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Google crafts algorithms to get more women in more positions

 1:34 pm on Aug 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google has fine-tuned its search algorithms to hone in on many things, from web pages to stock quotes and flight times, but its latest challenge may be its most ambitious yet. It's hoping its vaunted data-crunching prowess can help it bring in more women.

Engineering has historically been male-dominated, but geek culture runs particularly deep at the Chocolate Factory, where job interviews involve marching potential recruits through a battery of logic puzzles and coding challenges that rival most oral dissertation exams.

Google-watchers say that tendency has increased since Larry Page became the company's CEO in 2011. A programmer himself, Page has assembled an inner circle of top product engineers to help steer the company, most of whom have been men.

At the same time, some say women are being pushed out. Most notably, Marissa Mayer, a former leader of many of the Google's most successful products, left the company in July after being passed over for an executive role. Google competitor Yahoo! made her its CEO. [theregister.co.uk...]



 7:40 pm on Aug 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

But the Chocolate Factory says not only does it want female staffers, it's actively looking for ways to refine its recruitment and retention processes to make the company more attractive to women. In true Googly form, that means it's been crunching the numbers.

No need to crunch numbers. And the only data they need to study is "R-E-S-P-E-C-T."

There are thousands of smart, cutting-edge women who would fit perfectly in Google's geek squad. But they, like most of us, deserve and require respect. If they are not getting that in a male-dominated work environment (i.e. valued opinions and views, promotions), they probably won't hang around too long--as Marissa Mayer apparently shown.


 8:47 pm on Aug 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Still other women didn't even make it past the first phone interview. When Google's stats-sifters examined these candidates' interview responses, they found that on average women were less likely to boast about their accomplishments over the phone than men, which led interviewers to assume they hadn't done anything. Interviewers are now asked to pay closer attention and take better notes.

They needed stats to tell them this? For those who haven't simply noticed during their course of existence that men are taught to sell themselves and women are taught to demure and be excessively moest, this fact gets mentioned in 99% of all "why women still aren't quite earning what men do" type articles.

[edited by: diberry at 9:14 pm (utc) on Aug 26, 2012]


 8:49 pm on Aug 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

Marissa Mayer put a big ol spotlight on some of Google's shortcomings, no doubt.

I Googled the issue before posting this and serp spot #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14 and #15 all confirmed it (all the same site).


 8:49 pm on Aug 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

In true Googly form, that means it's been crunching the numbers.

Crunching the numbers as a means of solving this problem is likely the root cause of the problem.

Marketing Guy

 10:00 am on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Exactly. Geek culture and "a battery of logic puzzles" as part of the recruitment process naturally excludes a huge amount of killer candidates and that has nothing to do with gender.

Rather than getting more geeky about the problem they should consider hiring seasoned professionals that can bring much needed experience to the company. Y'know grown-ups who can tell the rest to stop patting themselves on the back about how smart they are (whilst wasting their time playing hockey, working on "side projects", and organising pointless hangouts on G+) and sort out their core products.

Sometimes it seems that they are more interested in promoting "geek culture" than running a company.

Marketing Guy

 3:23 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Looks like the geeks came up with a way to rebalance the numbers: [seroundtable.com...]


 10:32 am on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hmmmm, last time I looked Google were doing pretty well as a company and given that something like less than 20% of computer graduates are female, this gender gap is to be expected.

Tech companies should be dominated by engineers - by the time sales people take over, they usually end up heading south anyway.


 4:03 pm on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

Glitterball, nobody said anything about sales people taking over. HR is not sales.

Part of the reason for fewer female computer graduates is the way women/girls are discouraged by the male geek culture which excludes them. Input from HR pros would help Google understand how this works, and how to do their part in changing it, a lot more than crunching numbers will.


 2:26 pm on Aug 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

Maybe if they weren't so difficult to work with

just kidding!


 4:08 am on Sep 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

At some point we'll see if everything in the world can be boiled down to a one and a zero. It seems like getting out from behind a computer algorithm might help them.


 11:48 pm on Sep 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google crafts algorithms to get more women in more positions

I had to do a serious double take at that title!

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