Sunday, April 4, 2010

Geek Advice

There is a lot of good advice in this comment from Quill2006 to a post on the Geek Feminism blog at requesting suggestions on what men can do to improve workplaces for women. Specifically:
1. Make it clear what behaviour is acceptable. Value people skills. Promoting purely on technical skills tends to lead to managers with poor managerial skills.
2. Hire and train women. Remember when hiring that women may not have had the same opportunities to learn the latest techniques, which does not mean that they are not capable of doing so.
3. Do your hiring and promotion procedures reward masculine behaviour while punishing women for displaying masculine behaviour.
4. Make sure women have the opportunity to be heard. Specifically, if a woman is interrupted by a male colleague ask to hear the rest of what she had to say.

You may want to pass these tips on to male colleagues.


  1. Hi! I followed a link from somewhere to one of your posts, and am amused to find that we've both recently discovered Mama Bee.

    Anyway, as a middle manager in biotech (I am in charge of the informatics dept at my company, which encompasses both pure IT and computational science work), I have another tip to add:

    Look for ways to help your colleagues balance work/life- improving this will help everyone, but have a disproportionately large impact on women. And the women are often afraid to speak up, for fear of being perceived as less dedicated to their work because of it.

    Unrelated note- my husband is a Kiwi and I've visited NZ many times. It is a beautiful place! We're currently trying to figure out when we want to take the leap and do that looong flight with the kids.