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Google Doesn’t Really Care Anymore Where You Went To School by Caroline Fairchild

Stashed in: Women, LinkedIn, Google!, Hiring, Change the Ratio, Women in Tech, Corporate Diversity

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"Google was among the first tech companies to release a employee diversity report, a measure that Bock says more than anything was put in place to keep the company aware of the unconscious biases that creep into hiring. Since releasing its first report, Google has increased the representation of women steadily — but painfully slowly — at a rate of 1% year over year. "

That increase in the percentage of women does seem low for a company actively seeking women.

I wonder why they're not growing that percentage faster. 

This is going to sound really bad, but here is the situation - and I do not have good explanations:  A friend of mine is in a director-level position with a startup, and they are also trying to hire more women. He told me they are actually relaxing their criteria for female candidates, making interviews easier for them, and still they cannot get enough women to fulfill their "quota". I also know that back in Russia we did not have a problem of not enough female software engineers - we were, actually, a majority. Not across the board, mind you - there were more guys working on Unix machines, and more women working on IBM-type computers, for some reason - but still. 

I do not believe we should expect a 50/50 balance - after all, there are other occupations where majority are women - nurses and teachers come to mind - so maybe, just maybe! - it is OK if engineering fields are dominated by males? I personally rather enjoyed being one of the few :) and had not felt any discomfort, even when faced with a 'different' treatment from my male colleagues - I knew I can easily prove my worth, meanwhile, it was fun being appreciated as "the fair sex".  But then again, I grew up in a different society, so my values are somewhat different.

I like your values. 

Perhaps if they cannot find enough women to meet their standards there is something wrong with their standards? In an era where women have many choices of where to work, why should women want to work for them?

There's kind of a lot of research showing that men (esp young men) are wildly optimistic about their ability to do a job despite lack of qualifications -- I have come to believe that this is actually the young male superpower -- whereas women are far more likely to be "realistic" (or pessimistic) and NOT apply for the same job unless they have EACH AND EVERY qualification listed on the job posting. I bet this is 10x more true for a company like Google which has spent a lot of time emphasizing how elite their engineering culture is. A woman sees an ad that starts "BS or higher in computer science" and literally stops reading the ad unless she has that specific qualification.

Having been through the process there myself, I can tell you that their specific interviewing practices are probably even more alienating for women than men. Of course they have generic interviewers who have no idea what you might be working on, and wouldn't tell you even if they did. This inevitably results in an interview that basically has no energy or focus. A large percentage of the interviews I had were by videoconference with people in some other location. At one point they sent someone to take me to lunch, who treated it as just a chore that someone had dumped on her schedule. The interview process makes it 100% clear that you will NEVER get any opportunity to assess the specific mission, team, or "fit" of the job... your loyalties will be entirely focused on the big G in the sky instead of any human-sized thing.

Joyce, I noticed those things every time they interviewed me too.

In addition they loved sending me to the whiteboard and aggressively throwing questions at me until I was completely out of my knowledge level just to see how I'd handle questions that I could not answer. 

It was odd that they'd do it over and over as if the point was to make me feel the full weight of all that I do not know. It was not a good feeling at all. 

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