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:

Don’t:
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.

Do:
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.