A breakthrough for women in tech, but not everyone is happy.
It seems that all around the world, highly-qualified, more-than-capable, and dare we say “incredible” men are being denied jobs in the tech industry just so a few social justice types can make themselves look good. Yes, in an era when a volatile accused rapist can still be given a lifetime appointment as a US Supreme Court justice, men just can’t catch a break in technology and computing fields.
Language-learning app Duolingo made headlines earlier this year when its CEO made a bold, unbelievable statement: we’re trying to hire more women. After last year’s recruiting class for software engineers didn’t have a single female applicant accept the role, CEO Luis Von Ahn took a stance for diversity, one that led to an arduous task for his recruitment teams.
Von Ahn has had to take to social media to put out the fires–strange, since the tears from offended men should have done plenty to quench the flames–and he did not mince words.
“The women we hired had either perfect or near perfect GPAs from the best universities in the world, with stellar recommendations, and aced our very thorough interview process. We’ve gotten over 90K applicants for jobs throughout time, and we’ve made offers to under 250.”
Part of Duolingo’s strategy also included where they would recruit.
Any university that is not meeting demonstrable demographic numbers for women studying tech fields was off the list; moreover, Duolingo’s recruiters didn’t just skip those universities, but rather that took actionable steps to explain to these schools that the skewed numbers against female students is why they would not recruit their graduates.
“We achieved a 50% ratio not by lowering our standards or by discriminating against men. We did it by only actively recruiting from colleges with higher female ratios in their computer science programs. These were also not shitty colleges — CMU, MIT, Duke, Cornell, Harvard, etc.”
Will it ever be enough?
These insightful explanations didn’t dampen the spirits of ardent chauvinists, though, who had plenty to say about the “poor men” who were passed over for the job to let a woman have it.
A few of the more poignant complaints, however, had to do with the fact that there was very little in the way of racial diversity in Duolingo’s recruiting class, an issue that the company will hopefully tackle with just as much enthusiasm.