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Can data translate into social change? We certainly hope so.
Women navigating tech culture’s choppy waters can use all the help they can get. Sites connecting women and other equally novel configurations of not-straight-white-dudes within the tech industry can feel few and far between, so it’s worth promoting what we’ve got to work with. One more tool for the ol’ workplace-equality toolbelt is InHerSight, a Glassdoor-like network with more emphasis on the qualitative side (workplace culture) versus quantitative side (salary, vacation).
InHerSight is as anonymous as a site like this can get, powered by simple ratings and anecdotal reports from female-identified employees across industries. The site’s existing data set is nowhere near as robust as Glassdoor’s, but the more help, the better! Much like Glassdoor, InHerSight aggregates responses to prompts like “Female Representation in Top Leadership” and “Salary Satisfaction,” inviting users to rate each point on a scale of one to five stars and fill out a text feedback box with a bit more cultural flavor.
While InHerSight is missing some notable tech companies for the time being, but the feedback for a few industry giants is telling. It’s possible that the site’s emphasis on “improving the workplace for women” might inspire more gender-related candor than something like Glassdoor—or you know, maybe there’s something to this whole systemic gender inequality thing. Who knows!
As a new piece in the Los Angeles Times titled “Women are leaving the tech industry in droves” paints a predictably grim portrait of gender equality in Silicon Valley, there’s still a remarkable amount to be said (and done) in technology’s dialogue around difference.
Of course, the great irony of tech’s central cultural conceit beats on, un-self-aware as ever. Tech companies scramble to fix new problems they’ve only just created (won’t someone think of the drones!), convinced they’ve cleaned up the monocultural mire that startup after startup oozes out of perhaps just because they’ve given this whole diversity thing a passing thought.
Meanwhile, women, people of color, and queers just keep scraping the muck off our boots and slogging back through day in and day out.
Let’s do something about that, why don’t we?
Taylor Hatmaker has reported on the tech industry for nearly a decade, covering privacy and government. Most recently, she was the Debug editor of the Daily Dot. Prior to that, she was a staff writer and deputy editor at ReadWrite, a tech and business reporter for Yahoo News, and the senior editor of Tecca. Her editorial interests include censorship, digital activism, LGBTQ issues, and futurist consumer tech.