Looksmart Founder Evan Thornley Says He 'Stuffed Up' When Trying To Explain An Important Point About Women In Tech

Looksmart founder Evan Thornley.

Closing the pay gap between men and women in the tech sector and boosting the number of women working the industry are issues leaders have been attempting to address.

Looksmart founder Evan Thornley on Friday raised the gender issue at the Sunrise event in Sydney using a slide which raised a few eyebrows.

His message about equality in the sector was lost in translation and on Saturday he commented on Startup Daily’s article explaining what he really meant:

Yep, stuffed that up. What I was trying to say folks was “gender inequality sucks everywhere but esp in tech – I do what I can to combat it”. Sorry it didn’t come out that way. ET

He also went to the trouble to reply to a few of the comments in the thread to clear up any confusion around the slide and quotes below.

Image: Screenshot.

Here’s the slide which was used on Friday:

And here is what was said:

I think when we went public on the NASDAQ I was the only company in Silicon Valley that had a majority of women on the senior management team, at least for a period of time.

The Australian labour market and the world labour market just consistently and amazingly undervalues women in so many roles in particular in our industry, so call me opportunistic, I just thought I could get better people, with less competition, because we were willing to understand the skills and capabilities that these women had, so there is a great arbitrage there, we would give them more responsibility and greater share of the rewards, than they were likely to get anywhere else and that was still somewhat cheaper to what we would have had to pay for someone less good for someone of a different gender.

I’m not advocating that, that inequality should stay – I’m just saying that there is an opportunity for forward thinking people.

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