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Breaking Down the Gender Bias Report From a Dev Perspective

Breaking Down the Gender Bias Report From a Dev Perspective

Here’s my take on the key findings from our gender disparity research and analysis for coding tests.

Engineering Teams

Diversity in the workplace is important — I think most people would agree with this. But actually being able to achieve diversity in practice has turned out to be more difficult than anticipated.

I remember when it used to be a struggle to convince developers and upper management that diversity was a goal worth pursuing. Those days are long gone.

Today, companies need to evaluate their own hiring processes in order to identify important factors that may ultimately improve diversity in the workplace.

You’re probably thinking, “why does this matter to me?”

Diverse groups bring richer, more unique perspectives to a business scenario. When people with different personalities and experiences are brought together, there’s more opportunity to foster creativity and devise a comprehensive solution

I’ve seen this a lot in planning meetings where developers and product managers have to work together to decide on features critical to the product roadmap. The outcome of the meeting and end solution is simply better when you have a diverse team working on it.

A diverse team dynamic can also:

  • Change group spirit for the better. Female developers tend to offer a more people-oriented approach and positive mood which can influence the outcome.
  • Create synergy. Having your top five developers on a team doesn’t always translate into high performance. What looks good on paper can fall apart in practice if soft skills are lacking.
  • Help with hiring. For many candidates in the market, working with a diverse team is a necessary perk. I’ve seen this hiring developers — people look for diverse teams.

The research team at Codility ran an analysis of our own platform — here are some takeaways that really stuck with me.

Recruiters tend to invite more males to take the Codility test, which impacts the performance gap.

The following bar chart shows that the highest proportion of females invited to take a Codility test by recruiters was at 58%. The lowest proportion of females invited by a company was at 2%. This means that women have lower statistical chances of making it to later stages of recruitment.

Percentage female invited to codility test

Look for less obvious factors that might impact your hiring process. For example, female recruiters are more likely to invite females developers to take the test. 

Behavioral differences between male and female recruiters who create the coding tests influences the level of difficulty, and thus the outcome. Males tend to create much harder tests. The more difficult the coding test, the more visible the discrepancy in performance becomes.

We also found that female developers are more likely to go back and double-check their work. This takes time, adds stress, and impacts overall performance.

Conclusion

It’s great that we better understand the importance of diversity, but I want to challenge you. What are you currently doing to progress your company’s diversification efforts?

  • Start by looking into your own hiring tools, platforms, and processes. Assess how each tool contributes to diversity at every stage of the hiring process. Is there any bias being added to the way you source candidates?
  • Don’t waste your time trying to fix things half-way. Incorporate diversity initiatives at an early-stage — do you have both female and male recruiters inviting candidates to take technical assessment tests?

Our Gender Bias Report offers more insights into how companies can run tech recruiting processes to support a more diverse workplace.

DISCLAIMER: Nonbinary candidates are not accounted for because of the way we identified gender. We analyzed first and last names of each candidate, and assigned gender based on this data. We’re constantly looking for methods to broaden our research without compromising candidate test experience.

Download Report


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