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For Young Female Coders, Internship Interviews Can Be Toxic

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female coder at workstation

"If this is how you're going to talk to me during the interview, how are you going to talk to me when I work there?," one female computer science student said of her phone interview with a tech company.

A study conducted last fall by Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization that educates and supports girls studying computer science, reveals that many young women, whom the tech industry is counting on to diversify its heavily male workforce, are put off by their first encounters with tech companies.

More than half of the respondents said they either had a negative experience while applying for engineering internships or knew another woman who had a negative experience, such as being subjected to gender-biased interview questions and inappropriate remarks, or observing a noticeable lack of diversity when they interacted with company representatives during the interview process.

The nonprofit surveyed more than 1,000 young women college-aged or older, from 300 schools around the United States, on the challenges female engineers face while applying for technical internships.

"Tech has solved some of the world's biggest challenges—but it hasn't cracked the one closest to home: toxic, sexist workplace culture," says Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani. "It starts before women even get in the door, when they're still teenagers in college applying for their very first jobs. No one should be calling this a 'pipeline problem' anymore."

From Wired
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