If you’re a woman and looking for a tech oriented job, it looks like Automattic may be the perfect place to work. According to a recent article published by Women 2.0 the distributed nature as well as the entire company culture is about empowering people regardless of their gender. One of the beautiful things about Automattic is the communication factor. One would think that not having a central office where everyone that is apart of the company works out of would be a hindrance to communication. In this instance, it’s actually the opposite. The team uses over 160 different P2 blogs that are organized by function, teams, and projects. This has at times lead to over communication, if that’s possible. Those P2 sites are accessible to everyone within the company which produces a window of transparency. You don’t have to worry about back-room deals or meetings where a sub-section of workers don’t know what’s going on.
This openness not only fends off politics, it promotes more recognition and feedback for ideas and contributions, helping to equalize how people participate at work. “I think our communication style in some ways neutralizes gender. It puts the focus more on things like tone and making sure people participate and speak up,” Rosso notes.
With fewer barriers to expressing themselves and being heard, Automatticians don’t have to wait for formal meetings or write out memos. “Recently there was a very long internal thread about finding great female job candidates and what we can do as a company to encourage this, or if it’s even a problem,” Rosso recounts. Rather than having a limp exchange about women in tech within the HR department, the question turned into a real dialogue throughout the company.
One of the things I like most about how Automattic operates is the flexibility offered to all of their employees to move between teams and projects so that individuals have the choice of learning different skill-sets and contributing to projects that they are interested in. They don’t have to be stuck doing the same thing for years on end.
Although not written by a female, I’m looking forward to reading a new book by Scott Berkun titled The Year Without Pants slated for release on September 10th, 2013 which chronicles how Automattic works as a company from an insider’s view and what lessons other companies can learn from them.