Kate Brodock

Founder, Goizueta Business School, Emory University


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Should we really stop talking about the "women in tech" issue?

I wrote a response today (http://bit.ly/gY8zv4) to an article on TechCrunch concerning the women in tech "issue" and how we have to stop talking about it. There's been a lot of debate about whether this issue merits conversation, or whether we should all just get over it. I'm of two mindsets.

1) I'm not a fist-pumping feminist, I don't waste time boohoing the horrible position of women. It's not productive.
2) I realize that I've been lucky both in my upbringing and in my access to opportunities to advance myself in this industry.

So, my problem is that everyone suggesting we need to get past this debate probably has both of the above qualities (oh, and they're usually American), and yet they fail to recognize that other women both domestically and globally simply aren't in the position to "just do it."

I'd like to see more recognition of THIS factor, and move the discussion from an "I did it, so can you" to an "I did it, let me help you do it too" mentality (mentorship, funding, investing etc).

You'll get a better sense of where I'm coming from if you read the link above, but I would love to hear thoughts on this.

  • Feb 24 2011: Oh, come on! If there is any field in which women have no disadvantages vis-a-vis men, it is technology. If you want to go back to the question of why fewer girls gravitate toward the sciences in school than boys, fair enough; there are many possible reasons and it is a valid topic of debate. But once in the workforce, women in technology fields have the exact same opportunities as do men. Ditto as entrepreneurs. I have been in the computer business for 45 years (yes, we had computers back then...) including 12 years running my own successful system development company with 250 people. I don't recall one instance in that entire career when I thought a woman missed out on an opportunity because a man with fewer qualifications was favoured.Yes, we should stop talking about a "women in tech" issue. There is no issue except in the minds of the perennial whiners who always seem to want somebody else to "do" something to help them overcome their own innate limitations.