Opinion | Ellen Pao: Has Anything Really Changed for Women in Tech?

Opinion | Ellen Pao: Has Anything Really Changed for Women in Tech?:


As with any headline that asks a yes/no question, the answer is ‘no’.

Many continue to describe Uber and the outed venture capitalists as a few bad apples, not indicative of the entire industry — forgetting that the whole saying is actually “One bad apple spoils the bunch.” 

This kind of willful ignorance is systemic in a way that makes me wonder if it can ever by changed. At this point, I think it’s imprinted into Americans at birth. “Not all men”. “Not all cops”. “Not all tech thought leaders”..

Their behavior is part of much broader and deeper culture problems that permeate all tech — which ignored, encouraged and sometimes rewarded bad behavior — at different levels. We see companies changing C.E.O.s, but the reasons are shrouded, and they install new leaders with similar backgrounds.

As tech goes, so goes the nation. Though to be honest, I think it’s the other way around – it’s just that techies have more agency, for the moment, to vocalize the problems. 

We see bad actors resurface unscathed. Uber’s Travis Kalanick is said to have made a strong effort to return as C.E.O. — and more than 1,000 employees apparently supported him.

Emphasis mine. This is systemic.