By Tom Erskine, CMO and SVP, Product, One Door
James Damore’s misguided Google manifesto last summer and the recent revelations about brogrammer culture have re-energized the conversation about how to get more women in STEM. That’s why it’s so cool to see my One Door colleague, Cai Gao, lay out a set of practical recommendations in WIRED for building better STEM support networks for women.
As Cai references in her article, at One Door we have relatively (compared to the rest of the industry) gender diverse engineering teams. What she didn’t mention is that to get to this level of diversity, the majority of our new engineering hires in the last two years have been female. We’re extremely proud of our track record but we don’t consider it activism, we consider it a recognition of what works best. We’re in business to sell software, and in our experience, diverse teams perform better at creating products customers love.
There are three reasons why this is increasingly true at One Door, and I’m guessing that this is the case in any software development organization. First, our customer base is becoming more diverse, and we need a process that understands their needs. Second, the pace of innovation is accelerating, and fresh ideas come most often from teams that have a diversity of experiences. Third, the software product development methodology that works best for us (an agile variant) puts a premium on cross-functional collaboration, and our experience is that diverse teams are more open with each other and collaborative.
In short, Google made one mistake in firing James Damore – they fired him for the wrong reason. Instead of firing him for a violation of their culture code, they should have fired him for having no clue what makes a good software engineer in 2018.