This page may be out of date. Submit any pending changes before refreshing this page.
Hide this message.
29 Answers
Surabhi Gupta
I’m a female software engineer at Airbnb.

Most engineers that I have interacted with have common career goals, irrespective of gender. They want to learn and grow, have great mentors to steer them in the right direction in their career and have a friendly environment at work. So what makes it different for women engineers? I’ve come to realize that it is the culture that is most important. Are you treated with respect, are you encouraged and your opinions heard and finally, is it an inclusive environment? This NSF study confirms this as well: “Over 3,700 women who had graduated with an engineering degree responded to our survey and indicated that the workplace climate was a strong factor in their decisions to not enter engineering after college or to leave the profession of engineering.”

I believe that at Airbnb we have a great environment for women engineers. I’m proud to work at a place where we have a really strong culture and community; this being a big part of our interview process as well. So how do we go about building a strong community? We think about this on multiple levels - among women engineers, within engineering and finally at the company level.

Our women engineering group is called Nerdettes. We started this group last summer and focus on a few things - getting to know each other, participating in external events and planning our own events. We meet for lunch once a month. We attended the Grace Hopper conference - three of us were on panels and we had a great run with recruiting. We’re establishing collaborations with mentoring organizations - Hackbright, Technovation and working with middle school girls.

At the engineering level, we try to learn from each other. We have an initiative called Hands on Nerds - interactive classes where engineers share their skills. We hold hackathons where engineers are encouraged to team up with people they haven’t worked with before.

At the company level, we have a similar hands on program called AirShare. e.g. I took a class on drawing given by an ex-Pixar designer. We recently had a global internal conference, One Airbnb which was focused around empowering everyone around our company goals. Employees from all over the world in different job functions got to meet each other with the goal of understanding the different job functions. One of my favorite events was hosting a dinner at home to meet coworkers from remote offices.

We have a very diverse environment. We are a team of about 100 engineers and we come from many different backgrounds such as Math, Music, Economics and Computer Science. Engineers are encouraged to move every few months to keep learning and growing. Some of the growth opportunities include taking the Mobile bootcamp to learn Android and iOS development. As an engineer you’ll get to work with world class product managers and designers in redefining all frames of the travel experience.
Tracy Chou 
Pinterest is an amazing place for female engineers.

We have a great company culture (read my breathless rant about it in another thread: What is it like to work at Pinterest?) and women are as integral and respected a part of our diverse team as anyone else, and certainly not treated any differently. It's the first place, in school or professionally, that I've not been aware or made aware of my gender, ever, in any situation. I don't feel like a female engineer. I'm just an engineer, and I'm expected and empowered to do great work like every other engineer on the team.

There are several supporting points to that general point on company culture:

1a. Hiring and company growth is done very deliberately with respect to culture. To give an example, it used to be that Ben, one of our founders and someone who is non-technical, would be the first screen on engineering candidates. That obviously doesn't scale with company growth, but the idea is the same: culture is a non-negotiable and if you don't pass that bar, it doesn't matter how well your skills line up with the job description (engineering or otherwise).

1b. We have been thoughtful about sourcing more female engineers. We value diversity and know that sometimes we have to work harder to ensure it.

2. We have a healthy contingent of strong female engineers on the team already. Out of ~35 engineers we have six female engineers, whose previous employers are Apple, Quora, Google, YouTube, Bing/Powerset, and LinkedIn. In addition to having a good percentage of female engineers, we're also well-situated across the company. For example, our lead apps engineer, who has a PhD from Berkeley and a decade of work experience across teams at NASA and Apple, was one of the first 15 people at the company and she is someone who has helped tremendously in shaping our team.

3. Our product is a generally useful tool/service for anyone, across many different use cases, but it has been particularly resonant with women -- and it's important to us that we have people building the product who are using it in the way that our demographic does. The opinions of those who really use the product matter.

4. There is a good cadence to our work schedules and a healthy respect for time away from the office. I hesitate to list this as a point under "female engineer-friendly" since it is more of a point about a generally pleasant work environment, but that many people are married, some have kids or will soon, and all are still doing great at Pinterest, speaks to the fact that career and family/personal life don't have to trade off against each other, which is a concern that women often have.

Yay, come join us!

July 9, 2012. A picture from Pinterest's first day in the San Francisco office. Special guest visit from Kira the corgi!
Kat Hawthorne
As a female engineer, Square has been a fantastic place for me to work.


I interviewed at a lot of different companies as I was coming out of college. Culture mattered a lot to me, and a lot of the companies I visited had a 'bro' culture, or I didn't feel like the company promoted innovation enough, or I didn't feel like I would have enough of a say in product direction. I wanted to be somewhere I would be working with amazingly smart people who love their jobs and feel like they're doing something meaningful.

In my day-to-day, I'm spoiled because being a female engineer is something that I never have to think about. I'm an engineer, same as everyone else on my team. The main times I'm reminded that I'm a female engineer are the times when I'm doing outreach to help other girls get into the field.

Culture is also a big part of our hiring process. We hire people we want to work with. If someone is smart but obnoxious or condescending, we don't want to be around them. We spend too much of our time collaborating and working with each other to put up with people who aren't pleasant to be around.

Collaboration is another piece of our culture that I was particularly drawn to. We 'pair program' fairly regularly. This consists of sitting down beside another engineer and solving a problem together. It's a great way to transfer knowledge, to learn new things, and get through frustrating bugs. I've become a much better engineer because of it.

Show, don't tell.

Square as a company genuinely cares about improving the ratio of females in the realm of computer science, and we're not just lamenting that there is a problem. We're doing something about it.

I came to Square because of a program called College Code Camp. I was a participant in the inaugural class (and we just finished up the second class this past week!). Code Camp is a 4-day immersion program focused on preventing the leaky pipeline of females in engineering. We show girls what it's like to work at tech companies, do leadership classes, coding workshops, a development day, and all of the girls get to have a one on one mentor who they are encouraged to keep in touch with after the program.

After the first year of the program, we set our sights higher. This year, I'm a teacher for High School Code Camp, where we've got 8 high school girls who we're preparing for the AP Computer Science exam. They come to Square every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon (from October through May) for 2 hour lesson plans written and prepared by myself and three other engineers. The girls are fantastic and it's a highlight of my job to work with them.

Meaningful work.

Square is somewhere that I'm truly proud to work at. We're building meaningful products that genuinely help people's lives. I can't tell you how many times I've been somewhere and I've run into someone using Square and they tell me how much they love the product, or how it has changed their business. It's a fantastic feeling to be building not just another photo-sharing app, but something that helps empower people to build themselves a more successful future. 

Give it soul.

Square has a transparent, human, and design-centric focus on the products we build. I think our focus on design has self-selected a lot of our engineers for people who are more well-rounded, and it also makes our company a lot more balanced than others.

Achieving balance.

We keep more than just our account ledgers balanced (did I mention we love puns?). We have a respect for taking time off when needed and for staying happy and healthy. We've grown up as a company since some of the other posts you might've seen on Quora. Square isn't a frantically scrambling startup anymore, and management has learned to be cognizant of planning ahead to make sure mad dashes to launch don't ever happen again.

Come join us, or if you're in high school or college, apply to code camp! =D

Bella Kazwell
As a female who has worked at a handful of tech companies, including Google, IBM, Nortel Networks, and EventMonitor (a tiny startup), I think that my current company - Asana - has a particularly female engineer-friendly environment. It is a great place to learn and grow as an engineer, and it also has an inclusive culture where everyone’s input is valued.

While eliminating the blatant offenses like harassment, sexist attitudes, and conscious discrimination take a company a long way to being female-friendly, there are some more subtle things that companies can do to be even more so. For example, realizing that the self nomination process for promotion means fewer women get promoted. Or helping the company's employees not quit before they quit. As well as providing easy ways to “ask” to work on that cool new project or make a change in the company culture. Asana excels in theseaspects.

Asana provides lots of opportunities for input: There is a Product Opportunities and Asana Opportunities project in Asana where anyone can make suggestions on the product and the company. Even more formally, Asana has Roadmap Week where teams sit down and talk about what they want to build in the next three months. Everyone who is going to working on the project is strongly encouraged to participate, and these meetings are intentionally kept small to encourage productive discussion and participation. Everyone also has regular 1:1s with their managers where they are encouraged to talk about how things are going in the company, and to provide feedback that they weren’t able to surface otherwise. This is also where people talk about their career goals and interests, and their manager works with them to help them achieve those goals. For example, I mentioned to my manager that I was interested in learning mobile, and next episode I got to work on the mobile team even though I had no prior experience.

Asana invests in people: Right now, everyone at the company is going through leadership training. Not just a select few who got nominated or fought the hardest, but everyone. Asana also provides career/life coaching which most people take advantage of and find it helps their development. There is also long term health and happiness investment. While lots of startups would love for you to work 80 hours a week, Asana actually discourages this, and instead advocates mindfulness and balance, seeking more employee happiness in the present and also avoiding burnout in the long run.

Asana embraces whole people: One of my fears when joining a startup was that I would be committing 100% of my future to the company without any room for my personal plans, like having a baby. Well, a year ago, I got pregnant, and it turned out Asana was the best place for me to be as my life was changing dramatically.  In all my conversations with my manager it was clear that the company’s goal was to make sure that my needs are met and that I am happy. To this end, Asana updated the parental leave policy to make sure all new moms and dads would have plenty of time to bond with theirbabies. Note that our leave policy is the same for men and women (yay for promoting equality).  I continued to work on the projects I was excited about, and I always knew that if I needed any adjustments, the company would happily accommodate. Fast forward 9 months and a maternity leave later, I was ready to come back, but I wanted to restructure my work hours to allow me to spend more time with my baby. This was no problem at all, as long as I am responsible with my work and my commitments, Asana is happy to accommodate my needs. And isn’t it great that my son will get to see that women can be coders too?

Asana values responsibility rather than titles: One of the unique things about Asana is the desire to distribute responsibility among the team and deemphasizing promotion as the only recognition of success. To this end Asana has Areas of Responsibility that everyone at the company takes on at one point or another. As people work on different areas of the product they get assigned these AoRs which allows the company to recognize more people for the work they are doing.

In good company: Asana has assembled a great team, with women working in all areas of the company. We have an awesome all women PM team, half of our design team is female, and the engineering team already has 3 women. We vary from recent grads to people with years of experience at companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Foursquare.

A couple of side bonuses: when it comes time for free t-shirts, we always have women's’ sizes, and we also informally get together for a ladies brunch.

Not female engineer specific, but here is what other people have to say about working at Asana:
What is it like to be an intern at Asana?
What is it like to work at Asana?

Asana is a great place for a female engineer, especially one with an emphasis on Javascript, as most of our development is in JS.

Asana is hiring! Do great things with us.
Molly Graham
If you're looking for a smaller start up, Quip has a truly phenomenal culture. My assumption in this answer is that as a woman you're looking for an exceptional team where you can learn from people you admire and ideally avoid the super bro-y culture that affects some companies in the valley.

Well, Quip is 13 people, and it is easily the single highest performing team I've ever worked with (I am former Facebook and Google).

The collective resume of the team includes founding Google Maps, Google Suggest, Google App Engine, Google Reader, and FriendFeed, and working on Facebook Platform, Facebook Mobile, Facebook Growth, YCombinator, Google Chrome, Kiva, and a number of other things. I have never laughed so much, while simultaneously learning so much and producing so much. 

We are intentionally building a team of extremely high performers and a culture that I like to describe as "we're all adults around here." We trust that people will get do what they need to do to get their work done and manage their lives. People go home at 5 or 6 to be with their kids (8 of the 13 people have kids under the age of 5), and yet we've produced a lot for only having been around for 1.4 years and having launched 4 months ago.

Quip now has traction and it's going to be a very interesting couple of years. Joining a tiny start up is a really different experience from joining some of the medium or bigger companies that are represented in the answers here. It's really hard but really fun, particularly with the right team of people. If you're interested in having lunch with us and learning more, shoot me a note
Lisa Sy
thoughtbot is a great, woman-friendly company to work at. Before I joined thoughtbot six months ago, I had never worked at a tech or engineering company before but had heard many stories about workplace misogyny and was a bit nervous. I have never had a problem working here as a young woman!

I think that some women may be socialized to internalize feelings of self-doubt and question her own abilities, even if she is perfectly competent at what she does. What I like about thoughtbot is the atmosphere that encourages learning and asking questions; no question is considered dumb. Therefore, I was never made to feel incompetent by my peers for not knowing certain things. We accept that none of us know everything, obviously, and that we have a lot of things to gain from one another.

The strong pair-programming culture further encourages this on a day-to-day basis at work. As a rather new employee who joined the team via the apprenticeship program ( from thoughtbot), I was unsure of how much I should assert myself and my opinions. Everyone really listens and respects each other, whether you are an apprentice or a full-time employee.

thoughtbot's a great place to work!
Henry Zhu
ThoughtWorks in San Francisco. But they have 30 offices all over the world.

A team of ThoughtWorkers joined our engineering department at LOYAL3 over a year ago. HALF of the team were women! This was an engineering team, with one Product Manager, and the PM was a woman too!

ThoughtWorks is particularly female engineer-friendly, and an really really talented team.

Oh, and their CTO is a woman too!
Clara Shih 
I myself am a female engineer-turned-CEO. When I founded Hearsay Social two years ago, one of my explicit goals for the company culture was to have a great balance of people and perspectives. Today I am proud to say one-third of our product/eng team is female and almost half of our 55-person company is female.

I think what makes it so great to work here is that everyone comes from such different backgrounds - whether it's Sary who used to be a speechwriter on Capitol Hill, Ally who used to be a human-rights attorney, Diana our lead UI designer, Megan who taught herself how to program over the weekend, or Kate who just graduated from Stanford in CS, we learn from each other every day and are having the time of our lives building the future of the Social Web.

Email me any time:

Sara Haider
Twitter is a great place for women engineers to work because it's an awesome place for any engineer to work. We have an open and transparent working environment... in fact, one of our core values is to "Communicate fearlessly to build trust." We solve hard problems - we're a real-time service that operates at an extremely large scale. We also pay meticulous attention to design and detail. Most importantly, I love working here because Twitter has always been about giving a voice to every person, especially the voiceless.

We have an active Women in Engineering group ( that is composed of both men and women who are passionate about encouraging women to join and stay in computer science. Our charter focuses not only on ensuring that we have a great working environment but also on inspiring the next generation of women to be engineers.

If this interests you, please send me a message here on Quora, check out, or follow!
Great question! I was actually was having this exact conversation with my co-organizer. It's really hard to find companies that truly value women in technology. We held a great event a few months back about women in technology. It was inspiring and best of all it connected a lot of strong and powerful women with one another. I suggest looking into Meetup groups and check out events that focus on women this is field. This may help you get the next position your looking for! Good luck!

I co-organize the San Francisco Tech in Motion Meetup group. Every event welcomes all! We hold different types of events every month. You can check out our website for more information on events that we have held in the past and best of all, around the nation. Home | Tech in Motion

We have held a Women in Engineering Speaker Series Event a few months back. We are in talks about hosting another focused event soon. We are thinking about having the event be focused on Women in Leadership Roles.... Maybe you can help me out! What do women want to see and hear about when attending these types of events?
Quora User
I'm the founder of Fairygodboss - a free and anonymous company review site for women, by women.  There are hundreds of members who are technical women and software engineers. They've all shared what it's like to be a woman at their employer. Specifically, they talk about advancement opportunities, gender equality, company culture, pay, hours, maternity leave policies, etc.  If you would like second opinions about any of the companies described by others, or simply are interested in a company not discussed here, you might want to check it out.
Jared Zimmerman
Autodesk doesn't have a huge number of women engineers but they have quite a few women in upper management* and engineering management at the company, the design staff is a mixture pretty much 50/50 it would be great to see that extend to the engineering team as well. Also they're hiring for exactly the position you're looking for…coincidence? I think not.

The women at Autodesk have also formed Autodesk Women in Leadership to reach out to girls in their formative years to show them what a career in design and engineering can do for them, it's great to see them in the office answering questions an showing these young women career possibilities that many of them would never even have thought of.

Quora User

We are collecting all the female engineer-friendly companies on StayInTech . com - " Discover jobs at companies that support diversity ".

Over 40% of women leave tech mid-career (source: Our goal is to reduce that number and help companies increase diversity of their workforce.

Niniane Wang
There is already another answer nominating, and I want to chime in with additional information.

Minted has the best environment for female engineers because we actually have female representation all the way up to our CEO.  She is a successful serial entrepreneur, who started & sold a company for $100M.

I am the CTO and am very aware of making a female-friendly engineering organization, since 1. I'm a woman myself, and 2. I contributed to Google's program for recruiting & retaining female engineers for five years.

Will the writer of this question please email me at niniane AT
Quora User
Companies can be really big and it's hard to generalize. We can all say something nice about our current companies, I'm sure. But if you're thinking of interviewing places, I think it's pretty easy to anticipate when a place will be female friendly.

- If there are powerful women in the company in upper management.
You can bet that these women will have zero tolerance for a hostile environment or sexual harrassment. I worked for a gaming company once; I was the only female engineer in a room of 40 people and the product designers as part of their presentation revealed new character sketches with highly sexualized images of women. Then they said flippantly, "Sorry to all the girls in the room." Everyone looked around. If a female CEO was there it wouldn't have been tolerated.

- If you have women as your coworkers and they seem happy and have had growth opportunities.
During your interview, just ask! The best correlation to being satisfied is asking whether the people who work there currently are happy.

- If the company makes products popular with women
A little speculative, but I think I would love working at Pinterest. Especially in the beginning, men just didn't get it -- and women loved it. Having a passion and domain knowledge for your product will make you an incredible engineer with a huge advantage over people who are just thinking, "what are we doing, I have no idea if customers will like this or not," and if you're determined to go up, it'll help you get there.

This is going to get a bit snarky and controversial, but I'm moving along...

- If the men you work with are really attractive and awesome and funny and great at their jobs and have great girlfriends.
The chances of sexual harassment is almost zero. People don't hit on their female coworkers unless they're awful. or desperate. or sleazy.

- If anyone at the company has in the past dated or is currently dating their coworkers.
Heavily implicates bad management that tolerates fraternization and an unsafe, unprofessional work environment.

- (if you care about work-life balance) they have a flexible work from home policy and taking long breaks from work is tolerated.
If you plan to take maternity leave or have odd hours and leave at 3pm daily, work at a bigger company that's more relaxed, because it's very hard to be aggressive at highly competitive companies if you do care about that balance.
I've been at Box for a year now and I've been really impressed with the company culture, especially for women.

It's been invigorating to be on a steep learning curve in such a collaborative environment where self-improvement, doing the right thing, and fixing what's broken is embedded in the culture. There are awesome female role models throughout the leadership team (technical and non-technical). There are mentoring programs (technical and cross-functional) that give people the opportunity to grow and learn from each other. We have quarterly reviews in engineering which means we take the time to recognize our achievements and make sure no one is getting lost along the way. We do promotions by submitting our own cases and a committee of our peers make the decision which makes it less intimidating to go up for promotion. And if you don't make it the first time, we give you a mentor! An environment like Box really supports and empowers women to take the initiative and ask for what they want so they can succeed.

On top of the cultural building blocks of Box, there's also an amazing energy that comes from the Box Women's Network (cross-functional) and the Women in Technology group (for technical women). There are regular events, both internal and external, that give women at Box a chance to network, reflect, celebrate, recruit, learn, teach, share, and support each other. Box has been hugely supportive of women in engineering, sending 18 women to Grace Hopper last year, starting the Box Diversity Scholarship (Engineering Diversity Scholarship), celebrating International Women's Day ( among other things.

I've been in the industry for 18 years, but prior to Box I had slowly lost the drive to be a mentor or role model for women coming up through the engineering ranks. I forgot what it was like to just be starting out in engineering and wondering if I would make it or if I wanted to stay in it. At Box I'm inspired every day by the energy and passion of our women in engineering. I'm excited again to be a mentor and a role model in the hope that I can help other women find an awesome career path through engineering. I feel well supported by my peers (men and women) to pursue what I'm passionate about and have an impact within the company and beyond. My goal is for every woman in engineering to have an awesome experience like this! Come check out Box for yourself (Box Careers | Jobs at Box)!
Sutiam Lee
Minted should be a great choice for you.

I never worked at this company, but I had a friend who did. And from what I've heard, not only is Minted a very promising company to work for, but its female/male ratio is substantially higher than most other tech places. On top of that, their executive team is made up of four extremely capable and talented females.
Deena Varshavskaya is an awesome startup for female engineers. Founded by a woman with several great women on the team already and made for women first (men later).
Quora User
New Relic's main office is in San Francisco, and it has been a great place for women engineers. About half the engineering management is women and the percentage of engineers that is women is much higher than other companies. The company had a long history of supporting women in engineering.
Emily Blanchard
Wikimedia Foundation! We have been consistently hiring more women  in engineering and welcome anyone out there who is into what we do to connect with us. Let me know if you'd like to learn more.