Entrepreneurs: Pinterest, Women and Culture

Entrepreneurs: Pinterest, Women and Culture

Post from: MAPpingCompanySuccess

http://mkhmarketing.wordpress.com/

Can male founders create great, woman-friendly cultures?

And if they do will the company become mind-blowingly successful?

Ask Pinterest co-founders Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp and Paul Sciarra.

Better yet, listen to their female engineers.

People would say things like, “Pretty girls don’t code,” or “I assumed you weren’t very good at coding because normally physical attractiveness and technical ability are inversely correlated.” It was a revelation to join the team at Pinterest and feel like I was treated like an engineer first, not as a female engineer. In most other places, I felt like people always treated me as a “female engineer,” like I was a novelty. People even called me a unicorn to my face. It was really nice to come here and not have that gender modifier in front of who I am.Tracy Chou

But once she started working, she quickly got tired of having to explain her role at the tech companies she worked for to strangers who assumed she was in HR or community management. “Now, I tend to always preface with, ‘I work at Pinterest and I’m an engineer at Pinterest,’” (…) We have a lot of support from the company to put on events for women in engineering in particular, whether through logistics or funding.Nadine Harik

The most exciting part for me is that I get to work on a product that I love and feel like I can actually make a big impact on what we do. It’s cool to be able to focus, and learn and grow as an engineer. – Jennifer Tsai

These comments reflect a culture friendly to women, but in a company that is certainly not dominated by them.

Looking at the Pinterest team picture you see a lot of chronologically young males, but based on the women’s comments the frat boy mentality isn’t what’s shaping the culture.

Nobody can quibble with the level of talent Pinterest has hired or the October 2013 valuation of $3.8 billion.

The point is that talented people of both genders will migrate to a place they feel both valued and comfortable.

Creating a culture that equally values women and men doubles the likelihood of finding, hiring and retaining top talent.

And it’s that talent that paves the road to success.

Image credit: mkhmarketing

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