Author Topic: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out  (Read 4102 times)

FITortoise

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What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« on: September 29, 2019, 01:19:12 PM »
I wanted input from this supportive community.

Working at a tech company in a fast-growing department. It's very much a "tech bro" culture, the kind I've only read about in news articles before, but haven't personally experienced even though I've been in the professional world for 10+ years. None of it is - as far as I know - sexual harassment - but it's: talking over you and other females in meetings, your idea doesn't get recognized but if someone more senior or (a) male says it then even if it's verbatim the same as your idea, he gets accolades; you're not invited to meetings where decisions are made about your area of work, even if your position is to lead this area etc...There are few women in the same function or seniority as I am, and those women who've been at the company for years told me, "this is common in tech" and they said drinking and focusing energy on things outside of work help them cope. This is not the kind of environment I thrive in, in fact it has weighed heavy on me.

I have taken concrete actions to change the situation, but as we all know - and let's not be naive - culture change takes time and it doesn't hinge on one individual. I simply don't have the energy to deal with this kind of crap. I enjoy spending energy on things like setting direction or strategy.

What would you do? Join another team? What if it's the same kind of culture. Leave for a different company?

Most importantly, how would you assess culture during the interview process to truly unearth subtleties like this current experience?

Thank you.

---Added below points for visibility, instead of being buried in a reply below---

Two points:
1. Specifics like keep talking in meeting when interrupted, inviting myself to a meeting I should be present etc. I'm handling fine and have seen improvements. But these are only partial examples. It's the "attitude" or "culture" at large where I feel advancement or professional (merit-based) respect is in question and in jeopardy. Culture can be hard to pinpoint, but having been at other employers where I felt none of this - this was a stark contrast.

2. I do want to make it clear that just because a company or team is male-dominated does not by default, make it an unfair or unpromising workplace for women. Nor the industry. Some of my closest allies and friends from past and current jobs are male. It is those who aren't aware of the implications of their behavior, who will not change when (professionally) called out, or who simply don't give a dam*, that makes this whole thing unpleasant and unproductive. It's 2019! Are our daughters going to experience the same?
« Last Edit: October 02, 2019, 05:04:50 PM by FITortoise »

mozar

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2019, 08:18:11 PM »
I would leave for another company. I would look for companies that are upfront about providing maternity/paternity leave, flexible schedule, some orgs provide funds for infertility etc. Be upfront about looking for a diversity positive workforce. Bro-culture is common in tech but not everywhere. There are all kinds of companies in the world/ silicone valley if that's where you live.
Instead of beating around the bush ask direct questions (don't worry about looking bad, if they look down on you move on) and trust your gut. You can ask questions like "how many women are managers, and "what is your female employee turnover rate?"

AccidentialMustache

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2019, 09:39:03 PM »
DW is in IT. She faces similar problems at times. Her solution is simply to turn it back on the bro. They talk over her, she continues, at a raised volume to talk over them. Most of the time bro doesn't know what to do in this situation and shuts up. Or bro will start trying to talk and she simply keeps going and ignores his "hey I'm interrupting you here you're female you must now defer to me."

YMMV if this is a solution for you.

FINate

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2019, 11:55:22 PM »
Company policies to promote diversity may be a useful indicator when interviewing at an outside company. But this doesn't tell you much about the culture of a specific team within a company, since there can be considerable variation from team to team. Culture is a fuzzy concept so it's difficult to discern. The number of women in leadership and engineering is a pretty good indicator. I would also pay close attention to the environment and 'vibe' of the office when doing on-site interviews. Does it feel bro-y?

Getting an unvarnished view as an outside candidate is challenging because people will often give the "right" answers instead of being honest. If you have the ability to transfer within your current company then don't miss this opportunity to evaluate other teams. Use your network to gain inside knowledge, ask around but be careful about letting people know your plans or you may face retaliation. Go to lunch with women on other teams to get their take on the situation in their teams. IMO, it's better to prioritize a good management chain above the nature of the work or the product. You may find another team with a healthy culture. If you find that the entire company is rotten to the core than I would  interview elsewhere.

Linea_Norway

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2019, 06:06:44 AM »
Find another job. During an interview you can ask how many female leaders the company has. Maybe you can see an organizational chart and let them explain where the women are in the lead. Are the female leaders only on the lowest levels? Maybe you can check up the board members before the interview?

If you compare with my employer: I have 3 female leaders with a male leader on top (I am just a working bee on the lowest level). A woman is leading the technical department of the company.

former player

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2019, 06:31:50 AM »
You will not noticeably change this culture on your own: it needs top down action, not bottom up.  If you want to try to change it, I think your only option is to go straight to the top of the organisation; you would need a reasoned statement of the problems and what the solutions are and try to get it to the most publicly famous person in charge of the whole shebang. Going right to the top probably insulates you from retaliation, because you are probably too junior for the top person to feel the need to beat you down.  But having your exit strategy ready at the same time would be a good idea.




herbgeek

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2019, 07:16:12 AM »
Quote
I think your only option is to go straight to the top of the organisation; you would need a reasoned statement of the problems and what the solutions are and try to get it to the most publicly famous person in charge of the whole shebang. Going right to the top probably insulates you from retaliation, because you are probably too junior for the top person to feel the need to beat you down.

I highly disagree with this proposed strategy.  I was in tech for 35 years before retiring this summer.  Going to the top like that labels you as a newb, someone unsophisticated in how the company operates, someone who is bad news.  It will put a target on your back.

If the company is run by bros at all levels, you are out of luck.  They have no incentive to change, they are in charge and they all know the unspoken rules (which you want to change).  It has worked for them so far, so why change?

I'd find another company and get better on my interviewing questions.  Figure out exactly what you are looking for and what specifically about bro culture bugs you the most - culture is a very broad thing, and no one is going to admit that they have a bro culture- they just don't see it.  For me it was advancement opportunities, so I'd ask about how many women are in managerial roles, what is the best way to get promoted around here, what kinds of opportunities will I have to expand my skills and the like.  Listen not only to the actual answer, but read the body language, see where there is hesitation and discomfort, probe a little bit.

Tuskalusa

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2019, 07:27:41 AM »
I agree with herbgeek. Going to the top will do more harm than good. Agree that itís time to move on. Sad, but true. If the company is not valuing your contribution, they donít deserve you.

KBecks

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2019, 07:31:34 AM »
I think you should go work for Stitch Fix if you are a data scientist living in San Francisco.

Otherwise, look for other companies with better cultures.

I also don't mind the "keep talking when they talk over you" approach.

(Currently reading Lean In)

ETA: Also, join some women's business and leadership groups in your town and network, network.

And stash, stash, stash your FU money!

For the interview, I'd tell them, I'd like to network with some of the women leaders in your tech teams before I accept a position.  If you hear crickets, then run.  LOL.   Also try to network in advance of your interviews with women at these companies.

You also need to assess your supervisor in the interview.  Ask him or her point blank about how women in tech are treated at the company, and ask them to give you examples of how females are included and not overlooked in terms of ideas and decision making.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2019, 07:50:19 AM by KBecks »

former player

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2019, 07:40:21 AM »
Quote
I think your only option is to go straight to the top of the organisation; you would need a reasoned statement of the problems and what the solutions are and try to get it to the most publicly famous person in charge of the whole shebang. Going right to the top probably insulates you from retaliation, because you are probably too junior for the top person to feel the need to beat you down.

I highly disagree with this proposed strategy.  I was in tech for 35 years before retiring this summer.  Going to the top like that labels you as a newb, someone unsophisticated in how the company operates, someone who is bad news.  It will put a target on your back.
Newsflash: OP is a woman in a dude-bro culture company: she's already got a target on her back whatever she does.

Sounds like she's working at somewhere close to Uber-as-was to me.  Her options are leave and say nothing, leave and make a stink after she's gone, work towards incremental change (what she's currently trying) and going for the big bang option with a back-up strategy in place.

bacchi

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2019, 08:55:54 AM »
Any dude-bro questions asked during the interview have to be subtle. Otherwise, you'll get bounced like a super ball for "not being a cultural fit."

If any of the tech interviews are done by women, that's a good sign. If you're shown the office, be observant. How many monitors have a non-bro in front of them?

If it's a team interview, and the men giggle about how much fun Friday night is after work, that's probably a bro culture. In fact, there's probably a question in there. Something about team activities, team cohesion, etc.

obstinate

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2019, 02:51:52 PM »
IMO the best way to find out how good a company treats its women is to talk to women who work for that company. If you're in the industry, you can probably use your connections to find women who work for any given company. It's a lot of work, but I don't know what else will really give you the same level of fidelity.

Another issue is that this culture problem can occur on a team by team basis. Just because one set of people says company culture is good is no guarantee that it actually is. :(

SotI

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2019, 12:12:42 AM »
DW is in IT. She faces similar problems at times. Her solution is simply to turn it back on the bro. They talk over her, she continues, at a raised volume to talk over them.
That's what I and the other female managers I work with do, as well. We are a pretty pushy bunch.

Still, it depends imo if it's just the general work atmosphere or if even your direct managers' attitude. In my case, most of my managers fully respect and support me when things are in clinch. If this show of disrespect would also come from their side, I would definitely look for an alternative job.
Life is too short to deal with crap 8+ hours a day, but generally I am pretty thick-skinned, so, yes, YMMV.
As far as interviews go, I wouldn't so much look into gender-related questions but investigate how they measure success and personal progress - if they don't come up with things like fairness, support and good collaboration skills on their own, they likely don't value that particularly ...

mm1970

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2019, 10:49:35 AM »
I wanted input from this supportive community.

Working at a tech company in one of their fast-growing departments. It's very much a "tech bro" culture, the kind I've only read about in news articles before, but haven't personally experienced even though I've been in the professional world for 10+ years. None of it is - as far as I know - sexual harassment - but it's: talking over you and other females in meetings, your idea doesn't get recognized but if someone more senior or (a) male says it then even if it's verbatim the same as your idea, he gets accolades; you're not invited to meetings where decisions are made about your area of work, even if your position is to lead this area etc...There are few women in the same function or seniority, and those women who've been at the company for years told me, "this is common in tech" and they said drinking and focusing energy on things outside of work help them cope. This is not the kind of environment I thrive in, in fact it has weighed heavy on me.

I have taken concrete actions to change the situation, but as we all know - and let's not be naive - culture change takes time and it doesn't hinge on one individual. I simply don't have the energy to deal with this kind of crap. I enjoy spending energy on things like setting direction or strategy.

What would you do? Join another team? What if it's the same kind of culture. Leave for a different company?

Most importantly, how would you assess culture during the interview process to truly unearth subtleties like this current experience?

Thank you.
BAIL!!

I didn't really bail.  I just tolerate the "tech bro" to some degree.  However, some other tips:

I started yelling.  Because we yell in meetings.  It's our culture.  It's amazing how SHOCKING it is when quiet little me raises her voice.  (Yes, my boss will censor me.)  However, it only took a few times of me raising my voice in meetings and POINTING OUT when someone is TALKING OVER ME.  To the point of saying YOU MUST LET ME FINISH.

Also: not being invited to meetings in your own area.  So, we use google mail so I occasionally can "stalk" the conference rooms calendars and the calendars of my coworkers, and if there's a meeting with a topic that concerns me, I just show up.  (In all honestly, I now get invited to FAR too many meetings, and I ditch many of them.)

Also: talk to HR and management.

As far as how women are treated at various companies - these days, I'm basically it.  Only woman in my building, only 3 women engineers in the whole company.  I'm senior now, but wasn't always.

mm1970

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2019, 10:53:49 AM »
Company policies to promote diversity may be a useful indicator when interviewing at an outside company. But this doesn't tell you much about the culture of a specific team within a company, since there can be considerable variation from team to team. Culture is a fuzzy concept so it's difficult to discern. The number of women in leadership and engineering is a pretty good indicator. I would also pay close attention to the environment and 'vibe' of the office when doing on-site interviews. Does it feel bro-y?

Getting an unvarnished view as an outside candidate is challenging because people will often give the "right" answers instead of being honest. If you have the ability to transfer within your current company then don't miss this opportunity to evaluate other teams. Use your network to gain inside knowledge, ask around but be careful about letting people know your plans or you may face retaliation. Go to lunch with women on other teams to get their take on the situation in their teams. IMO, it's better to prioritize a good management chain above the nature of the work or the product. You may find another team with a healthy culture. If you find that the entire company is rotten to the core than I would  interview elsewhere.

Interesting point.  My husband was just telling me that they interviewed someone yesterday.  They are hiring like gangbusters.  He said "you know, they guy went to college at X, has experience in Y, and I JUST DON'T LIKE HIM."  Because: he's one of those guys who does not answer the question you ask, he answers whatever question he wants to.

And it turns out...that in several of the last hires, where he didn't like someone because of that - that he was right.  All of the new hires who are hard to work with, do not listen to others, aren't willing to try and understand the problem...started off as interviewees who don't answer the question.

So, you could maybe flip that.  You are interviewing THEM also.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2019, 01:02:25 PM »
It doesn't matter what industry you're in, you will never change the culture of your workplace. It's that simple. Either align with it or get out. I've had several jobs that were really goddamn stressful and awful, 100% down to the company culture, and I stayed far too long in them because I thought there was something I could do about it. Wrong.

FITortoise

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2019, 09:26:29 PM »
So many good points here - covers all of my actions taken/thoughts/fears/hopes...thankful for this community.

I may reach out to some of you individually to discuss more.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2019, 05:04:13 PM by FITortoise »

lutorm

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2019, 11:46:05 PM »
I work in the software department at a tech (not exclusively software) company that prides itself on its "startup culture". Our gender balance is atrocious, we have a reputation for being a terrible place to work, and the idea of work-life balance is at best a talking point. However, we have none of that tech-bro crap. I've never heard anyone make an inappropriate comment based on someone's gender, and we have an explicit program for trying to attract more females (and minorities.) Out of the few women we have several are in fairly senior positions. (It might help that the president is female?)

I guess what I'm saying is that unless you have some severe golden handcuffs, I'd leave. There are much better places.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2019, 12:56:28 AM »
Hmmm, look I get the how thing about wasting your energy, it just rubs the wrong way the idea of you bailing instead of them changing. They need to change. You bail and they win, they keep doing their thing and driving women away. What you can do is be a force of change, try to get more women hired, organize the women there to present collectively to the powers that be and help them understand that youíre helping them. How? Well, first they donít want to be perceived as a sexist relic which could damage their brand, and second they donít want to have sexual harassment or any type of #meetoo incident, if they can prevent it. And donít just focus on adding more women, but all types of diversity.

Otherwise, keep using your voice, reclaim your time and donít let anyone, male or female try to dominate you. I would suspect that youíre probably dealing with an age issue, not just gender. Some of these young men need to learn how to be respectful. Iíve got a guy in my office, great guy with puppy dog energy and he would just interrupt to share his latest excitable idea. I had to chat with him about how and when to express himself, and heís one of the good ones. Sometimes thatís on us to help guide, mentor and teach this stuff, cause how else will they learn?

Donít give up and if you are thinking of leaving, thatís your call, you know your tolerance, but ignore the advice above and go to the top and let them know why youíre leaving and itís too late for you but if they donít change theyíre going to find themselves in a mess in the future.

Where would the world be if the minority group just gave up every time?

ChickenStash

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2019, 06:56:39 AM »
As someone else in the tech world (IT - server engineer), I'm going to side with the others that say if you don't like the culture, leave. There's no reason to suffer. Going to work is bad enough, but having to then tolerate a poor environment on top of it is just not worth the effort. I'm in a similar position where I just can't tolerate the environment (for different reasons) so I'm actively looking around.

In spite of what HR says, the culture is not going to change by making people watch snazzy PowerPoints, putting up witty posters in the break room, or writing things in the employee handbook that no one reads. The culture is made up of the people that work there and, in my experience, people rarely change. The only time I've actually seen a corporate culture shift is when the old guard left and new blood enters.


mistymoney

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2019, 07:39:32 AM »
I don't have a lot of advice, but just want to reach out in solidarity.

I don't work in a particularly broish culture, and there is a lot of diversity in general and gender is pretty even for both workforce and senior level people. We recently hired someone who got mainsplaining on me; when I was making good points in a meeting if he caught the thread where I was going would interrupt me to say what I was saying. Would interrupt me to correct me on things he didn't know anything about, out of the blue in a high profile meeting give me "helpful"  pro-tips on something that he would have no basis to know if I knew it or not. Basically trying to cultivate people's opinions of him at my expense. Like he could tell me anything!

It's really jarring when you are going along doing a great job and contributing collaboratively to higher initiatives, and then suddenly you have to deal with this kind of undermining and need to develop strategies and interventions and engage in strategic conflicts during meetings just to do your job.

And I only had to deal with one!

StarBright

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2019, 08:23:41 AM »
I'm on the business side of a small tech firm that revels in our start up culture (that we've been running with since the early aughts :)). Tech Bro culture is awful.

When I started I was the only woman in a 15 person company. It was honestly hell- senior workers would bring their children to work and expect me to babysit their kids while I did my job, holiday parties always ended up at strip clubs, and I was the default person to do any service related task. The decent benefits and then the recession and life needs kept me with the company.

My company still can have some toxic culture issues (largely related to work/life balance) but almost 15 years later I can say that when it comes to Bro culture we are a different company. The biggest thing that made it change was hiring more women and more diversely in general. Upper management still leans to hiring white men when filling an open position, but I lean hard into pulling women and POC into our intern pool, because we keep a good percentage of those people on. I have found there is a tipping point that checks bro culture (because you can bet they know it is wrong). I think that tipping point is somewhere between 30-40% women.

As soon as I gained a little bit of influence I began using it.  When phones need covered, or someone needs to babysit a customer with coffee, etc I will always ask the most junior sales person to deal with it (it happens to be a he) but before that fell under my purview, the company would pull a female engineer to answer the phones (because women = phones- ugh). I began to push for team interviews before we made final hires. I have also been brutally honest with the women who've reached out to me over LinkedIn and some of them have still come to work for our company and thrived :)

I agree that continuing to talk when being interrupted is important. I have used "I can tell you are excited about your idea, because you didn't even notice you interrupted me, but let me finish first." and "Bless your heart, I don't think you meant to say that out loud!" - when someone has said something particularly awful. 

I have never found a way to get credit for a ton of my ideas and still chafe when my suggestion is dismissed, but then a senior person has the same "great idea" that "just came to" them a few days later. I've learned to live with that.

OP- if you are going to try and stay, I'd try to get on the team that screens applications for your group. If your company is too large, I understand that that might not be possible. But that and bringing in interns that reflected what I wanted to see in my office were major wins for stamping out Bro culture at my company.

Rosy

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2019, 09:25:38 AM »
Damn - I thought women were finally more equal than they were when I worked for corporate America and Europe.

Newsflash - your industry is what the professional (underwriting) insurance industry was like when I started my career. Two years before I became an underwriter there were "zero" females in the graduating class - going back at least fifteen years with pictures of the graduating class as hard evidence. (one year internship - you had to study for and pass a ton of tests and were only hired if you passed all the way up to the final exam).
The year prior there were two females and there were six ladies to start with me but only two of us made it.

What I've come to realize over my career is that the attitude flows down from the top. If there is willingness and acceptance of female colleagues by the man:) at the top, you'll be fine. It was interesting to see to what degree that single man up top influenced the culture within that branch office - whether he waved away concerns when there was the occasional issue with male co-workers and if he didn't - exactly how did he handle it?
By sending a message and by being clear or giving lip service and you'd be whistling Dixie about ever being up for the next business seminar to make those all important connections with the home office etc ... 
You will get promotions and be paid the same as everyone else doing identical work. If not, you are better off leaving and finding a different company to work for.

I was always surprised to see how very different the branch office in each state, operated - even though they all operated within the same guidelines.

It doesn't matter much that you force your way into meetings - the important decisions are made behind closed doors, in the men's room and on that Friday night out or company business trip/training that you are not invited to.
 
I started out in Texas and boy oh boy were they entrenched in their good old boy network:) and to be fair since as an underwriter you had to deal with and visit the small town agencies the man at the top had to have your back - not every agent was thrilled to have to deal with "a little lady".
You had to prove yourself, even if you are a professional who knows their job - you still had to find an effective way to deal with each agent. But I found once they realized your underwriting decisions were final and the "man" up top supported you it was simply business as usual - well, except sometimes they missed their drinking buddies:).

I ended my career in Europe with only one more rung to the glass ceiling and I have to say that I found the working environment in Europe even tougher for ladies who wanted to be at the top of their field.

What to do in your situation? Accept that this is not the right company to work for. Don't waste your energy fighting the status quo (yes, I've done that twice, but each time I was lucky it didn't backfire - in one case it even got me a cushy promotion:), but it was upsetting to deal with.

If you are good at what you do and want to move on up you are better off leaving - as soon as you've talked to other women in your field, even professional headhunters often know the ins and outs of your industry.
Network - network - network - in the meantime, dodge and twirl and smile - you know you can do better than this!

... and yeah, I've come close to pouring a hot cup of coffee over the private parts of a particularly annoying bro. Bless their pea picking hearts:).
You learn to focus on what is important and take every opportunity to make sure you are never the coffee girl.

mm1970

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2019, 12:00:31 PM »
Hmmm, look I get the how thing about wasting your energy, it just rubs the wrong way the idea of you bailing instead of them changing. They need to change. You bail and they win, they keep doing their thing and driving women away. What you can do is be a force of change, try to get more women hired, organize the women there to present collectively to the powers that be and help them understand that youíre helping them. How? Well, first they donít want to be perceived as a sexist relic which could damage their brand, and second they donít want to have sexual harassment or any type of #meetoo incident, if they can prevent it. And donít just focus on adding more women, but all types of diversity.

Otherwise, keep using your voice, reclaim your time and donít let anyone, male or female try to dominate you. I would suspect that youíre probably dealing with an age issue, not just gender. Some of these young men need to learn how to be respectful. Iíve got a guy in my office, great guy with puppy dog energy and he would just interrupt to share his latest excitable idea. I had to chat with him about how and when to express himself, and heís one of the good ones. Sometimes thatís on us to help guide, mentor and teach this stuff, cause how else will they learn?

Donít give up and if you are thinking of leaving, thatís your call, you know your tolerance, but ignore the advice above and go to the top and let them know why youíre leaving and itís too late for you but if they donít change theyíre going to find themselves in a mess in the future.

Where would the world be if the minority group just gave up every time?
I see where you are going here, but as someone who has been dealing with varying amounts of this for almost 30 years...

it's wearying.  It is so exhausting and eventually for your own mental health - you need to cut yourself a break.  YES I want to make things better for the next generations.  But NO not at the expense of my own mental health.

FINate

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2019, 04:11:13 PM »
Hmmm, look I get the how thing about wasting your energy, it just rubs the wrong way the idea of you bailing instead of them changing. They need to change. You bail and they win, they keep doing their thing and driving women away. What you can do is be a force of change, try to get more women hired, organize the women there to present collectively to the powers that be and help them understand that youíre helping them. How? Well, first they donít want to be perceived as a sexist relic which could damage their brand, and second they donít want to have sexual harassment or any type of #meetoo incident, if they can prevent it. And donít just focus on adding more women, but all types of diversity.

Otherwise, keep using your voice, reclaim your time and donít let anyone, male or female try to dominate you. I would suspect that youíre probably dealing with an age issue, not just gender. Some of these young men need to learn how to be respectful. Iíve got a guy in my office, great guy with puppy dog energy and he would just interrupt to share his latest excitable idea. I had to chat with him about how and when to express himself, and heís one of the good ones. Sometimes thatís on us to help guide, mentor and teach this stuff, cause how else will they learn?

Donít give up and if you are thinking of leaving, thatís your call, you know your tolerance, but ignore the advice above and go to the top and let them know why youíre leaving and itís too late for you but if they donít change theyíre going to find themselves in a mess in the future.

Where would the world be if the minority group just gave up every time?
I see where you are going here, but as someone who has been dealing with varying amounts of this for almost 30 years...

it's wearying.  It is so exhausting and eventually for your own mental health - you need to cut yourself a break.  YES I want to make things better for the next generations.  But NO not at the expense of my own mental health.

I agree. Why burn yourself out trying to save them from themselves, especially since they likely don't think they need saving? Vote with your feet, go to a competitor with a better culture and help them win.

norajean

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2019, 06:48:02 PM »
Not convinced it has anything to do with your gender, but, in any case, in that situation you are being talked over and ignored and viewed as less competent for some reason. So, fight back or leave.  If you put up with it, even for a second, you are encouraging it.  Don't complain to anyone, just jump in and fight.  If boss makes decisions that are supposed to be yours, call him/her on it.  The fact you are blaming it all on gender suggests that you will want to make this your central theme in any battle and that would probably be a mistake. Leave that out.

1gooddog

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2019, 06:24:52 AM »
I wanted input from this supportive community.

Working at a tech company in a fast-growing department. It's very much a "tech bro" culture, the kind I've only read about in news articles before, but haven't personally experienced even though I've been in the professional world for 10+ years. None of it is - as far as I know - sexual harassment - but it's: talking over you and other females in meetings, your idea doesn't get recognized but if someone more senior or (a) male says it then even if it's verbatim the same as your idea, he gets accolades; you're not invited to meetings where decisions are made about your area of work, even if your position is to lead this area etc...There are few women in the same function or seniority as I am, and those women who've been at the company for years told me, "this is common in tech" and they said drinking and focusing energy on things outside of work help them cope. This is not the kind of environment I thrive in, in fact it has weighed heavy on me.

I have taken concrete actions to change the situation, but as we all know - and let's not be naive - culture change takes time and it doesn't hinge on one individual. I simply don't have the energy to deal with this kind of crap. I enjoy spending energy on things like setting direction or strategy.

What would you do? Join another team? What if it's the same kind of culture. Leave for a different company?

Most importantly, how would you assess culture during the interview process to truly unearth subtleties like this current experience?

Thank you.

---Added below points for visibility, instead of being buried in a reply below---

Two points:
1. Specifics like keep talking in meeting when interrupted, inviting myself to a meeting I should be present etc. I'm handling fine and have seen improvements. But these are only partial examples. It's the "attitude" or "culture" at large where I feel advancement or professional (merit-based) respect is in question and in jeopardy. Culture can be hard to pinpoint, but having been at other employers where I felt none of this - this was a stark contrast.

2. I do want to make it clear that just because a company or team is male-dominated does not by default, make it an unfair or unpromising workplace for women. Nor the industry. Some of my closest allies and friends from past and current jobs are male. It is those who aren't aware of the implications of their behavior, who will not change when (professionally) called out, or who simply don't give a dam*, that makes this whole thing unpleasant and unproductive. It's 2019! Are our daughters going to experience the same?

I would leave.
Please see my thread. I am leaving my position for many reasons but this is one. I literally have a male I have to give feedback to regarding other people I lead who will stand 2 inches from my nose and scream his replies while gesturing. I always go home feeling like " why do I put up with this for a extra 30k ...rather 20k post tax"!
Same with another co worker who will lie to me about monies and treat me like I mis read math when (would never openly point this out!) I have higher education than him.
Another male likes to pretend he sees none of this and is a pro women when I bring this up but then turns his face to the issues and goes about his merry way thinking talking about something is enough.






kenner

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2019, 08:53:56 PM »
Not convinced it has anything to do with your gender, but, in any case, in that situation you are being talked over and ignored and viewed as less competent for some reason. So, fight back or leave.  If you put up with it, even for a second, you are encouraging it.  Don't complain to anyone, just jump in and fight.  If boss makes decisions that are supposed to be yours, call him/her on it.  The fact you are blaming it all on gender suggests that you will want to make this your central theme in any battle and that would probably be a mistake. Leave that out.

Right, because all of the women on this thread who've reported the same thing, all of the reports of women all over IT/tech who experience the same thing, they're just making up gender bias.  This is exactly the kind of attitude that lets this kind of BS continue.  And it's the same kind of excuse perpetrators like to use--obviously all these women (and frequently minorities) should just blame themselves for not getting promotions, for receiving less favorable assignments and reviews, for not being credited for ideas they had.  It's a total coincidence that the top tech/management are nearly all white males despite the fact that we're now in 2019, not 1969.

And no, the situation doesn't magically go away because a woman stands up for herself, either.  That's where women suddenly start getting rated lower in performance for being too harsh, talking too much, not being a 'team player,' even when their behavior is identical to the behavior of the men around them.  Pretty much any search on gender in the workplace (or gender in technology) will provide a whole slew of research papers on that exact subject.  Some of them have ideas about how to improve things, some of them seem to have good results when modelled by those above--and when people are actually willing to listen instead of trying to blame the targets and pretend it isn't happening.

Sorry, FITortoise--the best I can say is also what others have said, take a look around the office for other women when interviewing, ask about women in high technical positions, maybe ask if you can meet the team you'd be working with if there aren't any women who interview you (that might get you more natural results than asking specifically to talk to a woman in the office although that's an option too and might come up anyway if there wouldn't be any women on your team).  And I don't know your current company but at least at mine it would NOT be inappropriate to go up the management chain with something like this, especially if you can point to specific instances of people are not making use of your expertise in situations where they should be or trying to cut you out of a decision loop where you're supposed to be the lead.  Or if you do decide to go elsewhere, possibly bringing it up with HR or whoever you turn in your resignation to (or their manager) might be helpful for others in the future?

Paul der Krake

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2019, 09:03:45 PM »
Get out, plenty of tech companies out there. It's a seller's market, enjoy it while it lasts.

SotI

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #29 on: October 04, 2019, 01:52:52 AM »
  If you put up with it, even for a second, you are encouraging it.  Don't complain to anyone, just jump in and fight.  If boss makes decisions that are supposed to be yours, call him/her on it.
Actually, I fully agree with this. As a project manager, I regularly have to report to someone who isn't my line manager (project sponsor, steering, program leads). I typically start clarifying the boundaries under which I work right at the beginning (e.g. I don't let anyone micro-managing me or "meddle" in my area of responsibility). A couple of years ago, I even threatened to resign over a particularly obnoxious micro-managing project lead (who actually happened to be female, btw). 

Mind you, you can only get away with that a couple of times before you may be considered "uncooperative", so it requires good standing and knowing which battles to choose.

obstinate

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #30 on: October 04, 2019, 07:39:04 AM »
Where would the world be if the minority group just gave up every time?
I think the frame needs to shift a little here. Leaving isn't "giving up." Leaving is voting with your feet. The way cultures changes is that shitty companies die because they can't attract talent or get sued into the ground for harassment. And newer, better companies form and make the world a better place by raising the standard for treatment of women and minorities.

Tester

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #31 on: October 04, 2019, 09:31:55 AM »
If someone interrupts you you don't talk louder.
You interrupt them and say " I am sorry but I did not finish".
To make it clear that you are not folding.

I hate those people who start talking over you.
I am a male but I am still having colleagues who interrupt.

And about fighting it in that company: you have to think hard about what is important to you.
Even if you prove them you are right you might be better taking your skills somewhere else.

GreenToTheCore

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #32 on: October 04, 2019, 10:16:28 AM »
Not convinced it has anything to do with your gender, but, in any case, in that situation you are being talked over and ignored and viewed as less competent for some reason. So, fight back or leave.  If you put up with it, even for a second, you are encouraging it.  Don't complain to anyone, just jump in and fight.  If boss makes decisions that are supposed to be yours, call him/her on it.  The fact you are blaming it all on gender suggests that you will want to make this your central theme in any battle and that would probably be a mistake. Leave that out.

Right, because all of the women on this thread who've reported the same thing, all of the reports of women all over IT/tech who experience the same thing, they're just making up gender bias.  This is exactly the kind of attitude that lets this kind of BS continue.  And it's the same kind of excuse perpetrators like to use--obviously all these women (and frequently minorities) should just blame themselves for not getting promotions, for receiving less favorable assignments and reviews, for not being credited for ideas they had.  It's a total coincidence that the top tech/management are nearly all white males despite the fact that we're now in 2019, not 1969.

And no, the situation doesn't magically go away because a woman stands up for herself, either.  That's where women suddenly start getting rated lower in performance for being too harsh, talking too much, not being a 'team player,' even when their behavior is identical to the behavior of the men around them.  Pretty much any search on gender in the workplace (or gender in technology) will provide a whole slew of research papers on that exact subject.  Some of them have ideas about how to improve things, some of them seem to have good results when modelled by those above--and when people are actually willing to listen instead of trying to blame the targets and pretend it isn't happening.


Thank you, I had the same reaction but couldn't find the right words. You articulated exactly what I was thinking.

Paul der Krake

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #33 on: October 04, 2019, 05:12:47 PM »
If someone interrupts you you don't talk louder.
You interrupt them and say " I am sorry but I did not finish".
To make it clear that you are not folding.

I hate those people who start talking over you.
I am a male but I am still having colleagues who interrupt.
When it's my meeting, I interrupt liberally. In the past I would try to give everyone equal time (including people who would usually remain quiet), and conversations would very quickly derail to useless shit. By the time I would have a chance to speak again I had to defuse 5 different threads with maybe one relevant to the issue at hand. Now I protect my meetings' time like my life depends on it. If I'm not convinced of the value of your intervention within 30 seconds you're getting cut off.

Sorry not sorry.

ender

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #34 on: October 04, 2019, 06:07:27 PM »
If someone interrupts you you don't talk louder.
You interrupt them and say " I am sorry but I did not finish".
To make it clear that you are not folding.

I hate those people who start talking over you.
I am a male but I am still having colleagues who interrupt.

And about fighting it in that company: you have to think hard about what is important to you.
Even if you prove them you are right you might be better taking your skills somewhere else.

FYI, men will be perceived very differently than women for doing this.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #35 on: October 04, 2019, 06:34:36 PM »
you are being talked over and ignored and viewed as less competent for some reason.

Welcome to being female

Tester

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #36 on: October 04, 2019, 06:37:17 PM »
Being interrupted by the meeting owner is different from being interrupted by other people in the meeting.

And if the meeting owner interrupts by saying why it is fine.
Even if someone else says why I can understand.

If someone just starts talking over me I will tell them I did not finish.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2019, 06:39:35 PM by Tester »

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FITortoise

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Re: What to do - tech bro culture that's wearing me out
« Reply #38 on: October 05, 2019, 03:08:04 PM »
+1 to what kenner said.

Phrases like "don't be too sensitive" "don't be a troublemaker" "don't take it personally" are used when someone DOES call out something is wrong - and when "someone" is female.

In the end, thanks to all who shared their experiences, or posted in solidarity, or provided support suggestions. I appreciate it especially in this difficult time.


Not convinced it has anything to do with your gender, but, in any case, in that situation you are being talked over and ignored and viewed as less competent for some reason. So, fight back or leave.  If you put up with it, even for a second, you are encouraging it.  Don't complain to anyone, just jump in and fight.  If boss makes decisions that are supposed to be yours, call him/her on it.  The fact you are blaming it all on gender suggests that you will want to make this your central theme in any battle and that would probably be a mistake. Leave that out.

Right, because all of the women on this thread who've reported the same thing, all of the reports of women all over IT/tech who experience the same thing, they're just making up gender bias.  This is exactly the kind of attitude that lets this kind of BS continue.  And it's the same kind of excuse perpetrators like to use--obviously all these women (and frequently minorities) should just blame themselves for not getting promotions, for receiving less favorable assignments and reviews, for not being credited for ideas they had.  It's a total coincidence that the top tech/management are nearly all white males despite the fact that we're now in 2019, not 1969.

And no, the situation doesn't magically go away because a woman stands up for herself, either.  That's where women suddenly start getting rated lower in performance for being too harsh, talking too much, not being a 'team player,' even when their behavior is identical to the behavior of the men around them.  Pretty much any search on gender in the workplace (or gender in technology) will provide a whole slew of research papers on that exact subject.  Some of them have ideas about how to improve things, some of them seem to have good results when modelled by those above--and when people are actually willing to listen instead of trying to blame the targets and pretend it isn't happening.


Thank you, I had the same reaction but couldn't find the right words. You articulated exactly what I was thinking.