Such hiring practices also disadvantage women. They hurt the employer by limiting the talent pool. They fortify the male dominated frat-boy culture that Silicon Valley is increasingly being criticized for.
Telle Whitney, CEO of Anita Borg Institute, which is working on getting more women to study computer science and have more women fully engaged in creating technology, says its research shows questions such as these cause women to get screened out more often than men. As an example, the superhero concept is going to resonate much more with men, as demonstrated by the demographics of the superhero movie attendance. Whitney cites research which shows that a strong and pervasive stereotype of computer professionals as devoid of a social life alienates women. Subtle cues in the physical environment of companies such as Star Trek posters and video games lead to women being less interested in being a part of an organization when compared to a neutral office environment. This causes women to self-select out of technology jobs.
Indeed, the trend is getting worse. In 1985, 37 percent of computer science undergraduate degree recipients were women. By 2011 this proportion had dropped to 18 percent. Most technology firms refuse to release gender and diversity numbers. Data collected on Github explains why. Dropbox, for example, had only 9 women in its 143 person engineering team as of October 2013. That’s 6.3 percent in an industry in which 18 percent of the hiring pool is women.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Dropbox’s hiring practices explain its disappointing lack of female employees.
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