A group of women from Silicon Valley are setting out to change the trend at tech companies that employ mainly men. According to surveys carried out, most companies in the US tend to hire men and white men at that. This coincides with a recent social experiment that investigated people’s reaction to calgary IT support companies sending women to address their IT problems.
Project Include is made up of Women who have in their individual capacities, dared to challenge the big Silicon Valley companies like Google, Pinterest and Slack among others.
Erica Baker is famed for shaking up Google when she created a spreadsheet to show employees salaries with the intent to show the difference in pay for employees of different genders doing the same job. While Laura Gomez is seeking to create a difference in the hiring process to see to it that there is more diversity.
Like the saying goes, “there is safety in numbers” these ladies are joining hands to change the roles of women in technology. It is certainly no secret that the majority of IT support companies seem to hire men more than women and Project Include will definitely have a hard time trying to turn things around.
It is not that Silicon Valley or other tech companies are opposed to hiring women or people of a certain minority. Like one HR Manger explains, there are not a lot of qualified women to take up the positions available in the tech industry. “I would happily employ a qualified woman but the thing is you don’t see them sending in applications.” Jeremy Black the Hiring Manager at one of the tech companies explains.
Project Include has noted this and is working towards fixing it. The project is looking to create more opportunities for girls in school to take up tech related studies. Kimberly Bryant who works with Girls Code is working with Laura Wideman of Code 2040 are creating the opportunity for young girls to be included in computer science programs in their companies which will drive them to have more interest as well as experience in the tech world.
Another obstacle in the inclusion of women in the tech world is revealed by the social experience carried out with IT tech support companies. Many of the customers had a raised eyebrow or some sign of scepticism when they saw a woman showing up to attend to them. It may take a while to change the general perception that an IT expert needs to be a man or an oriental. This is going to need more women getting involved so that it is common place to have women experts.
Project include is a big step towards changing the perception. The women involved in this project are well known in the tech industry and by joining hands to promote diversity in employment it shouldn’t be long before the results can be seen.
But such initiatives do not go without criticism. There have been complaints that by focusing on particular groups, the project is not being diverse and is instead focusing on affirmative action which is going to be unfair to equally qualified white men who may be turned down by employers because of their gender and skin colour.
All in all, there is no denying that there is a need for fair employment systems at IT support companies and other tech companies regardless of gender, skin colour and ethnicity.