13 2 / 2013

Girls, girls, girls!

In the midst of recruiting our 2013 software developer intern class, it is super exciting to note that we currently have 2x as many female interns as male ones who have signed their offers to join us.  As a girl myself (…my colleague thought I should point this out to avoid sounding creepy…) and someone who studied engineering in an environment with 15% women, this is awesome news.  Last summer we were already excited that >25% of our intern class was female.  

At Khan Academy, we ladies pride ourselves on the tight knit bonds we have with each other.  We genuinely get along, choose to hang out with each other regularly outside of work (!) and have regular ladies bonding events at work - usually low key outings like going for frozen yogurt or catching a local happy hour.  The most recent event was a truly unique opportunity that might be topped only by hanging out with Oprah or a lifetime pass to Disneyland.  Last month, all the Khan Academy women attended Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s house for one of her famed monthly dinners, where Sal was the guest of honor and ~50 of Silicon Valley’s most accomplished women gathered.  It was truly surreal being in the presence of Sheryl, an advocate of female leadership, and so many accomplished women… And they were super supportive, applauding and cheering for our team.  

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This morning, I read this letter that someone wrote to their 8 year old niece about their future as a woman in tech.  I hope that one day in the future, we won’t find it such an anomaly that there are twice as many female interns as male ones.   

PS Another colleague noted that the best way to recruit more software developers was to advertise the gender imbalance…so, if you’re interested in joining us, find out more at: https://www.khanacademy.org/careers/interns

Update:

In response to our excitement to celebrate the diversity of our intern class, some folks questioned why there was a sudden shift in the gender balance, so Lead Developer Ben Kamens wrote a blogpost on Meritocracy and Discrimination in Tech

We should note that 4 out of 16 of our offerees are women, which is exactly in line with the NCWIT’s numbers that 25% of the computing workforce was comprised of women in 2011.  This post was written to celebrate the number of offerees who had accepted at that moment; all four women who received offers happened to be among the first to accept (unlike last summer, when the women skewed towards accepting later).  With two more acceptances since this post was written, our 2:1 ratio has quickly turned into an even 1:1.  This by no means is the end of our recruiting, and we look forward to finding more capable interns this coming summer.