Many people, including me, have criticized EA for being a subpar place for women in certain ways, including: women are underrepresented (which contributes to various problems), there are few mechanisms aimed at preventing sexual harassment before it occurs, there is limited guidance regarding appropriate behavior, the criteria for evaluating misconduct are questionable, and existing systems may be ill-equipped to respond to allegations of abuse. 
At the same time, I think EA does well on certain gender issues relative to other communities. My aim here is not to make a substantive feminist case for EA, respond to critiques in this vein, or argue that being involved in EA is on balance good for women, but to describe features of the EA community that may be good for women (or, at least, have been good for me). Several of the features I'll highlight are good for everyone, but contrast with features of the wider world that are often bad for women.
My goal in writing this is threefold. First, as EA works to fix certain gender issues, it’s worth considering what to preserve. Second, I want to highlight practices and behaviors that I’ve appreciated in the hopes of others emulating them. Third, and most importantly, I want women who are considering whether EA is a community they want to be a part of to be aware of both the good and the bad.
Eight features of EA that can make EA a good place for women
In the remainder of this post, I'll describe features of the EA community that I think can benefit women. This isn't meant to be an exhaustive list, nor are these things listed in any particular order. I'll also highlight how a few of these features can cut both ways.
(1) People defy conventional social norms
Why this can be good for women: EA has less gendered expectations regarding behavior and appearance, which can be good, because such expectations often serve to oppress women.
Example: EA is famously not into wasting money and time on unimportant stuff. In other spheres, women face pressure to invest in makeup, nails, hair, clothes, Botox, buccal fat removal, BBLs, and lots of other stuff you probably shouldn’t Google. I enjoy doing my hair and makeup sometimes, but it matters to me that I feel basically no pressure to do this in EA spaces.
Example: I still think it’s a bit weird that a post that says—based on scant evidence—that “if I could pop back in time to witness the [interactions reported in the TIME article], I personally would think in 80% of cases that the accused had done nothing wrong” has 349 upvotes. One reasonable, good-for-women social norm that is being questioned here: believing most women who make accusations of sexual misconduct.
(2) People value things about you that are important (e.g., how kind you are, how hard you work, how good your work is)
Why this can be good for women: Society tends to value people for the wrong reasons (e.g., thinness), but often applies these standards more stringently to women (who are more affected by, e.g., weight discrimination). By contrast, many EAs and EA organizations make an active effort not to unfairly discriminate against people (although, of course, bias that exists in the outside world will invariably exist within EA, too).
Example: Many EA organizations are intentional about not letting bias and discrimination influence their hiring practices. Last year, I applied to a job at an EA organization. This was the first job I had applied to in years where things that have no bearing on my work quality were intentionally excluded from the application process. The organization did this by reviewing my application anonymously, not having a face-to-face interview, and not requiring me to submit a photo; these are all basic things many graduate programs fail to do.
(3) People are intentional about networking
Why this can be good for women: Any community can be susceptible to old-boys-club-ism, and EA is too. But EA’s explicit focus on having positive impact leads people to take special care to connect people to each other, helping subvert gendered cliquiness and the power imbalances this can create.
Example: In general, communities that are less proactive about connecting the right people to each other are more likely to suffer from old-boys-club-ism than those that are more intentional about this, because gendered social groups emerge naturally, and men disproportionately hold professional power. By contrast, EAs are proactive about connecting people to the people they should be connected to. For instance, a quick search of my email for the classic “<>” returns dozens of results from the past year. I’ve also found that people—including people who are very busy—are generous with their time, almost always respond to messages, and often email me out of the blue to inform me about things I should consider applying to. Because of these proactive efforts at networking, I generally feel less shut out from conversations and opportunities within EA than I do in academia.
(4) People care about community building
Why this can be good for women: I find that most people are concerned about the fact that women are underrepresented in EA (which, to be clear, is bad). As a result, people and institutions take steps to retain and support those of us who are here.
Example: Magnify Mentoring is an EA-funded program aimed at supporting gender and other minorities "motivated to have a positive impact with their careers and lives." Women within this community have mentored and supported me. Last year, I also participated in an excellent workshop that was targeted toward gender and other minorities. Ideally, there would be gender (and other) parity in EA, such that targeted recruitment and mentorship efforts would be less important. But I’m involved in other communities where women are underrepresented, and feel like those communities often do a worse job supporting women (although this varies a lot).
(5) People look out for each other
Why this can be good for women: People—and especially women—rely on whisper networks to avoid bad people, institutions, and things. I find that EAs warn me about stuff I should look out for, perhaps because they are inclined to trust other EAs and are invested in our success.
Example: When I was a prospective graduate student, I would ask current graduate students about potential research mentors. But saying anything negative about a professor was basically only risky for the current students: so-and-so could find out and retaliate against them for telling the truth, whereas being honest provided little benefit. As a result, people would err on the side of glossing over problems or speaking in veiled terms. By contrast, within EA, I think people tend to give more honest accounts for two reasons. First, people in communities trust members of their communities more than they trust random people they just met (this is true about communities in general, not just EA), so EAs tend to tell each other the truth. Second, we’re invested in each others’ successes. Most EAs aspire not to care about whether we personally save lives, reduce suffering, etc., but just that this gets done. If I can increase the likelihood of someone else succeeding by warning them about something or someone, then I will do this because we share the same goals.
(6) High prevalence of good allies
Why this can be good for women: Much has been made of whether EA has a higher prevalence of bad actors than other communities. I don’t have a view on this, but do think that EA has a higher prevalence of good actors. In fact, some of the best instances of male allyship I’ve experienced have been within the EA community. (I don’t want to make too much out of good allyship—this is like celebrating having functional lifeboats on a sinking ship—but it’s good when the people around you are doing their part to help fix problems.)
Example: Since the TIME article dropped, here are a handful of examples of what I've considered good allyship: 1) While meeting with a male colleague about something tangentially related, we began to discuss the TIME article. He asked some sensitive/thoughtful questions about my perspective on this, relayed some helpful information, and then (with my permission) took notes, and emailed someone on the Community Health team a summary of our discussion. 2) One friend was on an application committee that someone who’d been repeatedly accused of sexual misconduct applied to. He committed to resigning if the committee selected that person, which they didn’t. 3) The same friend relayed concerns about sexual harassment to his male boss, who relayed these concerns to the Community Health team. 4) I have heard multiple examples of people not funding/hiring someone because that person repeatedly committed harassment. 5) On many occasions, people have called attention to problems within the community. 6) People have written thoughtful commentaries about issues related to gender, usually—though by no means always—responded compassionately and reasonably to such commentaries, elevated the voices of those sharing their perspectives, and pushed back on bad takes. 7) People have openly committed to taking action against people accused of harassment.
(7) Organizations walk the walk
Why this is good for women: EA organizations don’t just talk a big game about doing good; many also have progressive policies on the books.
Example: I have never worked at an EA organization, but my sense is that they have far more progressive family leave policies than most workplaces (e.g., 4-6 months of paid parental leave, which is rare in the US). Similarly, these organizations tend to post their salary ranges, a practice that reduces gendered pay disparities. My sense is that I could work at many EA organizations and have kids without taking a significant career hit which, unfortunately, is not what I’d expect at most workplaces.
(8) People are willing to fix things that are broken
Why this is good for women: EAs have sexually harassed other EAs. Regardless of whether you think the rate of sexual misconduct within EA is higher than in other communities, this is bad. But my sense is that most EAs and EA institutions know this, are committed to outperforming other communities when it comes to reducing rates of sexual harassment, and seem willing to make hard/expensive changes to facilitate this.
Example: As a general rule, institutions do not want to involve outside actors in resolving internal disputes. Last year, the Harvard Graduate Student Union (HGSU) almost failed to reach a contract with Harvard University after years of negotiations because the University was unwilling to allow outside actors to mediate allegations of sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination (“Title IX disputes”). Eventually, HGSU caved, and the University continues to rely solely on internal processes to investigate Title IX disputes, which even contributed to a department chair leaving. By contrast, although EA institutions have historically been reluctant to involve outside actors in mediating EA disputes, EV UK recently “commission[ed] an external investigation by an independent law firm into Owen’s behaviour and the Community Health team’s response” after members of the community requested something like this.
Things can simultaneously be bad (any sexual harassment is too much sexual harassment), better (EA is a relatively less sexist environment in several key ways), and improvable.
Several of these issues are discussed in this recent TIME article.
I say here: "If something causes me to leave EA entirely, it may well be sexism. I simply don’t have to do as much extra work to prove myself in other spaces (including ones where people are every bit as smart), and having to do this work saps me of my energy, confidence, and time; in short, of my ability to be an effective altruist." I stand by this comment. I continue to think EA is a good place for women in some ways and a bad place for women in others. Who you are, what you work on, what communities you're part of, what organizations you work for, etc., will influence the relative balance of good and bad. I focus on the good here partly because I've focused on the bad in other places, but also because I've generally felt positive about how the community has responded to issues related to sexual harassment over the past three months.
As an analogy: giving $1,000 to everyone is good for everyone, but it’s particularly good for the poor; similarly, some EA norms are good for everyone, but especially good for people who are less likely to benefit from these norms outside of EA.
Some caveats: my most direct point of comparison is academia, so if you’re working in a progressive, feminist space, the features of EA I highlight might not sound particularly special, in which case, great! I hope these practices will become more widespread. That said, academia is comprised of well-resourced institutions and smart, liberal people, so outperforming academia in several ways isn’t exactly a low bar for EA to clear. Second, my experiences may not be representative, so I encourage others—but especially women, and especially women from groups underrepresented in EA—to highlight things they disagree with or features they’d add to my list. In particular, I haven’t interacted with the Bay Area EA/rationalist communities, so my comments shouldn't be read as applying to those contexts.
Sometimes the bar is, in fact, underground.
I'm intentionally being light on details here, both to protect the identities of those involved and because the details aren't the point. (If your knee-jerk reaction to this section was skepticism about whether these responses were appropriate, I would gently ask you to reflect on whether your orientation towards disbelief was reasonable, and whether you're applying this standard consistently.)
I'm forgetting a lot of examples, so others should feel free to share theirs, too. Also, I've linked to examples of what I consider good allyship, but this shouldn't be read as a global endorsement of these people as allies (simply because I don't know most of these people well enough to speak to this, not because they aren't).
I would encourage women who have worked at EA organizations to weigh in here, since I can’t speak to this firsthand, and presumably, this varies across organizations. Again, the links represent examples of good policies, rather than global endorsements of these organizations, since I haven't worked at them and can't speak to whether their work environments are generally supportive.