I had the fortunate experience of chatting with two female Bing engineering employees this week. We discussed diversity, specifically female diversity, in engineering organizations. They shared their thoughts on the topic which included references to their specific experiences. I would tell you a little about each employee but since I did not get permission to post their comments I will keep them anonymous. Let me refer to them as Leslie and Pat.
Leslie was active in helping others in college, by organizing networking circles for women in technology at one of the top schools in the country. Pat mentioned there were people who came to her college and spoke to women about technology. She also stated there is an opportunity to encourage freshmen female students to take more sciences . Pat went on to say, some places have a “work day” for high school girls. Both agreed more women need to show up at industry and campus recruiting events. (How are you going to do this without tiring out the “four” technical women who work in your organization? Sounds like a vicious cycle if you ask me…) Fortunately the “ladies” work in an office where they say there is a “good” number of technical females. (Yes – “good” is subjective however they both felt this way.)
At the end of the conversation I left inspired by their experiences and compelled to influence the number of technical female hires first, and then encourage them to be active in female technology circles. I also left the conversation wondering if we as the human race are still perpetuating the same stereotypes from years ago? Are we not advancing? Statistics say, we are not advancing as the number of female math/science grads is steadily declining. What are you going to do to change it?