Women in Tech Band Together to Track Diversity, After Hours
SAN FRANCISCO — Ellen Pao spent the last few years spotlighting the technology industry’s lack of diversity, in court and beyond. Erica Baker caused a stir at Google when she started a spreadsheet last year for employees to share their salaries, highlighting the pay disparities between those of different genders doing the same job. Laura I. Gómez founded a start-up focused on improving diversity in the hiring process.
旧金山——鲍康如(Ellen Pao)这几年来一直致力于揭露科技行业缺乏多样性的情况，不论是在法庭上还是法庭外。埃里卡·贝克(Erica Baker)去年创建的一个让员工晒薪水的电子表格在谷歌(Google)引起了轰动，突显了工作内容相同但性别不同的员工之间的收入差距。劳拉·I·戈麦斯(Laura I. Gómez)办了一家初创公司，专注于提高招聘过程中的多样性。
Now the three — along with five other prominent Silicon Valley women from companies including Pinterest, Stripe and Slack — are starting an effort to collect and share data to help diversify the rank-and-file employees who make up tech companies. The nonprofit venture, called Project Include, was unveiled on Tuesday.
“The standard mantra for every company on diversity statistics is, ‘We’re not doing well, but we’re working on it,’” said Ms. Pao, a former venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, who sued the firm for accusations of gender discrimination and lost. “People don’t learn anything from that. Can you tell us what are you actually doing?”
“每家公司关于员工多元化统计数据的标配口头禅都是，‘我们做得不好，但我们正努力做好’。”曾经起诉前雇主风险投资公司凯鹏华盈(Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers)性别歧视，但却败诉的鲍康如说。“这句话没有任何内容。你能说说你们到底正在做什么吗？”
The group’s push is one of the more visible diversity efforts to come from women in Silicon Valley as tech companies grapple with criticism over the makeup of their work forces, which skew white and male. Over the last few years, tech entrepreneurs like Kimberly Bryant of Black Girls Code and Laura Weidman Powers of Code 2040 have promoted the inclusion of young women and minorities in early computer science education programs with their start-ups.
当偏爱白人和男性的硅谷公司忙于应付对员工构成展开的批评之际，许多更为引人注目的推动多元化的努力，都由该地区的女性主导，“容纳计划”正在做的事情只是其中一例。过去几年间，科技行业的一些创业者，比如“黑姑娘编程”(Black Girls Code)的金柏莉·布莱恩特(Kimberly Bryant)和Code 2040的劳拉·韦德曼·鲍尔斯(Laura Weidman Powers)，已经与其所在的初创组织或初创公司一起，推出旨在推动年轻女性和少数族裔接受计算机科学早期教育的项目。
Project Include stands out because of the number of well-known tech women in the group who have championed diversity and are now banding together. Ms. Pao, for one, was in the headlines last year for her court case against Kleiner Perkins, as well as her ouster as interim chief executive of Reddit, the online message board. Tracy Chou, a software engineer at Pinterest who is also a founding member of Project Include, has been one of the most vocal engineers concerning the lack of female peers.
Project Include’s other founders are Freada Kapor Klein, a partner at the Kapor Center and a longtime proponent of inclusion in tech, Susan Wu of the mobile payments start-up Stripe, Y-Vonne Hutchinson of the diversity consulting firm ReadySet and Bethanye McKinney Blount, a former executive at Reddit.
“容纳计划”的其他创始人分别为卡普尔中心(Kapor Center)合伙人、一直倡导把科技行业变得更具包容性的弗里德·卡普尔·克莱因(Freada Kapor Klein)，移动支付初创公司Stripe的苏珊·吴(Susan Wu)， 多样性咨询公司ReadySet的伊冯娜·哈钦森(Y-Vonne Hutchinson)，Reddit前高管贝萨耶·麦金尼·布朗特(Bethanye McKinney Blount)。
All of them are working on Project Include outside of their respective workplaces, on their own time.
As part of Project Include, the group plans to extract commitments from tech companies to track the diversity of their work forces over time and eventually share that data with other start-ups. The effort will focus on start-ups that employ 25 to 1,000 workers, in the hope of spurring the companies to think about equality sooner rather than later. The project will also ask for participation from venture capital firms that advise and mentor the start-ups.
Project Include aims to have 18 companies as part of its first cohort; a few have already signed up. The group will meet regularly for seven months to define and track specific metrics. At the end of that period, the group will publish an anonymized set of results to show the progress — or lack thereof — that the start-ups have made around diversity.
“If companies start early with diversity and inclusion, they don’t have to bolt it on later, which is much harder,” said Ms. Baker, the former Google engineer, who now works at Slack, a workplace collaboration software start-up.
The group’s push is intended to cut through tech’s slow pace of change on diversity. Large companies, including Google, Facebook and Microsoft, have openly admitted their failings in creating diverse work forces, and some have started programs to move the needle. But that has not seemed to spur much movement in views on the issue.
In December, for instance, Michael Moritz, a partner at the venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, made headlines when he said in an interview that his firm — which had no female investment partners in the United States — would focus on hiring women but would not “lower its standards” to do so. He also said the firm was blind to gender and race.
例如，去年12月，风险投资公司红杉资本(Sequoia Capital)合伙人迈克尔·莫里茨(Michael Moritz)因为采访中的一番话而登上了媒体头条，他说公司——在美国没有女性投资合伙人——会致力于聘用女性，但不会为此“降低标准”。他还说他的公司无视性别和种族的界线。
“It is this incredibly self-serving mythology that we are the best and the brightest, and that the best ideas rise to the top and will get funded,” said Ms. Kapor Klein, noting there is plenty of data to show that minority access to tech programs and networks is worse than that of white males. “Despite an avalanche of rigorous data to the contrary, the belief in pure meritocracy persists.”