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Feminist reviews of tech companies

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This page describes specific tech companies, worldwide, from a feminist perspective. It's intended as a resource for people who are job-hunting or otherwise interested in knowing whether a tech company is feminist/woman-friendly/etc.

Tips for reviews Edit

When adding a company, you may like to mention such things as:

  • Women on the board or in executive roles
  • High proportion of women in the company overall, or in tech roles (ideally, cite a concrete statistic, such as this spreadsheet )
  • Parental leave policies
  • Policies regarding anti-harassment policies at events they run or sponsor
  • Whether they use Booth babes
  • Any incidents which have occurred regarding this company
  • Any good or bad apologies for incidents, or statements in relation to incidents (eg. supporting a staff member)
  • If they sponsor or act as host for women-in-tech or other minority-in-tech groups/events
  • Prominent feminists/activists -- or anti-feminists -- who work for the company, especially in influential roles
  • Notable writing on women's roles/treatment at the company
  • Use of unpaid internships
  • Unusually difficult or lengthy hiring processes

Facebook Edit

  • Company founded as a way to pick up girls
  • Many privacy and harassment concerns on the Facebook platform suggest that they don't much care about women's wellbeing
  • Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's COO, is the author of Lean In -- a "liberal feminist" guide to success aimed at privileged women in professional careers. Popular, but criticised by many intersectional feminists.
  • Reading: Kate Losse, "The Boy Kings", on gendered work at Facebook
  • Proportion of women employees/tech staff: Facebook statement
  • Parental leave policies: 17 weeks parental leave (source: Atlantic article from 2015)
  • Trans-friendly healthcare: unknown

Github Edit

  • Hosted "Passion Projects" series of women speakers.
  • Had an awful Meritocracy rug.
  • Got rid of their Meritocracy rug.
  • Notable events: Category:GitHub
  • Proportion of women employees/tech staff: unknown
  • Parental leave policies: unknown
  • Trans-friendly healthcare: unknown

Google Edit

  • Runs "Google Summer of Code" to encourage students to participate in open source projects; GSOC has a high number of female participants.
  • There have been a number of incidents with regard to privacy, harassment, etc in Google products, eg. Google Buzz allowing a blogger's abusive ex-husband to access her activity, Google+/Android integration unexpectedly outing a trans woman, generally disproportionately affecting women and other marginalised people.
  • Other notable events: Category:Google
  • Proportion of women employees/tech staff: has been claimed to be "higher than industry average" in the past, but their first public release of diversity data suggests that this is not true.
  • Parental leave policies: 18-22 weeks maternal leave and 13 weeks paternal leave (source: Atlantic article from 2015)
  • Trans-friendly healthcare: very good (full marks for trans healthcare on 2013 HRC CEI)
  • Internship practices: paid internships available aimed at university students.
  • Interview practices: variable, many reports of lengthy or repeated on-site interviews with many many interviewers.

Heroku (part of salesforce.com) Edit

  • Requires events to have an anti-harassment policy to be sponsored by the company
  • A handful of active feminists on staff and in management roles (including some GF wiki editors)
  • Proportion of women employees/tech staff: unknown
  • Parental leave policies: unknown
  • Trans-friendly healthcare: excellent (search the linked plan summaries for "gender") 
  • Salesforce.com, Heroku's parent company, has a perfect HRC rating of 100
  • Internships: Available for the first time in 2015 on a limited basis; only currently enrolled computer science students in universities will be considered.
  • Interview process: report of very lengthy interview processes including asking interviewees to work with real code and actual prospective colleagues, unpaid.

MicrosoftEdit

  • Active women's, LGBTQ, and PoC ERGs
  • Oldest LGBTQ ERG in tech
  • HRC rating of 100
  • Trans-friendly healthcare
  • 2 out of 10 board members are women

Mozilla Edit

  • Brendan Eich, former CEO and CTO, donated $1000 to support California's anti-marriage-equality Proposition 8 initiative. Eich was promoted from CTO to CEO in March 2014, despite criticism of his anti-marriage-equality donation from both inside and outside Mozilla. He resigned after 10 days as CEO.
  • Interim CEO: Chris Beard
  • Chair: Mitchell Baker, who is a woman. Few other women in leadership roles (except HR).
  • Women make up 10% of engineering staff (2014) spreadsheet: percentage of women engineers by firm
  • Parental leave was cut back in 2013.
  • Has refused to institute a code of conduct, but does have community participation guidelines.
  • Internships: Restricted to undergraduate and graduate students in colleges and universities worldwide. Compensation is comparable to full-time employee pay for a similar position.
  • Hiring process: Sometimes lengthy. Often difficult to make the process move forward without an inside connection. Mozilla sometimes makes full-time employment contingent on a period of working as a contractor or seasonal employee (with no benefits).
  • Incidents:
    • In March 2012, Gerv Markham, a Mozilla contractor who worked in governance and community management, wrote an anti-marriage-equality blog post that was syndicated on Mozilla's "Planet Mozilla" blog aggregrator. As a company, Mozilla took no action to make it clear that this post did not represent the company's values, and affirmed Gerv's right to "free speech". This incident was followed (in a few months) by the institution of the community participation guidelines, which nevertheless would not have made it clear that homophobic posts weren't acceptable on Planet Mozilla. Markham was later promoted to the status of full-time employee.
      • Later in 2012, an individual identifying as a Mozilla employee made a threat on the personal blog of Christie Koehler (a Mozilla employee who had been vocal about the homophobic incident), saying, "we don't want you two around" in reference to her and another employee, because they had spoken out to oppose homophobia. This individual was later confirmed to be a full-time Mozilla engineer and admitted to what they had done, but was not held accountable in any public fashion and is still employed at Mozilla.
      • Koehler also received a death threat from an anonymous individual with an interest in the Mozilla community, which was related to the same incident.
      • Mozilla never issued a public disavowal of Markham's actions, the actions of the employee who made the threat, or the death threats, or a statement of support for Koehler and other employees who had been targeted for their views.
    • Around the same time, Brendan Eich's donation to an anti-marriage-equality cause was made publicly known; Eich responded to widespread criticism by posting a non-apology on his blog. As a company, Mozilla never issued a statement about Eich's actions until after extensive public criticism of Eich after his appointment as CEO in 2014.
  • Has sponsored Transcode SF, Bay Area Geek Girl Dinners, and other events for marginalized populations in tech.
  • Trans health care: In the fall of 2013, the company announced that they would be offering at least one trans-inclusive health insurance policy.
  • Mozilla has a women's affinity group (WoMoz) and an LGBTQ affinity group (HomoZilla).
  • Notable feminists at Mozilla: Liz Henry (Bugmaster), Deb Richardson (Product Manager), Selena Deckelmann (Data Architect). Feminist alums of Mozilla include Lukas Blakk (Release Manager) and Christie Koehler (Senior Project Manager).

Palantir.net Edit

  • President is a woman (Tiffany Fariss)
  • About a third of its developers (as of this edit) are women, trans, or otherwise non-cis-men. This proportion maintains for senior-level developers and leadership as well.
  • Office environment is generally accommodating, with single-occupancy bathrooms, bicycle storage, and a quiet space/lactation room.
  • Hiring process: can be lengthy. Interviews can be done via video chat instead of in person.
  • Offers paid internships. Does not offer unpaid internships.
  • Chairman is Peter Thiel, who is generally terrible; among other things he specifically regrets women's suffrage.
  • Seriously, the company is basically the private arm of the CIA, it doesn't matter how many non-cis-men are developers, don't work there.
  • Parental leave policies: unknown
  • Trans-friendly healthcare: unknown

Sendgrid Edit

  • Fired Adria Richards for complaining about sexist jokes at a conference (see: Donglegate)
  • Proportion of women employees/tech staff: unknown
  • Parental leave policies: unknown
  • Trans-friendly healthcare: unknown

Twitter Edit

Yahoo! Edit

LinkedIn Edit

Moz Edit

  • 3 women on Executive Team (including female CEO)
  • Partners with Ada Developers Academy (software developer training school for women)
  • 4 months of paid leave (maternity, paternity, FMLA reasons) at 100% salary.
  • Consistently ensures speaker diversity in annual MozCon

Dell Edit

AppleEdit

See also Edit

  • Micro-Activism Wiki: compiling information about tech companies' trans inclusion, or lack thereof, in their health insurance policies.


References Edit

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