A few weeks ago I got into a conversation about this piece in Medium by Rachel Thomas on how the issues around recruiting and retaining women in tech go far beyond "The Pipeline Problem". Thomas lists a bunch of great ideas about how to foster diversity and chip away at the problem from multiple angles. The guy I was chatting with seemed to like the essay, and liked some of the solutions, but the last thing he said to me was that none of it sounded like it would be enough, so why bother?
I hear that a lot. I've started to wonder if part of it is this engineerish mindset that there must be A Straightforward Solution To Every Problem, and therefore if you can't come up with the straightforward solution, you're being inefficient with any small improvements and maybe it's better to wait until the straightforward solution presents itself. And besides, nobody's house is burning down, this isn't an emergency. No need for half measures today if we couldn't possibly fix it by tomorrow anyway.
So this morning I was really happy to see this piece in HuffPo by Belle Beth Cooper about what real companies that you've actually heard of are doing to try to recruit and retain more women. Cooper talks about companies that are having some success, talks about the different retention drivers for men and women, and a bunch of other good stuff. Both are worth reading, and I'm excited to see companies take steps forward without knowing what the next iteration of improvements to support women will look like.