Thinking & writing about belief, behavior, and change
I was blown away yesterday by this post from one of the more respected tech guys on the web.
There was something strange about his argument. It was one of those “if I made it anyone can make it” type of things that appeals to common sense but when you look deeper the flaws become apparent.
But what really hammered it home for me was this article on Quartz about how Etsy made finding and supporting women engineers a priority.
Organizations pay lip service to the idea of diversity by looking for people that are underrepresented. But they rarely create or build structure that encourages involvement or normalizes the idea. Instead, they plead innocence saying things like “there wasn’t anyone qualified” or “why don’t [women/other groups] give this [male dominated profession] a shot.”
In Etsy’s case, they found that the barrier to entry was not potential but the idea of what’s normal in the engineering world itself. When they decided to try a completely new normal was when they found that women could excel in engineering, and in fact that the best caliber male engineers were excited about a company that cared that much, too.
This is one of things I love about the way the web has changed the world of business. If you want it you have to earn it. Sure it’s frustrating, but if you are willing to crunch the numbers and be honest with yourself and your organization you can do anything.
Crunching data is hard. Measuring your success in marketing, PR, and in business, is hard. Doing the right thing is hard. But if you’re willing to do it you’ll get results you could never have imagined and develop life changing relationships.
If you want things to be different, you have to make them different.