PayPal decided to create a panel dedicated to discussing “gender equality and inclusion in the workplace.” A good idea in theory, except for one fairly major issue: it’s composed entirely of men.
The poster advertising the panel reads: “Please join us for a discussion with our senior male leaders Edwin Aoki, Sri Shivananda, Jonathan Auerbach, Franz Paasche moderated by Karthik Suri about how men and women can partner to achieve a better workplace.”
Here’s a thought: if you’re going to discuss how men and women can enjoy a better workplace, it may seem like a good idea to have at least one female staff member on board. Right?
Apparently, this was all a misunderstanding.
PayPal issued the following statement through Nolwenn Godard, President of the group hosting the panel, Unity:
For this panel our intent is to bring together our male allies to work with us on gender inclusion. The title of the panel is “Gender Equality and Inclusion in the Workplace: a Conversation with our Male Allies.” Unfortunately the full title and the intention of the panel did not make it on to the initial posters that have been the subject of commentary. We’ve since clarified the language to address the misunderstanding.
Even if the panel is meant to serve as a conversation with male allies, it still makes little sense that women wouldn’t be featured in that conversation. Creating a dynamic where men are on a panel discussing gender equality, while women must take a seat in the audience, is representative of Silicon Valley’s gender issue in a nutshell.
People have taken to Twitter to voice their opposition:
PayPal did not immediately respond to Tech Insider’s request for comment.