5 Ally Actions – September 6, 2019

1

Be transparent about your interview process

As web development company Automattic found when they surveyed job applicants, “It’s important for women job searchers to know what the hiring process looks like when they are applying because of non-work-related commitments many have.”

Because of their research, Autommatic created a page that clearly outlines their hiring process for software developers. It includes a 4-6 hour coding challenge and a paid, flexible, part-time trial period.

P&G is also transparent about their process, outlining what happens during the application, assessment, interview, and offer steps. They also use it as an opportunity to acknowledge some candidates may need accommodations due to disabilities:

“To ensure that everybody who is interested in joining our team has equal opportunity and ability to start that journey, we have made sure our hiring process is flexible and accessible. From the application to interviews, our team will adapt to your needs and what works best to help you show us your best. To learn more about the P&G Disability Accommodation process, click here.”

Now it’s your turn. Take a look at your company’s careers page, and identify if there’s something you can do to be more transparent about your process.

2

Set a quota for diversity hiring

In June 2018, software company Clio was about to embark on a hiring push to double the size of their engineering team. As Ainsley Robertson wrote, “Hiring that many people in such a short period of time posed a risk of further homogenizing our 87% male engineering team, but more importantly, it was an opportunity to meaningfully change the makeup of our team for the better.”

They decided to set a quota. A quota to increase the representation of women on the team from 15% to 25%. A quota to shock the system and disrupt their collective, ingrained unconscious biases.

Read Ainsley’s full article to understand how they handled the concerns around quotas and successfully achieved what they set out to do.

3

Diversify your network before your next hiring push

Unfortunately, most of us have “just like me” networks, which can have a negative impact on creating diverse, inclusive workplaces. Those who are involved in hiring new staff naturally look to the people who are part of their professional networks, because they know and trust them, but when those networks are homogenous, this translates to favoring and advocating for folks like themselves. Depending on referrals is standard, and if those referrals come from a homogeneous network, it results in hiring more homogeneity.

There’s an adage we love: Build your network before you need it. As software engineer Samantha Geitz shared on Twitter: “You have to build a network for diversity. This takes YEARS… I’ll tell you how you can start today. Follow 10 people on Twitter who aren’t white dudes. Chat with them every so often. Do it without an agenda.”

All of this begs the question: How will you start building a more diverse network today, before your next hiring push?

4

Identify one way to host a more inclusive event

When Karen Catlin spoke at the Linux Foundations’ Open Source Summit in San Diego last month, she witnessed first hand their focus on running a conference that’s inclusive. Here’s what they offer:

  • Code of Conduct (and event staff who have been trained in incident response)
  • No all-male panels
  • A diverse group of keynote speakers
  • A nursing room
  • Complimentary childcare
  • Venue accessibility
  • A quiet room (for attendees who, for any reason, can’t interact with others at that time)
  • All-gender restrooms
  • Communication stickers (indicating if attendees are open to communication, only if they know you, or none at all)
  • Pronoun Stickers

For your next event, is there one thing you can do to be more inclusive and welcoming to all?

5

Strive for systemic change

In a recent interview with the folks at Tech Inclusion, Karen shared her thoughts on how the best allies strive for systemic change versus riding in to save the day with one-off solutions.

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