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If you think women in tech is just a pipeline problem, you haven’t been paying attention, by Rachel Thomas in Medium

Stashed in: Medium, XX, HBR, Change the Ratio, Business Facts, @sherylsandberg, Marc Andreessen, Management, Awesome, Women in Tech, Corporate Diversity

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According to the Harvard Business Review, 41% of women working in tech eventually end up leaving the field, compared to just 17% of men.

Your company is NOT a meritocracy and you are NOT “gender-blind”

You don’t know if you’re color-blind without testing eitherNobody wants to think of themselves as being sexist. However, a number of studies have shown that identical job applications or resumes are evaluated differently based on whether they are labeled with a male or female name. When men and women read identical scripts containing entrepreneurial pitches or salary negotiations, they are evaluated differently. Both men and women have been shown to have these biases. These biases occur unconsciously and without intention or malice.

Here is a sampling of just a few of the studies on unconscious gender bias:


Most concerningly, a study from Yale researchers shows that perceiving yourself as objective is actually correlated with showing even more bias.

The mere desire to not be biased is not enough to overcome decades of cultural conditioning and can even lend more credence to post-hoc justifications. Acknowledging that you have biases that conflict with your values does not make you a bad person. It’s a natural result of our culture. The important thing is to find ways to eliminate them. Blindly believing your company is a meritocracy not only does not make it so, but will actually make it even harder to address implicit bias.

This is so true! It's the really biased ones who claim they are not biased

Yes, so beware people who claim they are not biased!

Because of the high attrition rate for women working in tech, teaching more girls and women to code is not enough to solve this problem. Because of the above well-documented differences in how men and women are perceived, training women to negotiate better and be more assertive is also not enough to solve this problem. Female voices are perceived as less logical and less persuasive than male voices. Women are perceived negatively for being too assertive. If tech culture is going to change, everyone needs to change, especially men and most especially leaders.

A tweet and a link: Marc Andreessen [email protected] Jul 12 Diversity bias training can make stereotyping worse, not better. ! … @NaithanJones

4 studies:

The deleterious effects of stereotyping on individual and group outcomes have prompted a search for solutions. One approach has been to increase awareness of the prevalence of stereotyping in the hope of motivating individuals to resist natural inclinations. However, it could be that this strategy creates a norm for stereotyping, which paradoxically undermines desired effects. The present research demonstrates that individuals who received a high prevalence of stereotyping message expressed more stereotypes than those who received a low prevalence of stereotyping message (Studies 1a, 1b, 1c, and 2) or no message (Study 2). Furthermore, working professionals who received a high prevalence of stereotyping message were less willing to work with an individual who violated stereotypical norms than those who received no message, a low prevalence of stereotyping message, or a high prevalence of counter-stereotyping effort message (Study 3). Also, in a competitive task, individuals who received a high prevalence of stereotyping message treated their opponents in more stereotype-consistent ways than those who received a low prevalence of stereotyping message or those who received a high prevalence of counter-stereotyping effort message (Study 4).

Something in the air. Sheryl Sandberg shares FB 'Managing Unconscious Bias' training with the world.

Cool, they're willing to share their Managing Unconscious Bias class:

Diversity is central to Facebook’s mission of creating a more open and connected world. To reflect the diversity of the 1.4 billion people using our products, we need to have people with different backgrounds, races, genders and points of view working at Facebook. Diverse teams have better results, so this is not only the right thing to do – it’s also good for our business.

One of the most important things we can do to promote diversity in the workplace is to correct for the unconscious bias that all of us have. Studies show that job applicants with “black sounding names” are less likely to get callbacks than those with “white sounding names” – and applicants called Jennifer are likely to be offered a lower salary than applicants called John. And organizations which consider themselves highly meritocratic can actually show more bias.

Managing bias can help us build stronger, more diverse and inclusive companies — and drive better business results. At Facebook, we’ve worked with leading researchers to develop a training course that helps people recognize how bias can affect them, and gives them tools to interrupt and correct for bias when they see it in the workplace. The course consists of case studies, workshop sessions and presentations.

Many people have asked if we’d be willing to share our training outside of Facebook, so today we’re making the presentation part of the course available to anyone. Whether you want to customize the training for your organization, or simply understand your own biases, you can now watch it here:

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