[Interesting Article] What’s missing from conversation about women in tech? Men

From USA Today, written by Google VP Knowledge Alan Eustace and published yesterday, What’s missing from conversation about women in tech? Men

  • Throughout the past decade, I’ve spoken to thousands of women about the need to make the technology industry more welcoming. But it’s too often all women — I’m preaching to the converted.
  • Research has shown that when a group that is commonly discriminated against speaks up on their own behalf, they can be seen as complaining, and face consequences as a result.
  • People who speak up on behalf of a minority group but that are not from that group are often perceived as more credible.
  • Why is it that every one of the hundreds of technical woman I’ve met in my career can easily recall an experience with a male colleague that made her question whether she belonged? Why don’t I know any men who say they’ve ever made anyone feel this way?
  • But it’s up to all of us — especially men — to make sure that when they get there we are ready for them — and that they are valued. Only then will these brilliant and talented women cease to be “female engineers” and be recognized for what they are: engineers.

I’m glad to hear someone from the top leadership team at Google speaking out on this. and of course, coming from a man it adds credibility ;-). Eustace also mentions his two daughters in the article – I think imagining your own children facing these challenges often is what pushes people to become advocates for change.

I agree valuing the contributions of women engineers is one of the most important things to be done. Part of the challenge (and it’s not the fault of any one man) is that when an environment is mostly men, guy stuff will prevail, whether it’s the type of jokes told, how people posture in meetings (especially when decisions are being made), and what topics small talk will center on. I’ve found that playing along as one of the guys helps you to fit in, but that doesn’t change the work environment and “make sure that when they [women] get there we [men] are ready for them”. All I’m doing by fitting in is pushing the problem down to the next group of women to walk through the door.

About Tamra Johnson

I’m an entrepreneur and a recent MBA graduate from UCLA Anderson. I have 10 years of experience in IT Management and Systems Engineering. I love learning, helping others, exploring the world around me, running at the beach, going to concerts, and visiting family and friends. I grew up in Helotes, Texas, went to undergrad in Cambridge, MA, and now live in Venice, CA.
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