As a female interviewer, what could be the worst-case scenario in an interview? Well, the interviewee not acknowledging your existence and only responding to your male counterpart? Yes. This tweet from Gergely Orosz, a former engineer at Uber, has gone viral for the right reasons!
When at Uber, I remember this change to make sure a female interviewer is present on every hiring loop.— Gergely Orosz (@GergelyOrosz) May 4, 2022
The strangest thing happened.
We started rejecting candidates just because they were unwilling to make eye contact with the female interviewer or acknowledge their presence.
Those who think sexism does not exist, here’s some very subtle proof for you.
The shocking outcome of this change for me was this question:— Gergely Orosz (@GergelyOrosz) May 4, 2022
How many people did we hire in the past with all-male loops who were in the group of “unwilling to acknowledge females or assume they are technical?”
As context, we always interviewed in pairs: a primary leading the interview, and a shadow observing mostly.— Gergely Orosz (@GergelyOrosz) May 4, 2022
There were candidates who would ignore the primary female interviewer, only wanting/willing to speak to the man in the room.
And this happens everywhere across tech: except many places don’t have diverse loops & many hiring managers make the mistake of dismissing this kind of feedback from non-male interviewers: https://t.co/pgUtoBRmge— Gergely Orosz (@GergelyOrosz) May 4, 2022
Some people did come and defend the interviewees saying that they may have not looked at the woman because of being introverts or, perhaps, because of their religious/cultural contexts. Gergely cleared this misconception.
Addressing another obvious thing: the men who ignored women I know were rejected b/c of this inexplainable behavior were not from a culture where women are treated differently.— Gergely Orosz (@GergelyOrosz) May 5, 2022
They were from the EU or the US. The same culture as me or the interviewers.https://t.co/dwmX7knbVJ
The issue in light is grave.
Again, not about eye contact. It’s about not acknowledging female interviewers when a male interviewer is present, even when the female interviewer is initiating the questions or is the primary.— Kate Lee (@kateleeknows) May 5, 2022
I’ve been the female interviewer and had candidates (multiple) follow this pattern:— evilrooster (@evilrooster) May 5, 2022
I ask a question.
Candidate addresses the answer to my male co-interviewer.
That’s not neuroatypicality (I’m not NT myself). That’s bias, conscious or not, and it gets in the way of the work.
Tough luck. You’re interviewing at a company and in a culture where women are (supposed to be) treated as equals. If you can’t even bring yourself to make eye contact with one then clearly you’re not the right fit.— Jurriën van Dongen (@javandongen) May 5, 2022
And the problem is cross-sectoral across different industries.
I was a retail manager for at&t for years, and I can’t tell you how many times I would greet a customer & they would tell me they’d rather wait for a man. Then they’d ask their question and my reps would turn around to me for the answer. Dudes never realized that I was an…— Mrs Badcrumble’s Weasel 🇺🇦🌊🕉❤ (@Heather97Ag) May 5, 2022
Slightly off topic, but that reminds me of the time we “interviewed” for new flatmates. There was a guy or two who refused to talk to me, a woman, and only talked to my male flatmate. Even when we made it clear that I was the only one on the lease. It was mindboggling tbh.— Nelia Camelia (@camelliasins) May 5, 2022
I was interviewing a dev for my team. Dude stopped speaking to me as soon as another man was in the room – even when I asked the questions.— mediocreCoder (@codeForTweets) May 5, 2022
How embedded is your programming that you can’t bestir yourself for a minute to fake common decency for your own benefit?
Imagine you are the interviewer and the candidate is questioning your credibilities. Could things get any worse?
I had an interview where the candidate was rude to me.— Polina (@polina_giralt) May 5, 2022
He questioned if I understood the problem I was asking him, dismissed an error I tried to point out, and rolled his eyes when I asked him to test his code, insisting it was perfect and there’s no need.
This has happened so many times to me. I ask the question & the interviewee would address the (either not technical or more junior) man in the room to answer. Even after we made roles clear. Even when they have a paper in front of them showing our titles.— Sarah Horan Van Treese (@_sbhvt) May 5, 2022
And then this is for the people who are denying the crystal clear misogny playing here.
Reading through hundreds of nerds hyper fixating on one phrase instead of getting the quite obvious point of this tweet is and then falling over themselves to justify dismissing women is … telling, about the industry y’all are in.— YourMomisaCreep (@yourmomisacreep) May 5, 2022
As a female marine engineer, people outside my crew often addressed my male subordinates instead of me, even if they knew I was the chief and even if I was the only one talking or asking questions. My guys constantly had to point at me and tell them, “You have to ask her.”— Fight authoritarianism. Vote Blue. 🇺🇸🇺🇦🇺🇦 (@MustangCarrie) May 5, 2022
If the discomfort or anxiety is only toward women, that’s bias! Literally sexism.— Elizabeth Strater (probably not your mom) (@straterize) May 5, 2022
The fact that so many women can relate to this is so upsetting.
This happens all the time in many settings. I ask a question; the person addresses the man in the room and not me. Men should respond “she’s the one who asked the question” and see what happens.— valerie 🇺🇦 (@vlherrou) May 5, 2022
Can’t tell you how many meetings etc…..where men have been flat out dismissive. Made my blood boil then and still does. It is so rude.— Dawn Martindale (@DawnGulick) May 5, 2022
THANK YOU!!!! I’ve interviewed places where that has happened to me and will never work at a company like that.— Petro (@PetroShimonishi) May 5, 2022
What happens without this hiring setup: Me and male intern walking over to another team, I’m asking all the technical questions about their api and the man only responds to my male colleague assuming that he is in the higher position to make decisions about using this api or not— Alexa Weber (@codingAlexa) May 5, 2022
When you read through the thread, you will be left speechless to find so many women relating to this experience. Not just in tech, the gender prompted prejudices are everywhere. It is so important to be cognizant of these unfair binaries that seem to reduce the worth of a woman. They must be called out. They must end!