There’s non-stop debate in Silicon Valley, and throughout the tech industry in general, about the root cause of tech’s gender diversity challenge. Company executives and employees alike debate whether it’s a talent pipeline issue or a culture issue, but one thing most agree on is that diversity and gender equality in tech is complex—it’s a problem not necessarily resolved by the likes of money or hiring a head of diversity. It takes a far more holistic, integrative approach.
However, something we don’t hear enough about is practical ways we can tackle diversity, now. One of the first walls hit by female employees: simply getting their foot in the door for the hiring process. Many females are turned away, nearly instantly, due to unconscious bias. Unconscious bias happens outside of our control; it’s our brain’s instinctual reaction and reasoning, based on cultural associations. Here’s an example: if you Google “doctor”, you’ll notice an overwhelming number of images for the gender neutral term return pictures of male doctors.
But, let’s assume a woman gets through the door and gets hired. What happens then? Recent numbers are dismal: “Adobe’s workforce is 69 percent white and Apple’s 56 percent. Google? 59 percent. Microsoft? 58 percent. The list goes on. Black people, Latinos, and Native Americans are underrepresented in tech by 16 to 18 percentage points compared with their presence in the US labor force overall.”
The following tools aim to empower and enable companies to cut through hiring bias and level the playing field for all.
SAP Success Factors
SAP Success Factors is a robust platform that helps managers with hiring and retaining talent. Its designed to evaluate employee potential and help develop a stronger workforce. SAP Success Factors has recently added in a slew of features that specifically help mitigate bias, including analysis of everything from job descriptions to employee compensation.
Interviewing.io gives job candidates the opportunity to interview with the biggies, such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft, but completely anonymously. Names are hidden, as well as education, employment details and really any identifying information. This means interviewees are judged 100% based on technical skills.
HRx is a service that promotes blind applications; all potentially bias-inducing information is hidden from candidates’ profiles. Names, race, past workplaces—any detail that could give any hiring manager pause. Instead, candidates are evaluated and ranked based on feedback from their references.
Be judged based on how you perform—imagine that. GapJumpers offers job postings, but along with each comes a challenge. It could be writing an article or coding a web page. Hiring managers get to review candidates’ work to determine who gets to move on to the next round, but all personally identifying details are withheld. And, this means that approximately 60% of top candidates wind up being from underrepresented backgrounds.
Have you used one of these tools, either to hire or to go through the hiring process? What do you think?