✨ Inspiration

Interview: Nina Patkai – founder of StayInTech, a job listings site for companies that support women in tech

Women are so often pushed out of tech. It's time to push back

By Jennifer Harrison March 31, 2016

It’s no surprise that many women want to work in tech. The industry is exciting and always innovating and we know women kick ass at tech. Sadly, women also face discrimination and harassment in the tech industry. There are lots of campaigns and initiatives for encouraging young women to start tech careers, but a new website is taking a different approach by encouraging women to stay in tech.

StayInTech is a job website that works with companies that care about diversity. In order to promote their dedication to diversity, many companies have partnered with StayInTech including Dropbox, Stripe, Spotify, Trello, Heroku, Weebly, SurveyMonkey, Zapier, and Automattic. You can browse the companies on the website to see any jobs listed by them.

Gender discrimination is a real problem in the industry and 40% of women leave tech mid-career (compared to 17% of men). The companies that list jobs on StayInTech are dedicated to diversity in general by agreeing to respect differences in gender, age, origin, disability, sexual orientation, education, and religion. By providing job listings from supportive companies, the creators hope to decrease the amount of women who are pushed out of tech careers.

We spoke with StayInTech founder Nina Patkai about the website and why it’s needed.

What led you to create StayInTech?

I’m an engineer myself and have worked for many years in tech. Many of my female co-workers left tech due to working conditions (low salary, no advancement); work-life balance (too much travelling, commuting); poor maternity leave policies; or the company environment (cultural “fit”). These issues affect millions of female engineers and techies around the world, especially after they turn 30.

I founded StayInTech because currently over 40% of women leave tech mid-career. Our goal is to reduce that number and help companies increase diversity of their workforce.

What kind of impact has the website had so far? How has the feedback been?

I get really interesting emails from technical women all over the world. For example, many women who are mid-career are worried about being “too old” for tech and are trying to figure out how to get into a management position before being “too old” to learn the latest technologies.

It’s too early to tell what impact it’s had on keeping women in tech. But the feedback we get is very positive, both from women in tech and the companies eager to hire them.

Our users are looking for more flexible work arrangements, professional development opportunities, better maternity leave policies, and workforce diversity. With StayInTech we help women find those companies that support diversity and want to hire more women.

It’s a great idea and I’m sure it will help. What’s next for the website?

Our goal is to help women search easily for companies in their local area that support diversity, and see jobs that are targeted to them. So moving forward we aim to expands and we’re currently in the process of adding a lot of new companies (employer profiles) and jobs on the website.

Do you have any personal advice for women looking to start tech careers?

I would advise women to develop and maintain strong technical skills, build a network by going to tech meetups or hackathons, find a company culture that’s right for you, and most importantly enjoy what you do. A career in tech can be very rewarding.

The job listings on StayInTech are specifically targeted for women in tech. Companies that advertise on our website would like to hire a woman for those positions so take a look!


Main image © iStock/mediaphotos

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