I can’t find enough women to work with and that’s really frustrating. I’ve been trying to understand how to change that.
Last week at Big Omaha, I had the awesome opportunity to listen to Cindy Gallop speak about women in the workplace, as well as have a great conversation with Sally Nellson Barrett from Malone & Company on the subject.
A few things stuck out to me, and I started thinking about my own life. I was basically raised by two women, my grandmother and my mother. They created a lot of structure in my life, and I arguably have been trying to figure that out for myself since I moved out of the house. Their work ethic and personality traits were truly unbelievable.
To this day, a lot of the people I work really well with are exceptionally strong women. Charise Flynn, Dwolla’s COO, is a perfect example of an amazing woman who leads and drives the company forward with her quick problem solving and great business decisions.
This is not to say that there is a problem with the guys that I work with. I love them. They’re amazing and I want to work with more of them too, but we need more kick ass women at Dwolla. Out of the 42 amazingly talented employees at Dwolla, only 10 are women. Diversity is a good thing, we want different opinions and more voices at the table.
So the question remains: How can I work with more women so that we can continue to build a better company?
The other day, I asked Jenna, our HR manager, how many female applications were in the developer pipeline. We didn’t have one. Not a single one. That’s a big stack of applications, and that seemed silly.
So, I was especially interested at Big Omaha to learn what I could do to attract more women. My favorite piece of advice came from Cindy during her talk, when she told everyone to simply put yourself out there for women to see and say: “I WANT TO WORK FOR/WITH YOU!”
So here we go. I hope this isn’t awkward…
Women of the tech world,
I know you’re out there. I see you at conferences and at coffee shops hacking all day. When you catch me looking at you working, I’m not looking for a wedding ring. I’m trying to see if you’re building something and if so, on what, for whom, so I can figure out how to find you.
I believe you have exceptional minds. You’ve continually challenged the company, held us accountable, and, personally, told me if my ideas suck. I appreciate that.
We need more of that.
We can’t find you if you’re not applying, and we want really badly to work with you. My motives are totally selfish and transparent. We know how awesome you are, what an amazing team member we think you will be, and we want to build a great company with you.
Thank you for your time and consideration.