I’m a Woman in Tech, But Even I Didn’t ‘Get It’ Until This Week

After 10 years as a business owner, I encountered a specific kind of sexism this week that I’ve actually never come across before.

We were in the final stages of interviewing a dev candidate for a job at my startup, Edgar. He was a favorite — he’d aced several interviews already, and even worked alongside our team.

The only check mark left was the “culture fit” interview, which is always held by people outside the candidate’s department to make sure they would be an awesome personality fit for our entire team.

During the final interview, the candidate made some comments that made our team cringe. Comments about the interviewers’ appearance and intelligence (or lack thereof). The kind of inappropriate “jokes” that every woman has heard countless times and had to laugh off so not to stir the pot.

But this time, the women were the ones making the hiring decision. They vetoed the candidate, and he was out.

The thing that fascinates me most is that if we hadn’t held this interview with women, we never would have known that this was the type of workplace behavior he thought was appropriate — not until it was too late, anyway. We would have hired him.

His behavior wasn’t over the top. It wasn’t outrageous. For better or worse, people know better these days than to overtly express certain prejudices in a job interview — but they can really show them in the way they treat people. (Not many candidates will open with, “What’s with all these women in the workplace, right?”)

If your candidates don’t get a chance to interact with women during the interview process, you don’t know what kind of comments they might make — and you might not know about the biases those comments reflect until it’s too late. You might —> Read More