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March 8th, 2017 • By Nellie Sisti and Rivkah Standig
Happy International Women's Day from all of us at Rollbar! To commemorate the day, the women of Rollbar thought it would be great to discuss some of the experiences we have had as women in tech.
Image via Recode
Currently Nellie, who handles all office- and employee-related matters, is the only woman in the Rollbar office full-time. Aside from her, there is one other woman who works full-time, Rivkah, our Support Engineer/Developer Advocate. We recently just met for the first time at our quarterly on-site, despite working together for six months. We have a unique distributed team at Rollbar, which is why the two of us hadn't met in person yet. We are definitely outnumbered by men in our workplace.
There has been a lot of attention in the media recently about Susan Fowler, the woman who wrote a blog post on her time at Uber. We both found it disturbing, and yet sadly familiar. We have also experienced similar situations as Susan Fowler in previous workplaces.
We recently discussed potential topics for blog posts, and the topic of women in the workplace came up. We both discovered we had experienced being the only female or one of a small percentage (< 3%) at multiple companies. We both also had encountered similar situations as Susan Fowler: unwelcome and highly inappropriate behavior which was reported to HR and not appropriately resolved. Reading Susan's story, we were both surprised and unsurprised, as the double standard of disbelieving women and questioning whether certain behavior was warranted has been a long-standing hot topic of debate and is unfortunately extremely common in our industry.
Rollbar having mostly men (aside from the two of us) is the most extreme ratio of men to women in both of our experiences, especially since Rivkah is remote and Nellie is in the office daily. Interestingly enough, at Rollbar, the vibe is one of the warmest and most welcoming we have experienced, and the team is one of the smartest and kindest we have known. We believe that begins from the top. At Rollbar, the founders are both responsible for this, along with creating core values that mirror the kind of culture they want to build and the values they believe in.
Despite all of the recent news about unacceptable behavior that goes without consequence, there are companies that exist which consist of mainly men and yet defy those old paradigms. Rollbar has a zero tolerance for behavior that would be considered questionable, unprofessional, or unethical. For that, we are grateful! Nellie does get asked often what it is like to be the only woman in an office full of men in a sympathetic tone, however here it's actually not something she really notices. It feels refreshing to say that despite the number of men or women, this is a team we have greatly enjoyed being part of.
If you're interested in chatting about being a woman in tech, or you'd like to work with us here at Rollbar (we're hiring!), please don't hesitate to reach out to either of us! Nellie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Rivkah's email is email@example.com.