Technology resumes: Value the difference between his vs hers

ResumeWe all know women hold just a fraction of technical jobs. While it’s understood the ‘brogrammer’ culture and unconscious bias are sources of the gender gap in technology, Kieran Snyder, CEO of Textio, went further to assess if CV style contributed. She did the research after looking over a female friend’s resume which was impressive – but still failed to make her want to hire her. After subjecting over 1000 CV’s, from technologists at various stages of their careers into text analysis, she found statistical difference between the genders.

As detailed in her commentary for Fortune  women led with their credentials and include more personal background, such as professional prizes, awards and academic distinctions, and they were more likely to detail their entire career – rather than just the last few jobs. Both men and women were equally likely to include information on ‘other interests’ – but again women’s extended to 3 versus one line favoured by men.

Women’s CV’s were also twice as long as men’s, averaging 717 words to his 414 words. Women were also more likely to include a summary and much less likely to use a specific, verb-heavy bullet list to summarise past roles. The problem is that men’s preferred writing style is obviously preferred by the men hiring people in such a male dominated industry. As explained in Quartz this approach fits better with Google hiring chief Laszlo Bock’s favourite piece of resume advice….to describe all wins by ‘accomplished X by doing Y as measured by Z’

Fortunately, Snyder didn’t use this as an opportunity to suggest women write more like men in order to get noticed, but called on employers to value the difference. She said ‘The men and women in this study have similar backgrounds. The resume gap reflects differences in how they present themselves, not in their experience or credentials. The women tend to tell their stories in summary, while the men let the facts speak for themselves. Both resume styles reflect skill sets that teams need. If you want to ship products, you need people who focus on the precise execution of concrete goals. But if you want to ship products that people will buy, you also need people who turn a varied set of features into a cohesive user narrative. Here’s the problem, though: The tech industry, which is not coincidentally heavily male-dominated, is far more equipped to appreciate precise execution. This is not because it is the only valuable skill set, but because it is easier to quantify and more well-understood.’

What ‘Coder Barbie’ should have said

Barbie I can be... booksMattel’s Barbie’s new range of “I can be” books has high hopes; featuring career choices such as presidents or sports players but still falls wide of the mark. We could potentially forgive ‘computer engineer’ Barbie needing help to reboot her computer, a skill she should’ve mastered by now? We’d even turn an eye at the pink heart shaped USB stick hanging round her neck, but when she utters those fatal words: “I’m only creating the design ideas,” Barbie says, laughing. “I’ll need Steven and Brian’s help to turn it into a real game!” Needless to say, the twittersphere was hot with ‘suggestions for improvement’.

We love ‘Barbie Remixed’ by Casey Fiesler, which features suggested amendments to the book which has Barbie narrating: “Really good games are made by a team of people. I’m doing some of the coding now, but Stephen and Brian are helping, too. There are lots of pieces to making a game, like art and music and storyline. Brian drew that puppy. You’re a good artist, Skipper. Maybe you could be a graphic designer when you grow up.” Skipper grins.“I love art, but I really love science, too. Physics is my favourite class. I think I want to be a physicist.”

Like all good code, we hope Mattel’s version of their story is an ongoing work in progress.

Are all the misogynists working in technology?

techonologyOur sister company, The InclusIQ Institute’s inbox was inundated with comments about a technology site ‘codebabes.com’ that aims to reward novice coders with page 3 style photos for every piece of new code they learn. No prizes then for guessing that sexism is a major problem in the technology industry. Headlining the website are hyper-sexualised women who remove a piece of clothing on the successful completion of a test like, ’Where to stick your CSS’. It’s actually advertised as ‘educational’ with a byline of being ‘awesome for Learning to code & Checkin’ out babes’. While sites like this are clearly offensive to women; they are patronising to men as well.

It reminded us of a MassChallenge Business Start up we attended a year ago. Everyone pitched their business concepts; looking for strangers to join them over the weekend in turning their idea into a reality. A number of young guys presented concepts for website or apps that rate local parties by the quality of the women attendees- ‘so you always know ‘which’ party to go to’. Dismayingly, these proposals got selected whilst projects by the few women who pitched potential websites where parents can rate babysitters in their local area, were largely ignored. What a missed opportunity for crowdsourcing great information for which parents would gladly pay.

It brought to mind an article: ‘Technology’s Man Problem’ in the New York Times. Two TechCrunch Hackathon entrepreneurs showcased their ‘Titstare app’ – which ostensibly offers bare-chested women the opportunity to take photos of themselves in the mirror. Thanks, but no thanks.

Not surprisingly, participants were shocked and it sparked a massive online backlash on Twitter. One attendee, Elissa Shevinsky, co founder of Glimpse, was disgusted and started a Twitter blogpost :“I thought that we didn’t need more women in tech. I was wrong.” TechCrunch published an apology; ‘Any type of sexism or other discriminatory and/or derogatory speech will not be allowed. You expect more from us, and we expect more from ourselves. We are sorry’. As purveyors of ostensibly the newest and best in technology, we do indeed expect more.

Parity between the genders in the technology sector feels a long way off. Every small step counts. We support organisations who strive to make tech a safer and more inclusive place for everyone, such as the one mentioned above and others: womenintechnology.co.uk, The Representation Project #NotBuyingIt app, and womenwhocode.co.uk, Black Girls Code , Girl Develop It, and Girls who code.

 

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