The elephant in the hiring manager room

Let’s resume this series with a video.
It’s the recording of an event intended to help organizations intelligently hire Scrum Masters and alike.
Don’t worry: even though it’s a long one, you don’t need to watch it all*. For the purpose of this article, a couple of minutes would be actually enough.

So, before reading any further, could you carefully listen to it from minute 2:00 to minute 3:42, please?

Once you are done, you can keep wading through this piece of writing, of course.

First of all, have you noticed anything strange?
If not, please watch that excerpt again.

Nothing yet?
If so, that’s the elephant I want to talk about within this article.

You didn’t notice that the girl from the Talent Acquisition Team used the masculine pronoun he when she referred to the typical candidate for a Scrum Master or an Agile Coach post, did you?

Around minute 3, for example, she said: “we value […] the ability that he has in terms of organization […]”.

Right after that, it was the hiring manager’s turn.
I guess you didn’t notice either that, even though he made the effort of saying he/she once, he usually resorted to masculine pronouns (he/him/his) while explaining how this kind of interviews usually go on.

If you had the time to watch all the video, you could verify on your own that this pattern repeats itself along the event: as a matter of fact, except for a few (sedulous yet pretty artificial) exertions to use both masculine and feminine pronouns, those two people, who work for the same company, seem to unconsciously assume that a Scrum Master or an Agile Coach must be a man.

By the way, they apparently ignore that, in order to avoid gender biased language, it’s not necessary to say he/she all the time: the neutral and succinct form they would actually be the best option.

Now, I know you are probably thinking that it’s not a big deal.
After all, women won’t refrain themselves from applying for a Scrum Master or Agile Coach role at that company just because a recruiter and a hiring manager use gender biased language, will them?

The thing is, when it comes to fill that kind of vacancy, both that recruiter and that hiring manager will (unconsciously yet most likely) expect to hire a man.

Do you still think I am exaggerating?
Then search for women (in Spain) in a Scrum Master or Agile Coach post at that company and do the math, please.

Yes, I agree: zero may be a really daunting number…


(*) Anyway, since it provides interesting insights on the Scrum Master role from different perspectives, I’d definitely recommend watching it all.

International Women's Day
“International Women’s Day” by Kate Prior is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
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