4 Most Common Excuses of Not Hiring More Women In Technology Startups

4 most common excuses for not hiring more women in a technology startup in a non-customer facing role (such as Product or Engineering):

  1. She won’t be able to stay back till late like our guys do
  2. She might not be as aggressive as a guy in getting work done from others
  3. We already have X no. of women in our team. Let’s now try to get a guy for this role (seriously! I don’t think we would say that about guys)
  4. We won’t be able to use the crude language we use now if there is a female (Yes, this seemingly and obviously silly excuse also commonly springs up during interview decision discussions at a startup)

I am fortunate that at a personal level I know too many women who are much smarter and more committed to their work than the best of us guys. This has probably helped me in eliminating such biases. I feel bad for the others who haven’t bothered to see through the obvious.

We expect women candidates to explicitly tell us that they are ready to make the compromises required to be seriously considered for the job and that is terrible. A good example of this would be us wanting them to stay back till whatever time in the night required but have we ever thought about the commitments they might have at home and if we could kick-start out work days earlier and better streamline our working hours? It won’t just help the women but will also help the guys lead a more balanced life!! Similarly for the other points as well.

What is even more unfortunate is that many a times these kind of biases come from women who are themselves part of the interview panel (including the HRs). It’s a shame that even they are affected by such biases. It’s probably insecurity more than anything else.

I am glad that I work at a place where I have the freedom to fight any such biases and help push culture in the right direction. However, irrespective of where we work, we need to fight this and trust me, the fight won’t be as hard as it might seem; after all, even those with the biases know who is right and who needs to be part of the change required.

What are your thoughts on this? If you’re a woman, what are other biases you’ve come across while interviewing for a job? I would love to hear from you all. Please feel free to comment here or drop me an email at gauravmohta01@gmail.com

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