Feature

Twitter’s problem with women

Twitter has just underscored the “striking absence of women” in the tech world.

Vikas BajajThe New York Times

Twitter has just underscored the “striking absence of women” in the tech world, said Vikas Bajaj. The social networking site drew “unwelcome attention” last week when the filings for its upcoming initial public offering revealed “that none of the seven people on its board was a woman.” Unfortunately, that’s pretty much par for the course for Silicon Valley. About 50 percent of publicly traded information technology companies have no women on their boards, compared with 36 percent for big public companies overall. “The technology industry is largely a men’s club,” with prominent women like Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Marissa Mayer of Yahoo as the exception, not the rule. This is not a failing the sector can afford to simply dismiss or ignore. “The absence of women in positions of power undermines the progressive image the industry has long tried to project, and it can’t help with its customer base.” Some tech execs “say there simply are not enough qualified women to go around,” but that sounds like “little more than an excuse for inaction.” Twitter and its fellow tech companies are still young, and will get many chances to prove they care about diversity. “The question is whether they will seize them.”

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