Atlassian hosts a conference called AtlasConf and during yesterday's presentations, an Atlassian employee presented a pretty awful slide. It is summed up here:
But don't worry too much. Atlassian responded:
Where our organisation and process were lacking, we will add oversight. Where our culture is at fault, we will change that culture.
This is wholly inadequate and a selfish response. It focuses the remedy on those who committed the offense. It does absolutely nothing to help those who were damaged.
Not once do they mention the affected women, already straining under a massive amount of snide remarks, exclusionary behaviors. How many women in tech gave up yesterday? This slide, by itself, would not cause that. But for at least a few, I'm sure it was the slide that broke the developers back. Worst, Atlassian doesn't seem care about the victims, only about their own internal growth and development.
What would be better?
Atlassian needs to look outside first. In the same way, they should bring in consultants to help for both their events and the company. Ada Initiative is just one group that can help them. If an organization's culture is so deranged that a senior employee believes it is ok to equate software with a damaging, sexist stereotype they are probably not ideally suited to fix themselves. The response rings with an unabashed lacking sense of humility. Without humility change will be unnecessarily difficult, and combining that with no outside help there is no reason to believe they will be successful. Instead, the same behaviors will become shadowy which will be even worse.
The other more obvious change is to focus on those who have been hurt. Look and be inspired by Etsy sponsoring women to attend hackathons, and ideally end up with a great job. Put bluntly, Atlassian needs to stop looking inward at what they can do for themselves and look outward. They need to discover what they can do to help women in technology.
Atlassian contributed a single cut. Even though there are hundreds before, they are responsible for bandaging and healing what they damaged. Their apology does not acknowledge those damaged.
I'm disappointed in Atlassian as a customer, as a developer, and most importantly as a fellow human.
Edit: Another response from Atlassian that I would love to see is a scholarship/grant/discount for women in tech to future Atlassian conferences. That would help those who have been harmed, who need the help the most.