Marissa Mayer: Here's What It Was Like Being The Only Female Geek At Stanford And Google

marissa mayer

Photo: Flickr/TechCrunch50-2008

Just like Sheryl Sandberg last week, Marissa Mayer is talking about what it’s like to be a woman in the tech world.Overall, it sounds fine.

You just stick out a bit more than normal, Mayer tells Dan Lyons at Newsweek.

Mayer says when she was at Stanford, she unexpectedly read about herself in the school paper:

“There was this columnist at The Stanford Daily that I really liked. One day she wrote this column about campus icons, meaning people you recognise but you don’t know their name, like the crazy guy in the plaza who yells at you when you bike past him. So she had this list, and I was reading through her column and kind of chuckling to myself about these people, and then there was someone on the list that was ‘the blonde woman in the upper-level division computer science classes.’ And I was like, ‘Who is that?’ And then I’m like, “Oh, it’s me!” so I guess I realised at that point that I was somewhat unusual.”

Mayer was the fist woman engineer at Google. Larry Page and Sergey Brin wanted to maintain some sort of gender balance, if possible.

Right now, 20% of the engineers at Google are female. A small minority, but better than the Valley average, says Mayer.

Mayer is hoping more women will enter tech in the future:

“I was always good at maths and science, and I never realised that that was unusual or somehow undesirable. So one of the things I care a lot about is helping to remove that stigma, to show girls that you can be feminine, you can like the things that girls like, but you can also be really good at technology. You can be really good at building things.”

Read the whole thing at Newsweek ยป

And don’t miss: Sheryl Sandberg: Here’s Why There Aren’t More Women Leaders In Tech, And The World

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