Thrilled to see Melinda Gates prioritizing her investments to focus on women in tech! And glad to see the great suggestions in the comments.
My suggestion isn’t particularly original, but I believe it bears repeating: we need to develop a more data-driven, rubric-based approach to the hiring process, and particularly to technical interviewing. The arbitrariness of the hiring process particularly hurts women, both because it’s tailored to male candidates (e.g., emphasizing male educational and career trajectories) and because its subjectivity opens the door to conscious and conscious interviewer bias. No hiring process is perfect, but we can do much, much better. I’d love to see Melinda Gates invest resources into organizations that are working to improve the hiring process and socialize those improvements.
Why do I believe we should focus on the hiring process? Because it’s a high-leverage investment that can deliver immediate returns.
Yes, we need to improve the STEM pipeline. Even more importantly, we have to address the abusive culture that women face as technical employees. And many people and organizations are working on both issues. But I believe those issues require sustained efforts to deliver long-term returns.
In contrast, I believe that we can improve the hiring process today, and that we’ll see returns far more quickly. Moreover, improving how we hire women will provide leverage to effect change in the organizations where they work and become role models, especially as technical leaders.
In any case, I’m sure Melinda Gates is hearing from people, and particularly from women in technology, who know far more about this than I do. I’m excited to see where she decides to invest.