Even with a woman CEO at the helm, Mozilla recognizes the ongoing need to refine our approach to hiring women and nonbinary talent. It’s an industry-wide issue: According to a 2022 report by Deloitte, women made up just 25% of technical roles within large tech companies. Among Fortune 500 companies, only 8.8% have a woman CEO.
That’s why this year, Mozilla is excited to be one of the sponsors of the Grace Hopper Celebration, an annual event that honors the contributions of women and nonbinary talent to the field of technology. During this week’s GCH conference, we’ll start sharing some of the stories of women Mozillians. Here’s our conversation with Olivia Newman, one of Mozilla’s technical recruiters, about her career journey and the importance of hiring women and nonbinary talent.
Tell us about your career journey.
I started in agency recruiting and then made the transition to corporate and internal recruiting before joining Mozilla a year and a half ago and I love it. It’s very different from some of the other corporate recruiting jobs that I’ve had since I started recruiting eight years ago, and Mozilla is certainly not a traditional tech company by virtue of being a corporation owned by a foundation.
Understanding the landscape women candidates are walking into when applying for technical roles, do you feel obligated to tell them that they may be a minority on the team?
Thankfully, Mozilla is a very transparent company. Whether it’s compensation that we share on our career site, or challenges that we are having in certain markets, Mozilla provides a lot of transparent communication that is empowering to employees.
Every recruiter has their own approach to this topic, but one of my priorities is discussing in detail the team’s makeup including geographic distributions, how many people are on the team, their roles, and the specific levels of each person. These are key factors that are influential for women and nonbinary candidates to know.
So when it comes to divulging a team’s makeup, candidates typically have the opportunity to have conversations during the interview process with the future team members. Mozilla also strives for inclusive hiring practices, such as having multiple genders and spectrums of identity represented on interview panels. We seek to narrow the ratio of women to men on an interview panel so that women feel more comfortable asking questions to someone who may have the same career and life experiences makes a difference. Recognizing the composition of interview loops is important.
What can companies do to attract more women talent?
Companies can improve their knowledge around the benefits that directly support women, as it’s often a large factor when choosing which company to work for. Traditionally, it’s women that are faced with the difficult conversations and decisions around whether to build a family simultaneously with their careers or sacrifice elements of their careers for their families. Benefits including paid maternity leave, remote work, flexible working hours, personal development budgets for attending conferences like Grace Hopper, etc. are all helpful to disclose up front. Having this awareness and understanding of needs at the beginning stages can influence a candidate’s experience and decision.
Any negotiation tips for women and nonbinary talent?
I think women’s voices being suppressed for such a long time has a lot to do with challenges in negotiating. It could be an educational piece, where they’re just unaware that negotiations are allowed and won’t affect their chances of having an offer revoked. It is often not stated but negotiations are also more than what someone is being compensated. It could also be how flexible their schedule is or their paid time off, but it’s all about feeling confident enough to speak up and advocate for themselves. Know your worth!
I’m hoping Mozilla continues to be at the forefront of breaking that stigma with the addition of salary ranges published on all our job postings. I’m very pleased with how Mozilla handles compensation and offers, and how equitable we make it. It is practices like these that break the cycle of oppressive behavior and makes me feel fulfilled offering roles at Mozilla to other women.
What advice would you give to women and nonbinary candidates applying to roles in a rapidly changing, unpredictable job market?
Women and nonbinary individuals are always going to be assets to any environment that we go into, but I’d love to see that notion be switched where if women don’t feel 100% confident, or they don’t have all of the qualifications that are listed, they still apply.
We also never know who works where and what introductions can be made as a result of putting oneself out there. Your friend’s aunt’s ex-coworker could be the missing piece to your next opportunity. You’d also be surprised by the number of candidates who are not the best fit for the role they are applying for but could be a better fit for another role in the organization. Recruiters are often aware of upcoming or open roles that may not be posted yet. In short, network and ask for referrals!
It’s also important to spend time on your resume. Make sure you’re adding all of your attributes, skills, technologies and languages, relevant work and tangible accomplishments that set you apart. For example, if you’re applying to a role at Mozilla, add your open source contributions and privacy work to that resume!
Mozilla’s motto “to feel good about your work again” is truly a concept I hold dear, and I encourage all, including women, to check out our careers page to make that a reality for them today.
Interested in joining our team? Check out our open roles.