After some rounds of low to no success, we start to compromise and hire women just because we have to
I’m An Ex-Google Woman Tech Leader And I’m Sick Of Our Approach To Diversity!
Vidya Narayanan

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.

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