Jul. 6, 2015 Five Second Delay

After writing about a trans candidate’s troubles last week, a woman candidate contacted me. The sheer numbers indicate an incredibly hostile work environment for women in Silicon Valley. There are exceptions but the problem is that they are exceptions. I know lots of women who are struggling just to get hired, like the one who contacted me.

She is a degreed experienced professional with a male sounding name. She looks for work online. Recruiters usually start negotiations by email and then want to talk on the phone. When they call, the woman always hears a five second delay after they hear her voice. She said “It is like this shock that they are talking to a W-O-M-A-N.” Sometimes they ask to talk to her husband or her boss or just hang up. In others cases, they work really hard to reduce the hourly rate in half.

She tried buying a device that disguises her voice, but she said it made her sound like Darth Vader. She took a short term offsite job, completed the project a week early and under budget. The client was thrilled and invited her into their offices. She walked into the lobby and the man she had been working with remotely said “I was expecting a man.”

She said, “So was I.” and walked right back out the front door.

Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.