I agree that it can be massively frustrating as a female in this industry.
True story: last year, I had an interview with Nasa Ames Research. A recruiter had called me up and said he had some Linux-oriented position for which they were hiring.
So I made it out to the interview, was interviewed by a couple of people, and alas, given a Microsoft machine during the last part of the interview. I was then ridiculed because I couldn't remember off the top of my head how to get to the default C:\\command-prompt on Microsoft Windows because I have been working almost exclusively on Unix variant machines for the past 4 or 5 years. I eventually got it, but almost felt like the interviewer put me in a position where I was made to look and feel stupid, despite the fact that the recruiter had told me that I was interviewing for a Unix-type position.
I was not hired. The recruiter told me it was because I don't have a car. (This info was NOT in the job description or requirements, and I'm pretty sure it is illegal to deny somebody employment for not owning a car -- should I sue?). I suspect the real reason I wasn't hired was because I am a female. I suspect if I were to attempt to "fight it," I'd also lose because I'm female (well, maybe only during the last Administration's reign). :)
All in all, I was out almost a full day of my time, public transportation costs, and down a whole lot of hope for females in this industry.
> given a Microsoft machine... the interviewer put me in a position where I was made to look and feel stupid, despite the fact that the recruiter had told me that I was interviewing for a Unix-type position.
...but do you think that had anything to do with you being female?
Do you honestly think that male interview candidates were given linux boxes, and they kept a windows box on a shelf in the closet JUST to trip up female candidates?
I suggest that the problem was that either the recruiter was an idiot, or that you applied for a government job.
If interviewers would like potential employees to bring their own (built/customized/configured) laptops to interviews in order to demonstrate competence in a specific area, they should specifically state so.
Edit: recruiters tend to mess up the communication process.
In your preparations, list your weaknesses and any possible objections that you can think of. For example, one objection may be, "You don't have your own car. How are you going to get to work at 7am every day?"
I'm pretty sure it is illegal to deny somebody employment for not owning a car
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