How to be an ally to women working in Tech: Do’s and Don’t’s

This is just a brief list to which I will be adding:

1. Don’t *ever* refer to women as girls.
2. If I tell you something feels sexist to me, don’t tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way.
3. If I tell you something bothers me, don’t tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way.
4. Don’t allow me to minimize myself and my accomplishments.
5. Don’t refer to computers and software as he. For example, don’t say: “when the computer boots up, he…”, “after the software does X, then he does W”, etc.
6. Don’t tell dirty jokes.
7. Don’t distribute a coloring book at a tech conference about what it’s like to work in IT in which the only woman in the entire coloring book is looking scared in an office where a male is competently fixing things, and there are lots of images of men doing and fixing things.

1. Put images of women in science and technology on the walls.
2. Call me on it if I minimize myself.
3. Realize that I am acculturated to minimize myself, so point out with very specific examples things I’ve done well.
4. Realize when you interview me that research shows that when men know 60% of a subject, they “sell the gap.” When women know 60% of it, they focus on the 40% they don’t know.
5. Have images of women sitting at the computer, giving demonstrations, and speaking, while men are in the background.
6. Support a local girls’ sports team, not just one for boys. Put their team photo on the wall next to the one of the boys’ team.
7. Do a bracket competition for Women’s March Madness, not just men’s.