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Women in Engineering at Trulia

Get the Inside Scoop on Trulia’s Women in Engineering Group from Three Trulians

In recent years, influential programs and campaigns like “Lean In,” “Girls Who Code” and “I Look Like an Engineer” have grown in popularity, particularly as the gender equality conversation continues. Although there is a long history of women in computing, the engineering workforce has been primarily male-dominated in the past years, so these groups’ missions center around raising awareness for the lack of female participation in engineering, and to encourage more women to study computer sciences.  

Companies are embracing the movement, including Trulia. I got the chance to sit down with the founders of Trulia’s Women in Engineering Program – Geospatial Engineer Rhonda Friberg, Software Engineer Marissa Marquez, and Engineering Executive Admin Ellesse Schneider – to hear a bit more about the program and share how others might be able to start their own. Here’s what I learned:

An Inspiring Space
About two years ago, these three women came together with the intent of building a forum for women at Trulia to share their concerns, successes and learnings, and to grow from each other.

What started as a lunch with informal dialogue has morphed into a women in engineering program. Today, female engineers meet once a month to hear from other women in engineering – within or outside of Trulia – watch motivational TED Talks, discuss different articles and books, and share personal stories. Topics discussed span the gamut from how to negotiate a raise or promotion, to how to achieve a better work-life balance, to how to create a seat for yourself “at the table.” And, to keep the participants engaged and accountable, a new team member is encouraged to host the meeting each month. The result has been the creation of  a strong community among talented women and lasting friendships.

Trulia Women in Engineering Hackathon

Trulia’s Women in Engineering Group members in the midst of a mini hackathon for the organization Half the Sky.

Keys to Success
The program founders cite Trulia’s “No Jerks” policy as a factor in the program’s success. As a result of the policy, all engineers at Trulia work for great people who make it a priority to ensure a great culture of diversity, professional development, and trust and respect. Trulia’s lead engineers – both male and female – all encourage and support this group every day. 

Program Results
Rhonda, Marissa, and Ellesse all acknowledge they still have more they want to do, but as a result of their hard work thus far, Trulia has become an even more inspiring place for female engineers. Feedback has been that the group encourages women to grow personally and professionally, and that is one of the greatest goals they could meet.

As the program continues to grow in 2016, the group’s founders would like to continue to encourage gender diversity in software engineering by continuing to foster support and mentorship for women in all stages of their careers.

If you’re interested in joining Trulia’s team of talented engineers, check out our careers page – we’re always looking for new people!