Masking the problem doesn’t solve it.
It’s absolutely astonishing that women working the tech field still face misogyny, but a male tech investor recently suggested in an op-ed article that the solution to solving sexism in the industry is for women to hide their gender.
“Women in today’s tech world should create an online presence that obscures their gender,” entrepreneur John Greathouse wrote in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. “In your LinkedIn profile, Twitter account, email address and online correspondence use your initials (or a unisex name) and eliminate photos.”
In his article, Greathouse wrote that adopting a “gender-neutral persona” would create more opportunities in tech for women. He cited blind auditions for musicians that created more diverse orchestras as the reason behind his theory.
Greathouse’s mansplaining article provoked an immediate backlash online. Numerous users — including women — were quick to point out the obvious flaw with his sexist advice.
Why Women In Tech Might Consider Just Killing A Man And Wearing His Skin To Interviews
— Matthew Garrett (@mjg59) September 29, 2016
Women applying for tech jobs:
1. Use initials.
2. Don't smile
3. Wait, no. Smile.
4. But not that much.
5. Never blink.
— Melody Joy Kramer (@mkramer) September 29, 2016
What we need from you @johngreathouse is to NORMALIZE and SIGNALBOOST respect for women, not give dealing-w-patriarchy protips.
— Laine Nooney (@Sierra_OffLine) September 29, 2016
— Brooke Hammerling (@brooke) September 29, 2016
— Meredith Whittaker (@mer__edith) September 28, 2016
Instead of forcing women — who are the victims of rampant sexism in the tech field — to change, the industry itself must fix systematic gender bias and discrimination. Only 1 out of 4 IT jobs belongs to women, and women own only 5 percent of all technology startups.
There is no quick fix to eliminating deep-rooted sexism in the tech industry, but a good place to start would be by expanding the pipeline of future engineers. By getting more women to be interested in tech at an early age, there could be more female tech students and potentially more women in the industry.
After the online backlash went viral, Greathouse issued an apology for his controversial article:
— John Greathouse (@johngreathouse) September 29, 2016
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