This doesn’t line up with my experience —I wonder if this is something that’s more pronounced at companies that are hiring at high volume, or for specialization?
My experience — anecdotal/YMMV:
I was CTO at my last company for 5 years, with an engineering team of ~ 12+. We didn’t explicitly recruit for “diversity” — but, when we had a solid female or URM candidate, we would tend to say “yes” rather than defaulting to “no”. It worked out wonderfully — when I left, we had 4 women on a team of 12, and they were brilliant. I don’t think we’d compromised for the sake of diversity.
At my current employer, we recruit from organizations like Code 2040, and we’ve hired engineers from “non-traditional” backgrounds. We developed a reputation for being a good place for female engineers to work and grow — and consequently, we started getting more and more senior, superb female engineering candidates.
In addition, I have been *wowed* by our “non-traditional” hires. I’ve been doing this for 18 years, and I’ve come to believe that a degree is often just a shiny piece of paper.
I think determination, focus, discipline, and a good attitude are better indicators for success than either pedigree or experience.
I also believe our companies send signals that either attract or repel women from recruitment channels. I feel compelled to ask you, Vidya — do you think this Medium post is going to have an encouraging or discouraging influence on potential engineering candidates who are female and/or under-represented minorities?
I think your calls to action are on point .
However, I also think you’re doing some harm by judging diversity efforts across the industry based on your experience at Google. They may be amongst the best at many things — but I think any large organization that tries to “bolt” a huge cultural initiative onto a humming machine is bound to mess things up.