The gender gap in tech is well-known and much debated. While some companies are making great efforts at improving diversity in their own ranks, we don’t always hear from the women already working in the industry about what they think should be done.
Weiting Liu, the founder & CEO of Codementor, asked female developer and leaders in tech for their input on how companies can attract and keep talented female developers. Here are a few highlights:
Be wary of any job description that contains the words ‘coding ninja,’ ‘coding god,’ ‘rockstar,’ or similar epithets.
The first thing tech companies may need to rethink is how they craft their job postings. Some descriptions are written in ways that tend to turn talented female developers away. Over-enthusiastic buzzwords are off-putting And women aren’t the only developers who find those terms distasteful–others feel that type of language is meant to appeal to younger candidates more than experienced ones.
- Keep required skills to a minimum
Hewlett-Packard’s oft-cited internal report found that women don’t apply for jobs unless they meet all the listed qualifications, Smith says that when she was a junior developer, she didn’t apply for jobs that listed skills she was unfamiliar with.
- Hire multiple women
Being the sole female developer on your team can feel pretty lonely, no matter how supportive your male colleagues are. Women don’t want special treatment, but that experience may be enough cause to leave. If you’re looking to hire for senior or managerial positions, hiring women for those prominent roles can signal to other female developers that there are jobs for them, too, at every level of your company.
- Don’t dismiss mentorship
More junior developers can benefit greatly from having a programming mentor. Whether it’s through an in-house program or a third-party platform, consider approaching your female developers privately to extend mentorship offers.
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