social in a different way than young boys are so they don’t fall into those single-minded obsessions typically because they are enculturated not to yeah and so we’re not going to see the same presentation of enjoyment or love or hobby attachment in young girls as you are in young boys and then when the culture itself is filled with misogyny they don’t want to engage with it because like they’re not being welcomed they’re being made fun of for being a boy right and like all of these pokes at them not being them and they don’t get to just be in the space absolutely and a lot lot of those spaces we’re hearing about sexual harassment right because that’s another one of the barriers that I didn’t mention I feel like that that is still happening yes I know it’s happening I’ve had clients that it’s happened to in the tech space this is still happening and so even though we’re talking about this more Nuance this kind of stuff like if you’re not addressing the real stuff like no okay not real stuff this is all real stuff the tangible stuff be careful with my words but if we’re not addressing the tangible overt sexism and actual like violence against women in the workplace then like that in itself speaks to the fact of how you’re upholding the patriarchy upholding misogyny and so um I don’t know that just kind of got me thinking about creating safety for women creating safe spaces and that like I mean that really extends to even before women are coming into the workplace as the young girls how are we creating a safe environment within Tech 100 yeah getting rid of the misogyny is a huge piece of it and making it safer so talking about this is more of a barrier than I think necessarily a myth but we have algorithms that are feeding a whole lot of things these days and there’s companies that rely on algorithms to help them with recruiting and to help them make decisions but the algorithm itself is biased right so there’s one that was created by Guild that was meant to find high level programmer and like high level programming aptitude and they found a very strong correlation between Advanced skilled programmers and heavy visits to this one manga site and like it was a very strong correlation but the thing that wasn’t talked about with that correlation even though it was entered into the data and like choosing programmers it wasn’t talked about how much leisure time do women have they don’t have the same amount of leisure time to go sit on a manga site to be talking about manga all day also those sites are tend to not be welcoming to women you get fetishized if you are in that space or told to go away or you don’t know what you’re talking about and the misogyny shows up so then you choose to not go engage in those spaces even if you liked that thing so you wouldn’t be found as a highly skilled programmer as a woman because you would have been knocked out from the algorithm because you didn’t have that in your social network yeah as a parent like I’m listening to that and really thinking about how am I raising my boys to because they’re very much into gaming and they’ve done like coding classes already and how are they making that inclusive to their their friends that are girls and how are they calling out the misogyny in those spaces because again speaking to our culture it’s so ingrained in our culture are still I’m seeing it all the time and so being mindful of that and and having those conversations with our kids too absolutely because I think the piece there is how would they even recognize it because it is so normalized right and I think adults even have trouble recognizing sometimes when something is misogynist because it’s so normalized as just is that you don’t even perceive it as happening anymore absolutely so what what are some other myths that we’re hearing in the tech space about women I would say the Brilliance bias is another huge myth that there is not just like women don’t have the Raw Talent or the Brilliance and it they just don’t they aren’t innate to programming or to the tech space like none of that is true right there’s the myth that men have more analytical and logical minds I think no like the way our brains process information is different but that does not make it purely analytical or emotional right because that’s the one that women get all the time yeah you can just process the information differently in different spaces in our brains and it comes out differently like on the other end from that and that should be acknowledged yep but it doesn’t mean that we aren’t logical or analytical yeah and you can be both at the same time too I’m very emotional and analytical and so thinking about and also thinking about because I I I think I shared with you I I listened to a podcast with Daniel pink and he’s talking about his whole new mind book which is talking about the the skills we need for the future and how we need to evolve and a lot of that is moving away from left brain thinking to right brain thinking it’s it’s more about the empathy about one of the one of um the strengths he calls it Symphony really seeing seeing the bigger picture and how things play and are interconnected women are conditioned to be more in that space and so thinking about not just okay yes we need people who can code yes we need people who are analytical linear sequential spreadsheet based we need those people still um Ai and and Outsourcing is disrupting that a little bit we also need people who are using their right brain who are creative that’s how we see Innovation and so it’s about deliberately thinking about the skills you need in your organization versus the the gender um letting the gender bias dictate or letting the your your bias about what a tech company what talent should look like in a tech company thinking outside of the box in terms of where what are the skills for the future that are going to get my business to where it needs to be and I think that that’s huge because the future is it’s coming quickly right like the innovation in Tech is so rapid and our turnover is so rapid at this point we have just thinking about from when we were children to now and what how your children are experiencing the world it is starkly different right like I remember that stupid dial-up tone and like oh I’m gonna go get on the internet but let me go make a bowl of cereal while we get it on and now I have it at my fingertips at any moment at anywhere right and so our turnover trajectory is huge and it’s we can’t mind read right we can’t we don’t have a crystal ball we don’t know what’s coming but we do know how the human brain works and what we’re looking for and what we’re wanting and we do engage with things better when they have good user interfaces and good user experiences right ease of use and intuitiveness is vitally important it doesn’t really matter if you have this like raw code if I can’t interact with it it doesn’t matter how powerful it is if I can’t figure out what button to push it doesn’t matter how cool it is yep and so that’s where that like the linear like programming like functionality piece gets matched with the aesthetic piece and the follow through and like the intuitive design pieces yep that design was one of those one of those six senses he calls them Daniel pink identifies as something that we need as in terms of a skill for the future so that yeah for me it’s like it’s really looking at diversity is going to help your business period yes so another myth I wanted to touch on there well there’s a couple I don’t know how we’re doing for time but another one is that motherhood impacts performance and potential and so this was a big one for me in HR I used to see this a lot where women would go on maternity leave here in Canada it’s usually people would take a year and so when they came back we’d have women who were on the high potential list like we would do succession planning and we would do assessments on people’s potential and and that this is an important thing to note because if you’re not really separating performance and potential you need to start doing that because we spoke to the the prove it again bias which is women have to prove themselves again and again and again and they’re promoted based on potential right men are or sorry they’re they’re promoted based on sustained performance men are promoted based on potential what they can do in the future and not critiqued on sustained performance and so for that’s important one to know but also like what happens is we don’t get seen for our potential but when we become a mother we all of a sudden our potential score goes down and so all of that sustained performance before we went on maternity leave it’s ignored and now it’s assumed that the priorities have shifted and the focus has shifted which it it has of course but in my experience what I saw a lot of was women then saying okay I’m going to push back I need boundaries I’m going to go to part-time those people were getting paid part-time hours working full-time hours because they were logging on from home because you know even in a part-time job like things need to get done and it just wasn’t fair because now they’re not on the succession plan to be promoted to a leader they need to have that sustained performance they need to be seen in a full-time position and and I just saw that bias happen so much and you see that also shown in the data that women’s earning potential from the minute they become a mother goes down dramatically for men who become fathers it says on the exact same trajectory regardless of who Took the leave right regardless of who Took the leave so um yeah so that’s a big one and near and dear to my heart obviously I am a mom and so I I know that as mothers need more flexibility but needing more flexibility doesn’t mean that they’re not going to produce the same amount of work or the same quality of work or their potential is now capped well and I think the other thing to talk about there because like that’s one of my I mean there there’s a whole lot of the the unwritten rules of the business world right so needing flexibility and then it being seen as a negative that you have asked for or are engaging with that flexibility being seen as like you aren’t the same team member right like oh well you can’t stay late for work well why not right why can’t you stay late for work because the primary Child Care responsibilities fall in the woman and it isn’t a question to start like oh well if my I want my wife’s boss to be just as flexible so like I’m going to allow this why is the question not why are the men not stepping up in those Child Care responsibilities so that the woman can stay late and I’m gonna say this one is a hard one because Society conditions women to be the nurturers as well I truly wanted to be the nurturer in my career or in my life and and so I wanted that but I still want the career and so it becomes difficult because yes we need men stepping up and doing more of the household work yes we definitely do I so I’m not arguing that and I feel like we need to allow women to make that choice we need allow to allow men to make that choice because I also saw that in my career where people were like what he’s taking a paternity leave when when my baby was born I just got to see them for like a week and then I was back to work and so a lot of that is Envy now that is being projected on younger men by the older generation and so we have to stop doing that yes we have to allow men to step up we have to change the conditioning so that women don’t feel like bad moms for prioritizing work but we can’t do it all at the same time and we definitely can’t do it all if we don’t have the support yeah 100 and like those same cultural norms right that oh well if you’re prioritizing your career as a woman then you’re a bad mom like what if her husband wants to be the one who steps up and now you’re judging both people and making both people feel bad about how they are in the world right and that speaks to just generalized enculturation and pushing back I’ve had to fight and learn the lessons of what it means to be a woman and a girl because my natural tendencies are not that right I had to learn how to empathetically interact with the world around me and learn those lessons because I am much more of a drive and analytical and get it done and process oriented person and I got like oh you’re not girly enough like you’re not feminine enough you’re not all of these things and that affects like how you show up in the world right if you’re not you’re stereotypical in culturation you get ignored or pushed to the side or you’re weird yeah and the standards for women just keep going up and up and up and becoming less attainable and at odds with each other yes like that’s how I feel like I think when we think about beauty standards when we think about okay what does Prof and this came out in the McKinsey women at work study too is like people were reporting that you know what looked professional when people were talking about leadership presence they were really talking about how they dress or whether you’re wearing too much jewelry whether the way you wear your hair the way you wear your makeup whether you’re getting Botox and injections and all these things which again is like being fed to us as like we need to be keeping up with you know whoever and so and so it’s like all of these standards that are being held against us and we’re always feeling judged men don’t have that same like that same the double standards right the men don’t have all of those double standards and those unreasonable standards in terms of every aspect of their being and so I think that’s an important thing to note another um another myth I wanted to talk about especially for for young Talent is you have to be able to code to work in Tech so this is one that I think I’ve even made that assumption at times but I know that I’ve got clients who’ve who’ve made it really far and continue to progress in Tech who don’t know how to code is it a lot of people prefer it and I think this is one that we need to think about in terms of like okay why are they needing why are they asking for it why are you asking for it as an employer as a job Seeker why are they asking for it to think about whether that’s going to deter you from applying for the job because often it isn’t about the ability to code it is about the ability to communicate well and understand the business and so I think we also need to think about creative ways of bringing women into Tech who have specific skill set specific expertise and also the diversity but whether they need to learn how to code or whether they need to learn how to communicate in a different way really thinking about when are we challenging people to have that component of it and also recognizing that there are many people who can’t code that are working in Tech yeah and I think that that’s a there’s lots of different job positions and requirements and needs like program product um project management you’ve got customer success um scrum Masters like you have lots of different options and opportunities that are outside of the development but even within development there’s different skills right are you data are you back end are you front end are you uh user experience like are you architecture and like building it out like there’s lots of different spaces within Tech that are not equal and not the same and knowing insecurity is another one right like it’s a different kind of coding or a different kind of engineering depending on what part of security you’re in um or I.T specifically right like I come out of the I.T space and ran I.T departments and like I don’t I’m dangerous coding that’s that’s the moral story I know enough to really break things and make the engineers very angry like I can get done what I need to get done but it’s not pretty and it’s not nice and somebody’s gonna come in after me and be like what is this and I’m like it was good enough that’s what that is and so knowing all of your different options into and around the text space I think is super important um and then I know there’s tons of more myths lots of other things to talk about barriers yeah and I would love to invite anybody who is watching like put in the comments what are some of the barriers you’ve maybe encountered if you feel safe sharing or myths that you’ve seen or that play out that we didn’t address because I’d love to hear from everybody if you’re listening on the podcast later then come over to any of our social media pages and let us know like what is your experience as a woman in the tech space and if you’re an older woman in Tech has it changed over the course of your career because I’d be super interested to hear about that as well but the last question that I want to address before we close is are we there yet no right we made that very clear I think it’s obvious yeah but how will we know when we get there whoo this is a big one I could uh like this there are many ways that we can tell I I think most people are focusing on representation and wage Gap yes those are important yeah we need to close the wage Gap we need to continue to do intersectional pay audits we need to continue with paid transparency and yeah we need the representation of the business that reflects the world that we’re in so that’s a given the other thing we need to pay attention to is the retention rates how much are we actually retaining women of all intersections so you may say oh we got tons of women but why are black women leaving why are indigenous women leaving why are people of color leaving and and there are differences between those groups don’t like paint women all with a broad brush brush either because the McKinsey study actually showed that women of color are actually more ambitious to to advance to leadership positions than why white women and so that was an interesting actually that one kind of surprised me I thought it would be pretty similar um but really just kind of and also not taking the data as like that’s representative of your Workforce like get out there get to know people get to know what the issues are going on um and this next one this actually is is really important because before we get to the there are different Milestones so yes the representation of the business at all levels represents the society we live in right yeah but the other piece is the the Milestone that comes before that that is where you’re actually because people are like oh I can’t move the needle on Dei I can’t move the needle the the Milestone that I really pay attention to is critical mass and so this concept of critical mass like this comes from physics and it actually means when a chain reaction becomes self-sustaining and so what does that mean outside of physics in the workplace what that means is once we reach a critical mass the the the minority group feels okay being whole themselves showing up authentically instead of having to adopt to the behaviors the standards the mindset of the dominant group and so yeah we spoke to this a little bit as well be because it’s like how much do we change ourselves as women versus changing the system we’re not going to have success in changing the system which is the more more important piece until we get to a critical mass and so I’ve heard different numbers of what that’s going to look like um 30 is is one that people have thrown out there I haven’t seen enough sound data to know exactly what that number looks like I mean we can kind of follow physics I think but really thinking about what is that number where we’re going to start seeing that Chain Reaction we’re going to see the systems change we’re actually going to get some momentum that’s a big piece the other one is having a really strong pipeline of women starting with education if you’re if you’re struggling with entry level if you’re struggling with your new recruits and seeing enough women in that population who are qualified how are we reaching out to even before they get to that phase reaching out to the institutions building relationships with those educa educational institutions to say what are you doing to bring in women of all intersections what are you doing and how can we help where can we invest where can we build bridges for women Bridges yes yes building the bridges so that’s that’s a big one we’ll know we’re there when we have Bridges and a pipeline a strong pipeline of supported women um pay Equity we’ve already mentioned but also the piece of having inclusive benefits and HR policies and and you mentioned this before when we were chatting Alexandria’s even the infrastructure um you know the the parking space for women who are pregnant the tampons in the bathroom the breastfeeding room with a lock on the door a fridge with a lock so that people aren’t accidentally drinking the breast milk so these kind of things where if you’re especially in the States because women tend to go back to work earlier if they’re still breastfeeding like how are we making it an environment where you can also be a mother so those kind of things um within the facility that’s the one yes we have plenty of facilities that have medical units and they’ve got game rooms and they’ve got all tables free snacks dry cleaners right yeah there’s Sony Ericsson pays for people to get their house cleaned right like there are these elements yeah that individual companies have done to do that but they’re not the norm and they’re not the standard right they’re one-off and they’re big deals but access to daycare is huge yeah so doing an intersectional benefit um analysis to see where you are in terms of like really having perks that that support people instead of perks just to have Perks right just accessibility flexible work at home because I think I think that’s an interesting one to think about is Tech is one of the newest Industries or the I don’t know would we say the newest industry I don’t know but it’s like you would think that we would be further along in Tech than other Industries in this phase but I think because so much of it has been male dominated and because so much of it has been about the kind of sexiness of tech and making it look really lucrative um but you can still have both you can still attract talent and have those those things that you can be proud of but from an intersectional feminist lens um I think the thing that to draw attention to there in Tech is like technically speaking Tech has been around since the 40s right the first computers like all of those pieces has been around since the 40 but the tech industry for the way we would frame that now would really be like boom and like the internet coming to everybody’s home and those types of things but the thing that stands out to me even still within the tech space that blows my mind all the time is the refusal to actually look at the data and acknowledge the gaps in the data and to disaggregate the data into sex and how that shows up and gender representation two different things right but looking at the overall intersectionality of what’s needed there is a blatant disregard for research and what data is telling us in an industry that is reliant on data and I find that to be like I I I don’t understand like I really have a hard time wait why like yeah why do we have all of these Norms when texts whole being is literally disruptive yeah you have an opportunity to be disruptive and to change things like we can move this a lot faster than what it goes into and I think it’s because again there’s that the the false narrative that people play in their mind that okay we’re going to use this data to make profit and then we will we’ll think about all of the people stuff later but if you integrate that and say let’s use this data to make our people more empowered happy productive and to make good business decisions this is what we really want to do we’re not and and you know at the disruptors when you sign up with us that’s we’re very much about integrating this it’s not about saying okay we’re going to put Dei over here and we’re going to do the Dei work and because then it becomes performative and it doesn’t really move the dial it’s about integrating Dei with the business results and like that’s really one of the other ways we will know that we’re there your business will be thriving yes your business will be thriving and and studies show this like with the organizations that have more diversity that have more representation more women in in senior executive roles they are thriving they’re 30 more profitable and they still have more work to do and and you know like we still have more work to do across the board but they are more profitable so believe the data don’t ignore the data um five minutes left five minutes left okay so HR policies was the other one that I really wanted to mention is really thinking about especially when it comes to flexibility because women are saying it over and over again we want flexibility and also rewards that match because that’s another one from the McKinsey study that women are overworked and under recognized how are we recognizing women in a way that they value and the other piece that I already mentioned is valuing those feminine traits equally and and that’s that’s basically all I have that I probably could go on and on we’re out of time but that’s how we’ll know that we’re there those are the those are the main things from my perspective no I agree with everything that you said and we are moving right I want to acknowledge that we have made progress not fast enough though right so we can celebrate the wins and keep working and so next week if you want to join us again we’re going to talk about how do we get there and really talking about some solutions and ways to get to those places that Jasleen just highlighted of how we’ll know where they are so please join us next week share this with anybody you know that would be interested in that um it’s posted on the page if you want to RSVP to it now um the other piece that we are going to be doing this month for women’s history so the framing all month is going to be focused on women women in Tech and what we’re doing how we can show up uh we are going to do a live Forum it’s going to be a LinkedIn audio which is a little different than what we normally do but that will allow you all to come and speak with us so it’ll be kind of like a town hall feeling to it we are looking for people to submit questions if you don’t feel comfortable speaking up that day you want to submit them anonymously we’ll have a link in today’s comments it’ll be in the show notes wherever you are accessing uh this audio or video we want to hear from you like what questions do you have about your career your experience as a woman in Tech do you want to decode something and figure out what’s really being said whatever questions you have please share them with us in our form and we look forward to having that conversation I’m really excited about that one I hope it is really interactive so put that in your calendars for March 22nd if you have not yet subscribed to the podcast we need more subscribers so we’ll also post the link again to the podcast in the comments and so subscribe on Apple Spotify anchor all the places and you’ll be able to listen to these because we know that for a lot of us it’s hard to come in and watch on videos so they’re all in podcast format share that with your co-workers share that with your leaders if you are a leader in the tech space please reach out to us um you can comment below and we’ll DM you because we’re looking for a few Partners to Pilot some stuff with so because of that you’re going to get a lot of that for free and so we’re not going to be offering that more than one so just if you’re if you’re interested in this space or even if you just want to get on the phone and have a conversation about what this might look like for your business and how you would integrate that with your business goals to really move the dial on both your business and diversity Equity inclusion let us know and I think I think that’s all we have for for calls to action I don’t know if I missed anything oh also I wanted to mention if you are a woman who is experiencing these issues I am a career coach and I will also post my link to uh to book a session so whether you’re wanting resume rewrites whether you want to advance your career get promoted whether you’re trying to do some soul searching and figure out your career path or figuring out how to mindfully disrupt the system um you can book a free 30-minute session with me and we can have a chat to see if it would be a fit yeah absolutely this has been a delightful conversation I am super excited for all of our topics this month and I appreciate you joining me Jasleen thank you bye y’all


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