Women are leaving your tech company because you don’t deserve to keep us around.
For years, we thought it was us. That we were failures. We thought that if we just did twice as well as the pasty hoodie-wearers around us we’d move up through the ranks too. Instead you got twice as much work out of us than you did out of our male peers, and tossed us a few scraps of “women’s networks” and “Lean In Circles” instead of promotions and raises.
Fuck that, we’re done. It’s not us, it’s you.
We’ve watched mediocre men whiz by us on a glass escalator, including in the part of tech companies which include a disproportionate number of women - roles that get dismissed as "pink collar" such as marketing, HR, and QA. We’ve had our work torn down in code reviews and performance reviews, while our male peers back-pat each others’ shitty work onwards to the next production incident. When we try to play by the rules (which we do because we’ve seen what happens to women who don’t) we’re denied opportunities because we aren’t “ready” for them- and we are ALSO denied the things you say we need in order to BE ready. When we do these things without your corporate approval, we do it knowing that we may be the next woman who gets quietly fired for being too forward.
When we try to take a seat at the table like Sheryl said we should, we’re called presumptuous.
We’re under-sponsored and over-”mentored” - in scare quotes for all the times that “mentoring” has been more like “mantoring”. Our serious technical hesitations are answered as though we’re asking what git is.
Our reviews are full of words like “shrill”, “abrasive”, “hard to work with”, “not a team player”, and “difficult”. We’re encouraged to be nicer and less intimidating and more helpful. Action items and measurable metrics are nowhere to be found. We’re promoted on performance, while our male peers half-ass their way up the ladder, failing upwards on the “merit” of their “potential.”
It’s time we take our potential elsewhere.
We’re following in the footsteps of brave women who’ve flipped tables out of our way, clearing the path we’re now walking down. We’re talking. We’re organizing. We’re sharing our long memories of all the creeps who’ve hit on us and the cowards who’ve failed to promote us. We’re lawyering up. We’re incorporating and fundraising for our own companies, and angel investing in other women who are building amazing things. We’re ceasing to give any more fucks about your incompetently-run “Uber for cats” app or whatever the fuck your company does.
2015 is the year of the tableflip.
With credit, love, and respect to all the trailblazing tableflippers who showed the way.