Dear Female Programmers

An Open Letter to Women in Tech


Dear Female Programmers, Engineers, Coders, Hackers, et al.,

We are sorry! We apologize for the fact that there are too few of you employed here. We apologize for labeling you and for mislabeling you. We apologize for both the overt and unintentional sexist attitudes, the dumb jokes, and the general sausagey, frat-like atmosphere that we men have created all over the tech industry. We don’t think that we meant for it to turn out this way, but it is entirely our fault.

Maybe you don’t think it’s a problem, or maybe you want to go postal about it. Either way, we want to apologize — and not just to avoid you burning down the building — we’re safe, since you don’t work here. The point is that we’re sorry. We suck. We really do. Really. Hashtag #wesuck.

Now, in whatever way possible, we would like to make amends for what has come before. We’d like to change. We’d like to include all variety and manner of people here. And, we admit, that we don’t totally know how to make that happen. We often say and do the wrong things. Some of those things are probably in this letter.

https://xkcd.com/387/ “We are sexy, sexy Von Neumann Machines.”

We fully accept responsibility for our failure to solve this problem. We’re embarrassed and ashamed that we didn’t write this or do more about it sooner. You should not have to solve this problem for us and we should have fixed it a long time ago.

We realize that this is a weak gesture and you have every right to be suspicious of it. We know that we’re opening ourselves up to a well-deserved onslaught of internet flame. We know that we have to take real action in order to gain your trust. We know that this small act is too little, but hope that we are not too late to start doing more.

We also know that more diverse teams are better at solving problems. And, we know that women have been, and will continue to be great engineers and problem solvers. And, we know that we need your talents now, more than ever. So, while you are very legitimately entitled to tell us to fuck off, we could really use your help to fix this.

We want you to take equal leadership and to be heard equally. We want you to feel equally comfortable here. We want you to feel and be equally respected. We want you to have the same access to raises, bonuses and venture capital. We want you to be paid equally for equivalent work.

In short —

We want you to work here.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned, (Stupid) Men of Tech

Sam Mateosian, co-founder of Big Room Studios and the Yarn Corporation.

I wrote this because I want us to do better. We believe in creating a comfortable place for happy, awesome employees to do great work. I think that we’ve fallen prey somewhat to the “like-hires-like” phenomenon (among other things). I want that to change. This is my personal statement to that effect and little more. If you agree, please sign your name in a comment. Include your company info if possible.