An open letter to Alcaldía de Sucre [Updated!]

[Update: The Alcaldía has now taken down the ad.]

The Alcaldía de Sucre’s reply to Alejandro:

Estimado Sr. Machado:

Valoramos su observación y su interés por optimizar nuestros medios para convocar a nuevos servidores públicos en el área de las TICs.

La situación con la redacción del contenido ha sido corregida, a manera de continuar promoviendo nuestra política de inclusión e igualdad de oportunidades, para los servidores públicos y comunidades del municipio Sucre.

Gracias por reconocer los resultados y la labor que venimos haciendo. En Sucre seguimos adelante con el concurso de todos nuestros vecinos y gracias a un equipo de gestión pública reconocido por su capacidad y compromiso.

Como expresión de ello, la Dirección de Tecnología continúa promoviendo la ciudadanía y participación a través del uso de las TICs. Para lograrlo, en nuestra gestión tecnológica destaca la excelencia y la calidad en el trabajo que se realiza a diario por un talento humano, gerenciado por mujeres en la mayoría de los casos. Con esta visión, esperamos seguir fortaleciendo la plataforma tecnológica que hoy sirve y satisface a la comunidad del Municipio.

Para nosotros sería muy grato contar con sus aportes, para ello, ponemos a su disposición nuestra dirección de correo [email protected]

¡Seguimos trabajando!

Alejandro’s reply to the Alcaldía

Alcaldía, thank you for the reply. I hope that you go beyond merely correcting this ad and ensure men and women will be equally considered for the jobs you offer today and in the future.

I’m glad that there’s capable men and women working in your technology department, and I’m sure you’ll continue to do a great job.

All the best.

The Original Letter

Dear Alcaldía de Sucre,

You’ve done some amazing work in the municipality. Going against an utterly incompetent central government, you’ve managed to substantially reduce violent crime and advance bold initiatives in property rights. Your administration has been praised internationally; it even won the fourth place at the World Mayor 2014 Contest. You’ve set the bar high. I thought you completely embodied the change Venezuela desperately needs, until I saw this on your social media channels last week:

Programador

That’s right, this ad says that only men are welcome to work at “Venezuela’s best mayorship”. You, Alcaldía de Sucre, are telling all women to refrain from applying, because programming is a man’s job.

I am disappointed at your overt sexism. We’re striving to create a society in which men and women have equal rights. This policy would be bad enough coming from a private company, but it is incredibly damaging coming from you, a democratic body. You didn’t prevent your female voters from going to the polls, did you?

I’m trying to think what may have led you to make the terrible decision of screening out all women from this job. Maybe you’re not aware of the fact that computer science is now the most popular major for women at Stanford, or that, domestically, over a quarter of Computer Science students at USB are women, many of whom have gone on to graduate programs at prestigious universities or to work in great tech companies abroad. You wouldn’t know how many outstanding women Computer Science professors taught my generation much of what we know. Heck, you probably overlooked that the world’s first computer programmer was a woman, or that a recent study found that code written by women had higher approval rates than code written by men.

Including women isn’t just the right thing to do politically, it also makes a lot of economic sense. When we decrease the gap between women’s and men’s participation in the labor force, the economy grows. Venezuelan men and women need to work together to get out of the terrible crisis our country is going through. Programming specifically, as I’m sure you know, has the potential to make processes more efficient and improve our quality of life.

Sucre, you’re on time to rectify. Take down that job posting on Facebook and replace it with an inclusive version. Wake up your community manager from slumber. Take steps to ensure us, the citizens who put you in power, that you will consider men’s and women’s résumés equally.

I still believe in you. Do the right thing.

Best,

Alejandro

Alcaldía de Sucre is doing an exemplary job, but fails to grasp basic notions of gender equality. Help me reach them by tweeting at @AlcaldiaDeSucre to let them know that #LasMujeresTambiénPrograman.

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