Stop Glorifying Brilliant Women In Tech -- We Need Mediocre Women In Tech, Too

Marissa MayerAPYahoo CEO Marissa Mayer

When you think of women in tech, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg likely come to mind.

And all for great reasons. They’re both incredibly smart, talented, and successful people.

But often times, people can’t help but also comment on their level of attractiveness and fashion sense.

Yes, sometimes we can’t help it either.

While it’s great to glorify women in tech in the short term, computer science major Amy Nguyen argues that it won’t contribute to an enduring acceptance of women in tech down the road, she writes on Medium.

By pointing out how women like Mayer and Sandberg “have it all,” Nguyen says that it paints an inaccurate, non-inclusive image of a woman in tech.

Here’s the key chunk of Nguyen’s argument:

“[Women] don’t deserve to be in this industry because we’re all so incredibly exceptional and talented. We deserve equal treatment for no other reason than the fact that we are people.”

Nguyen wants women in tech who are maybe just mediocre, in addition to those who are extremely talented. There are plenty of men who are terrible at what they do, Nguyen says, but they’re still here.

Still, there are a ton of highly-talented, accomplished women in the tech industry. But the truth of the matter is that men do, by and large, dominate the industry.

Whether it’s running the majority of venture-backed startups out there, or creating the vast majority of content on Wikipedia, men are mostly running the show.

But that’s not to say that no one is trying to change that.

Adeo Ressi, CEO of the Founder Institute, is aiming to increase the number of female-founded companies it backs. It hopes the FI can be a catalyst for change among other accelerators and incubators for tech startups.

In February, e-commerce platform Etsy announced that it successfully grew its female engineers by 500% in about one year. It went from having just three female engineers in early 2011 to 20 by the end of 2012.

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