Women in Tech: It’s not always about having the big names — It’s about volume
Diversity is key to the long-term success of communities and businesses. We caught up with Tracy Miranda, the founder and CEO of Kichwa Coders to chat about the role of diversity in modern day society and what we need to do to make a real difference and promote values like inclusion, diversity and equality.
Tracy Miranda is the founder and CEO of Kichwa Coders, a software consultancy specializing in Eclipse tools for science and embedded software. Last year, we talked about how employers can persuade female engineers to join their companies. Now it’s time to dive deeper into the diversity topic and talk about why diverse teams make better decisions.
Tech communities notoriously suffer from diversity problems. And diversity is not something that can be improved overnight. In an interview with JAXenter editor Gabriela Motroc, Tracy Miranda gives insights into the complexity of the diversity topic and looks at how diverse software communities lead to a more secure and resilient society.
Tracy Miranda is a developer, open source evangelist and veteran of the Eclipse community. She is the founder of Kichwa Coders, a software consultancy specializing in Eclipse tools for scientific and embedded software. Tracy has a background in electronics system design, including patents for her work on processor architectures. She writes for jaxenter.com and opensource.com on tech, open source & diversity.
How can you hire more women engineers? “Show off your community spirit”
JAXenter: What should potential employers do to convince female engineers to join their companies and not others?
Tracy Miranda: When I was looking for my first job, I did a lot of interviews and had a few offers to choose from. There was not a lot to decide between the tech companies: similar work in my field, equivalent perks and each were prepared to match the highest offer. I chose the company with the badminton and squash leagues. I was looking for evidence of a community spirit and co-workers who enjoyed spending time with each other outside work. Assuming they have their financial packages competitive, employers need to be better than the competition at packaging their company in terms women generally care about: community, learning, innovation & family-friendliness.
JAXenter: Where do recruiters go wrong during the hiring process? What are the possible deal-breakers?
Tracy Miranda: I’ve had one hiring manager try to ask when I planned to have kids. Any such questions related to pregnancy, having kids etc, besides being potentially illegal, are instant deal-breakers. They generally demonstrate such short-term thinking that I would recommend steering clear of such companies.
JAXenter: What is the most important step that recruiters sometimes forget when hiring female engineers?
Tracy Miranda: Recruiters need to assume nothing about gender, and in fact assume nothing about the candidate. Not making assumptions about people, is at the core, about respecting people as individuals. The most important thing for recruiters is to remember to always seek to get to know candidates as the unique individuals they are.
Read the entire interview here.
Don’t miss our Women in Tech profiles:
- “Technology reflects the people who make it”
- “In the right company, working in tech is a great career”
- Why women fall out of the tech pipeline
- Breaking the mold: ‘It’s not that you’re good — it’s that you’re female’
- How to avoid the culture of male programmers
- Creating an equal playing field is about more than just teaching someone coding skills
- The more women you see in STEM, the less intimidating it is for others to join
- The tech industry tends to lose women along the way. Change is underway
- How to get (and stay) into the tech industry: Tips & tricks for women
- Transitioning into a tech career? Silicon Valley culture is one of the biggest initial obstacles