A Silicon Valley venture capitalist is raising the ire of the internet after posting an op-ed that suggests women in tech would be better off if only they weren’t women.
The piece — which was written by John Greathouse, a partner at Rincon Venture Partners — outlines his ideas in a Wall Street Journal op-ed for how women might further their careers in the industry.
His suggestion? “Women in today’s tech world should create an online presence that obscures their gender.”
Greathouse suggests women use their initials instead of their real names, not include photos of themselves in their pitch deck, remove photos from their LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, and otherwise pretend they’re men. Greathouse cites blind auditions for orchestras — which resulted in orchestras being more gender balanced — as the reasoning for his suggestion, as well as data the claims people are more likely to pay attention to someone who has a similar name to them.
Women and men of the internet immediately took to Twitter to express their displeasure about Greathouse’s piece. Here’s a compilation of some of the more scathing Tweets:
Woman on the internet: why not just be men?
— ian ownbey (@iano) September 29, 2016
Puts down iPhone
Clearly, Greathouse’s piece didn’t go over well in the tech world and beyond — and for good reason. Simply because there’s data to support the idea that gender bias exists, doesn’t mean that bias should be perpetuated. However well-intentioned, Greathouse’s suggestion that women are holding themselves back in the tech world — and every other world — simply by appearing to be women is not only insulting, it sets back whatever little progress women have made in the tech industry.
Women in tech are still grossly underpaid compared to their male counterparts, are subject to harassment, or are just generally not taken seriously in the tech industry. Those issues can’t be solved by women hiding their genders online.
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