A few months ago, while at the Pluralsight Author Summit, they hosted an open Q&A with the founders. The room was full of authors from around the world and many many Pluralsight staff. Aaron, Fritz and Keith are great guys, always have been. And they took all kinds of questions. Then I had my turn. It went something like… Look around this room. We’re surrounded by middle-aged white men. What’s your plan for changing that? (followed by: Could one of the middle-age white men on the stage please address this?).
They candidly acknowledged the issue and were very open in saying they wanted to make a difference and were still struggling with how to do that. They asked for any insight or advice we could offer, women in the room and men in the room.
We are all guilty of going with what we know, it’s the easy path. It’s finding that new path, it’s in the expanding the net for more coverage when looking for new talent, it’s those things that make a difference, those things that make a change. It’s those things that good companies, like Pluralsight, are doing.
It’s the subtle things. It’s giving your women authors great shirts that are cut for women instead of the boxy “uni-sex” (that are actually just men’s shirts, c’mon). It’s staffing your booth at Ignite with a good mix of men and women (I didn’t count, but it was obvious there were plenty of women there).
It’s the bigger things. Releasing a series of women in technology videos. Things that cover the good, the bad and the sometimes odd story of women in tech. I am rather honored to be included in these videos.
No woman wants to be hired simply because she’s a woman. She wants to be hired because she is qualified for the task at hand.
I heard a scary statistic the other day, and I wish I had a good source to back it up, but cannot find it. It stated that men are promoted based on their potential and women are promoted based on their accomplishments. That’s a big scary problem.
What’s your part? It can be as easy as sending your business to companies like Pluralsight. You can become one of the women authors at Pluralsight. You can become an activist. You can simply continue working hard and rewarding equally based on merit, keeping an eye out for incidental sexism and stomping it out.